Along with Mallorca and Ibiza, Menorca is one of Spain’s Balearic islands, popular for their picturesque turquoise, pristine beaches and balmy Mediterranean climate. It’s quieter and calmer than its neighbouring islands, making it the perfect family-friendly holiday destination.
The capital, Mahon, is popular to explore on foot. It’s home to some historical buildings and sites that date back to Menorca’s British occupation in the 18th century, like Fort Marlborough and Fortress of Isabel II. You can step back even further in time with a visit to the island’s megalithic stone monuments, which date back to prehistoric times. A good way to experience the history of Menorca is to take a boat trip around Mahon Port, the second deepest natural port in the world.
With its mild Mediterranean climate, Menorca is a popular destination for outdoor activities like boat tours, surfing, sailing and hiking. You can spend the day doing water sports on the beach, watch the sunset from the craggy Cova d’En Xoroi grotto, or take a jeep safari tour of the island.
The beaches in Menorca are some of the most attractive and picturesque in Europe. On this island, you’ll find more than 200km of shoreline and everything from secluded coves to wild beaches covered in volcanic rock. Most of the resorts in Menorca are located in the south, since beaches here are protected from the strong Tramuntana winds, which come from the north. If you’re a sailor or windsurfer, however, you might want to explore the wild and windy northern beaches like Cala Pilar and Cavalleria.
Unsurprisingly, seafood is a major staple of the Menorcan diet. If you visit Menorca with some money to spend, it’s practically obligatory to sample the most popular local dish, a lobster stew called caldereta de llagosta. Other seafood specialties include bacalao ab burrida (cod meatballs) and escopinyes (baked or raw clams).
Thanks to the many herds of cows on the island, dairy is also an important part of the cuisine here. Be sure to try the cheese, which has a salty taste because of the sea salt-covered grass that the cows here feed on.