Menorca is the least known of the Spanish islands. This is an advantage for those who love nature and tranquility since, even during peak months, the island is never too crowded and it’s easy to find beautiful beaches to get lost. Menorca is like a tiny Majorca but wilder, perfect to spend an unforgettable holiday with your family, friends or partner, or even alone if you want to really get lost and have a break from everything!
Menorca doesn’t have the nightlife of Ibiza so if you are looking for a crazy clubbing holiday then this is not your island. There are nice cafes and bars in Mahon and Ciutadella, the main cities, where you can enjoy a fun night out though, but there isn’t a huge club scene.
Let’s discover a little bit more about this idyllic island
Where is Menorca?
Menorca is the easternmost island of the Balearic, at 112 km from Majorca (or about 1 hour by ferry). It has an international airport with direct flights to a wide range of European destinations. There are a lot of airlines flying to Menorca, Easyjet, Vueling , Transavia , Eurowings and Ryanair, to name but a few.
Menorca is very close to mainland Spain (less than an hour flight from Madrid or Barcelona) so it’s also very close to Western and Central Europe, which means you can travel to the island for short breaks as well.
The weather in Menorca is very mild, the average temperature during winter is 10 degrees and 25 degrees in summer.
It’s a green island with lots of nature so it means that it also rains, especially in autumn and spring. Rain is rare during the summer months.
People from the island speak a dialect of the Catalan, Menorquin, but everybody is bilingual in Spanish.
Staff working in the tourist industry speak some English but, as you know, Spaniards aren’t known for speaking foreign languages.
Why are Menorca beaches so special?
Menorca has a lot of hidden gems, small wild beaches that are not so easy to access which means you can easily find yourself alone on a beach in the off season. In recent years the number of people traveling by boat around the island has increased a great deal, so you will have a permanent view of boats docked some meters away from the beach in the summer months. Nonetheless, people are normally very respectful and don’t throw any garbage into the water.
There are also many beautiful beaches with easy access, ideal for those families traveling with small children.
The local government has taken a lot of care of the island so you won’t find atrocious high apartment buildings you can find in other parts of Spain. Most of the coast line is protected by regulations forbidding to build so you can enjoy the nature without anything disturbing the beauty of the landscape. There are a couple of areas, mainly in the south of the island, where there are some big apartment buildings, but these are easily avoidable, if desired.
The water is crystal clear, with that light blue colour so characteristic of the Mediterranean Sea and most of the beaches have thin sand. Some of the best beaches are Cala Pilar, Cala Cavalleria, Cala Macarelleta, Cala Es Talaier, Playa de Son Bou… There are so many…
For those of you who are looking for a hiking holiday Menorca is the ideal place. Specially during autumn and spring when temperatures are still warm but not too high. There are plenty of hiking routes following the coast line and also through the interior where you can walk through hills and forests. The hills are not as high as in Majorca, the highest peak is El Toro rising to a height of 342 m (1,122 ft). In Majorca the highest peak is 1,364m (Puig Major)
Therefore, don’t expect a lot of climbing in Menorca. Still, the views and landscape are spectacular so it’s a great place to do some relaxed hiking.
Finding accommodation in Menorca
Because it’s not a very big island and most of it is still wild, accommodation is not so easy to find. There aren’t many cheap options available since big holiday makers for groups don’t operate on the island (which is a blessing for those who don’t want to fight for some space on a crowded beach).
There is a big community of British people living on the island and some of them rent their apartments as well, so this is a good option not to spend too much money on accommodation.
There are only two camping sites in Menorca, Village Les Baleares – Son Bou and Camping S’Atalaia so they get fully booked quickly.
This is why you have to try to book well in advance if you are traveling to the island during peak months (July and August)
Apart from the nature which is without a doubt the main attraction of the island, you can find several interesting prehistoric sites, like Torre d’en Galmes and Torralba d’en Salord, these ancient ruins are around 2000 years’ old.
There are as well beautiful historical buildings like the Ciutadella Cathedral and the Igleasia de Sant Francesc d’Assis.
Ciutadella has a gorgeous historical centre. The city was founded by the Carthaginians in the 4th century and it has an interesting heritage from the Moors and the Catholics like many places in Spain; even the Turks took the city in the 16th century. This mix of cultures has provided the city with its charm, its mellow little squares, its narrow alleys and light brown facades make this place a very special one.
There are also cozy cultural events taking place in the city, cinema, theatre and exhibitions. Menorca has also an interesting jazz scene, during the months of July and August you will find several establishments with live music in Mahon and Ciutadella.
One of the best things to do in Menorca is to rent a boat and do the tour of the island to discover all the beautiful hidden beaches. There are also day boat trips for groups at affordable prices (around 50€ per person including food and drinks).
The best known club in Menorca is Cova d’en Xoroi, a beautiful establishment carved into a cliff with an spectacular view. There are live music and DJ sessions and it’s open all day.
The food in Menorca is exquisite like in many places in Spain. The speciality of the island is the Caldereta de langosta, a delicious stew with lobster. You can also find the authentic paella, this dish is typical across the whole Spanish Mediterranean coast, mainly cooked with fish but also chicken or vegetables. There are many excellent restaurants where you can enjoy a nice meal for all kinds of budgets.
The best local products to take away are the cheese from Mahon (delicious light smoked goat cheese) and the Menorquinas, a type of sandal for both men and women which are distinctive from Menorca. You will see them around on lots of feet! They are stylish and comfy. A must!
If you want to meet other people while in Menorca and practice your Spanish skills you can join the Meet Ups I organise for international people. We do some activities like hiking, cooking and watching films while practicing Spanish.
It’s a fun way to learn a new language!
Enjoy this magical island!