Binibeca is a victim of its own irresistible charm, Source: Depositphotos

The “Spanish Mykonos” may resort to banning visitors this summer

The “Spanish Mykonos” may resort to banning visitors this summer

The small village of Binibeca Vell on the island of Menorca has already closed off its streets at certain hours for visitors

Binibeca Vell is a fairytale-like whitewashed village on the island of Menorca which has gotten a lot of tourist attention recently leading to it being dubbed the “Spanish Mykonos”. The local residents, however, have been having a tough time with the viral popularity of their homesteads and the resultant overcrowding in the narrow lanes. So bad is the situation that there is now a threat that visitors could be outright banned if the island’s authorities do not enhance stricter rules and more financing for conservation.

Although its name translates to Old Binibeca, the village was only designed and built in the 1960s by the Barcelonese architect F.J. Barba Corsini, who sought to emulate the traditional Balearic architecture of fishermen villages. Apparently, he did such a good job that now, many years later in the age of social media Binibeca Vell has exploded in popularity thanks to tourists constantly seeking to take a snap of themselves surrounded by glamorous backgrounds.

The Balearics’ struggles with overtourism

The problem also arises from the fact that Binibeca Vell is not a village or a municipality per se but rather a privately owned condominium complex. In that sense, its narrow and charming streets are also private property of the residents and not public land. This means that tourists walking around and posing on the steps of the houses are disturbing the privacy of the owners.

The residents’ association decided, as a result, to implement some restrictions, with support from the Municipality of San Lluis, to which Binibeca belongs. Said restrictions were placed on the village website as well as signs informing visitors about them.

The restrictions include the closure of the lanes between the hours of 11 am and 8 pm (so that residents can enjoy peaceful evenings, nights and mornings), plus reminders to keep silent and respect the private properties and behave accordingly.

According to The Guardian, however, these measures might not be sufficient to ensure the happiness of the residents. Óscar Monge, who runs a group representing Binibeca Vell's 195 property owners, spoke to the newspaper, complaining that the funds provided by the government were insufficient to deal with issues such as waste removal in the wake of incessant tourist visits.

If the administration continues to leave us abandoned, in August we'll carry out a vote among owners on whether we should close up the development,” Mr. Monge was cited as saying.

The residents-visitors-authorities row in Binibeca Vell comes amid a number of protests across holiday hotspots in Spain that are struggling with overtourism. Notably, the latest one took place in another Balearic spot, the capital Palma, where this past weekend tens of thousands of people marched to protest against the overtourism of their city and the resultant unaffordability in terms of housing for the locals.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU