The least populated of the Balearic Islands, Menorca offers a more sedate pace of life than some other Spanish holiday destinations, yet has just as much to explore and experience. Above: Son Bou, Menorca Photo credit
Arenal d’en Castell
This popular destination is located north of Alaior and is a winner for people on holiday with young children. The arched beach has soft, golden sand and calm, warm waters making it ideal for the little ones to play safely. This beach is also popular for watersports; windsurfing and water-skiing are available as well as pedaloes for hire. The town itself has everything you would expect of a major holiday resort; there are a variety of restaurants serving everything from tapas to pizza. Some of Arenal d’en Castell’s hotels also have live entertainment in the evenings that anyone can attend.
Set on the edge of the sea with a maze of narrow streets and tiny squares, Binibeca has developed into one of the most complete and popular resorts on the island. To one end of the resort is the lovely fishermans village, Poblat de Pescadors, where all the buildings are uniformly whitewashed and look completely harmonious. There are narrow alleys and small courtyards with shops, a church and marketplace. Beautiful planting of palms, orange trees and the ever-present, vivid bougainvillea make it a very popular place to visit.
Only around 10 minutes drive from Mahon along the north-eastern harbour coast line Cala Llonga looks across to Mahon and Es Castell, and almost every villa has been built to maximise the spectacular views that the hillside affords. Until recently it was entirely residential, but there are now a couple of local shops. Also perfectly situated for access to the beautiful protected bay of Mesquida.
One of the first resorts to be built on the island, and probably the largest. Calen Porter has the facilities to keep everyone from toddlers to teenagers and older independent travellers entertained. The setting is quite dramatic with the sandy beach almost enclosed by high cliffs. A wide array of services is available within the resort with supermarkets, post office, medical centre, restaurants, bars and famous night club set in the cliffs. Young and old alike enjoy the mini train which tours the resort and there are other various play areas. Suitable for all the family.
At 150m above sea level, Ferreries is the highest town in Menorca sited next to the island’s second highest mountain S’Enclusa. This sleepy town is typical of Menorca and is known primarily for shoe and furniture manufacture, some of which is available from factory shops along the main road. The farmers’ market held each Tuesday and Friday is also ideal for picking up authentic local produce. Although not an obvious tourist destination, the opening of the Museu de la Natura makes this a nautal centre for rural tourism. In the heart of Menorcan countryside, Ferreries is the ideal starting point for walking holidays or tranquil stays.
Port Addaya is a small community on the northern coast of Menorca, with a compact centre of shops, supermarket, restaurants, and a harbour all within easy walking distance of each other. It is largely uncommercialised and apart from the centre is purely residential. Just a few minutes drive away is Na Macaret, with a pretty harbour and tiny beach, an unspoilt fishing village on the north coast of Menorca. The village with its intimate square, surrounded by converted fishermen’s cottages also boasts three high quality restaurants, all of which are situated in the village square.
Son Parc is a relatively new development and is still expanding. It is situated on the north of the island amid gently rolling hills and pine forests. The beach has a fine expanse of white sand with a beach bar and various water sport activities, including windsurfers, pedalos and canoes. The resort has a good selection of shops, bars and restaurants, a chemist and disco. Son Parc also features an 18-hole golf course, the only one on the island and is open all year round. The course, already considered championship quality, was recently extended to 18 holes, and was designed by the man who also designed The Belfry, Dave Thomas, an ex-Ryder cup player.
S’Algar was one of the first purpose built tourist resorts in Menorca and features two hotels, four low height apartment complexes mixed in with lots of private villas. S’Algar is a haven for watersport enthusiasts. Club S’Algar Diving, provides water skiing, windsurfing and jet skiing. Divers can be hired too to help you explore the underwater caves and coral reefs along this favourite part of the coastline for divers. S’Algar is unusual in that it and has no beach but provides some attractive sunbathing platforms and access to the sea for swimming.
Son Bou has the longest beach on Menorca boasting almost 4 kilometres of golden sand and beautiful turquoise waters. Son Bou, in one of the most unspoilt parts of the island, is surrounded by rolling hills and countryside. Son Bou’s position half way along the south coast makes it ideal for exploring the island. It’s only a 30 minute drive to both Mahon and Ciutadella the former capital. This resort has the perfect pace for families looking to lap up some quality time in front of the Mediterranean complete with a whole host of activities to make your days breeze by nature lovers will appreciate the rugged countryside surrounding the Son Bou resort.
Sant Tomas is a small resort, adjacent to Son Bou, which has grown up beside the long beach, perfect for swimming and water sports. There is a good selection of restaurants, supermarkets and shops. Santo Tomas appeals to families with young children looking for a quiet time on the beach. It is also popular with older couples looking for relaxing days in the sun followed by warm, mellow evenings. The beach has a range of water sporting facilities which attracts the more energetic holiday maker.