Menorca travel guide

Menorca is more reserved than bigger Balearic sibling Majorca and less pretentious than smaller sibling Ibiza. It also boasts more beaches than both islands put together. Couple the abundance of sand with UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status, and you’ve got all the makings of a nature lover’s dream holiday destination. There’s a 185km trail called the Cami de Cavalls ringing the island’s coast, which means that the potential for walking and cycling is boundless.
When I leave Menorca I count the days until I can return, for I don’t like to spend a long time away from my island, its peace, the countryside and above all its traditions, and the warmth and sensitivity of its people.
– Juan Pons, opera singer
Thanks to the Mediterranean setting practically midway between Algiers and Marseilles, Menorca has been host to a long line of occupiers, from the Byzantines and Ottomans to the British and French. Cultural influences appear in everything from Georgian architecture in Mahon to the gin distilleries that can be found all over the island.

With forty percent of the island currently protected and an economy dependent on farming and fishing in addition to tourism, Menorca has managed to avoid the overdevelopment experienced by its neighbours. And there’s much more to do than sit on beaches. Stay in a locally owned B&B, hire a car and explore the rugged interior, or borrow a mask and snorkel, rent a sea kayak, bring binoculars – whatever you do, read this Menorca travel guide and discover magic in the Med.
Menorca is/isn’t

Menorca is...

the quietest island in the Balearics and still relies on fishing and farming just as much as tourism.

Menorca isn’t…

going to keep you up all night but it will get you out walking all day, especially either side of July and August.

Our top Menorca Holiday

Menorca walking holiday, Spain

Menorca walking holiday, Spain

Idyllic golden beaches, hidden coves and deep blue bays

From £1145 to £1564 8 days inc UK flights
Tailor made:
This holiday has departures every two days from April to September, please enquire for availability on all your tailormade trips.
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Menorca or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.

Menorca map & highlights

Although Menorca’s 216km coastline is always a highlight, there’s much to be said for hiring a car and exploring the agricultural fields and hilltop villages inland. The main cities, Ciutadella and Mahon, are less than 50km apart and both offer fascinating alternatives to beach days. Head to the wild and rocky north coast for red sand seclusion or skip to the white sand coves, pine forests and gentle cliffs in the busier south. If you’re looking for the one true holiday highlight in Menorca, hike to the top of Monte Toro (357m) and you’ll be treated to panoramic views across the island and out to sea.
Bay of Fornells

1. Bay of Fornells

There are few better spots from which to tuck into a bowl of caldereta de langosta (lobster stew) than one of the restaurants below the headland at the Bay of Fornells. This expansive sandy inlet is overlooked by an 18th-century watchtower, and sweeps along Menorca’s north coast for around 5km to provide safe and sheltered waters for sailors, windsurfers and swimmers alike.
Ciutadella

2. Ciutadella

Situated on Menorca’s westernmost edge, the pretty port town of Ciutadella spirals from the Placa des Born in a labyrinth of narrow passages and archways. This was once the island’s capital and still retains an aristocratic and ecclesiastical atmosphere based largely around the town’s cathedral. Explore close by and you’ll find a long sandy strip lined with fishing boats, as well as peaceful walled gardens.
Favaritx Lighthouse

3. Favaritx Lighthouse

Favaritx Lighthouse stands high above the rocky cliffs overlooking Menorca’s east coast. The headland setting within S’Albufera des Grau Nature Park is the perfect place for a picnic if you’re a fan of staring wistfully out to sea. Nearby beaches and coves are ideal places to swim and snorkel in the sunshine, whilst in the winter fierce storms whip up huge swells which break high over the rocks.
Mahon

4. Mahon

Set 5km from Menorca’s capital, Mahon (Mao) is one of the world’s largest natural harbours. In its heyday, Mahon’s docks and wharves were some of the busiest in the Mediterranean. These days, however, you’re more likely to find alfresco diners rather than swarthy sea dogs beneath the old city walls. Stroll into Mahon and you’ll find Georgian town houses and an easygoing arty atmosphere.
Monte Toro

5. Monte Toro

Menorca’s only ‘mountain’, Monte Toro (or El Toro), stands at 354m and provides spectacular views over the entire island. Once at the top you’ll find a church and convent run by Franciscan nuns, which opens to the public from May to October. Make sure you buy some super sugary ensaïmadas in Es Mercadal before attempting a walk to the summit. Or maybe it’s best to wait until you’ve walked back down again?
S’Albufera des Grau Nature Park

6. S’Albufera des Grau Nature Park

This is one of the island’s most important and extensive protected natural habitats, as well as the best place to spot migrating birds making the most of the farmlands, marshes and wetlands during spring and autumn. There’s a bewildering range of wildlife in S’Albufera des Grau, from turtles and tortoises to fishing eagles and Balearic lizards. Thank goodness local people fought so hard to keep the land from developers.
Written by Chris Owen
Photo credits: [Page banner: hugos007] [Is isn't: Ricardo Frantz] [Bay of Fornells: Miquel Colomer Planaguma] [Ciutadella: Katarzyna Urbanek] [Favaritz Lighthouse: Miquel Colomer Planaguma] [Mahon: Mario Sanchez Prada] [Monte Tore: Luca Sbardella] [S'Albufera: Enric Rubio Ros]