Menorca is the most low-key of the Balearic Islands, with exquisite beaches and historic towns rather than world famous night clubs.
The island boasts stereotypically beautiful shorelines, ranging from calm seawater pools suitable for children to secluded coves with rocks to dive from.
Although it cannot compete with Ibiza’s nightlife, Menorca’s vibrant bars and restaurants are certainly worth a visit. For example, ‘Cova d’en Xorio’ nestles inside caves high above the sea in Cala en Porter and is the perfect bar for drinking in a gorgeous sunset. A local favourite drink is gin mixed with bitter lemon known as a ‘pomada’.
The cuisine comprises mainly fresh and healthy Mediterranean produce. To fit in with the locals, remember that lunch is usually 2pm and dinner is hardly ever before 9pm. Look out for the delicious local Mahon cheese or sweets known as ‘flaons’.
Menorca’s scenery is fantastic for cycling as the landscape is mainly flat with 216km of stunning coastline. Whilst touring the island, make sure you visit Old Ciutadella in the west. Here you can stroll down cobbled streets and admire the colonial architecture. There’s also a delightful market selling fresh, local fish.
A great time to see Ciutadella is during the energetic ‘Festes de Sant Joan’ in late June. A three day festival which involves men parading sheep, riding well-groomed horses, jousting and firework displays.
If visiting the capital in the east, Mahon, then a trip to nearby Fort Marlborough is a must. Built in the 18th Century by the British, this landmark gives a fascinating insight into Menorca’s colonial past.
Barcelona, Valencia and Mallorca provide ferry routes taking you to Ciutadella and Mahon. Sailing from Alcudia and Palma in Mallorca lasts around 2 hours with frequent services. The port in Barcelona offers high speed ferries to Ciutadella and Mahon, whilst ferries from Valencia take around half a day with 1 sailing a week.
These routes are operated by Balearia, Trasmediterranea and Iscomar, whose fleets comprise large, comfortable and reliable ferries.