“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” - Anonymous
Are you looking for a destination for your next family holiday or trip away with friends? Are you looking for white sandy beaches and turquoise waters without having to travel to the other side of the globe?
Head to Menorca (Minorca), one of the best-kept Balearic islands. Majorca’s little sister, the green oasis of Menorca is truly breathtaking and home to many beautiful beaches.
There are dozens of reasons to go to visit the Balearics and Menorca in particular and here are just a few of them.
Discover Exceptional Natural Heritage
Menorca finds itself in a good position since it’s smaller than Majorca but nowhere near as busy as Ibiza, making it the perfect destination for nature-loving tourists looking for quieter islands.
Far from large resort hotels and open-air clubs, Menorca offers a different kind of fun and a holiday here won't be like a trip to Ibiza or Majorca.
UNESCO classified Menorca as a Biosphere Reserve back in 1993. This charming little island is full of hidden gems from romantic creeks and beaches to breathtaking palm-lined landscapes; the perfect island for those who love a good walk.
From the white sands of the Turqueta, Maccarella, or Mitjana beaches in the south to the copper-coloured beaches like Cavalleria or Cala Pilar in the north, the island is one of contrasts. The clear turquoise water of the sea surrounding the island also provides a beautiful contrast to the sand and green vegetation of the island.
It’s only a few hours from the UK by plane, too.
There’s nothing better than speaking to Spanish speakers to improve your mastery of the language. After all, Menorca is part of Spain and while there are many differences between it and the mainland, there are also quite a few things it has in common. For one, the Spanish language is spoken here, albeit alongside Catalan.
We recommend that you learn a bit of Spanish before you go and, if you can, how Spanish is spoken in the Balearics. Spain’s regions also have strong cultural identities and distinct accents to go with them. That said, if you do learn some Spanish before you go, it’ll be appreciated by the locals. After all, the island is famed for its hospitality and the warm welcome that it offers to visitors.
While you’re there, you can certainly work on improving your Spanish.
A Dream Destination for Families
Menorca is one of the best holiday destinations for families in the Mediterranean and there are plenty of things for children to see and do.
The capital city of Mahon has plenty of parks for children to play in. If you’re travelling with younger children, the Es Grau beach near the capital has a lot of shallow water for you to enjoy.
Don’t forget that there are also water parks and the zoo on the island, too.
Those who love history will love the megalithic sites and the Lithica stone quarry has a maze for children to run around in while they learn more about the site.
Menorca is also a great destination for activities such as:
As you can see, Menorca has something for everyone.
Try the Local Food
For such a small island, Menorca has a diverse local cuisine and the local bars and restaurants can offer you everything from meats, cheeses, and pastries. There are local beers and the only gin to have a protected denomination of origin in the Mediterranean.
Of course, as an island, Menorca is also famous for its seafood so if you have the budget for it, try a caldereta, a seafood soup that’s famous on the island. Those with a sweet tooth can enjoy a coca, enseimada, pastissets, or crespells. There’s also paella, sobressada, stuffed aubergines, and almond squid on the menu.
Don’t leave the island before trying Mahón cheese, one of Spain’s best cheeses. There are over 40 different farms where you can try it and visit the facilities where it’s made. Take some home with you.
The Island’s Unmissable Monuments
This small island is home to over 1,500 different prehistoric and archaeological monuments stretching from the time of the Talaiotic Culture to the Bronze Age. You can visit everything from burial sites to impressive megaliths.
There are around 50 different sites including the Naveta d’Es Tudons tomb, the Cala Morell necropolis, or the town of Torre d’en Galmés.
One of the island’s most famous monuments is the Torralba d’en Salort, commonly known as La Taula. This prehistoric village is just a few miles from Alaior in the centre of the island and is an impressive site with a lot of mysteries that scientists are looking to unearth.
To the east of the island, you can visit El Monte Toro with its church and statue of Christ. Once you reach the summit of this small hill, you can enjoy an excellent view over the whole island of Menorca.
The island’s lighthouses have also become famous and all 7 of them have become an important tourist attraction on the island.
To the north of the island, you can visit the Cavalleria Lighthouse, but we recommend taking the “Route of the 7 Lighthouses”, which includes:
- Punta Nati
- Cap d’Artrutx
- Illa de l'Aire
- Sa Farola
- Sant Carles
While initially built to avoid shipwrecks on the island, these lighthouses are still used today while also offering incredible views of the Mediterranean.
One of the best things about Menorca is the population density. With less than 100,000 inhabitants, Menorca enjoys very little light pollution.
People often talk about the sun, sea, and sand, but they forget just how perfect the sky can be at night, too. To the north of the island, for example, you can enjoy incredible views of the night sky.
With so little light pollution, the views of the stars and the Milky Way are incredible and in these places, you can enjoy the calm underneath a blanket of stars. It was classified as a UNESCO Starlight Destination and, of course, before night falls, you can also enjoy the sunset.
Head to Pont d'en Gil to the northwest of the island to watch the sunset over the sea. With the naturally formed stone archway in the cliffs, you can watch the sunlight being scattered across the water.
Of course, there are plenty of other places to enjoy the sunset such as the Cap d’Artrutx or the viewpoint at Des Llenegall De S’estiu and the sunsets here are magnificent.
Walk Around the Picturesque Villages
Don’t forget to visit the small towns and villages on the island. Head to the old town of Ciutadella, the former capital, and enjoy the shade cast in its small streets. You can also enjoy the local market or the port.
Make sure you visit Fornells, too, a lovely fishing town where there are plenty of restaurants to try the catch of the day.
Here are some more reasons to visit Menorca:
- Walk along the Camí de Cavalls.
- Explore the Albufera d'Es Grau nature park.
- Ride a Menorquín horse.
- Visit the Ca n’Oliver Museum
- See the night markets.
- Attend the local events and festivities such as Sant Joan.
- Go to an equestrian show.
- Go on a catamaran trip.
- Rent a car and visit the dunes.
- Party at the Cova d’en Xoroi bar in a cave.
All that’s left for you to do is book your flights and get ready to enjoy one of the best destinations in the Mediterranean. Better to do it now before everyone realises what they’re missing out on as it remains one of the lesser-known destinations safe from swarms of tourists.
It’ll be an unforgettable experience.
If you're looking to brush up on your Spanish or learn some useful expressions before you go, you could always enlist the help of one of the many talented and experienced tutors on Superprof!
No matter where you live, you should be able to find a tutor to teach you Spanish face-to-face, online, or in a group. Each type of tutorial has its pros and cons so think carefully about which option would be best for you.
Face-to-face tutorials are tailored to the students, allowing them to learn exactly what they want and what they need to learn. While these are normally more expensive than the other types of tutorials, they're also the most cost-effective as you can guarantee that every minute of the lesson is spent teaching you what you need to know.
For those on a budget, group tutorials are a good solution, especially if there are a few of you going on a trip and you all need to learn Spanish before you do. While you won't be able to enjoy tailored tutoring, you will be able to share the cost of the tutor's time with the other students in the class.
Finally, if you can't find any tutors working nearby, you can always opt for online tutorials. Since the tutor doesn't need to travel, they'll usually charge less than they would for a face-to-face tutorial and with subjects like foreign languages, online tutorials can be just as effective.