Menorca is the hidden gem in the Balearic Islands that you’ve been searching for; it’s smaller than Majorca, quieter than Ibiza, and has its own unique charm. The island’s beautiful coastline, with an impressive array of glistening beaches and crystal clear wa-ters, make it a great family destination. The island was in British hands in the 18th centu-ry and there’s still touches of Great Britain in Menorca – the Georgian-style townhouses in Mahón and the island’s own gin distillery.
Menorca is the dream for ramblers; Camí de Cavalls, the path around the island's coast, is perfect for undertaking a complete tour of the island on foot. The natural beauty of Me-norca will amaze you; its capital, Mahón, is situated above a stunning natural harbour, close to beautiful rural towns and Ciutadella. There’s a dramatic contrast in landscapes in Menorca, between the island’s red sandstone in the north and its limestone in the south - drive to Es Mercadal, the island’s highest point, to see the island’s natural beauty for yourself.
Quiet and picturesque
The perfect beaches of Menorca are enough to win the heart of any traveller. With its un-spoilt, beautiful sandy beaches and perfect turquoise waters, Menorca is a feast for the eyes - even outside of the height of the summer, you can enjoy pleasant strolls around Menorca’s coastline. It’s great destination for the active holiday goers - with cycling, riding and swimming all on offer, the island is perfect for staying fit on holiday. Relaxed and tranquil, Menorca is a dazzling, enchanting island, which offers picturesque sandy bays, pine clad coves, pretty harbours and peaceful family resorts.
• If you have an aperitif before dinner, ask for Gin Xoriguer. Menorca started produc-tion of gin in the 18th century to satisfy the demand from the British sailors, and it’s still served today.
• Expect hot weather throughout the summer as it can reach heights of 30-35 de-gree summers in July and August. If you come in winter, expect rain – although the scenery will be stunning at this time.
• Take an evening trip to the lighthouse at Favàritx – it’s an amazing spot for watch-ing the sun set
Top attractions and activities
Blessed with around 46 beaches, Menorca is ideal for sun seekers. Cala en Turqueta, which is approximately 2.5 miles from Sant Joan in the south west of Menorca, is well worth the visit purely just to take in the picturesque view of the crystal clear water and white sandy beach. Son Bou, which is just south of Alaior, has the longest beach on the island of Menorca and offers facilities including sun beds, as well as a fantastic range of watersports for all to enjoy.
Cala Macarelleta is a great beach with perfect waters, and the north coast boasts beauti-ful, albeit more rugged, beaches. For windsurfing, head to the Bay of Fornells, which is a quiet bay with shallow waters. If you’d like to dive, S’Algar Diving, near San Luis, is great for beginners. There are many activities available in Menorca’s resorts; from riding schools to tennis, the list is endless. Cycling is very popular in Menorca, and there are many fantastic walks to take in Menorca. Menorca is classed as a biosphere reserve by Unesco so head to S'Albufera des Grau for stunning bird watching, and El Camí de Cavalls for a coastal adventure on horse or mountain bike.
If you’re looking for some city life, discover Menorca’s capital Mahón. Here you’ll find a mix of beautiful harbour and buzzing restaurants; in the old town, you’ll find a lively food market, 18th-century buildings and open, airy plazas. Make sure to pop into the Church of Santa Maria and the Church of San Francisco for a slice of Spanish culture. Ciutadella, Menorca's religious capital, is also well worth a visit - this cute town has a charming Old Town, winding treats and a lovely cathedral to boot.
There’s many events in Menorca throughout the year. In June, Sant Joan Festival is cel-ebrated in Ciutadella, with processions, horseback riding and more, and in July, Sant Martí Festival in Es Mercadal is another equestrian affair, with a procession through the streets with horses. Sant Jaume Festival in Es Castell is one of the biggest summer festi-vals, with live music and fireworks, near the harbour of Es Castell. Throughout August, the Summer Music Festival hosts classical music concerts, in the beautiful setting of the cloister of the Church of El Socorro. In December, you can enjoy the traditional nativity scenes in churches all over the island, which is a tradition which dates back to the 13th century.
The easiest way to get around in Menorca is by bus; a network connects the island, and the coaches of TMSA connect Mahón and Ciutadella, which takes 70 minutes, as well as the south coast resorts. Autos Fornells is a bus service that connects Mahón with the north coast resorts, and costs only €3.10. There are many car hire companies at the air-port, which is also an easy way of exploring the island.