The island terrain is covered by many country roads; one of the most relevant is the one called "Camí de Cavalls" for the fact of its importance and unique beauty. It consists in an old path, which originally went all the way round the Minorcan coast most of which have been preserved. There is an hypothesis amongst the Minorcan inhabitants, not confirmed, that some parts of it already existed in the 14th century and could be to do with the defence system promoted by the Catalans. This system consisted in the reward of land by the king to those who could care for a horse and carry arms and be prepared to leave and defend the island at the moment an enemy attack was announced. Another supposition claims that the path was created by the French during their dominion between 1756 and 1763.
Whatever the truth is, one thing in common with all the theories is that it was created for the island's defence and control. This military function has been officially confirmed since the second half of the 18th century, a period when the path was considered of great importance by the British governors who ruled the island.
Until half a century ago, the land labourers who exploited the fields were obliged to keep the path clean and free of vegetation or any other kind of obstacles; they also had to mark the way using whitewashed stones situated strategically. Nowadays, work is being done to recover the original route and, therefore, recover the entire historical patrimony of the island.
The "Camí de Cavalls" is a route not to be missed if we wish to capture the real beauty of the island. The smell of this can be felt along each part of the path, which is visualized in the impressive attraction of its coast.
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PDF MAP: Mapa Camí de Cavalls
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