Located in the north of Minorca, which is known for its unspoilt and very often deserted beaches, Fornells (also known as Fournella) is a sleepy resort and fishing town. Originally founded to serve the 16th-century castle as a defence against the Barbary pirates, all that remains of the military is the watchtower perched upon a hill, which visitors can stroll to and climb for gorgeous views over the town and harbour. Fornells' quaint waterfront area, lined with shops and restaurants, bustles during the summer months, but remains quiet the rest of the year. The town is only home to about 1,000 permanent residents and although it is popular with tourists it has retained its sleepy charm and authentic character. Travellers can enjoy water sports here, especially windsurfing, and scuba divers can enjoy an excursion to the marine park off the north shores and marvel at the magnificent colours and marine life. It is also possible to charter boats from the harbour. Fornells is small enough to explore on foot, but if you want a lovely sandy beach it is best to make the short drive (10 minutes) to Son Parc.