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Do you dream of a peaceful holiday by the sea? The Balearic Islands are a beach-lover’s dream and the jewel in the archipelago’s crown is Menorca. This small-but-perfectly-formed island offers far more than you might imagine. Secluded beaches with soft sand and azure water, wild nature, delicious cuisine, charming villages, and even a local secret… Why not put the old saying to the test – “If you want a holiday, go to Menorca!”?

If you associate the Balearic Islands with the packed-out, hedonistic resorts of Majorca and Ibiza, it’s time to broaden your horizons as a completely different, more intimate atmosphere can be found on the underrated, authentic and wild island of Menorca. Famous not only for the richness of its flora and fauna, which include over 900 flowering plant species and several hundred birds, Menorca also attracts nature-lovers to its rugged, sandy beaches. Here, you can find true rest and relaxation away from the loud music, bars, and sunbeds of many other resorts. And with over fifty bays situated along Menorca’s almost 200 km-long coastline, there’s a little slice of paradise available for everyone. So, what should you know about a holiday in Menorca?

Mahón © iStock
Mahón © iStock

Getting to Menorca

You’ll arrive in Menorca by plane. Fewer than 30 operators offer daily flights to Menorca’s international airport in Mahón, the island’s capital. Among them, you’ll find charter airlines, traditional airlines such as Lufthansa, British Airways and Iberia and low-cost airlines like Wizz Air and Ryanair. The airport is located just 4.5 km from Mahón’s city centre, making it very convenient. You can travel here by taxi, public transport or airport transfer bus. Meanwhile, those choosing to drive can bring their car or campervan over on the ferry from Barcelona or rent a car on the island.

Cala Macarella © iStock
Cala Macarella © iStock

When to visit Menorca?

It’s a cliché, but it’s true: Menorca is beautiful at any time of the year. However, if you plan to sunbathe during your holiday, choose the period between May and October. It’s the high tourist season when you are bound to enjoy sunny weather. The temperature reaches 22 degrees celsius during the day in May and with water temperatures at 17-19 degrees, it’s a comfortable way to enjoy your early summer. In June, the air temperature rises to 28 degrees, peaking in July and August at over 30 degrees. If you prefer slightly cooler conditions, choose a trip in late September or October, when the air temperature typically does not exceed 25 degrees. Menorca is known as the Island of the Winds, meaning there is a pleasant breeze all year round, albeit with high humidity throughout the summer months.

Binibeca © iStock
Binibeca © iStock

Menorca’s monuments and villages

There is no better destination for lovers of both sunbathing and sightseeing than Menorca. This relatively small island has it all – including the historic old towns of Mahón (Catalan: Maó), Ciutadella and Binibeca. Mahón will delight you with its yellowstone townhouses with sliding shutters, a natural port that can be admired aboard a leisure cruise and the Placa d’Espanya square and its famous Mercat des Peix fish market. In Ciutadella, you can stroll through the port that stretches along the city’s main square, Placa des Born. Take the time to wander the streets of the old town and head to the 14th-century cathedral, whose imposing stone structure really makes an impression.

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You can enjoy delicious local seafood in the small fishing village of Binibeca Vell, which also has charming buildings adorned with wooden shutters. A big attraction on the island is the Cova d’en Xoroi restaurant, which transforms from an eatery by day to a vibrant dance club by night. Its location in a cave perfectly insulated the surrounding area from any sound, so nobody’s peace is disturbed. Menorca’s history stretches back to the second millennium BC, when the Talayot people ​​lived on the island. It is not known where they came from and when and where they moved on to, but to this day, more than 1,500 stone ruins remain on the island.

Cap de Favàritx © iStock
Cap de Favàritx © iStock

Menorca’s natural attractions

Menorca’s natural beauty is ideally experienced on foot. The ideal walking route is the Camí de Cavalls, or the Horse’s Way. First laid in the fourteenth century, it served as a defensive route for the knights living on the island. Today it circumnavigates the entire island in an unbroken 185-kilometre long ribbon that is helpfully divided into 20 sections. The route, which stretches along Menorca’s rocky coast, is lined with viewpoints that take in breathtaking landscapes.

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On the way, you’ll pass the island’s peak, El Toro, along with lighthouses such as Cap Favàritx, Cap d´Artrutx and Punta Nati, defence towers, and thalaotic monuments. If you want to see the island’s wildest and most beautiful corners, visit s’Albufera Des Grau nature park or Pas D’en Revull rock gorge. See for yourself why UNESCO declared Menorca a biosphere reserve and for Menorca’s most beautiful views, head to the cliffs at the Cap de Cavalleria, in the north of the island.

s'Albufera des Grau © iStock
s’Albufera des Grau © iStock

How do Menorca and Majorca differ?

People may assume that Menorca and Majorca are twin islands, but nothing could be further from the truth! Unlike its almost five-times-bigger sister, Menorca is still relatively untouched by mass tourism and the sprawling resorts and noisy clubs that dominate Majorca. Another advantage is the unique and wild nature that dominates its landscape. It is also exceptionally quiet on the island, something that all returning visitors are always keen to emphasise. This love of peace and quiet is common among both locals and visitors. Menorca’s beautiful coastline makes it a great destination for those who love the sea and charming fishing villages, of which there are few left in Majorca. You will be charmed by Binibeca Vell with its winding labyrinthine streets that stretch between the houses set right on the harbour, while Menorca’s most delicious fish can be found in Fornells.

Cala Pregonda © iStock
Cala Pregonda © iStock

What are Menorca’s most beautiful beaches?

If you prefer natural beaches without the typical hotel loungers stretching into the horizon, choose Menorca. Its fifty uncrowded bays boast over one hundred and twenty beaches and the most beautiful of them are Cala Macarelleta, Cala Turqueta, Cala Mitjana and Cala Trebaluger. The beaches of Cala Presili, Cala des Talaier, and Cala Pregonda are also intimate and peaceful and while they are harder to reach, they are often deserted, even in high season.

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It is a good idea to visit Menorca’s various different beaches – smaller and larger, sandy and stoney, in cliff-fringed bays and wide open to the sea. There is plenty to choose from! You can reach most of them by public transport and some can be combined with a walk along the Camí de Cavalls trail. One thing is for sure; each will delight you with its picturesque views, clean water, soft sand and peaceful atmosphere.


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