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Binibeca village on Menorca island
Photograph: Shutterstock

This Spanish village is threatening to completely close to tourists

Residents of the Menorcan spot are tired of litter, noise, and people entering their homes

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly

The world is full of some really, really pretty villages, and we’d like to think that most of us can admire them respectfully, quietly, and from an appropriate distance. 

But sadly, that hasn’t been the case for this little village in Menorca. Binibeca Vell, a quaint spot on the Spanish island, is characterised by Santorini-like whitewashed houses and narrow winding lanes – and now that it’s become so popular, locals are fed up with all the tourists who flock there to take photos. 

The number of visitors has risen to around 800,000 annually, mostly between May and October. This year, that’s expected to reach a staggering 1 million. 

Residents have been complaining for years, and measures to tackle the damage caused by tourists began in 2023 – including a scheme where locals were offered €15,000 to help clear up litter. This month, tourists have only been permitted to visit between 11am and 8pm.

Speaking to, one resident said ‘[tourists] went into homes, they sat on chairs, they take things, climb on our walls, they have outdoor drinking parties.’ There are concerns that if nothing is done to restrict numbers, this will continue to impact residents in the summer months. 

Óscar Monge, who heads the group representing Binibeca Vell’s 195 property owners said that while there are concerns for the families whose hotels, bars and souvenirs depend on local tourism, they now feel they have no choice but to propose completely closing off access to the village. 

‘From the coast you would still be able to visit the perimeter of the village, but you wouldn’t be able to enter the interior lanes, he told the Guardian, ‘And that’s the charming photo everyone wants for Instagram.’

While it’s a shame some unpleasant behaviour – literal trespassing, by the sounds of it – might have ruined seeing Binibeca Vell for all of us, those residents need their sanity. Have a read of all the destinations that want tourists to stay away

Did you see that this Spanish town has been named Europe’s most beautiful secret destination?

Plus: A brand-new naked cruise will be launching in 2025

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