As far as long weekends away go, a trip to Menorca pretty much ticks every box for a European beach holiday. The Balearic sister island to Ibiza and Mallorca may be less famous and it may lack its neighbouring islands fancy hotels and swanky clubs, but its beautiful land (the entire island is a UNESCO-protected biosphere reserve) and relaxing and welcoming pace make it the ideal long weekend away from the hustle and bustle of home. We spent just three nights at the Barcelo Pueblo Menorca but it gave us the perfect amount of time to explore the top things to do in Menorca. With a new EasyJet route from London Southend to Mahón, it’s easier than ever to enjoy a weekend in this paradise.
Here are my top 10 things to do in Menorca:
1. The Beautiful Beaches
Full of secluded coves and unspoilt, wild and green spaces, you can often feel like you’ve discovered your own part of Menorca. Down the winding roads you’ll uncover some of the most beautiful beaches with tempting azure waters. Some of my favourites were on the less touristy North coast of the island; including Sa Caleta and Santadria which are vast sandy strips and hidden bays; making the perfect place to spend the day.
2. Visit a Gin Distillery
Hitting the gin maybe the last thing you feel like doing in Menorca (or, maybe it’s the first thing you feel like doing!) but Gin is a big deal in Menorca and you can discover a local specialty called Pomada (a scrumptious mix of local gin and cloudy lemonade) in most of the local restaurants and bars. You can also visit a local gin distillery, Gin Xoriguer and try out all the different flavours and combinations yourself, as well as seeing how they are distilled.
3. Catch a boat ride around Mahon Harbour
The longest harbour in the Mediterranean can be viewed from one of the boats which sets sail from Mahon Harbour. The hour long trip is a great way to see the colourful coastline while catching some rays on the top deck. You can see the harbour from a different view point as well by stepping down into the underwater chambers on the boats, spotting the marine life and ship wrecks on the ocean floor.
4. Visit the Binifadet Vineyard
Wine is an up and coming industry in Menorca, thanks to the expanses of arable land and hard working nature of the families who create the local wines. We visited Binifadet, a family run, beautiful Vineyard where you can taste their wines as well as learn how it is produced. The short tour takes you into the cool caves underneath the Vineyard, where you can see the labour-intensive progress that the wines and sparkling wines go through before they are bottled up ready for consumption.
5. Take a Catamaran Trip around the North Coast
If you want to escape the lively streets of the Minorcan fishing villages which are dotted across the country’s coastline, then a Catamaran trip setting sail from Fornells is a brilliant way to see the coastline and explore some remote coves and hidden beaches. Swimming in crystal clear lagoons and lounging on a catamaran as it expertly sails the warm waters is my kind of heaven!
6. Discover the Salt Flats at Reserva La Concepcio
Close to the town of Es Mercadel, a hidden gem lies on the coast line; don’t let the bumpy dirt track and rickety old farmhouse put you off, because the magic of the Reserva La Concepcio salt marshes lies within the owner, Isabelle, and her passion for the project. We were given a tour of the salt marshes and told how the salt is produced by man power alone, no big energy guzzling machines or devices, just pure hard work. Learning how salt, a commodity which I had barely given a second thought to where it comes from, is extracted from the sea water is a fascinating process, and Isabella also organises horse riding, hikes, and even yoga retreats at her beautiful farm.
7. Watch the sunset from the Cova d’en Xoroi
Presuming that all the trendy bars were reserved for sister island, Ibiza, the Cova d’en Xoroi really took me by surprise as we descended the cliff face steps into the caves, overlooking the sparkling water as the sun set behind the hills. The bar is set within a maze of caves, and chilled out music plays throughout the afternoon and sunset, before the bar transforms into a nightclub into the early hours of the morning. Serving cocktails, beers, wines and of course, Sangria, the Cova d’en Xoroi is worth the trip to the South side of the island if you’re looking for an ultra chilled out and trendy evening.
8. Enjoy Cheese & Wine at S’Hort de Sant Patrici
With wine being such an up and coming industry in Menorca, why visit just one winery when you can visit two! We also visited the S’Hort de Sant Patrici, a larger vineyard than the more family run Binifadet, where you can enjoy cheese and wine while discovering more about the industry and why it is now blossoming on the Balearic island. With a restaurant, cheese museum and boutique hotel at the vineyard as well, the establishment is the perfect retreat to spend a few beautiful days.
9. Explore the streets of Ciutadella
Known to locals as Vella i Bella (Old and Beautiful), Ciutadella is a distinctively more traditional Spanish city, previously the capital of Menorca, with a picturesque port and enchanting old quarter. Its historic centre is far more appealing than the new capital, Mahón, and there are plenty of roof top restaurants such as Ses Voltes where you can overlook the cobbled streets while enjoying Menorcan speciality; caldereta de lloyosta; a gutsy and flavoursome lobster stew.
10. Spend the day in Mahon.
… And it really would be possible to come just for the day, as the short flight from Southend meant we were just over three hours door to door! With a beautiful harbour and an array of local restaurants and bars along the sea front, it would be possible to come just for one night, and escape the city in less time than it takes to commute out of London on a Friday afternoon!
If you want to find out more about all the places mentioned above, then join me on my trip to Menorca by watching my Menorca Outfit Diaries video:
Have you ever visited Menorca? Where would you recommend visiting?
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