Spain’s Balearic Islands have been attracting tourists for many years, but of all of the islands, Menorca is arguably the most magical. Why? Because, unlike islands like Mallorca and Ibiza, Menorca has not had the same tourist development and has been declared a UNESCO biosphere reserve. This has protected its natural landscape and wildlife and means that the island is relatively tranquil and untouched. However, it still benefits from the warm climate, year-round sun and breathtaking beaches, which many of us seek out for our holidays. If you are considering a trip to Menorca, you will first want to decide where to stay.
Where to Stay
Menorca has a wide range of hotels, apartments and villas to suit every budget, but more and more people are choosing to stay in private villas for their Menorca holidays. This ensures them more privacy and luxurious amenities, as well as extra living space, multiple bedrooms and bathrooms,and in some cases, a private pool. Many villas are located in close proximity to shops, bars, restaurants and beautiful beaches, such as those in Binibeca, Cala en Bosch and Son Bou.
When you have decided on where you will rent your villa, you then need to decide how you will fill your itinerary. Here are some ideas to kickstart your planning.
Mahon Port is the second-deepest natural port in the world and is a real highlight for visitors to the island. One of its biggest attractions is the view it provides over the town of Mahon, with the beauty of the wider landscape as a backdrop. You can take the stairs from the harbor down to the sea or enjoy the boutique shops, bars and restaurants on the harbor front. If you are a fan of gin, there is a fantastic distillery in Mahon called the Xoriguer Distillery, which is certainly worth stopping by. Take a boat trip around the harbor while learning about the history of the island, as well as the more recent developments.
The Cova d’EnXoroi is a bar set within a cave that gives guests a once in a lifetime experience. The rocks and cliffs are on the southern coast, which means you can sit back and enjoy the sunset over the ocean, or the silver light of the moon if you stay late. There is also plenty of entertainment as live music, discos and parties are common during the high season.
Isla del Rey
The Isla del Ray is a small island, but it holds a lot of importance in Menorca’s history. In the early 18thCentury, it was a hospital for injured British soldiers and has since been used for similar purposes by several other nations. In 1964, a new medical hospital was built in Mahon, and the Isla del Ray was no longer used. It is now a protected island that is home to a wide variety of wildlife and nature, as well as the historical remains of ancient stone buildings. It is protected by a nonprofit organization called The Foundation, which not only protects but also studies the islandwhile running volunteering sessions and accepting donations to support the maintenance of the island.
Cami de Cavalls
The Cami de Cavalls is an open-air path that runs the circumference of the island. At 185 kilometers, it is a substantial hiking trek that can be traveled on foot, bicycle or horseback. It’s a beautiful path with fascinating insights into the island’s ancient history and a complicated ecosystem, including endangered species.
To the west of the island, you’ll find the Naveta d’esTudons, a Megalithic structure. It is 3,000 years old and used to be a mass funeral chamber. It is still standing today as a monument to Menorcan history. The structure is made with nothing but stones that are balanced and holding each other up. There is a stone missing at the front, and there is a legend that says that giants had been fighting over a girl they were both in love with. The chamber was excavated, and human bodies were discovered with their worldly possessions,including jewelry, weapons and ornaments.
The Cala Pregonda is a stunning beach on the north coast of the island. It offers visitors golden beaches on one side of the water, with green forest on the other, making it the perfect spot for those wishing to relax in nature. While you can drive to the Cala Pregonda, there is a 30-minute walk between the car park and beach, so you may want to consider taking a boat, jet ski or kayak.