Menorca – the mysterious island of Spain
The names of the Balearic Islands, Ibiza and Mallorca, have long been synonymous with partying and fun. Menorca, their eastern neighbor in the archipelago, is still little known to travelers. But that’s just for now. After all, a vacation on Menorca is an opportunity to immerse yourself in an atmosphere of tranquility and friendliness amidst reserved nature, beautiful beaches, unique monuments – witnesses to a wonderful history.
Holidays in Menorca, Spain, 2022: attractions, entertainment, beaches, prices and other useful and interesting information are presented in this material.
Menorca is an island in the Mediterranean Sea with an area of approximately 700 square kilometers. It is difficult to describe what it is. They call it both a museum in the open air – so many attractions are concentrated here, and the reserve – it’s hard to find such a variety of natural landscapes in a small area. Winding coastline with numerous bays, lagoons and beaches. The northern part with precipitous shores and rocky plateaus is so unlike the low-lying southern part.
Different eras and civilizations left their traces on the island. Until now, scientists are still trying to comprehend the mysteries of constructions made of stone blocks, the age of which is estimated at several thousand years. The Phoenicians and Romans, Turks and Arabs, Moors and English have all ruled Minorca, adding their own flavour to the island. This is why Minorca’s cities are characterized by the organic juxtaposition of different styles.
This unique island is a UNESCO-protected natural and cultural reserve. There are no high-rise buildings, industrial giants. Careful attitude towards cultural heritage and unique nature is a demand strictly obeyed by the islanders.
Tourists are welcomed here perfect roads, well-developed infrastructure, hundreds of sandy and pebbly beaches. They ask only one thing: not to disturb the harmony of nature. Damaged plants and garbage thrown past the trash cans will incur a hefty fine.
A welcoming atmosphere will accompany the tourists during their holiday in every corner of the island.
The island has a Mediterranean climate: hot summers, mild warm winters, no jumps between day and night temperatures. True, but summer comes later and lasts less in the northern part of Menorca than in the southern part. The rainiest month is August and the windiest season is winter. The weather can vary from region to region on a single day, with rain in some places and sunshine in others.
When choosing a holiday spot on the island, it’s worth taking into account the weather forecasts, escaping from the heat to the north in summer and, conversely, staying at resorts further south during the holiday season.
How to get there
There are no direct flights between Moscow and Menorca. Only in high season you can take advantage of charter flights. The most convenient and fastest flight is via Barcelona with a connecting flight to Mahón, the capital of the island. Such a trip takes from 9 hours.
Menorca on the map:
The airport is two kilometers from Mahon. The bus number 10 takes you to the city bus station, from where there are routes to various points on the island. Cab rides in the daytime (6.00 to 21.00) on weekdays are cheaper than at night, weekends and holidays.
You can take a ticket to Barcelona and get to Menorca by sea: the ferry to Ciudadella takes about 8 hours.
Another option is to take a 5 hour flight to the nearby island of Mallorca and take a ferry to Mahón or Ciudadela.
The bus service makes it possible to visit all the sights of the island and to reach the resorts and beaches. Buses run more frequently during the high season (May-October) and at longer intervals during the winter.
Rent a car
Many tourists prefer this way of traveling around the island, guided by the many signs and road maps. Moreover, the island has excellent roads and you can always find a parking lot near popular tourist sites and beaches. Rent a car a lot, the choice of machines is great. Very convenient for a family trip, in any rental center will offer child seats in different categories.
In addition to the “land” on the island is popular water cab, which can be used to get to coastal resorts and beaches, admiring the ever-changing beauty of the coast.
A boat ride allows you to see the island’s sights from the sea and observe the underwater world through the transparent windows of the lower compartments.
Menorca is connected to the other islands of the archipelago and mainland Spain by a regular ferry service.
Where to stay
A special feature of Minorca is that there are no high-rise buildings, the hotels are no more than 3-4 floors, located in picturesque places, have an interesting architectural design.
Almost half of the hotels on the island – apartments of varying levels of comfort and stardom. The price for a room starts at 22 euros. Budget hotels and hostels, guest houses and villas, romantic and design hotels – the choice for a small island is wide. Prices depend on the location of the hotel, comfort and season.
La Quinta Resort & Spa
Located in the resort of Son-Shoriger. The hotel complex, decorated in colonial style, offers spa services, including massage and beauty treatments using natural products, a restaurant with Mediterranean cuisine, interesting activities.
Insotel Punta Prima Resort
Located in the resort of Punta Prima and will appeal to fans of active recreation: tennis courts, volleyball courts, a soccer field and golf, a huge swimming pool, a restaurant with Italian cuisine, bar and night club.
Located next to one of the best beaches of the island, Cala Galdana. Its modern interior with beautiful lighting, panoramic roof terraces and children’s club make it a favorite even among the most demanding tourists.
Located in the center of the city of Mercadal in a beautiful mansion of the XIX century, surrounded by interesting sights and beautiful beaches.
This historic hotel on the outskirts of Ciudadal occupies a 17th century building surrounded by flowers and exotic trees and plants. It attracts lovers of serene relaxation in a romantic setting.
Located in the city of St. Louis in a unique 14th-century mansion surrounded by a beautiful tropical garden. The hotel restaurant is famous for its national Spanish cuisine.
You can find cafes and restaurants on the island specializing in Spanish, Italian and other European cuisines. But to be on Minorca without tasting freshly caught seafood and sea fish, the variety of which bewilders the choice, and the taste is hard to beat: delicious. Generous portion is difficult to overcome even a very hungry tourist, usually take one for two.
Of course, be sure to try the products for which Menorca is famous:
- sobrasada, a cured sausage;
- Maon, a hard cheese with a salty taste and pleasant aftertaste;
- Pan de higo – fig bread;
- kokarrois – patties with fish or meat;
- Format Hades – pies with cottage cheese and cinnamon;
- puff pastries.
This is interesting: Menorca is considered the birthplace of mayonnaise, about the origin of which on the island you can hear interesting legends.
On Menorca, gourmands can appreciate Michelin-starred restaurants:
- ‘S’Espigó (Maon) – located near the port, specializes in fish and seafood dishes. Specialty: lobster stew;
- ‘Jàgaro’ (Maon) – Another regional restaurant in the port: open terrace, wine cellar room, another in classical style. Specialty: fried lobster with egg;
- ‘Pan y Vino’ (San Luis) French restaurant famous for its meat dishes, wine list and desserts, especially parfait;
- ‘Sa Pedrera d’es Pujol’ (San Luis) stands out for its creative cuisine, the menu features old Spanish recipes cooked with modern technology. Consists of several halls, each visitor can choose a wine to his taste in the wine cellar. Specialty: mussels in spicy marinade.
Every resort in the city has its own favorite shopping destinations. In Mahón – Mercat de Pescados market with local delicacies, shopping center Castillo Menorca with numerous clothing, shoes, jewelry, souvenirs, La Ventana Gourmet – a gastronomic paradise with local products: cheeses, jamon, sausages, canned seafood, Spanish wines, sweets, nuts and dried fruits, Nivolats – a large selection of designer clothes and accessories, handmade jewelry. In Ciudadela is the clothing store “Simplement Menorca”, where you can find exclusive items; “Inaki Sampedro” – a large selection of designer handbags. Mainly made of genuine leather.
As a memory of rest in Menorca and as a gift for dear people are brought:
- avarkes (they are also called avarkas, abarkas, menorkinas, menorques) – handmade sandals with a rubber sole and a strap on the heel. It is one of the hallmarks of the island and is made for women, men, children in different colors and shades, in leather and suede;
- Mahon-Menorca hard cheese made from cow’s milk;
- Xoriguer gin, another symbol of the island, is made using grape wine and juniper berries. It is sold in original bottles with a handle and a windmill on the label.
- Sobrasada, a sausage made from dried pork seasoned with spices, has a unique taste. Depending on the type of natural casing differs in thickness: thin sausages are called lionganissa, medium – pultrams, thick – bufetes.
The capital of Minorca, Mahón is said to have been a prosperous city even before Christ, but was completely destroyed in the 16th century by pirates. This is why there are no monuments of the distant past and the old buildings show the influence of the long British rule.
The main attraction of Mahon is the harbor, extending almost 5 kilometers into the interior, around which the city was formed. It has many squares with interesting monuments and sculptures, beautiful palaces and places of worship.
Church of St. Mary.
The highest and largest church on the island with a stunning interior and a unique baroque organ with 3,000 pipes. It regularly hosts concerts and organ festivals.
The beautiful red house on the hill, whose windows overlook the harbor, is shrouded in legends linking various historical names to stays there. According to one, Admiral Nelson and his beloved Lady Hamilton spent a brief vacation here at the end of the 18th century.
Other places of interest: the fortress of La Mola, the castle of San Felipe, the town hall of the XVII century, the stone gate of the XIV century, the archaeological museum.
Founded in the 4th century, Ciudadela has long been Menorca’s main port city. This strategic point has been fought over for centuries. During the Middle Ages it was badly damaged.
Esglesia Catedral de Menorca
This is the oldest surviving cathedral in the city but during the Civil War, the interior decoration and church utensils were destroyed and lost.
Plaza des Born
The cathedral is located near the main square, the center of the city, the Plaza des Born. It is the most beautiful place of Ciudadela: with beautiful palaces and mansions, fountains and flowers, and colorful illumination at night.
Only part of the fortress walls and towers of the castle, which was built in the X century and served as a reliable defense against invaders, has been preserved until now. Interest in the castle is not waning, and the authorities plan to restore the historic site.
Naveta des Tudons
This mysterious stone monument that resembles an upturned boat was built as early as the 16th century B.C. – before the Egyptian pyramids. There are many stone statues of the same antiquity on the island. It is interesting that no mortars were used to join the stones. Presumably such constructions served as tombs. But there is still no consensus among the scholars about who built them and their purpose.
Cova de Choroi
The caves by the sea near the resort of Cala en Porte have become a popular tourist spot: they have opened a bar and a nightclub with seats in the cave and in the open air. Spanish and foreign artists often perform in the cave, and parties with live music are held.
There are seven active lighthouses on the island, warning sailors of dangerous places. The amazing scenery around the structures and the mesmerizing panoramas that open from these places attract tourists in all weathers.
Mount Monte Torro
The highest point of the island is 358 meters above sea level. There is a statue of Jesus Christ and the Church of Santuario de la Virgen del Toro which was built in the 13th century and houses a shrine revered by believers – a statue of Our Lady which is visited by pilgrims from all over the world.
There are many ways to diversify your holiday on the island:
- Visit the zoo in Alayor. Both children and adults will not be left indifferent from the acquaintance with exotic animals and birds;
- Devote time to stay in one of the water parks;
- rent a boat and try your luck at fishing;
- Go horseback riding in the center of Caballo;
- get your adrenaline pumping at the entertainment centers;
- Hang out in discos and nightclubs;
- see stunning sunsets and sunrises over the sea;
- experience all the joys of water activities.
Minorca has over a hundred beautiful beaches: long and tiny, sandy and pebbly, crowded and secluded, situated in river deltas, in endless dunes and in picturesque coves. Even the color of the sand varies from white to red. Some you can walk to without any problems, while others require a steep descent. Some of them are accessible only from the sea. But they are united by alluring purity and beauty of the transparent water of unreal color.
Six beaches on the island have been awarded Blue Flags for cleanliness, comfort and safety: Portde Ciutadella (Ciudadela), Cala Galdana (Ferrerias), Son Bou and Cala en Porter (Alaior), Binibeca and Punta Prima (San Luis).
Cala Galdana Cove from above in the video:
Almost half of Menorca’s beaches are sandy with a gentle descent into the water – ideal for holidays with children.
All beaches are municipal, free, pay only for sun loungers and umbrellas. Constantly cleaned, cleanliness is maintained and holidaymakers, even on the unsettled areas by the water.
Menorca pleases residents and tourists with bright festivals and celebrations almost every month, to see and take part in them – a huge success and pleasure.
The horse is one of the island’s symbols and almost all festivities on the island include horseback riding.
The main festival is in honour of John the Baptist (Festa de San Joan), celebrated for a week in June. The Equestrian Fiesta (Ecuín Fiesta) takes place at the end of August. It is a stunning spectacle – jaleo – featuring riders in national dress and horses.
Many people, going to Menorca and having read that it is a quiet and peaceful island, are worried that they get bored after three days. But a week later regret that they had planned so little time to get to know it. It is here at any rate will not be enough. And when you arrive home, you will miss Menorca, the mysterious wonder-island that has revealed its inexhaustible treasures. There’s a reason to come back for more.
The island of Menorca: a beach vacation paradise
Menorca is one of the Balearic Islands belonging to Spain in the Mediterranean Sea. Quiet, with countless beaches and coves, it has been called the open-air museum. There are no tall buildings and high-rise hotels, here life flows steadily and in perfect harmony with nature.
In these bays like to park boats
8 Interesting Facts
The island of Menorca is a biosphere reserve.
Over 140 beaches, more than Mallorca and Ibiza combined.
Menorca has around 300 days of sunshine a year.
Menorca’s famous sandals are still hand sewn
Menorca is the home of mayonnaise
The island is the first to greet the sunrise in Spain
All residents speak at least 2 languages (a dialect of Catalan and Spanish)
The island can be walked around the perimeter following an old horse trail laid out during the war. Nowadays it is a famous path for both horseback riding and trekking.
How to get there
Menorca can be reached from major Spanish cities . The cheapest flight is from Barcelona . Not in the high tourist season tickets can often be found for as little as 10 euros! From Moscow airlines fly via Madrid or Barcelona.
There are also regular ferries between the Balearic islands. If you have a long vacation, you can also visit Mallorca, Ibiza or Formentera.
Menorca’s fishing village
Menorca has as many as 300 days of sunshine a year! The average temperature in winter is about 14 ℃ and in summer about 26-28 ℃. However, due to its more northern location relative to its neighbors, you can get some unfriendly winds in the winter.
The beach season starts in late April-May just like on the Spanish mainland and lasts until October. July and August are usually the hottest months with temperatures reaching 30℃. It is also the time when most tourists arrive.
Mahón is the largest city of Minorca and has been its capital since the 18th century. It has the second largest natural harbor in the world, flanked by viewing platforms . There are plenty of restaurants and cafes along the waterfront where you can sample the island’s traditional dishes or simply take a break for a cup of coffee.
Also in Maon is worth seeing the former military fortress of La Mola and the old castle of San Felipe. In Maon is a lot of old architecture, among which is simply interesting to walk on foot, and fans of shopping will find a lot of stores and be able to buy souvenirs.
Waterfront with restaurants and cafes
Ciutadella was once the capital of Minorca and is now the second largest city at the other end of the island. Hiking lovers will love it as there is practically no transportation and you can get around on foot or by bicycle.
It’s a great place to wander through the atmospheric cobbled streets of the old town and to see the 13th century Gothic Cathedral of Ciutadella.
There’s also a fish market worth visiting for the freshest produce.
Binibeca is a traditional fishing village on the coast of Menorca. It is our most memorable village! It is quiet and peaceful, and the narrow streets are like a maze, where you can get lost. All houses are painted in white, which blends in very nicely with the shutters and doors.
The White Labyrinths of a Fisherman’s Village
The Cami de Cavalls Horse Trail
Menorca has something to offer to lovers of trekking, a 185 km trail laid out in wartime to defend the island’s perimeter. On foot, on horseback or by bicycle, whichever you prefer, this is a great way to explore the whole island. You will find beautiful coves where you can swim, fields of flowers and beautiful landscapes like in the pictures.
The trail is divided into 20 sections and conventionally starts in Mahon, although you can start anywhere. Each section can be reached by car or even by bus, and there will be a trail map at the start with the length, difficulty, and descriptions of the sections.
Section of the Cami de Cavalls trail
S’Albufera des Grau National Park
S’Albufera des Grau National Park is located in the northeastern part of Menorca near the village of Es Grau. It covers an area of 5000 hectares, including water and 5 small islands.
Wildlife lovers will appreciate this place, where you can admire the rocks, islands, forests and dunes, as well as animals in their natural habitat. All kinds of animals that live on Menorca are represented here.
Park s’Albufera des Grau hiking trail
Mount Toro is the highest point on the island at 342 meters. Remarkably, on a clear day you can see the whole island from the top, it offers a magnificent panoramic view.
At the top of the mountain is a church built in the 13th century, and next to the church is a defensive tower. You can get here on foot or by car.
Caves of Cala Morell
Minorca is considered an open-air museum for a reason. For example, the Cala Morell Caves hollowed out of the rock, which in ancient times were used as burial caves. These prehistoric caves are found about 9 kms from Ciutadella and are surrounded by wild olive groves and pine trees.
Caves of Cala Morei
Bar Cave Cova d’en Xoroi
This is definitely one of the best bars on Menorca and can already be considered a real landmark. It is located in a cave with a terrace right above the open sea. The views are spectacular and of course the peak hour is sunset time.
It might not be the most budget-friendly place on the island, but the great view, music and atmosphere justify the drink prices!
View from one of the bar terraces
Tomb of Naveta des Tudons
One of the island’s main attractions , it is considered the oldest surviving architectural structure in Europe. Curiously enough, it was found exclusively on one of the Balearic Islands, Menorca. The tomb dates from 1200-750 B.C., and served as a two-story structure for collective burial.
In the 60s, during archaeological excavations about a hundred human skeletons were found here.
Menorca is Europe’s beach queen. There are so many beaches to explore that it is impossible to write about them all. Swimming is possible in all parts of the island and secluded coves are easy to find. But not all beaches are easy to reach. Here we’ll tell you about those that we remember the most .
▷ Cala Macarelleta
A very cozy place, like from paradise island movies! A little cove with crystal-blue water and snow-white sand hidden among rocks covered with pine trees. Its big sister, Cala Macarella, is nearby and has parking, toilets and a restaurant, but it’s still worth the walk to the smaller but more secluded beach.
A beautiful blue cove
▷ Cala Galdana
Menorca’s most visited beach. If you like Mediterranean resorts you are here! A stunning bay with a long strip of white sand framed by pine forests and cliffs. It is a favorite stop for many yachts, and on the shore are hotels and all the necessary facilities . A great place to relax with children – shallow entrance and no waves.
▷ Cala Mitjana and Cala Mitjaneta
Another Minorcan paradise that cannot be missed. The two beaches are located just a few tens of meters from each other, so that you can even swim from one to the other. Cozy bays with azure water and soft white sand, surrounded by pine forests, will not leave indifferent nature lovers. The car can be left on a small parking lot and then walk through the woods. There are no facilities and restaurants, so do not forget to bring water and something to eat.
Here are two beautiful beaches with no people.
▷ Cala Turqueta
This beach with amazing turquoise water is located in the southwest part of Menorca. It is wild and has no facilities, but is great for snorkeling along the rocks. The beach is also surrounded by a pine forest, in case you want to hide from the sun.
▷ Playa de Cavalleria
This beach is quite remote and wild, but can be reached by car and is located in the north of the island. The shore of the bay is interesting with its reddish sand, or even the miraculous clay, which can be used before bathing. There are two beautiful bays and an observation deck where you can watch the beautiful sunset.
View of Cavalry Beach Cove
▷ Playa Cales Piques
This tiny but beautiful beach is located next to Ciutadella. Maybe in the high season it’s not crowded enough, but if you are in Menorca when it’s not crowded it’s worth seeing. We were the only ones here!
There was no one on Minorca in April!
▷ Cala en Brut
This beach is also near Ciutadella . Here you can swim, sunbathe on the beautiful natural terraces, go down in the water with each one and make lots of beautiful photos! If you come to Minorca out of the bathing season, you must come if only for the beautiful sea views.
Every terrace has a walk down to the water.
▷ Cala Presili and Cala Tortuga
Arguably the two most beautiful wild beaches of Minorca, located in the National Park of s’Albufera des Grau. Both are adjacent to each other, with fine sand and shallow waters. You’ll have to walk to get here, but chances are you’ll end up here in seclusion or find just a couple more people. The road itself through the reserve is very beautiful, with amazing scenery, plants, and horses constantly being encountered.
Beach in the reserve
Minorca is a small island and does not see too many tourists. So there are no high-rise hotels and crowded resorts. Consider the most popular places for recreation:
● Mahon – the capital of Menorca and the place to fly to. Located here is the island’s airport, as well as a large selection of hotels, restaurants, and stores. There are also a lot of places for hiking and ancient architecture.
Ciutadella is Menorca’s second largest city and is full of history. It attracts many tourists with its medieval pedestrian streets, beautiful cathedrals and relaxed atmosphere. There is also a large choice of hotels and restaurants and the area boasts many beautiful beaches and secluded coves.
Sant Lluís is a popular resort on Menorca and is ideal for holidays with children. Numerous coves with soft white sand and calm waters.
Cala Blanca – This resort will appeal to youngsters and those looking for bars, discos, and fun nightlife. Compared with other places in Menorca, this area can be called the most “lively and bustling.
One of the coves near Ciutadella
What to do
▷ Explore wild coves with emerald water ▷ Taste the world-famous lobster soup ▷ Buy Menorcan leather sandals ▷ Have a cocktail in Hike the Horse Trail around the island ▷ Get lost in the maze of the white village of Binibeka ▷ Enjoy a perfect beach holiday at Cala Mitjana beach ▷ See the island’s panorama from the top of Mount Toro ▷ See the second largest natural harbor in the world at Maona
Conclusion: For a comfortable stay in Menorca you will need a car, as transport links are not very developed here. The island is perfect for those who love nature, beautiful quiet beaches and wild landscapes, but lovers of nightlife should go to Ibiza. Menorca is considered an elite Spanish resort for those who appreciate quality and peace. However, the price of accommodation and food here for different pockets, there are suitable options for all tourists. The whole family can spend their holidays here, and small children will love the many shallow coves with azure waters and soft sand.