Menorca is one of the lesser known Balearic Islands. Like the others, it has all the essentials; smouldering sunshine, crystal blue sea and soft, golden sand. Visitors will, of course, want to relax on the beach. And there’s plenty of choice. Cala Macarellete is the secluded nudist’s beach, flanked by cliffs and favoured by the Menorca locals. And Cala Mitjana is another unspoilt spot with a bay perfect for swimming or sunbathing. If you see no shops near-by on arrival, don’t panic. A man will come by; pushing a wheelbarrow of fruit with a cool box of drinks under one arm.
But Menorca is much more than just a peaceful island traced with beautiful shorelines and postcard beaches. It also has olive groves, art galleries, eclectic architecture and plenty of water-based activities. Its rich history has left it with endless forts and ruins. See it all by hiring a car in Menorca with easyCar. As a visitor, see beyond the beach. Menorca has a lot to offer.
Pedreres de Shostal Ciutadella is a labyrinth of renovated quarries, lovingly crafted into an awe inspiring spectacle by Lithica – a non-profit organization. Much of the sandstone which once filled the quarries has been used to build stately homes and palaces within the Ciutadella, located just 1km away. Within the network of quarries, find a botanical garden with medicinal herbs and plants. At the centre of the maze is a medieval garden, complete with a fountain and surrounded by flowers.
Take to the seas – Menorca lays claim to a breath-taking postcard perfect shoreline and it’s difficult to spend time here without being drawn to the sea.Take a 6.5 hour catamaran cruise with Menorca en Barco and enjoy views of the shoreline from the deck. Your tour guide will find places where you can enjoy the Mediterranean Sea up close; visit unspoilt beaches and coves. Swimming and snorkelling is also a big part of the tour. Share the sea with sea urchins and sea cucumbers, you can also see weaver fish and sting ray.
Katayak offers hammocks on board its catamarans. Groups are always small and personal; never exceeding ten people. Snacks and drinks are included. If you’re bored of lounging around and want more activity, take a kayak excursion in Fornells and get to visit places which are less easily accessible. For a more luxurious day out, decide on a yacht tour instead.
Tour the island’s olive groves – Take a wine tour of Binifadet, a small winery. The first vines were planted here in 1979 but it’s only been open to the public since 2004. Binifadet is one of the island’s best kept secrets with many Menorca visitors describing it as a “highlight of the holiday.”
After the tour, there is a free tasting session of the wine. It is not only the tasting which has a great reputation, however, as the winery’s restaurant is also held to high acclaim. Have lunch on the terrace, surrounded by vineyards. It’s difficult to leave without buying some wine to take home with you but buy enough and you will get free carriage back to the UK.
Wander the cobbled streets of Binibeca Vell – In 1972, architect Antoni Sintes designed Binibeca Vell in an effort to recreate a traditional fishing village. Cobbled streets weave between whitewashed houses alongside Moorish arches. It is now a popular family resort with restaurants, bars and shops lining its main pedestrianized streets. There is also plenty of entertainment for children – whether they be toddlers or teenagers – and there’s an endless choice of beaches just a short drive away.
See the sunset from a cave carved into a cliff – Cova D’en Xoroi is one of those bars you think only exist on postcards or in films starring glamorous celebrities. Its spectacular location makes it feel otherworldly. Carved into a cliff, it is the perfect viewpoint for sunset – or sunrise. For the designated driver, this is more than a bar; it is a breath-taking location. On the terrace, sit back in the shade of your thatched parasol, gazing out into the sea at the people kayaking below. Inside, there’s no forgetting you’re in a cave as the rock juts out of the walls. Enjoy a variety of music, from DJs to acoustic guitars.