Magical Menorca

Southern belles 

Menorca’s southern beaches and calas are plentiful and generally sheltered from the prevailing wind.

Bordered by a picturesque swathe of scented pine forest, the vibrant pool of turquoise water at Cala Mitjana is perfect for snorkeling and has two sea caves to explore. Cala Macarella and its sibling Macarelletta offer some of the bluest waters and have graced the pages of many holiday brochures, while pine-framed Cala Son Saura and Tarqueta continue the theme of glittering Menorcan-blue bays.

Despite being a popular beach with holidaymakers, the wide sweeping bay of Binibeca is close to Mahon and offers good holding mostly over sand and has startling turquoise shallows. A good option if you want to tender to the beach for ice creams or snacks.

Cala Rafalet 

Along the south coast and on the east coast near Es Grau, paddleboarders, snorkelers and kayakers can explore Menorca’s fascinating sea caves.

On the east coast Cala Rafalet is a lesser-known spot. In quiet conditions, larger boats can anchor before this narrow inlet and tender in past the elbow to the picturesque beach. Smaller boats can inch into the peaceful cala, which carves into the tiger-orange cliffs. A little slice of heaven with glassy shallows just made for snorkeling.

Diners delight 

For a lovely night out near Mahon, head for the horseshoe harbour of Cala Fonts in Es Castell. The picturesque fishing port has boutiques, market stalls and restaurants dotting the quay. A favourite spot for dinner is Nikki’s, though there are plentiful fish restaurants serving excellent Mediterranean-inspired dishes to choose from.

Just north of Mahon, Cap Roig has panoramic views from its cliff-top terrace. Try the fresh clams or the local caldereta, a Menorcan lobster stew that’s cooked and served in an earthenware pot.

Inland, near Es Mercadel, Es Moli des Raco is a beautiful tapas restaurant set in a windmill, while Cuitadella on the west coast has a charming harbour and restaurants lining the quayside. Café Balear sits at the end of the harbour and is one of the best. Queues can stretch down the street during peak season and prices are London-esque but dishes are delicious.

Cova den Xoroi 

On the south coast, not far from Cala Covas, Cova d’en Xoroi is one of the most dramatic spots for sundowners and one of the best bars in the Balearics. Its series of outdoor terraces are carved into the cliff face and enjoy spellbinding views of the ocean. Open for lunch, sunset acoustic sessions and partying in the early hours. Boaters can anchor in the adjacent Cala en Porter.

Isla Colom 

An undeniably popular spot for boaters, especially during the high season, the electric blue lagoon between Es Grau and the verdant island of Isla Colom is utterly beguiling. If staying in Mahon, blast north along the east coast to Es Grau for lunch. With many small coves on its west flank, Isla Colom offers good shelter and is a delightful lunch spot en route to Fornells.

Cala Pudente, not far from Fornells has a wild, natural beauty – there are no facilities, so lunch at anchor is the order of the day.

Northern soul 

If the winds are fair, a trip to the quieter and ruggedly beautiful northern coast is highly recommended.

Cruise to Pregonda, where sage-green fields unfurl inland and the arc of golden sandy beach is backed by undulating greens. Tender in and walk up along the boardwalk through the wetlands to Restaurant Binimel, a family-run gem and a favourite among locals. Located in the white-washed building, cuisine is simple and stunning and the setting picture-perfect; wooden chairs and tables are set under the bows of a large tree with the Menorcan landscape extending like a sun-kissed blanket in all directions. Book in advance for lunch on weekends during peak season.

If winds thwart best-laid plans to explore the northern coast by boat, a well maintained main road carves through the island making driving to the northern beaches and towns easy even for first-time visitors to Menorca

More destinations

All destinations All