Menorca, with its chilled vibes, laid back mood and slower pace sits with its Balearic brothers in the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. Menorca means smaller island but this little isle punches well above its weight in terms of unspoilt beaches, secluded coves and crystal clear waters.

Things to do in Menorca include visits to captivating old towns, cathedrals, harbours and a vast natural bio-sphere. The food is good; think cheese, the freshest seafood, vineyards and gin. There are so many things to do in Menorca, lots to see and masses of reasons to visit. Here are just some of the ways I fell in love with it…

Cala Galdana - what to see in Menorca

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Things to do in Menorca

1. Menorca Beaches and Bays

When I think of my time on the island the image that instantly pops into my mind is the mind-blowing blues of the clear Mediterranean Sea. Menorca sits in intensely turquoise waters edged with white-sand beaches, pretty coves and pine-fringed bays. Menorca beaches range from small white sandy coves to large swathes of rich red sands edged by the clearest waters. 

One of the best things to do in Menorca is explore the 216 km of coastline and more than 100 beaches which grace its shores. Some beaches are only accessible by boat and others by car plus a hike. If you put in the effort you’ll more than likely get a beach to yourself. I’d love to rent a boat in Spain and discover lots of hidden coves like these.

white sand beach Menorca

The volcanic red beaches of the north are a complete contrast with the white sand beaches and bays in the south of the island. We spent a chilled day mooching our way along the craggy south coast of the island by boat. Kayaks are a great way to explore the caves and grottos and get into the secret coves that boats can’t.

kayaking Menorca

2. Visit Mahon

Mahon (Mao) has been Menorca’s capital since 1722 and sits high on a cliff with superb views of the harbour. Pretty, pastel alleyways, food markets, squares and cathedrals make the town incredibly Instagramable.

Mahon Port is the Mediterranean’s largest harbour and world’s second deepest natural port. A boat trip with Yellow Catamarans around the harbour will take you past historic fortresses, small islets and harbour-side cafes and bars. A look at the harbour and its fish from beneath the water through the boat’s glass bottom is a must-do.

Mahon Harbour Menorca

Where to eat: Restaurant Minerva  which can be found directly on the harbour side. Choose from the floating terrace or inside the converted flour mill for fresh seafood dishes.

For more things to do in Menorca check out Things to do in Ciutadella MenorcaThings to do in Ciutadella Menorca from Heather on her Travels 

3. Try Menorca Gin

Mahon was an important British Port over 200 years ago and the Brits have left their influence. If you know me then you’ll know I’m partial to a gin and tonic. For me the Xoriguer Gin Distillery was a Menorca must-see. The distillery’s tasting room was a total revelation. Camomile infused Hierbas de Menorca was, err, interesting. Calent, a cinnamon-scented gin, was rather nice but then all my dreams came true when they brought out the chocolate gin! A visit to the Menorca Gin distillery at Xoriguer is a must during your stay.

4. Chill Out in Menorca’s Coolest Cave Bar

Probably the coolest place on the island for sundowners is Cova d’En Xoroi. This Menorca cave bar is housed in a series of caverns and terraces set into the cliff face.  Stunning views look over the ocean and coastline and make for epic sunset moments. The background vibe of chill-out music adds to the relaxed atmosphere until night-time when DJs perform more clubby sets and you can dance until sunrise to Balearic beats.

Cave and Cliff Bar Menorca

5. Eat all the Menorcan Cheese

Menorca is well-known for its Mahón cheese. It’s named after the island’s capital but made all over Menorca and you’ll find it served up at almost every meal in one form or another. The cheese is made from cow’s milk and has a buttery, mildly salty taste which comes from the cow’s diet of grass naturally seasoned with sea salt.

A soft and creamy cheese is the younger version whilst the hard, crumblier cheese is aged longer. Rind colours vary from a pale cream to vibrant orange depending on whether it’s rubbed with butter, oil or paprika.

Mahon Cheese

6. Get back to Nature at Menorca’s Biosphere Reserve

Menorca was officially named a Biosphere Reserve in 1993 to protect the natural beauty of the island, its animals and wildlife. 42% of the island is protected which is why you’ll not see many high-rise buildings and built up areas. Menorca has total respect for its environment.

For trails and hikes through olive groves, lagoons and wetland areas head for natural park S’Albufera d’es Grau at the north-east end of the island. Here you’ll encounter Menorca in harmony with natural beauty at a slower pace.

S’Albufera d’es Grau, Menorca Bio sphere reserve

How many more reasons do you need to soak up some of that Menorcan magic for yourself?  You’ll find more in Reasons you need to visit Menorca – Part 2

7. Discover Menorca’s Wildlife

Menorca sits bang in the middle of bird migratory routes over the Mediterranean. Bird enthusiasts can spot up to 200 different species of birds around the island from osprey and red kite to herons and mallards. It’s not all about birds though, we met this little fella going at his own slow pace as we hiked through the park S’Albufera d’es Grau.

Tortoise in Menorca bio sphere reserve


Menorca doesn’t want to be big, it wants to be sustainable with a good balance between natural beauty and tourism


8. Enjoy the Spring Flowers

Menorca in May is in full bloom and it’s just beautiful. Of all the things to do in Menorca don’t miss the island’s natural beauty. The countryside was lush and green with daisies and poppies. The island’s deep blue seas and craggy coastline contrasted with vivid yellow flowers and stately blooms.

Menorca spring flowers

Menorca Spring flowers


For more Spanish travel inspiration read about Mallorca, Malaga and Malaga


9. Find Menorca’s Windmills

Wind power is an important sustainable resource in Menorca.  Modern turbines at Milà harness energy from the Tramontana, the island’s prevailing northerly wind. Windmills (or moli) can still be found around the island – you can eat in the restaurant inside the 300 year-old Moli d’es Raco in Es Mercadal. You’ll find it on the main road from Mao to Ciutadella.

Windmill Menorca

10. Go back in time at Lazareto

A small islet sit right in the centre of Mahon port and it’s called Lazareto. However, the serene setting hides an eerie back story. Menorca is the most eastern island in the Mediterranean. Many ships from the East and North Africa passed through and brought with them bubonic plague, yellow fever and leprosy.

Built in 1793 the Lazareto of Mahon was a place where new arrivals considered a danger would pass their quarantine. We spent a few hours exploring the beautiful grounds and I couldn’t help but feel the eyes of past residents watching our every move.

Lazareto church Menorca

Lazareto Menorca

11. Uncover Menorcan history at Naveta d’es Tudons

3,000-year-old Naveta d’es Tudons looks like an upside-down boat and is a reminder of Menorca’s history. The ancient naveta (vessel) was originally used as a group funeral chamber and was constructed by stacking stones in a way that holds it together without using any other materials. The megalithic site is said to be the oldest roofed building in Europe.

Naveta d’es Tudons Menorca

How many more reasons do you need to soak up some of that Menorcan magic for yourself?  You’ll find more in Reasons you need to visit Menorca – Part 2


If you haven’t planned a trip this year think about a holiday to Menorca. This was my third visit to the island. The other times were family holidays when the children were young.  The island’s perfect for that. This time I saw a new, slower and more natural side which I also loved.

If you’re thinking of visiting Menorca and have any questions email or tweet and I’ll be happy to help.

So you know…

I was invited to Menorca by Traverse and Visit Spain to discover the island and to attend a blogging conference with around 50 bloggers, You Tubers, vloggers and Instagrammers. We spent two days in conference and five full-on days, and nights, exploring the island.  Our hotel was the lovely S’Algar Hotel. We got around the island in Nissan Leaf electric cars  which nicely reflected Menorca’s sustainable ethos.



Booking.com

 

salgar hotel, Menorca

We flew with Jet2 and it was my first time with the airline as they’ve only just started flying from Stansted. The check-in staff were smiley, helpful and just so genuinely nice! A brand new plane with smart seats and plenty of leg-room made the two-hour fifteen-minute flight fly by. I loved the whizzy red lighting and seating which matched their branding.

For my week’s parking at Stansted I used parking comparison website for UK airports Looking4Parking. After parking up in their designated car park right next to departures I took my keys to their kiosk. It took two minutes to do a little paperwork and I was ready to check in. When I got back I handed over my ticket and was given detailed directions to my car, just a few minutes’ walk away. Parking was complimentary for the purposes of this review otherwise the cost would have been under £70 for a week.  I’ll definitely be using them again.

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