If you’re looking for the ideal Spanish getaway, make your way to Menorca, one of the most charming Balearic islands.
Typically overshadowed by the grand Mallorca and lively Ibiza, Menorca shouldn’t be overlooked! It’s one of the best Spanish islands to visit due to its deep history, stunning landscape, and endless things to do.
An official UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Menorca is truly stunning in terms of landscape, with clear turquoise waters, white sand beaches, and an abundance of wildlife. Besides the natural wonders, it also has a deep history of occupation and ancient civilizations, making for a most interesting trip exploring a wild past.
To show you all that’s waiting for you, here are the best things to do in Menorca!
- 1 Get Lost in Old Town Ciutadella
- 2 Explore Ses Pedreres de s’Hostal
- 3 Cruise Menorca’s Waters on a Luxury Yacht
- 4 Reach the Top of El Toro
- 5 Sip a Sunset Drink at Cova d’en Xoroi
- 6 Relax at Cala Galdana
- 7 Hop in a Jeep for a 4×4 Tour
- 8 Enjoy Seclusion at Cala Turqueta
- 9 Tour Mahon Harbor
- 10 Take to the Sea on a Kayak
- 11 Admire Artifacts at Museo de Menorca
- 12 Probe the Past at Museo Militar de Menorca
- 13 Discover Ancient Torre d’en Galmes
- 14 Weave Your Way Through Fort de Marlborough
- 15 Enjoy the Outdoors at S’Albufera des Grau Nature Reserve
- 16 Snap Pictures in Binibequer Vell
- 17 Enjoy Fine Wine at Bodegas Binifadet
- 18 Transportation in Spain
Get Lost in Old Town Ciutadella
It wouldn’t be a Spanish city without a thriving Old Town to transport you to a time long ago.
Ciutadella, Menorca’s Old Town, is the perfect place to get lost for an afternoon. Weave your way through narrow streets filled with colorful houses, and ogle at the sprawling cathedrals and hidden squares.
There’s plenty to do in Ciutadella besides getting lost, like visiting the Plaça Nova which is a square full of tapas bars, cute cafes, and little boutique shops. Or you can make your way to the Santa Maria Cathedral which was finished in 1382. While this religious monument had been destroyed time and time again, it was always rebuilt. Today, Santa Maria Cathedral is a massive neoclassical structure after its final rebuilding in the 1800s.
If you’re seeking the colorful streets that Ciutadella is so well-known for, wander over to Carrer de Sant Cristofol where the houses are vibrant, bright, and the perfect backdrop for some photos. Visit in the late afternoon and enjoy the houses being bathed in the sun’s glow — it’s magical!
A couple other places to visit in Old Town are the Ses Voltes, which is a lovely little market selling trinkets and souvenirs, and the port area which is the best place to feast on a local seafood meal.
Explore Ses Pedreres de s’Hostal
While in the area around Ciutadella, stop by Quarries Pedreres de s’Hostal for some breathtaking and unique sights. This area is a collection of quarries that display shapes, figures, and mazes created by stone carvers who lived on the island long ago.
A series of open-air spaces surrounded by rock carvings, the quarries, which once shelled out stone to build houses in Ciutadella, are a popular place for concerts and other cultural activities in Menorca due to the stellar event space.
The area underwent restoration in the mid-1990s, and has since been separated into two distinct spaces.
In one area you’ll find where stonecutters cut and carved rock by hand, and in the other you’ll find where machines were used to create perfect stone cubes. There are walkways through both spaces, allowing you to get up close and personal with the Menorca stone supply that contributed greatly to the creation of Old Town!
Cruise Menorca’s Waters on a Luxury Yacht
The great thing about Menorca is that there are activities for every kind of traveler. So if sea kayaking isn’t your thing, trade up for a luxury yacht!
On this three-and-a-half hour excursion, you’ll explore the waters of Menorca in style. You’ll get to see the entire north coast of the island, with stops at hidden coves and inlets along the coastline. Feast your eyes on views of lighthouses, port cities, and giant cliffs and take the opportunity to swim, paddleboard, and snorkel while out at sea!
When you’re all worn out from a day of exploring, settle down on the yacht for some traditional Menorcan appetizers and drinks to really round out the trip. What could be better on a Spanish island vacation?
Reach the Top of El Toro
Towering over Menorca is the island’s tallest mountain: El Toro. It’s right smack in the middle of the island, most easily accessible from the town of Es Mercadal. Take a gander up to the top of the mountain (tiring, but totally worth it) for panoramic views of all of Menorca.
Besides the views, the most striking element of this mountain is the 13th century church sitting at the top. Along with the church, you’ll find a giant statue of Jesus and a cafe for a quick snack and drink before heading back down the mountain.
If you’re not much for hiking, you can hop on your bike and cycle up the mountain paths. Or better yet, hop in your car and drive to the summit! There’s plenty of parking at the top so you can save your energy for more exploring later.
Sip a Sunset Drink at Cova d’en Xoroi
Carved out of the caves in Cala en Porte, you’ll find one of the most magnificently-placed bars in the world: Cova d’en Xoroi. The bar’s terraces are built into little nooks in the rock so you can watch the world beyond while sipping on a Menorca specialty.
This is the best place to come for a sunset drink as you can watch the sun sink low into the sea, displaying a stunning array of colors right before your eyes. The surrounding rocks glow as if they’re on fire from the reflection of the light, creating the most enchanting atmosphere you could ever imagine.
For good reason, Cova d’en Xoroi is one of the most popular places in Menorca and the rocky terraces are completely packed most of the time. Be sure to reserve a spot in advance and enjoy a Pomada when you arrive!
Relax at Cala Galdana
As far as gorgeous beaches go, Cala Galdana is right at the top when it comes to Menorca.
This insanely beautiful crescent formation boasts the clearest, calmest blue water, the softest, whitest sand, and cliffs topped with pine trees surrounding the entire place.
It’s not a quiet or remote beach by any measure, but it’s a stunning place to relax for an afternoon. Besides the beach, there are awesome, built-up facilities at the edge of the beach to make for a most comfortable day.
Hop in a Jeep for a 4×4 Tour
Enjoying Menorca by foot is fun and all, but there’s nothing more exciting than hopping on a 4×4 Jeep and taking a different kind of island tour.
On this blood-pumping excursion, you’ll get to spend half a day bumping over remote roads that take you to some of Menorca’s best hidden sights.
Besides getting acquainted with Menorca’s flora and fauna on this trip, you’ll get to visit caves, ravines, and crystal clear, untouched beaches, allowing you to see the island from a local perspective.
Either take the explorer excursion to see the most of the island or opt for a sunset trip for a more chilled out ride. No matter which you choose, enjoy the Spanish breeze whipping through your hair from the top down Jeep. Talk about riding in style!
Enjoy Seclusion at Cala Turqueta
If you move along the coast of Menorca from Cala Galdana, you’ll find yourself at Cala Turqueta, a much more secluded beach that rivals those in the Carribean. The turquoise water sparkles when the sun hits it and the white sand is perfect for kicking back and relaxing.
If you’re into exploring what lies below the surface, snorkeling is great at Cala Turqueta because the water is so clear. For the more adventurous beach-goers, you can also get that adrenaline fix as there are plenty of places to dive into the water from the surrounding cliffs.
Tour Mahon Harbor
To explore more of Menorca’s waters, head to the capital city, Mahon, to explore the harbor and all that lives below. It’s said that Mahon Harbor is the largest natural harbor in the Mediterranean, stretching six kilometers in length and 1,200 meters in width.
There’s plenty to explore in the area but the best way to see it all is to hop on a Yellow Catamaran, which will take you on a tour of the entire place.
Besides the Yellow Catamarans, glass boat tours are abundant at the harbor, offering you the chance to see all that’s living below the surface from the comfort of a little boat! This is the perfect afternoon activity before settling down on shore for a heaping plate of seafood paella.
Take to the Sea on a Kayak
If you prefer to explore the waters of Menorca on your own, rent a kayak and take to the sea!
This kayak rental is located in the harbor of Fornells which is the gateway to an entire UNESCO Biosphere Reserve! Setting off from this location, you’ll be faced with a dramatic landscape of huge cliffs, hidden coves, and completely empty bays just waiting to be explored and enjoyed by eager travelers.
On this excursion, you’ll spend half a day sea kayaking along the Menorcan shoreline, all the way to Cala Blanca at the southern end of the bay. There’s no better way to enjoy hidden beaches and the wide open Balearic Sea than with a day in a kayak!
Admire Artifacts at Museo de Menorca
For those seeking culture over adventure (or an equal mix of the two), pay a visit to Menorca Museum for a better understanding of the island’s past and Spanish history in general. The museum is brimming with archaeological, cultural, and artistic artifacts, making for an interesting trip back in history.
Museo de Menorca is housed in a Baroque-style convent building in Mahon, which is a lovely architectural feat. There are open courtyards in the middle of the building and much of it is crafted from local stone, with towering columns and open archways.
Admission is free on Sundays, Tuesday, and Thursdays from 3.00pm to 6.00pm, so you may as well stop by on a free afternoon!
Probe the Past at Museo Militar de Menorca
In stark contrast to Museo de Menorca, the Military Museum is full of war relics and artifacts to help visitors understand the bloody history of the island. Also located in Mahon, this museum is housed in 18th century barracks, making for an interesting visit, for sure.
Here, you can learn about the different times Menorca was occupied by foreign lands and the influence they had on the island’s culture. You can also see ancient weapons here and learn about other war sites on the island to visit in the future.
Discover Ancient Torre d’en Galmes
Sitting between Alaior and Son Bou, you’ll find an ancient Talayotic village that was once inhabited from 1400 BC up until the end of Roman occupation. With more than 1,000 years of history, the ruins in this hilly town are moving and hold a deep Menorcan history that’s essential to understanding this island’s past.
Covering more than 60,000 square meters, this is the largest Talayotic settlement on Menorca, so if you’re going to visit one, make your way here! When you arrive, you’ll be shown a short video to help explain some of the history so that when you walk around, you can really understand what was here before.
Weave Your Way Through Fort de Marlborough
Located in the cove of Cala de Sant Esteve, head to Fort de Marlborough to learn more about Menorca’s military past. This fort was built between 1720 and 1726 by the British during their occupation. It was partially destroyed by the Spanish in 1782 and had to be rebuilt, creating the structure that stands today.
This fort isn’t particularly large but there’s plenty to see and explore. On a visit here, you can watch a historical re-enactment to learn about what happened when the fort was under siege as well as explore the grounds and fort itself.
When wandering the halls in the vast rocky enclosure, it’s easy to imagine taking cover when under attack or shooting cannons from the special hidden windows!
Enjoy the Outdoors at S’Albufera des Grau Nature Reserve
Sitting in the northeast of Menorca, you’ll find a stunning nature reserve that makes up 50 square kilometers, with landscapes ranging from forests to dunes, to cliffs and marshes. Besides what’s on land, the nature reserve also encompasses five nearby islands as well.
A visit here is a must for nature lovers as you’ll find a huge range of wildlife. Birds (more than 90 different species!), flowers, unique shrubs, trees, and bushes — you’ll find it all in this nature reserve.
The park is filled with pathways where you can walk, run, or cycle to get a taste of Menorca’s natural life. Es Grau is even home to the famous hike along Cami de Cavalls which is a whopping 180 kilometers long and circles the entire island!
Snap Pictures in Binibequer Vell
On a visit to Binibequer Vell, you can’t help but ask yourself whether you’re in Santorini or Spain. An area flooded with whitewashed houses and cobblestone lands, there’s more going on in this picturesque village than meets the eye.
Binibequer Vell was actually constructed during the 1970s by Spanish architect Antonio Sintes Mercadal. He wanted to recreate a traditional fishing village, so white two-storey buildings and a Moorish style atmosphere came to life — and with it a heavenly little spot on Menorca.
This is a great place to stroll around, and there are plenty of delicious eateries to stop for a bite to eat. If you have a sweet tooth, don’t miss out on a cone from La Golosa Gelateria!
Enjoy Fine Wine at Bodegas Binifadet
Finally, eating and drinking your way through Menorca is inevitable, so be sure that charming Bodegas Binifadet is on your list of places to stop!
Serving as Menorca’s main winery, you can find the finest Spanish reds at this vineyard. Take a guided tour of the tree-lined lanes before settling down at the restaurant for a special tapas and wine pairing.
Don’t miss out on Binifadet’s specialty: goat cheese that’s been marinated in red wine!
After reading this, are you convinced that Menorca is one of the best places to visit in Spain? I know I am!
With pristine beaches, small villages, historic sites, and age-old fortresses, there’s an endless amount of things to do on this island. No matter what kind of trip you’re looking for, one that’s jam-packed with history or rather one that’s spent lounging on the beach, you can find it in Menorca!
Transportation in Spain
Like most places in Europe, Spain is easily accessible via public transport. There are heaps of high-speed trains and buses that can take you around. However, there is nothing like the freedom that a car rental will give you.
While some people are hesitant to rent a car while in another country, it is super safe and just gives you so much freedom and flexibility! Click here to compare car rental prices. You’ll be surprised at how affordable it is!
Want more on Spain? Check out these articles
- The Best Beaches in Spain for the Ultimate Seaside Holiday
- Best Time to Visit Spain: A Month-by-Month Guide to Spain Travel
- Hiking in Spain: 10 Epic Hikes You Must Try
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