Menorca not only has more kilometers of beach than Mallorca and Ibiza combined, but it also boasts a rich history, varied gastronomy, and some of the best beaches in the world. Here are 5 activities you can't miss when you visit the island.
Menorca not only has more kilometers of beach than Mallorca and Ibiza combined (more than 180 kilometers), but it also boasts a rich history, varied gastronomy (did you know that mayonnaise originated in Mahon?), and some of the best beaches in the world. Here we suggest 5 activities you can't miss when you visit the island:
1. Binibeca Vell
Perhaps the most beautiful village in the Balearic Islands. This small Menorcan town is for sure one of the most "instagrammable" places in Menorca. It looks like a distillate of what a Mediterranean fishing village should be. If we didn't tell you that it was built in the 1960s as an urban development project by some local businessmen, you’d think it had always been there.
Over the years, buildings have been added to finish more than 160 houses, in the same specific style: white walls and roofs (although no house is the same, because each one is unique), the intricate and narrow layout of its streets, and its privileged location in front of the sea.
Here, the inhabitants found their small paradise and the idea of its promoters was to recreate a bohemian fishing village from a Greek or Italian island which might capture the imagination of writers, painters and other artists. We reckon they got it absolutely right.
Not only can you lose yourself in its steep, narrow streets, but you can also take a dip in the sea, or taste the delicacies which come out of some of the best kitchens on the island.
Two suggestions: If sunsets are your thing, we recommend you don’t leave Binibeca without visiting Bambú Menorca and enjoying a great atmosphere and the best cocktails.
And for tapas, there’s no better place than Salitre. Located in a privileged spot, its menu is simple but made with high quality ingredients, and the service is very attentive and professional.
2. Cala Turqueta
Although close to the famous Cala Galdana, this small cove has a much more intimate, remote and untouched atmosphere.
This cove is hidden among pine trees, and you have to walk about 10 minutes to reach it from the parking lot. Although it is a unspoiled cove, it has bathrooms and a lifeguard in season, as well as a small beach bar.
The water is turquoise, that blue you can only find in the Mediterranean, and the sand is white and fine. It’s a cove which also has areas of natural shade provided by the pine trees and rocks surrounding it. There’s also a small cave, great for snorkeling.
A word of advice: arrive early if you want to grab a good spot.
The city with the largest population on the island, around 30,000 inhabitants, is a walk through the history of the Mediterranean. Inhabited since the Bronze Age, later by Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Muslims, the Aragonese, and even the English and French. With its stately air and narrow streets, it invites you to stroll and discover it.
Walk from the port to the Castillo de San Nicolas and stop at the Plaza del Borne or Ses Voltes for a beer. Or if you’ve got time, walk north and see the Punta Nati Lighthouse, a place with spectacular views of the island's coastline and the Mediterranean.
Its gothic Cathedral is a must-see, originally built between 1300 and 1362 on the site of an ancient mosque, but rebuilt over and over again in the following centuries, a true reflection of the island's past.
A tip: don’t miss the chance to try lobster stew in one of the restaurants in the port, it’s the typical dish of Menorca par excellence.
4. Sign up for a kayak tour
You don't need to be an expert sailor or Olympic canoeist to enjoy a guided kayak tour in Menorca.
Our favorite tour, the caves tour, starts in Cala en Porter on the south of the island and lasts about 3 and a half hours. On your tour you’ll visit some of the most spectacular caves on the island, such as Cova de la Llum, Cova Sant Josep or Racó d'en Pudent. You’ll also enjoy a snorkeling stop in Cales Coves and visit the largest necropolis of Menorca with its numerous hypogea.
Don't miss it, you’ll love this experience.
5. Enjoy the sunset (and a pomada) in Cova d'en Xoroi
Before you get the wrong idea, you should know that a 'pomada' is the Menorcan cocktail prepared with lemon and the local Mahon gin 'Xoriger' and it’s also known as 'gin amn llimonada' in Ciudadela and Ferreries. It’s delicious and very refreshing.
The bar you’ll find in Cova d'en Xoroi is the best place to try it, and the best time is at sunset, when you’ll be able to see the most incredible views of the Mediterranean from this magical place located in a cave in the middle of a cliff.
There are quite a few steps to climb, it's not the most accessible place in the world, but it's definitely worth it. You'll thank us for the tips, you'll see.