Combining unspoilt white sandy beaches, isolated coastal walking trails and peaceful harbour resorts, few European destinations can match Menorca's undisturbed beauty.
Holidays in Menorca
Around a two-and-a-half-hour flight time from the UK, the natural scenery of Menorca is truly a world away from everyday life back home and is so stunning, UNESCO declared the island a Biosphere Reserve in 1993.
Quieter, more peaceful and relaxed than its Balearic Island counterparts, Menorca's is an attractive destination for couples, honeymooners and families seeking a sunny holiday that is off the beaten track. The island's current and former capitals Mahon and Ciutadella are both delightful typical Mediterranean towns to stroll around with the former boasting Europe's second largest natural port.
Experience the adrenaline rush of paragliding from Menorca's highest peak Monte Toro, perch yourself on the island's cutest cove at Macarella Beach or enjoy a private boat trip around northern Menorca, distinguished by its dramatic, rugged coastline.
Or amble along the terracotta sands of Cala Pregonda, wander past eye-catching prehistoric monuments or enjoy a tipple in an extraordinary bar carved into a cliff face in the town of Cala en Porter.
The easternmost of the Balearic Islands, Menorca enjoys year round warmth with the island experiencing long, hot and dry summers while winters are mild too. Receiving average temperatures of 22-25°C in peak season between June and August, temperatures don't tend to dip beneath 11°C in winter making Menorca an enticing destination throughout the year.
Fantastic outdoor activities such as sailing and paragliding thrive here due to the 'tramuntana' wind the island is renowned for. These unique Menorcan gusts typically blow for 30 days a year on average with October to April representing a great time for water sports enthusiasts to travel.
Things to do on holiday in Menorca
Less frequented and beautifully underdeveloped compared to neighbouring Majorca and Ibiza, there a wide variety of ways to get into a relaxed holiday spirit on Menorca.
Menorca's best asset is undoubtedly the stunning natural beaches the island is visited by so many for. With almost 700 sq km of beach on the island, much of Menorca's charm lies in the fact that a large collection of beaches are secluded, concealed and detached from resort areas, less busy and more tranquil by nature.
Cala en Turqueta, for instance, is just 20 minutes outside Ciutadella but is wonderfully remote with a thick forested backdrop, rocky obstacles and pristine azure water that is shallow enough to paddle in.
On Menorca's northern coast, Cala Pregonda is another fantastic underdeveloped beach community that is distinguished by its terracotta coloured sand. Around a 1.2 mile walk from the nearest car park, the journey to this distant beach is arguably as spectacular as the sand itself, traversing the ancient Camí de Cavalls path.
Enjoying year round warmth, holidays in Menorca are all about embracing the great outdoors and enjoying the island's spectacularly remote countryside. For an awe-inspiring way to remember your Menorca holiday in style, why not paraglide from the island's highest peak, Monte Toro?
While you can appreciate Menorca's pretty coastline through a tower viewer here, paragliding takes your observation to a whole new level, offering visitors a birds-eye view of turquoise bays and verdant green hills in the most spectacular of 15-30 minute descents.
Generally speaking, Menorca is a low-lying, flat island that has supported horse travel over generations. After all, the ancient Camí de Cavalls path that encircles the island is translated as 'horse road'. There are plenty of horse riding clubs scattered across Menorca - a unique way to discover the island's isolated laneways at a leisurely pace.
Water sports are also extremely popular on Menorca, particularly between October and April, where the native 'tramuntana wind' yields optimum conditions for jet skiing, windsurfing and sailing.
The mesmeric narrow lanes of Ciutadella old town are just wide enough for a few people to pass one another, while the pretty arches of Ses Voltes are home to many tiny cafes, wine and craft shops. In town, don't miss out on visiting the gothic Ciutadella de Menorca Cathedral with its unmistakable wide nave.
Just three miles outside town, visit one of Menorca's most iconic landmarks, Naveta d'Es Tudons which is an impressive megalithic chamber tomb. Taking the shape of an upside-down boat, the building was used between 1200 to 750 BC and is a wholly unique experience.
The island's capital Mahon is home to the Museum of Menorca, housed in a Baroque building perched high above the city harbour. Inside, visitors are treated to three floors of exhibitions that showcase island culture throughout the ages, including maps, paintings and relics discovered down the years.
Food and Drink
Menorcan food and drink is wonderfully varied given the island's location in the western Mediterranean and the numerous cultures that have left their stamp here over the years.
Menorca might only be a small island but some of its exports are legendary. Not only the birthplace of mayonnaise, first discovered in Maó (Mahon), Menorcan gin (Gin Xoriguer) and Maó cheese are some of the island's best loved specialities. Seafood features heavily here too with caldereta de llagosta (lobster stew) representing another popular island plate.
One of the islands' most sought-after drinking spots is certainly Cova d'en Xoroi in the town of Cala en Porter. A multi-functional space that isn't simply a bar but a nightclub, live music venue and sunset viewing spot too, the venue is all the more fascinating given it clings on to a steep cliff face on Menorca's southern coast, with intimate tunnels leading to the club itself which is based inside a cave.
Given the untouristy, traditional make-up of Menorca, the island doesn't boast large multi-floor shopping malls but instead, collections of petite boutiques, outlets and independent retailers.
When wandering the streets of Calle Nueva and Calle Del Angel in the capital of Mahon, tourists will notice a high proportion of stores selling leather goods while there is also a large collection of jewellery and craft-based shops. For more upmarket souvenirs, head to Castillo Menorca on the Me-1 road - an out-of-town parade of outlets that include well-known brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Fossil, Lladro and Swarovski.
When planning your shopping trips, make sure to visit either in the morning or evening with Spanish siesta time taking place from 1pm to 5pm. Night time shopping is sometimes preferred given the ease and pace at which browsing can occur out of the sweltering Menorcan heat.
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