Menorca has more beaches than the rest of the Balearic Islands put together and offers a much lower key atmosphere than its larger neighbour.
Menorca is a haven for relaxation with its red sandstone and rugged cliffs giving way to secluded coves and sedate waters. There are lush green countryside home to olive groves and orchards, and narrow cobbled streets which lead you to the quaint fishing harbours.
Menorca holidays cater for all tastes and budgets. All you need to do is decide which resort will suit you best. Menorca is laid back and relaxed; ideal getaway for those who want a break.
Things to do
Inland Menorca is a case of gently rolling countryside, walking trails and little villages where everything seems to stop come siesta time. And you can’t go far without spotting a sign for one of the island’s prehistoric relics. The deserted village of Torre d’en Gaumes, for example, dates back to 1400 BC.
Then you’ve got Menorca’s tale of two cities. Mahon and Ciudadela are collections of harbour-side wine bars, elegant eateries, and top-end boutiques. Infact Mahon is home to one of the largest natural harbours in the world. The city is a delight to explore.
During the summer months, the towns and villages of Menorca play host to the traditional fiestas of the island. From June to September there are major celebrations through the island, with beautifully groomed horses playing an important role in the proceedings.
Water lovers won’t be disappointed as there are ample water sports available from kite surfing to scuba diving. Alternatively there is sailing and boat trips that take you around the unspoilt coves, hidden beaches and impressive cliff faces.
Menorca has the world’s quota of leather shops. Everywhere you look, you can see high quality jackets, bags and belts crafted from the local butter soft leather. Favourite by far, though, are leather shoes and sandals. Shoemaking’s one of Menorca’s biggest industries and you’re not allowed to forget it. Expect lots of places selling ‘arbarcas’ – the comfy rubber-soled sandals that are popular here. You’ll be spoilt for choice on the jewellery front, too.
Menorcans are crazy about the costume variety and in most resorts you’ll find shops selling gold and silver pieces. Another good place for trinkets are the street markets. The best ones are in Mahon and Ciudadela.
Menorca isn’t a party all night kind of place. However there are little gems hidden around the island, such as the unique Caves of Xoroi which is a stunning nightclub set deep in the natural caves overlooking the sea.
In Es Castell and Cala’n Bosch, you’ll find a fair few music dens and karaoke joints to get you swapping PJs and pillow for some late night antics. If you want something with more buzz, then head to Cala’n Forcat, Son Bou and Cala’n Porter. In all three, lively bars, theme pubs and nightclubs rev up at dusk if you want to try out your dancing shoes.
Fish and seafood is what Menorca does best. So much so you can watch your supper being landed minutes before it hits your plate. Think steaming bowls of still-in-their-shell mussels. Tender fillets of tuna and seabass. And topping the lot, Menorca’s signature dish of ‘caldereta de langosta’. This lobster casserole is slow-cooked with onions, tomatoes, garlic and parsley. Served with crispy bread, it’s a tastebud sensation.
‘Arroz marinera’ is a Menorcan version of paella. It is seafood mixed into fluffy mounds of saffron infused rice. Despite this wonderful nutritious variety, if you really wanted it, it is possible to find plenty of places serving up good old fashioned fish and chips.