Cycling in MenorcaWith rolling hills, quiet roads, and many kilometres of unpaved trails, Menorca cycling is one of the best ways to explore the hidden parts of this unspoiled island. New well signposted cycle routes have recently been created along some of the oldest trails on the island, following routes as old as human settlement here. Today these ancient walkways are bordered with dry stone walls beside pretty small fields and pastures which in spring and early summer are covered in wild flowers. Many of the trails are unpaved but with a hybrid or mountain bike, the trails are easily within the abilities of most cyclists.
There are more than three thousand kilometres that are practicable with mountain bike – these unpaved paths offer challenges for all levels of experience and technical expertise but with many short steep climbs and drops they are not for the fainthearted.
For those who prefer to stay on the paved roads many of the country lanes are barely used by vehicular traffic and are an excellent way to explore the quiet villages, hamlets and country churches.
The larger towns of Maó and Ciutadella have well organised cycle paths which enable cyclists to visit parts of the older town centres which are inaccessible by car.
The Camí de Cavalls, an unpaved bridle path almost 200 kilometres long which extends around the island mostly along the coastline has recently been re-opened, enabling both horse riders and cyclists to access the hidden beaches and woodlands of the coast. On the south coast the Camí de Cavalls follows the more gentle undulating countryside passing by tiny hidden coves and longer beaches of sparkling white sand.
The small resort villages en route have cafes and restaurants for rest stops, and the beaches are ideal for a quick cooling swim in the heat of the day. In spring and summer the thick woodlands around the Camí de Cavalls echo to the song of nightingales and other migratory birds which nest in great numbers on the island. Cyclists on Menorca have a great choice of rides and with the longest road on the island connecting Maó and Ciutadella barely 47 kilometres long, distances need never be extreme. The landscape too with rolling gentle hills in the north, and a largely flat plateau to the south offers ideal cycling conditions, although the fierce northerly wind called the tramuntana can at times make riding a little demanding.
A new cycling route through the centre of the island avoids the principal highway, but includes the larger towns of the Alaior, Es Mercadal and Ferreries and passes by the extraordinary Talaiotic megalithic stones erected by the first settlers on the island.
The cycling trail also passes along the Camí den Kane - Kane Road – one of the oldest roads on the island built by the first British governor here which is now a tranquil country lane which winds between the smaller inland villages and hamlets of the interior.
For those who want a more challenging ride, the gruelling lighthouse tour which takes in all five lighthouses around the coast at an average 27 kilometres per hour with a total of 206 kilometres covered in the day takes place each year in early May. Cycles of all kinds, from the ordinary touring bike to top class road racers and mountain bikes can be hired at numerous activity centres in all parts of the island.
Read our top 10 tips for things to see and do in Menorca