Ahh Menorca… it’s a beach holiday heavyweight, right? Right. But it’s not just sleepy towns, relaxed locals and gorgeous beaches. Menorca’s having a moment right now and it’s every bit as Insta-worthy as the next Balearic Island. Our Contracting GM (and Menorca superfan), Andrea, tells us all about the best things to see and do in just 20 questions…
1. Where’s the best place to see the sunset?
“There are lots of great spots to choose from, but my personal favourite has to be Cap D'Artrutx. Sitting at the lighthouse, cocktail in hand and watching the sun go down while listening to the DJ – moments like this are exactly the reason why we go on holiday!”
2. Where’s the best place to drink in the views?
“One of the best things about Menorca is the fact that you’re never far from a beautiful view! It's such a pretty island, with hidden coves and gentle landscapes – it's almost impossible to pick a favourite! If you want to see as much as possible from one place, then head to El Toro – it’s the highest peak on the island, located close to the town of Es Mercadal. You can see the port of Fornells in the north, along with the northern beaches and the tiny inland towns and villages. If it's a clear day, you can see almost the entire coastline of Menorca!”
3. Where’s the best place to take a stroll?
“Menorca’s a terrific place for walking, but if you just fancy a stroll, then have a wander around Ciutadella. The former capital of Menorca, Ciutadella is a beautiful Moorish town with winding streets that provide some relief from the hot summer sun. Explore hidden alleyways to find gorgeous little shops selling beautiful trinkets and the most perfect souvenirs. There are many bars and restaurants dotted around the town too, especially in the Port area, where you can spend a leisurely afternoon trying the many varieties of tapas and enjoying some fabulous local wines.”
4. What’s the most Instagrammable experience?
“Oh this is a hard one! Menorca’s so gorgeous that every experience is Insta-worthy! Stunning beaches with clear turquoise waters provide the perfect backdrop for multiple Insta moments. Seek out a rooftop bar like the one at the Barcelo Hamilton in Mahon for spectacular views across the harbour. Or for truly envy-inducing pics, why not stay at Casas del Lago in Cala’n Bosch – their Beach Club pool parties really are the place to be seen!”
5. Where’s the best place for brunch?
“Head to Mahon where there are multiple options for great food! But start off in the local market, where you can try all of the delicious delicacies.”
6. Where’s the best place for cocktails?
“Again, so many to choose from, but a personal favourite of mine is at the port of Mahon, Sa Falua. This is a great place for an after-dinner drink, thanks to an impressive indoor terrace complete with traditional Menorcan stone walls.”
7. Where’s the best place to go shopping?
“If like me you love a new pair of shoes (and a new bag!), then Menorca is the place to go! From comfy avarcas sandals to high-fashion heels, this island has you covered. It’s well known for its luxury shoe brands too. Head to Ferreries for the Mascaro family of brands, including Pretty Ballerinas. Close by in Alaior, you’ll find Quintana Pons, who are known for their gorgeous colourful designs – have a look for bargains in their factory shop. There are plenty of things to buy in Menorca, so make sure you take full advantage of your 22kg baggage allowance and fill up for the return journey!”
8. Where’s the coolest beach?
“While not strictly speaking a beach – more a day bar and nightclub – the Caves of Xoroi are a must visit on any trip to Menorca! Located on the cliff high above Cala'n Porter (one of the five Blue Flag Beaches in Menorca), it offers one of the most breathtaking views and coolest experiences on the island.”
9. Where’s the most relaxing beach?
“Hmmm, I'd have to say Cala Macarella and Cala Macarelleta. Cala Macarella is the bigger of the two and is perfect for families. The surroundings make it one of the most beautiful beaches in the south of Menorca, with powdery sands that gently slope into stunningly clear water.”
10. Where’s the best place to pick up local treats?
“Not only does Menorca produce gin, but there’s also a fantastic wine and cheese industry on the island – I love visiting Hort de Sant Patrici, as you can see how the wine and cheese are made, then shop for yummy treats while you’re there! Keep an eye out for the pastissets – sweet cookies similar to shortbread and so delicious!”
11. Where’s the best place to find some peace and quiet?
“One of the best things about Menorca is the laid-back peaceful vibe, which makes it unique in the Balearic Islands. With so many beautiful coves and calas to explore, it's well worth getting off the beaten track to discover your own hidden piece of paradise. The interior of the island is also very special.”
12. Where’s the best place for music-lovers?
“There's quite a variety of places for live music. I love watching the buskers at sunset in Cales Fonts, or for something a little more planned, head to Akelarre Jazz Bar. Not only for jazz-lovers, this place has regular live music sessions with a terrific view of the harbour in Mahon. If you’re staying in the north, then Jazzbah is a great option. It has various areas where you can chat and chill with a drink while listening to the DJ, dance the night away or have your very own private section – it's up to you!”
13. Where’s the best place to grab a souvenir?
“Any of the upscale boutiques and shops dotted around the cathedrals in both Ciutadella and Mahon are your best bet for a top treat. And check out the charming and eclectic night markets in places like Es Castell and Ciutadella.”
14. Where’s the best place for traditional Menorcan food?
“There are so many wonderful restaurants on the island that offer a variety of gastronomy, but if you want to keep it traditional, head to the Restaurante Cap Roig in Cala Mesquida. Here you can enjoy all the crowd-pleasing classics, along with wonderful seafood paellas, from their sea-view terrace. I love the local lobster stew!”
15. Where’s the best example of sustainability on the island?
“Menorca’s the original sustainable destination, and it was named a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1997 in recognition of the islanders’ commitment to preserving the natural heritage. You can see this in its natural park, five reserves, marine reserve and 19 natural areas of special interest. But you can also see it in places like the hotels. Take Hotel Gran Sagitario and Petit Sagitario for example – these environmentally focused hotels produce most of their food on their own farms. And guests can even go and visit to see them in operation – see the cows that produce the milk they have at breakfast, the charcuterie and meats, the vegetables and fruit!”
16. What’s the best sight to tick off?
“Menorca is well known for its many fiestas, which run from June to September. These are not put on as a tourist attraction, but a chance for the locals to celebrate the island’s culture. They revolve around the Menorcan horses and the tradition of dressage, which are quite unique to Menorca. Don't worry if there isn’t a fiesta happening when you’re on the island, as you can still experience the magnificent horse show of Somni. Combining incredible horsemanship with live music and visual effects, this is a truly unique show that’s not to be missed!”
17. What are the best sports and activities to try?
“We like to say that if you’re an active person, then Menorca is perfect for you. But if you’re a beach bum, Menorca is also perfect for you. In fact, Menorca is pretty much just perfect! For water-lovers, there’s stand-up paddling, kayaking, sailing and diving to name but a few water-based activities. Or if you’re more of a land-lover, you have the famous Cami de Cavalls – a hiking path 115 miles long, circling the whole island. You can hike the whole thing in stages if you're feeling particularly motivated, or just do parts of it. It’s a wild and rugged path, with some sections better paved than others, so it offers a real variety for those who love hiking and walking. You can also mountain bike if you’re feeling adventurous!”
18. Where’s the best place to try the local wine?
“Bodegas Binifadet. In the countryside, close to Es Castell, this is a boutique winery where they offer visits around the vines so you can experience all the different stages of the wine production, then of course – the most important part – the wine tasting! There’s a lovely restaurant here as well, where you can eat on the vine-covered terrace and enjoy the tranquil setting.”
19. Where’s the best place to try the local gin?
“Definitely Xoriguer! You can visit this distillery in the Port of Mahon and try all of the products – and they don’t only do gin! Make sure you try the zesty lemon pomada cocktail”
20. Where’s the best place for a day trip?
“I would recommend a boat trip around the harbour in Mahon, one of the largest natural ports in the world. Your trip will come complete with commentary, and you’ll sail past the Spanish Naval Base, the Isla del Lazareto (a former quarantine hospital), Es Castell with its charming fisherman’s cove, plus the Colonial Houses of Admiral Collingwood and Lord Nelson. There’s a fantastic view of the harbour as you return and the trip only lasts for an hour, so you have plenty of time to get back to your favourite spot by the pool or on the beach!”
So, time to rediscover Menorca for yourself?
Posted: 30th Jan 2023.