Things to do in Menorca
If you want to visit one of the Balearic Islands of Spain, you should consider visiting Menorca, the small sister island of Mallorca. Menorca is as beautiful as Mallorca, only with less hotels and tourists.
The reason I chose Menorca over Mallorca was because I was looking for a rather laid back destination where I don’t need see young graduates having their first party away from home, if you know what I mean…
Don’t let the size of island make you think that there is nothing else to do but beach bumming. There is enough diversity in this Mediterranean Island, starting from hiking to exploring history in 3000 years old megalithic tombs. And the best part is it is small. The drive from east to west (Mahon – Ciutadella) takes less than an hour.
I’ve spent a week in Menorca and had a fabulous time between cultural sights and pristine beaches. Here are my highlights to inspire you for your next vacation.
The tallest hill of Menorca is approx. 340 meters high, located pretty much in the middle of the island, it offers absolutely breathtaking views. You can either hike up (if it is not too hot) or drive with your car till the top of the hill. Let’s hope you have a clear day so that you can see almost the whole island, plus even Mallorca.
From Monte Toro you probably have seen the bay with white houses and boats at the harbours. Yes, it is Fornells, one of the cutest fisher villages I’ve ever seen. Not more than 1000 people live in this bright white coloured cute houses and make the best lobster of the island.
I also loved the area around the cliffs where I spent hours watching the powerful white waves.
Beach bumming: Near to Fornells you can find the beautiful beach Arenal d'en Castell to enjoy the warm gold sand and crystal clear waters.
I loved the narrow cobble stoned narrow streets of Ciutadella. You can feel the history of this town everywhere in every stone. It was the seat of bishop in the 4th century. Then the Arabs governed here for centuries. Then the Spanish recaptured the city. You’ll witness this long history of the island in the Cathedral of Menorca which was built on the foundation of an older mosque.
Beach bumming: Near to Ciutadella you can find the beach Cala Blanca to get a refreshment in the blue waters or to have a drink in the Cave Restaurant at the water front.
Lighthouse of d’Artrutx
Did I tell you before that I’m fan of lighthouses. Well, I am and I visited all 5 lighthouses in Menorca. My favourite was D’Artrutx for reasons I cannot explain. From here Mallorca is only 38 km away and on a clear day easily to see.
Naveta d’es Tudons
You probably don’t expect to see a 3000 years old megalithic chamber tomb in an island in Mediterranean Sea, right? Well, Menorca proves you wrong. Near to Ciutadella you can find the Naveta d’es Tudons, which is the best preserved pre-talaiotic funerary in Menorca.
Torre d’en Galmes
If you need a bit more of history, visit the site of Torre d’en Galmés, which dates back from the Talayotic era around 1400 BC.
Beach bumming: Enough of history? Now it is time to enjoy the beautiful waters of the Balearic Islands. Near to Torre d'en Galmes you will find the beautiful beach of Son Bou. Such a beautiful beach indeed.
You can’t miss Mahón (Maó in Catalan), the capital city of Menorca which is the biggest city of the island. Like most of the Spanish cities, also here the Arabs ruled before the Christian kings recaptured it. In “La Mola de Menorca” (Fortaleza Isabel II) and Fort Marlborough you can learn more about the British and Spanish dominion in Menorca.
Beaches of Menorca
The beaches in the South of Menorca offer crystal clear calm waters and fine gold sands. They remind me kind of the Caribbean beaches. My favourites are:
- Cala En Turqueta
- Cala Mitjana
- Cala Macarelleta
- Cala Galdana
- Son Bou
The beaches in the North and East of Menorca are rather rough with high waves. It is beautiful to look at, but not to swim. Though, the beach Arenal d’en Castell is clearly an exception.
The beaches in the West of Menorca are also very nice and offer the best scenery for beautiful sunsets. Cala Blanca and Sa Caleta are one of those beautiful beaches in the West side of Menorca.
Where to stay in Menorca?
The island is so comfortably small that you can choose one location to stay and start your day from here to explore the whole island. I chose to stay in a hotel in Cala Galdana, in the south side of Menorca which is near to the most beautiful beaches of the island and has a good connection to the main road. Check booking.com for the best deals.
Getting around in Menorca?
Renting a car is not expensive and gives a lot of flexibility in the island, where the public transport is definitely nothing what they can be proud of. Scooter or bicycle are of course also an option.
For more insights I recommend Lonely Planet's Travel Guide for Spain and Rough Guide to Menorca & Mallorca.
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