What to do in Menorca?
To visit Menorca is to discover a magnificent little Balearic island located south of Barcelona, in Spain. Just like its famous neighbour, Majorca, it is full of sublime coves of fine sand and turquoise water.
In this guide to the 17 things to do and see in Menorca, I give you my advice for preparing your stay and not missing any of the unmissable places of interest on this protected island, classified as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
Here you will find the most beautiful beaches in Menorca, the best boat trips and all the activities to do such as a hike on the Cami de Cavalls or the discovery of Talayotic sites. Without forgetting the visit of Mahon and Ciutadella, emblematic cities of the island.
You will see, there are a multitude of places not to be missed during your trip!
So where to go and what to visit in Menorca?
Visit Menorca: the must-sees
We begin this Menorca tourist guide with the capital: Mahon.
The city, which is located in the south-east of Menorca, and more particularly its historic center, is very pleasant for a walk in the pedestrian streets. You will find many shops, cafes and restaurants on the terrace.
I particularly recommend that you go through Carrer de ses Moreres where the Menorca tourist office is also located , Carrer de Hannover and Carrer Nou.
Places of interest to visit in Mahon:
- Le mercat del Claustre: a really cute market with its shops located under the arcades and its terrace located in the old cloister of the church
- The fish market (“mercat des Peix”): divided into 2 parts, there are fresh fish stalls and a gourmet market selling super well presented and very appetizing tapas
- The Menorca Museum on the history of the island. It is located in the former convent of Sant Francesc.
- Portal de Sant Roc: built in the 14th century, it is the only gate that remains of the old walls. It is flanked by 2 towers of different heights.
- The Santa Maria church and its quite impressive organ made up of more than 3200 pipes
- The Ca’n’Oliver: Art and History Center exhibits the history of Mahon and its port, with period maps and furnishings in a beautiful 1800s mansion.
Departing from the port located below the old town, I also advise you to take advantage of your stay in Menorca to take the short one-hour cruise in the bay of Mahon.
You will have beautiful views of the colonial houses, the coves, the small islands and the Mola fortress (which I will tell you about just after). On the boat, you will enjoy historical commentaries given in French.
How to get to Menorca?
If you have chosen to go to Menorca by plane (from Mallorca, Barcelona or another country), it is towards Mahon that you will arrive since the airport is only 5 km from the city center.
For those who preferred to take the ferry to Menorca from Valencia, Barcelona or Majorca, the boat terminal is in Port Mahon, but on the opposite side of the bay from the city.
2. La Mola Fortress
La Mola fortress is one of the must-see places in Menorca.
It was built in 1850, at the very end of the tip of the port of Mahon, to defend it against the various European powers when they realized that the island had become a real strategic enclave, both commercially and military.
Today, it is possible to fully visit this huge, very well-preserved fortress and to take the many underground passages. Throughout the visit, you can also admire beautiful views of the coast.
It has become one of the main tourist attractions in Menorca!
Practical information for visiting the Mola fortress:
- Admission costs €8 per person.
- You can choose to rent an audio guide at an additional cost or scan the QR codes scattered everywhere (free) to have all the explanations on the history of the fortress and the buildings you are going to see.
- Count about 2h30 of visit because the site is really big and be prepared to walk in full sun.
- You can also rent golf carts to explore the exteriors.
The opening hours can be found on the official website.
For your itinerary in Menorca (and in particular to visit the fortress which is not served by any public transport), I recommend that you rent a car. It is clearly the most convenient way to get around Menorca to access all the beaches and take a tour of the island.
To continue in the list of the most beautiful places to visit in Menorca, direction Ciutadella.
Former capital until the 18th century, the second largest city on the island is located to the very west, opposite Mahon.
It has a really very pretty historic center with beautiful buildings, several squares and churches, as well as bourgeois houses with beautiful facades.
Not to be missed in Ciutadella during your trip to Menorca:
- The square of Es Born where there is an obelisk and one of the most beautiful buildings: the town hall
- The mirador located behind the town hall and which offers a view of the port
- Ses Voltes: the main shopping street with its shops under the arcades
- Ciutadella Cathedral in Catalan Gothic style
- The many palaces and stately homes: Palazzo Olivar, Casa Squella, Palazzo Vivo
- The small fish market where you can taste fresh fish and seafood
- The port of Ciutadella for the view of the city and the monuments.
If you are wondering what to do in Menorca with children, I advise you to take them to the old Lithica quarry, located on the road before arriving in Ciutadella.
The visit to the quarry includes a workshop for sculpting stone and a giant labyrinth dug into the quarry itself. The place is really unique and impressive, I found it very original.
If you have decided to visit Menorca with your family, I assure you that everyone will like it!
4. The most beautiful beaches and coves in Menorca
Want to know where to go to the beach in Menorca?
The answer is easy: absolutely everywhere.
On the 200 km long Menorcan coastline, you will find no less than 100 beaches and coves! With white sand and turquoise water, they are all sublime and offer a heavenly setting for a swim.
Unlike Majorca which is much more urbanized, most of the coves are quite wild, with no visible construction around and we love that.
I spare you the list of 100 which would be a bit redundant but here is my selection of the most beautiful beaches to swim in Menorca:
- Cala Mesquida: beautiful sandy beach bordered by a small cape. It is the closest beach to Mahon.
- Es Grau beach: calm and shallow water makes it the ideal beach to go to in Menorca with children
- Sa Caleta: very beautiful cove with turquoise and shallow water. Really beautiful with the view of the tower.
- Cala en Brut: a very beautiful place but there is no real beach. Several concrete platforms have been built to be able to land, jump directly into the water from there or access the water using ladders. Frequented by young people.
- Son Bou Beach: the longest beach on the island
- Cala Algaiarens: a pretty wild beach in the shape of a double cove bordered by dunes and pine forest. Accessible in 5 min on foot from the car park.
- The 4 creeks of Binimel, the most famous of which is Pregonda. Magnificent walk through the creeks with the color contrasts between the red rocks, the trees, the ocher sand and the blue water.
- Cala Mitjana: superb beach in a cove with very translucent water. Access by a very easy 1.2 km path from the car park. It is in the top 5 of the most beautiful beaches of my road trip to Menorca!
- Cala en Turqueta: nestled in the pine forest and accessible in 1 km on foot, it is also one of the prettiest in my opinion.
- Cala Macarella and Macarelleta : very similar to Cala en Turqueta
- Cala de Binidali: very quiet little cove with crystal clear water
- Es Calo Blanc: tiny cove of fine sand and turquoise water with a few rocks to land around.
- Cavalleria beach bordered by clay hills.
5. Boat trip to Menorca
Impossible not to plan at least one boat trip during your tour in Menorca.
A sea trip with swimming stops is the best way to access certain coves and discover the most beautiful corners of the island.
As there are so many different outings, to help you choose, I have prepared my selection of the best boat trips in Menorca below.
On the other hand, you must book well in advance to be sure of having a place because these cruises are among the most popular tourist activities on the island. Reservations are made by clicking on the orange links or the green buttons.
The most beautiful boat trips in Menorca (south coast):
- Day cruise to discover the most beautiful coves on the south coast of Menorca: Son Saura, Cala en Turqueta, Cala Macarella and Cala Macarelleta.
Departing from the port of Ciutadella, you will first join Son Saura for 2 hours of swimming. You will then enjoy a good paella served on board accompanied by a glass of sangria, before leaving for a second swimming stop of 1h30 at Cala Turqueta.
This is for me the best boat trip in Menorca because it allows you to see all the best known coves in the area in one day, which is not really possible to do by car and on foot.
- 3h30 cruise to Son Saura, Es Talaier, Turqueta, Macarella, Macarelleta, Mitjana, Trebaluger, Fustam and Escorxada + 2 stops of 30 min for bathing + aperitif – Departure from Cala Galdana
- 2 hour glass bottom boat trip from Cala Galdana + 1 hour swim
- 2-hour sea trip on a small boat that can accommodate a maximum of ten people – Passage in front of the creeks of the South and a short break for swimming. Departure from Cala Galdana also.
- 3h30 boat trip from Cala’n Bosch including 1 hour of snorkeling
- Boat trip at sunset with complimentary cocktail – From Cala’n Bosh – An excellent choice of activity to do in Menorca as a couple!
The best boat trips in Menorca (north coast – all departures are from Fornells):
- Catamaran cruise on the north coast of Menorca with snorkeling stop – Max of 10 people on the boat – The crew is also super friendly and you will have unlimited drinks.
- Full day sailing trip on beaches only accessible by boat + lunch included – Provision of paddle and masks/snorkels.
- 3h30 cruise on the beaches of the North coast, towards Cap Cavalleria + swimming in Cala Pregonda
- Speed boat trip – 3h – 2 snorkeling stops + aperitif with cheese and charcuterie
- Cruise in Llaut, a typical wooden boat of the Balearic Islands – In small group – If you are wondering what to do in Menorca with friends or family, this is the perfect boat trip! Local aperitif and drinks are included!
- 3-hour sea trip at sunset – Speed boat.
- Sailboat sunset cruise
- Menorca Sunset Private Boat Tour
6. Diving in Menorca
Why not take advantage of your holidays in Menorca to try out a great activity: scuba diving.
If you have never dived before, I really advise you to take advantage of your visit to Menorca to do a first dive. You will follow a short theoretical course before choosing your equipment and taking the boat to go diving in the marine reserve located in the north of the island.
The reserve is home to many species including groupers, scorpionfish, octopus and lobsters.
The baptism that I have selected for you is a real baptism, that is to say that you will then spend about 1 hour under water with your instructor.
The dive center is 20 minutes north of Mahon.
For those who already have their diving certification, here is the list of the most beautiful diving spots in Menorca:
- Cagaires: a set of natural galleries on 3 levels
- S’Embut de S’Algar and its 2 interconnecting caves
- Cape del Bisbe pour observador des barracudas
- Llosa dels Ocellers with lots of tunnels and caves
- Pont d’en Gil: a 200 meter long cave full of stalactites and stalagmites
- The wreck of the Francisquita, a Spanish freighter sunk in 1952
- The wreck of the steamer, the Malakoff.
7. Activities to do in Menorca
Discover my selection of the best activities to do in Menorca!
If you want more details on each of them (prices, duration, reservations), do not hesitate to click on the links in orange below:
- Jet Ski Excursion on the North Coast of Menorca – Duration 1 hour
- Snorkeling trip in the caves of Macarella and in the superb cove of Cala Trebaluger, in the south of Menorca. You will be taken to the snorkeling sites by boat from Cala Galdana.
- 2-hour snorkeling trip in the marine reserve
- Kayak excursion with an instructor departing from Fornells (North). Passage at the foot of the cliffs, in the caves and swimming stop at the beach of S’Arenelet.
- South Cliffs and Caves Kayak Tour, from Cala en Porter
- Guided Sunset Kayak Tour from Fornells
- 2-hour paddle outing with an instructor, in the bay of Fornells
- Day trip in 4*4 on track and off the beaten track.
- Horseback riding: several equestrian centers organize rides along the Cami de Cavalls.
8. The Cami de Cavalls – Hiking in Menorca
Visiting Menorca on foot is also one of the best ways to discover sublime landscapes and access the most beautiful coves on the island.
The most famous hiking trail in Menorca is the Cami de Cavalls (or GR223) which allows you to walk all around Menorca along the seaside.
185 km long, it is divided into 20 stages ranging from 5 to 14 km. If you want to walk the whole route, it takes 10 days of walking* starting from Mahon and taking the path in an anti-clockwise direction.
Of course, you don’t have to do the whole route, you can also do it on smaller hikes in Menorca and reach your favorite coves.
For example, I really enjoyed walking on the section that goes from Binimel to Pregonda and on the section from Son Saura beach to Cala Trebaluger.
*Note that the Cami de Cavalls can also be traveled by bike or on horseback.
9. The viewpoint of Monte Toro
Among the main places of interest in Menorca, I recommend that you climb to the viewpoint of Monte Toro.
The highest point of the island, at 358 meters high, offers a superb panorama over a good part of Menorca and the bay of Fornells. And if you are lucky enough that the sky is clear, you can even see Mallorca.
The Monte Toro viewpoint is located in the center of the island and can be reached by car in 5 minutes from the village of Es Mercadal.
On site you will find free parking, a small restaurant/café with a terrace, ideal for enjoying the view, a souvenir shop and the sanctuary of the Virgin (the patron saint of Menorca).
10. The most beautiful villages in Menorca
There are some pretty typical villages not to be missed in Menorca:
- Sant Climent and its small church with a white and yellow facade
- Es Castell and its fishing port lined with restaurants that are among the best on the island to taste fresh fish and seafood
- Sant Lluis which is also home to excellent restaurants to eat in Menorca: La Caraba and Sa Pedrera des Pujols. I also advise you to go through the Bodegas Binifadet which offers guided tours of the cellar and wine tastings.
- Alaior for a random stroll through the alleys of the medieval city, without failing to pass by the church of Santa Eulalia, the Salort palace and the convent of San Diego where the tourist office is located.
- Ferreries where you can stroll through the narrow streets of the historic center.
- Es Mercadal: which I found really cute with its white-fronted houses with traditional Menorcan architecture and the main square surrounded by cafes and 2 good bakeries: Cas Sucrer and Forn de sa Plaça.
I end with Fornells, an authentic village with its fishing boats at the edge of the water where one of the most famous Menorcan traditional dishes is served: caldereta de langosta, a kind of lobster stew.
The 2 best restaurants offering this dish in Fornells are Sa Llagosta and Es Cranc (reservation required).
I also advise you to go to the Fornells tower to admire the view of the village and the Cavalleria lighthouse.
11. Lighthouses to see in Menorca
Let’s continue this top things to do in Menorca by discovering the lighthouses.
The 7 lighthouses of the island still in activity naturally retain their primary function of guiding ships, but 3 of them have above all become over time tourist sites in Menorca in their own right. So much so, that today we talk about the route of the lighthouses of Menorca.
If you have decided to visit the North of Menorca, I advise you to go:
- At the Cavalleria lighthouse: built in 1857 following more than 700 shipwrecks, it is the oldest lighthouse on the island. It offers a superb view of the entire North Coast and the interior houses an interpretation center on the history and construction of lighthouses.
- At the Favaritx lighthouse on the North East coast. During my visit, the lighthouse was battered by the winds. Surrounded by gray rocks and without any vegetation, it felt like being at the end of the world. It is a very different landscape from the rest of the island.
South of Menorca, you can also go and see the Artrutx lighthouse, famous for the view of Majorca that you can admire. You can also take the opportunity to have a drink on the terrace of the bar in the former caretaker’s house.
These 3 lighthouses are among the most beautiful places in Menorca to admire the sunset.
12. The natural park of S’Albufera des Grau
If you’re still wondering what to see in Menorca, head to the S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park.
This protected natural area is renowned for being home to a wide variety of bird species : herons, cormorants, coots, osprey and even eagles.
3 routes on foot allow you to cover it (the map is available at the visitor reception center located next to the car park but otherwise it is well indicated):
- Viewpoint of Cala Llimpa – 1700 meters – 40 minutes walk
- Santa Madrona – 2800 meters – 75 minutes
- Sa Gola – 2200 meters – 40 minutes
On the other hand, I prefer to warn you that there are just a few viewpoints over the stretch of water, but overall, I didn’t find it super interesting and I didn’t see any birds. It must also be said that it was extremely hot that day and that the trails were in full sun, so that immediately made the walk a little less pleasant.
But don’t hesitate to tell me in the comments if you enjoyed the visit.
To refresh yourself, you can then reach the pretty beach of Es Grau. From there, it is also possible to take a boat shuttle to the island of Colom, located just opposite.
The boat will drop you off at one of the 2 beaches on the island: Els Tamarells beach or Arenal d’en Moro beach and all you have to do is relax and enjoy the crystal clear water.
If you are passionate about ornithology, the tourist office offers a map showing several routes where you can go bird watching in Menorca.
In addition to the Es Grau lagoon, you will find routes to Son Bou beach, to Cap de Favaritx (cliffs of Mongofre and salt flats of Addaia), around Cap de Cavalleria, to La Vall and in the Barranc of Algendar.
For the latter, it is possible to see several raptors. And even if there is none, I found the walk along the bottom of the Gorges easy, nice and pleasant because it was quite shaded.
13. Pont d’en Gill
I have already told you that the lighthouses are one of the most beautiful places to admire the sunset.
But if you want to take advantage of your visit to Menorca to witness this spectacle, you can also go to Pont d’en Gill.
This stone arch, accessible in 10 minutes on foot from the car park via the Cami de Cavalls, is very popular with photo enthusiasts when the sun begins its descent.
14. Visit Menorca: Talayotic sites
What to see in Menorca if you are interested in history and archaeology?
Visit Talayotic sites!
If you have never heard this word before, I reassure you, I did not know it either before leaving for Menorca. Talayotic is a period of prehistory ranging from 1050 to 123 BC.
The Talayotic sites of Menorca have a unique architecture, they are composed of large blocks of limestone stacked on top of each other with nothing to bind them together.
There are mainly 3 different types of monuments: the talayots, the jails and the navetes. For these last 2, they are classified as unique in the world. Even in Mallorca, nothing similar has been discovered.
The main Talayotic sites to visit in Menorca:
- The Talayotic village of Talati de Dalt: one of the best preserved on the island
- La Naveta des Tudons: a funerary monument inside which dozens of bones were found
- The necropolis of Cala Morell: a set of caves carved into the rock, used as a necropolis
- The Talayotic village of Trepuco, one of the largest in Menorca
- The Talayotic village of Torre d’en Galmés is home to several talayots, burial caves, houses and a taula.
15. Cycle tourism in Menorca
As I told you, it is possible to visit Menorca by bike, in particular by taking the Cami de Cavalls path.
Most of the routes do not present any particular difficulties because unlike its neighbor Majorca, Menorca does not have a high altitude summit (the highest point being Monte Toro) and the differences in altitude are therefore never pronounced.
The Council of Menorca has also set up the cycle tourism route (“ruta cicloturistica”), a marked route to cross the island by bicycle from Ciutadella to Sant Lluis.
The route is 69.9 km or about 6h10. It is doable in one day but you can also divide it into several stages ranging from 6 to 19 km.
16. Taste the gastronomy of Menorca
We continue this guide to Menorca with some local specialties that you absolutely must try:
- Mahon-Menorca cheese, the only one in all the Balearic Islands to have received a PDO. Recognizable by its square shape with rounded ends and its orange crust. If you feel like it, you can take part in a cheese-making workshop by clicking here!
- Soubressade: a pork sausage
- The carn-i-xulla: sausage made with meat and pork bacon + spices
- Crespells: shortbread filled with jam and covered with icing sugar
- Ensaïmadas: a spiral-shaped pastry sprinkled with icing sugar. Those with a sweet tooth will try the version filled with chocolate or cream.
- The rubiols: from viande ou de poisson empanadas
- La caldereta de Llagosta: a lobster casserole. The best restaurants to taste it are those of Fornells.
- Oliagua: a soup made with tomatoes, onions, peppers, water and oil
- Stuffed carabassons: usually aubergines and courgettes stuffed with a mixture of tomatoes, onions, peppers, breadcrumbs and eggs
- The arros de la terra which is in fact made not from rice but from wheat semolina accompanied by potatoes and pork
- The wine: local production bears the guarantee label “Vi de la Terra Illa de Menorca”
- Xoriguer gin: a gin produced only in Menorca and with a truly distinctive taste. Tell me what you thought of it!
17. The best hotels in Menorca
Finally, I have prepared for you my selection of the best hotels to sleep in Menorca according to your budget.
Even if you have planned an itinerary in Menorca for a week or more, you do not necessarily need to change accommodation several times. The island is not very big, it is possible to radiate quite easily.
The best hotels near Mahon
- Eurohotel: Located in the heart of Mahon, this small, unpretentious establishment offers fairly basic but very clean rooms from €110 per night. Most: the friendliness of the staff, the location close to the city center.
- Catalonia Mirador des Port: Located not far from the Menorca Museum, in the center of Mahon. Spacious and comfortable double room with a nice view from 130€ per night. Most: the swimming pool, the jacuzzi, the varied breakfast.
- ARTIEM Capri: Modern and well-equipped double room, with comfortable bedding, from €160, breakfast included. The pluses: the swimming pool and jacuzzi on the roof, cold drinks and unlimited free snacks served in the Green space, the hearty breakfast. One of the best hotels to sleep in Menorca!
- Bordoy Casa Ládico – Hotel Boutique Adults Only: This 5* hotel offers superb suites with terrace, with refined decoration from €330 per night, breakfast included. Most: the caring staff, intimate hotel, the swimming pool, the homemade breakfast and to the minute. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Mahon.
The best hotels near Ciutadella and surroundings
- Hostel Menorca: Hostel located in the center of Ciutadella. Bed in dormitory from 30€ per night. Ideal for cheap accommodation in Menorca.
- Prinsotel La Caleta : Located 5 minutes walk from the beach. Super comfortable and bright double room or apartment, with balcony, from €150 per night, breakfast included. Most: the beautiful pool area and its garden, the setting, the calm, the excellent breakfast. It is our favorite for its performance / price ratio!
- Aparthotel Ferrer Skyline: Located just in front of the sea and 1 km from the historic center of Ciutadella. Modern, very spacious 1 to 3 bedroom apartment with terrace that can accommodate up to 6 people, from €180 per night. Most: the swimming pools, the view, the cleanliness, the calm. A great hotel to stay in Menorca with the family!
- Hotel Playa Santandria Adults Only : Located 5 meters from Cala Santandria cove. Double room with balcony and some with sea view, from €180, breakfast included. Most: the exceptional location on the beach, the very good breakfast, the calm.
- Faustino Gran Relais & Chateaux : Superb luxury hotel located in a magnificent 17th century building. Everything is elegant, refined and neat. Double room from €400 per night, breakfast included. The pluses: the decoration, the quality of the catering, the swimming pools, the spa, the concierge. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Ciutadella!
Where to sleep on the south coast of Menorca
- Son Bou Playa Gold: Located 10 min walk from the large beach of Son Bou. Several small houses divided into apartments. The superior apartments have been refurbished and fitted out with taste, from 80€ per night. Most: the calm, the swimming pool, well equipped, numerous parking spaces. It is our favorite for its price/performance ratio in Menorca!
- Seth Mestral & Llebeig: Located 100 meters from Santo Tomas beach. Recent, functional and well-equipped apartments with 1 to 3 bedrooms from €120 per night. It is also possible to book half-board. The pluses: the large well-maintained swimming pools, the games for children, the beach right next to it. If you have chosen to visit Menorca with children, this is the perfect accommodation!
- Menorca Binibeca by Pierre & Vacances Premium Adults Only: Located in the village of Binibeca. Cozy double room with kitchenette, jacuzzi bath and large terrace from €160, breakfast included. Most: the breathtaking sea view, the superb setting, the swimming pools, the good breakfast buffet.
- ARTIEM Audax – Adults Only: Located in Cala Galdana, just 2 minutes from the beach. Double room from €240, breakfast included. Most: the spa area with its indoor pools and saunas, the outdoor pool, the magnificent view.
- Melia Cala Galdana: Located on the beautiful beach of Cala Galdana, this 5* hotel offers very cozy rooms with large bay windows and balconies with sea views from €310 per night, breakfast included. Most: the indoor and outdoor pools, the friendliness of the staff, the excellent quality of the breakfast, the incredible view. This is our recommendation for a luxury hotel in the south of Menorca!
Accommodation in the North of Menorca
- Hostal La Palma : Located on the marina of Fornells. Fairly spacious double room with balcony overlooking the swimming pool and the garden from €110. Most: 2 swimming pools, great location, very quiet, free parking.
- TRH Tirant Playa : Located 5 min walk from Cala Tirant, in Fornells. Pleasant apartment with kitchenette from €130 per night. Most: tranquility, sea view, cleanliness.
- White Sands Beach Club By Diamond Resorts : Located in Arenal d’En Castell, on the edge of the beach. Apartment with 1 to 2 bedrooms, modern and well equipped from 185€ per night. The pluses: the quality of the welcome, the swimming pool with a view of the bay, the comfort.
- Comitas Tramontana Park : Located in Fornells, right by the sea. Aparthotel offering spacious 3-bedroom accommodation with fully equipped kitchen and lounge area, from €200, breakfast included. Most: the beautiful swimming pool, the magnificent sunset from the terrace, the good restaurant buffet, the entertainment.
What to do in Menorca: the tourist map
To help you visualize the island a little better, I made you a tourist map of Menorca listing the places to visit that I talk about in this top 17 things to do in Menorca. You can display the map legend by clicking on the top left button with a small arrow.
And you, what are the places of interest that tempt you for your trip to Menorca?