Menorca, the pearl of the Balearics

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Menorca is the second largest island of the Balearic archipelago. It is located in the Mediterranean Sea and is known for it’s beautiful beaches. It is easily reachable by plane, with direct flights from several cities, like for example: Madrid and Barcelona. It also has connection by boat or plane, with neighboring Mallorca.

It is an island of easy movement, with major roads in good condition and with much signage, so my advise is to hire a car. If you come in search of nightlife, take note that during the summer there are some clubs to dance and to take a drink, but the truth is that this island is most attended by families, gays and nudists.

TO VISIT:

Ciutadella – One of the main cities is on the west part of the island. With typical buildings, a lot of brand stores and also stores with typical products, you can visit the city on foot. The most interesting points are: Puerto (marina with several restaurants and where the nightlife is), Cathedral, Ses Voltes, Plaza des Born (main square that usually has a market during weekend) and Salort Palace (used as City Council).

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Monte Toro – is the highest point, where you can have a panoramic view of the island. It also has a church, a restaurant and a gift shop. It can be reached through Ferreries locality and the road is in good conditions. I went there by car, but there are some brave souls who do the path walking.

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Cova den Xoroi – near Cala Porter. There’s signs pointing the place and is one of the most beautiful place to see the sunset. Built in a cave, it works as a bar and disco. You have to pay to enter: sunset from 5p.m. to 9.30p.m. costs 12.50 euros (same price for adults and children), but entitled to a drink. At 11p.m. open as disco at the cost of 20 euros.

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CAP Favaritux – has a lighthouse and from here you can reach on foot the beaches Cala den Tortuga and Cala Presili. The lighthouse is the perfect setting for wonderful photos.

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Binibequer Bell – fishing village all recovered, painted in white, in “dollhouses” style with labyrinthine streets. Around every corner there is a sign with the inscription “silence please”. It is next to a harbor with fishing boats and has a small bridge that separates it from a luxury hotel. Here you can feel relaxed  and that made me want to stay there a few days…

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THE BEACHES

South Beaches – are the ones with white sand, clear water and warmer temperature.

Cala den Bosc – clear and warm water, white sand and good infrastructure. It’s a good choice for families, because it is near hotels. This area has a lot of shops and is next to an harbour. The beache have parasols.

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Son Xoriguer – for me one of the most beautiful beaches on many levels, it’s easy access, as it is in a hotel zone next to Cala den Bosc, and the warm water have many shades of blue. Unfortunately I visited it on a rainy day, but I put my feet on water and it was very hot.

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Cala Saint Thomas – near a hotel zone, with clear sand and with support structure. Walking to the right you can easily reach other beaches, including Cala Binigaus. With parasols.

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Cala Binigaus – very good beach, the sand is not so clear, but the water remains excellent. Very popular beach for nudists and gay / lesbian couples. No parasols.

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Playa Arenal d’en Castell – long sandy beach, with a lot of hotels for families. Water and sand very good and with support structures. With parasols.

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Cala Mitjana – just before Cala Galdana and with a free parking. Park your car and then follows a path made through the woods, where you walk about 25 minutes, but well worth it, because for me was the most beautiful. Tip: You can cut path through the forest without following the marked path. Save half the time. The beach is small, with white sand and clear water and no waves. Has no support structure, so take food and water if you want to spend the day. No parasols.

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Cala Galdana – great beach, with known hotel chains. Large trade area and very beautiful surroundings. With parasols.

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There is a set of very crowded beaches, because they are the most beautiful of the island, close to the public when the parking is full. Excuse to force entry, it has two employees on the road, controling the number of cars, counting them. Try to get there before 9a.m., because after that, it’s difficult to have a free spot. These beaches are: Cala Macarella, the “daughter” Cala Macarelleta that is achieved through Macarella by a path on the rocks, Cala Turqueta, Es Talaier and Son Saura.

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Cala Macarella – great beach, with support from the restaurant, but to get there you have to walk about 20 minutes through the forest. Beautiful sand and water, often used by families.

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Cala Macarelleta – in the bay next to the Macarella, it can be reached through a path with a breathtaking view. Small beach without support structure and no parasols. Full of people, but the interesting thing is that people don’t stay long. Clear and transparent beach. There were some fish who liked to peck in the legs, but not hurt.

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Cala Turqueta – considered one of the most beautiful, but or you go soon to park the car or have to walk: 30 minutes from Macarelleta or nearly an hour from Son Saura. Beautiful, clear water and white sand as well. It has trees that help in time to seek shade, because it has no support structure or parasols.

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Cala es Talaier – in the middle of Cala Turqueta and Son Saura (30 minutes to walk the trail Cami de Cavalls, which has many rocks, or you can cut through the middle of the forest and that takes 15 minutes). Small beach with no support structure or parasols, but very beautiful.

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Son Saura – easy access, because it have a free car parking near. It seemed windier, so the water is more agitated.

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Son Bou – very long beach where you can do nice walks. It has support structure and the typical sun umbrella rental with two chaise longue for 15 euros a day, equal to the price of the other beaches. It also has free parking and a shopping area.

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Playa den Tortuga – over 2 kilometers walk from the CAP Favaritx. Transparent and beautiful water.

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Playa Presili – also reachable from the CAP Favaritx, but is before Playa den Tortuga. I only saw this beach at the distance, because it rained a lot on the day I visited her.

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North Beach – these beaches are characterized by colder water and red sand with volcanic rocks. They are very beautiful and many different from the south beaches. It worth seeing.

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I saw this sheeps when I was going to the north beaches

Binimell – with parking nearby. I stretched and bathed me and I loved it! Beware of small stones on the way to the water. The nice thing is that in the water you can see colorful fish even without snorkeling gear and your feet will be based on rocks with maritime flora, that don’t cut you. I am very picky about the water temperature, but loved it!

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Cala Pregonda – reachable on foot, a 20 minute walk from Binimell.The path is very beautiful, prepare to be amazed. This beach have a color diversity: green trees, blue water and red sand. It was the most different beach that I saw on the island. It has no support structure.

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TIPS

  • Stay in Ciutadella and from there explore the island. You can rent the house for example at AirBnB .
  • Car rental with Auto Xoroi. They will the car at the airport, without having to be in queue. I paid for seven days by a Fiat Punto with normal coverage +  tires + glass + wheels = 138 euros.
  • Bring food to the most secluded beaches.
  • Bring good shoes for hiking, because there are “hidden” beaches  and you only have access by bumpy paths.
  • Be sure to taste the typical gin of the island, Son Xoriguer and the artisan cheese.
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