This quick guide aims to provide valuable tips and information to those who are traveling to Es Castell, a small municipality in the eastern part of Menorca in Spain’s Balearic Islands.
Below, we feature an expat interview with Andy Tysoe, owner of Property Menorca who covers the Es Castell area.
Particularly, we wanted to know from Andy the advantages of moving into Es Castell and the value for money that you can get if you decide to go and see the area whether for the purpose of spending a brief holiday or for staying permanently in the area.
Andy, thanks for helping our readers. I guess we should start off by asking what would you say would be the advantages to living in Es Castell compared to other Menorca towns?
• Open all year
• Walking distance to the main town of Mahon.
• Bus service to Mahon all year.
• The first town to see the sunrise in Spain.
• Local primary school.
• Several local churches.
• All local health amenities.
• Positioned on the coast with great views across the harbour.
• Also very close to the countryside.
• Ideally positioned for the airport (but no aircraft noise except when the Red Arrows visit the island!) and the main public and private hospitals in Mahon (10 mins by car).
• Only 10 minutes by car to some lovely beaches – such as Punta Prima.
• A good sized town which is very friendly.
Would the area not suit certain types of people, i.e. are there any possible downsides?
As Es Castell is open all year there are very few downsides!
There is a broad range of ages in the town from young to old, British to Spanish.
What proportion of the local population are Spanish?
Mainly Spanish/Menorquin, but a large sector of British.
What are your favourite things to do in the area?
• The bay of Calas Fonts for meals and coffees.
• Friendly bars and cafes.
• Historical attractions such as Fort Marlborough at Cala Sant Esteban, the Museums in the Esplanada, Castillo de San Felipe just outside Es Castell, local windmills – recently restored.
• Walks along local tracks in the countryside.
• Mountain biking.
• Dog walking.
• Fiestas in August.
Can you give us some insider tips to the best bars or restaurants?
Calas Fonts – the lovely fisherman’s bay of Es Castell – has many cafes and restaurants open in the summer (and a couple of bars in the winter), as well as some shops which sell clothes, avarcas (traditional local shoes originally worn by farmer and peasants but now worn by everyone!) and nick-nacks. Also a night market during the summer months.
The main part of the town has many little restaurants and bars along the central road called Carrer Gran, and also many little places tucked away around the town, including Bar España, Camacho’s, Maruja, Toni’s …
All are very friendly and welcoming.
Are there many facilities such as doctors and dentists, shops etc?
• Large medical centre
• Post office
• Nursery school & primary school
• Pet shop
• Several small supermarkets
• Several banks including Santander and Banca March
• Hair dressers
• Perfume shop
• Tobacco shop
• Book shop
• Craft shop
• A few clothes shops
• A market 2 mornings a week in the Esplanada
• Night markets in the summer on Calas Fonts and in the main part of the town
• Several hotels in the town overlooking Mahon harbour
• Several traditional hotels near to town such as Sant Joan de Binissaida
Are there smaller villages nearby that you might also recommend?
Santa Ana – part of Es Castell
Sol Del Este – part of Es Castell
Cala Sant Esteban – a lovely bay of old and newer housing
Noria Riera – a quiet area of villas set in the countryside
Son Vilar – located between Es Castell and Mahon
Trebaluger – located half way between Es Castell and Sant Lluis (not walking distance to Es Castell though)
What are the nearest international schools and how good are they?
No international schools in Menorca – each town has its own local primary school and the bigger towns such as Mahon have several primary and secondary to choose from.
Is crime an issue for expats?
Minimal crime in Menorca as a whole – rarely hear of any crimes in the local area against locals or expats.
Coming onto buying property, what is the market like now in terms of prices going up, or down or staying the same?
Prices reduced heavily from 2009-2015.
Prices are now stabilising but will probably not increase for a few years to come.
Is this a good time to buy and are there any repossessions or very cheap properties still available to buy?
There are very few repossessions available because Menorca never suffered as much as mainland Spain.
Most repossessions are old apartments in Mahon which holidaymakers tend not to buy.
What urbanisations are there and can you describe each one and how they might differ from each other?
Santa Ana – adjoins the eastern side of Es Castell and the front line villas overlook the bay of Calas Fonts and Mahon harbour – only a few minutes walk to all amenities of Es Castell. Santa Ana is mainly made up of large villas on individual plots with pools. Quite a few villas here are summer homes or rented out in the summer months.
Sol del Este – on the eastern side of Santa Ana, over a little bay – has a café and a small shop open in the summer months but again, only minutes to walk to all amenities of Es Castell. Sol del Este is made up of a mix of villas and apartments – all of which are of the local architecture, with the frontline properties overlooking Mahon harbour. Quite a few properties here are summer homes or rented out in the summer months.
Noria Riera – about a 10 minutes walk from Es Castell – an urbanisation started over 30 years ago comprising of only 35 or so villas on large private plots with pools. Located in the countryside it is a sought after area as it is slightly out of the main town yet close enough to walk to or just a couple of mins in the car. Mainly occupied by permanent residents – a good mix of Spanish, English, French, German etc.
How much are the typical property prices in Es Castell for apartments, villas etc?
• Apartments – €80,000 to €250,000
• Town Houses – €200,000 – €400,000
• Villas – €250,000 to €3million
Any tips and advice to people looking to buy in Es Castell or surrounding area?
We always recommend you use an API registered estate agent.
We always recommend you use a local lawyer, of which we know and have worked with for 16 years.
As well as the price of the property, make sure you know about community charges in apartments and complexes.
You also need to take into consideration the yearly Town Hall rates.
And of course, you also need to be aware of the other taxes and costs involved when purchasing any property in Spain – a lawyer and API agent will be able to help with all of the above!
Andy, thank you so much for taking the time to help our readers with your experiences in Spain. If you want to contact him, you can find his details below.
Below is a documentary video that features Es Castell.
Contact us to be featured – we want more expat interviews for our newsletter and website. You don’t need to be an estate agent, we want to hear from anyone who lives in Spain whether you are working or retired.
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