Menorca (summer only)
Note: Menorca is a Summer-only destination.
Flight time: 2 hour 45 minutes*
Availability: Summer only
Avg. temperatures: 11 to 25°C
Currency: Euro (€)
Time: GMT +1 hour
Bienvenido a Menorca! Menorca is one of Spain’s quieter Balearic islands, a popular family destination. Here you will find more than 40 unspoilt beaches, pristine coves, magnificent architecture, the harbours of capital Mahón and Ciutadella, gentle landscapes – ideal for walking, cycling or horse-riding – along with water parks, water sports and golf.
Stone monuments dating back thousands of years cover the countryside, whilst ancient coastal paths have been restored to link beautiful coves. Designated a biosphere by UNESCO in 1993, Menorca has encouraged sustainable tourism for years. Pine trees fringe the coast and beaches featuring fine sand through to rocky, turquoise bays. There’s even local gin for your G&T and if that’s whetted your appetite, it’s time to tuck into abundant fresh seafood and sample the island’s signature lobster stew dish ‘caldereta de llagosta’.
It’s only a short hop to Menorca because you can fly direct from Southampton to Mahón Airport in just over two hours, bookable with TUI as part of a package. The timetable will operate on Saturdays between May and September. Menorca Mahon Airport has one main passenger terminal on three levels, with taxi, bus and hire car rental options all available on landing.
Top things to see and do
Pregonda is worth the half hour hike in the sun. A long beach, it’s flanked by dunes and green fields. Don your mask because calm conditions make this a great beach for snorkelling. Take a picnic and plenty of water because there are no facilities. Six miles from the town of Es Mercadal, follow signs north towards Cavalleria, turn west to Binimel-la beach, park the car and walk.
Take a glass bottom boat trip along the three-mile inlet of the Port de Mahón to where it meets the Mediterranean. Trips take around an hour. The Yellow Catamarans company has its roots in a family of fishermen from Es Castell.
Gin’s pretty popular these days… if you enjoy sampling artisan varieties at home, you will love the Xoriguer Gin Distillery. For much of the 18th century Menorca was ruled by the British, who introduced the custom of distilling and drinking gin. The only remaining traditional distillery, Xoriguer uses copper stills which are more than 100 years old. You will find it at Moll de Ponent 91, Mahón, it’s free to visit, but closed on Sundays.
Taking place around midsummer’s eve, the Sant Joan Festival in Ciutadella involves processions, mock battles and activities on horseback, culminating in a firework display. Horses are also the high spot of July’s Sant Martí Festival at Es Mercadal. Riders parade through the streets to gather in the main square, where the horses dance to traditional folk music. Actually everyone does this! Sant Jaume Festival, also in July, has entertainment for all in the town square and harbours of Es Castell. Check out the festival dates.
Off the beaten track
Menorca is renowned for its shoe industry, a pretty good excuse to acquire new ‘abarcas’, the simple leather sandals which are the symbol of the island. Fashionable, unisex and comfortable, they lend themselves to individualism and come in a wide choice of colours and designs. Footnote: Jaime Mascaró, one of Spain’s top shoe designers and the man behind the popular Pretty Ballerinas brand, is from Menorca.
Megalithic sites and stone monuments dating back thousands of years cover the countryside, making ideal hiking markers. Remnants of settlements dating back to at least to 2000 BC include T-shaped altars made of huge stone slabs, burial chambers and constructions thought to be watchtowers. The most important sites include Talatí de Dalt, Torre d’en Gaumés and Naveta d’es Tudons.
*All flight times are average and will vary.
Weather in Menorca
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