It is a village in the south of the island with a very important history. The British invaded Menorca, giving birth to the village of San Luis by the French occupation in the 18th century, named after King Louis IX of France.
Although its culture and history may identify this village, if you visit it you must enter the Ethnological Museum in the Molino de Dalt, the only survivor of the others that came to the village. A charming village overlooking the sea, striking with its white facades that remain as a symbol of the island.
The creation of San Luis in Menorca, with its rectilinear streets, was the work of the Count of Lannion, a French governor who had a good public image among the Menorcans. The eighteen blocks that were planned at the time, in the middle of the 18th century, have been surpassed by very recent additions, with the same impetus that has made tourism the town’s main activity. It is the town that has grown the most in recent years, together with Ciutadella.
A watercolour by Giuseppe Chiesa – a great visual storyteller of his time – reveals that the church and the obelisk of Pla de sa Creu were already erected before there were any houses around them. The French project, in addition to providing housing for their troops, was intended to provide an organisational centre for a large, relatively populated rural area. A central site was chosen in the open space between the existing farmhouses. The church, which still catches the eye today amidst the network of two-storey houses, is neoclassical in style, with an explicit dedication on the façade stating its intention to honour Saint Louis, the French king.
Another building of the period is the flour mill, whose silhouette forms one of the most typical images of the town. Two towers of the old mills are still preserved, as well as a pou de torn, a well, which served the inhabitants of the Rue du Comte de Lannion.
An interesting walk is the one through the farmhouses surrounding the town (Es Pou Nou, Torret, S’Ullestrar…), where you can still appreciate the characteristic features of rural architecture. This is largely due to the fact that many of the houses have been converted for residential use and the new owners have had them restored with few changes.
In addition to the coves that will be mentioned in more detail below, there are other spots along the coastline of the region where it is possible to bathe or sunbathe, such as the coves of Biniparratx or Binidalí, which also offer excellent shelter for boats. There are rocky areas where there is not even a grain of sand – such as Cap d’en Font – but they are still very popular due to the limpid transparency of the water that bathes them.
The walks along the Levante area – the northeastern section – have their logical counterpart in a route along the southern coastline, which runs along the entire coast of Sant Lluís and Es Castell. If you start from Maó, you must first head towards Sant Climent (along the same road with the turn-off to the airport that ends in Cala’n Porter). Once in Sant Climent, the first stage of a route through the southeast will consist of spending some time in Cala Canutells and its surroundings, in order to get your bearings to continue towards Binidalí. Here there is a wonderful viewpoint from the top of the cliff. The cove, together with the Biniparratx cove immediately after, is the most sheltered of this stretch. Then, from Cap d’en Font onwards, the high profile of the coastline softens and descends. Moving along the roads that connect the urbanisations, which link up with each other, you reach the coves of Binissafúller, Binibéquer (the largest of the three) and Biniancolla, all of which have beach bars or bars and restaurants nearby. Before reaching the second cove we come across the unique Binibeca Vell housing estate.
The last beach of the section is Punta Prima, which has the Illa de l’Aire in front of it, with its lighthouse and its population of black lizards. In the district of Sant Lluís, however, we can still visit Cala Alcalfar and S’Algar by turning off the road that goes from Punta Prima to the village.
Before returning to Maó, the last stops should be Cala Sant Esteve, where you can visit Fort Malborough, and Es Castell, taking the opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere of Cales Fonts if you arrive at sunset. To go from Sant Lluís to Es Castell through a different landscape, take the road that passes by the Trebalúger farmhouse.