Are you looking for a Mediterranean climate, magical landscapes, deserted golden beaches, small untouched bays and delicious food away from the hustle and bustle of mass tourism? Then Menorca is the place for you! The most natural, unspoilt and authentic of the Balearic Islands is a little paradise and a real contrast to the more crowded Mallorca. Smaller in size, calmer, slower but equally rich in nature and culture. Here are some of the greatest places to go and best things to do in Menorca.
In 1708, during the War of the Spanish Succession, the British took over Menorca. During the 18th century most parts of the island were under British occupation. They used the huge natural harbour of Mahón as strategic point and transferred the island’s capital to Mahón. Before the invasion Menorca was a rather poor place until the British built roads, reservoirs and started agriculturing by importing seed crops and also cattle. The British were furthermore responsible for the import of the now in Menorca distilled gin. Later, in 1802, the Treaty of Amiens gave the island back to the Spanish. However, the first British rule left the most lasting impression in Menorca.
Did you know…
The UNESCO declared Menorca a biosphere reserve in 1993 to protect it against the wave of development that has overrun its neighbour islands.
When staying on the island you have the choice between exclusive smart boutique hotels in town and luxury rural hotels. Both will offer you a great experience of fully enjoying the island.
Indulge in real Mediterranean luxury at Torralbenc, a complex of beautiful whitewashed farmhouses with a natural feel, which is managed by the same group as Cap Rocat in Mallorca.
The impressive 14th-century family residence Alcaufar Vell has found the perfect combination of comfort, elegance and country charm offering stylish yet traditional rooms and suites surrounded by expansive gardens and fields.
Ca Na Xini
Enjoy privacy and peace surrounded by gardens, vineyards and a dairy farm at the modern but charming designer retreat Ca Na Xini. Try their delicious breakfast made with organic local products, or their house wine on a cool evening.
Jardí de ses Bruixes
Probably the most exclusive and elegant boutique hotel in Mahón with a beautiful café open to the public. The 16 rooms at Jardí de ses Bruixes are managed by Nando and Anja with great attention to detail, much creativity and positivism.
Located in the heart of beautiful Ciutadella, the Can Faustino palace perfectly combines luxury with the warmth of a family home. Enjoy the marvellous views of the harbour in the morning when waking up in one of the rooms or suites.
Have a typical Menorcan caldereta de langosta, a traditional lobster stew, at this authentic restaurant in the harbour of Fornells. It is famous for this dish.
Chef Miquel Sánchez and his partner Vianey Angeles create modern Spanish delicacies on the highest level at their top restaurant Smoix in Ciutadella.
Michelin-awarded chef Felip Llufriu works his magic in this bright and airy Restaurante Mon. He carefully prepares flavoursome meals that are a real treat for every guest’s taste buds.
Dine right in Ciutadella’s harbour in a romantic atmosphere that feels like a movie scene. At the classic yet modern S’Amarador they offer the freshest fish and lobsters from their own fish tanks.
Pipet & Co. Café Lab
Out exploring Mahón and looking for a healthy snack like hummus, grilled aubergine and salad with avocado and salmon? Then the trendy Pipet & Co. Café Lab is the perfect choice.
You can’t leave the island without having tried or bought Menorca’s star product, its cheese. Learn more about this delicacy or indulge in its intense and unique flavour at Formatges Santa Catalina or S’Arangí in Mercadal.
Isabella Beach Club
Have a delicious sundowner served with a fresh breeze, relaxing chill out music and stunning sea views at the exclusive Isabella Beach Club in the beautiful village of Playas de Fornells.
Cova d’en Xoroi
A classic among locals and visitors and a true must see! Watch the sun dip into the ocean enjoying an exquisite cocktail and the most dramatic sea views at the unique Cova d’en Xoroi club. It is made up by a series of caves and natural terraces hidden in a cliff.
Try a pomada, local gin mixed with ice-cold lemonade, with a platter of Menorcan cheese which is a major export.
Mascaró Factory Shop
When in Menorca you can’t miss the Mascaró factory in Ferrerías. There you can visit the facilities and learn all about the footwear production process. And of course go shoe hunting at the adjoining shop afterwards.
Best Things to do in Menorca
Between 1.000 and 700 B.C. ‘talayots’, conical dry stone towers, were built on the island as watchtowers and focal points. They provided social cohesiveness for the community that lived around them. In this epoch, called Talayotic, funerary caves were excavated in the cliffs of coves and ravines. For example the necropolis of Calescoves in Alaior or the large Talayotic settlement of Trepucó.
Camí de Cavalls
Walk the Camí de Cavalls from Mahón’s harbour to Algaiarens, Ciutadella, stunning bays and back to the capital Mahón, to experience and appreciate all of Menorca’s most beautiful areas.
This special place surely needs to be on the list of places to go and best things to do in Menorca. You will fall in love with this small and charming fisher village while wandering through its labyrinthine, narrow alleys lined with romantic, whitewashed houses.
Did you know…
Once a year, the otherwise sleepy town Ciutadella awakens to the Fiestas de Sant Joan on June 23 and 24. Thousands of visitors flock to the city to watch the traditional cavallers – more than 100 Menorca-bred horses with their riders – and party until sunrise.
Of course, discovering the island’s stunning, deserted beaches is one of the best things to do in Menorca. Here are some of the most unique ones.
This beautiful stretch of white sand and its neighbouring beach Cala Macarelleta are every holiday maker’s dream come true. The water here is so incredibly transparent that it looks like boats visiting the bay are floating in air.
Another postcard beach not far from Ciutadella with fine white sand and an beautiful turquoise sea surrounded by pine-draped cliffs.
Playas de Son Saura
Located on the south coast the beaches of Son Saura, Playa de Banyuls and Playa de Bellavista, are popular because of their easy access, spaciousness and virgin beauty.
The perfect beach for adventurers seeking a wild, pristine natural beach with golden sand, crystal clear water, windswept islets and great snorkelling opportunities.
Playa de Cavalleria
Far from any town this is one of the most beautiful, untouched beaches of the island. The walk here is a great escape from everyday life. And the mineral-rich soil of the surrounding land offers free mud treatments.
For a spectacular sunset experience accompanied by the sound of the waves head to Pont d’en Gil, a natural bridge ‘hanging’ in the ocean.
All photos, except for hotel and Mascaró factory photos, by Laura Pott