Flying under the radar for some time now, Menorca is an idyllic island dedicated to peaceful retreats - part of its appeal is its go-slow pace of life. And while it’s a small island, what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in untamed natural beauty.
Its magical coastline stretches for more than 130 miles, dotted with white sand crescent bays and hidden away coves. Head inland and you’ll find the Mediterranean melts away and is replaced with a serene, green hinterland, teeming with whitewashed villages that are connected by glorious rolling hills.
But Menorca’s attractions aren’t just works of Mother Nature. From Mahón to Ciutadella, and everywhere in between, there are oodles of man-made sights to enjoy.
Planning a holiday here but not sure what to do in Menorca? Let us walk you through nine of the top things to do on the island.
- Cala Macarelleta
- Parc Natural S’Albufera des Grau
- Cala Turqueta
- Monte Toro
- Lloc de Minorca
- Bodegas Binifadet
- Cap de Cavalleria
1. Cala Macarelleta
Conjure up a vision of paradise and Cala Macarelleta wouldn’t be far off. This dinky cove is home to a virgin beach and bluer-than-blue waters. Pad along the soft white sands and lay down a towel to enjoy the view ahead – it’s simply beautiful. The chalky cliffs surrounding it are peppered with pine trees and the sea is crystal-clear.
There are no facilities here but that’s all part of the charm. So bring a picnic and a snorkel – you’re in for a memorable day by the water.
2. Parc Natural S’Albufera des Grau
This UNESCO-listed nature reserve is spread across a corner of the north-east of Menorca. Dunes, forest, wetlands, cliffs – you’ll find them all here. Walking trails wind throughout Parc Natural S’Albufera des Grau, so you can meander along them and soak up every inch of its glorious landscapes. Look out for the birds, tortoises and lizards that call this part of the island home.
You’ll find Mahon, Menorca’s capital, tucked into a natural harbour on the eastern tip of the island. Hints of its historically-rich past are everywhere, thanks to a blend of Spanish and English architecture. Yes, cast your eyes around and you’ll spy Georgian townhouses rubbing shoulders with Spanish apartment blocks.
But the energy here is definitely Menorcan. Laidback cafés line the waterfront and tapas bars are tucked into the backstreets of the old quarter. Follow your nose and allow yourself to get lost – it’s all part of the fun.
At the other side of the island you’ll find striking Ciutadella, Menorca’s former capital. Ancient and oh-so-beautiful, this is the place to come for a dollop of history. A labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets is packed into the fortified centre of the city, with gorgeous Plaça des Born at its heart. Ciutadella’s 14th-century Catedral de Menorca is within striding distance from here, too.
5. Cala Turqueta
Swap the city for the coast and make a beeline for Cala Turqueta. You’ll have to take a short walk to reach it from the car park through fragrant pine forest – between the trees, you’ll suddenly see the azure Mediterranean twinkling in the sunshine. The bay itself is small but striking. Think ultra-soft white sand and crystal-clear waters that are shallow enough to paddle in.
6. Monte Toro
Head to the heart of the island to explore Monte Toro, the tallest mountain in Menorca, rising more than 350 metres above sea level. At its summit stands the 13th-century Mare de Deu del Toro Sanctuary, a whitewashed complex that now serves as a convent and army station. At its entrance you’ll find the Jesus of the Sacred Heart statue towering above you, with its arms outstretched – it looks like it’s been flown straight in from Rio.
7. Lloc de Minorca
A trip to the zoo is just what you need when holidaying with little ones and you can do just that at Lloc de Minorca. Native species of the island and exotic animals from all around the world can be found here. Lemurs, porcupines, ostriches, kangaroos and many more animals call this park home – see how many you can spot.
8. Bodegas Binifadet
Wine’s one of the island’s top tipples, so take the time to visit one of Menorca’s finest vineyards, Bodegas Binifadet. Wander through row-upon-row of vines, learning about the different stages of wine making, before a tasting of three different types. As you sip on glasses of white and red, you can nibble crackers laden with goat’s cheese and jam. Nom.
9. Cap de Cavalleria
Venture to the most northerly point of the island to Cap de Cavalleria, one of the best places to go in Menorca. You’ll have to motor around hairpin bends to get there, but the drive is half the fun! Once you’ve parked up, set your sights on the whitewashed lighthouse that marks the island’s edge. The views from here are nothing short of epic. It’s worth timing your trip here for sunset, when the sky explodes in a vision of pinks and reds.
Posted: 24th Dec 2019.