Here’s a list of the 15 best things to do in Menorca in Spain, along with famous landmarks, museums, and other points of interest.
Menorca is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Spain, known for its scenic bays and beaches as well as Mahón, a local cheese that has become famous worldwide.
It’s a Spanish island that is located north of Mallorca in the Balearic archipelago. But despite its natural beauty and rich history, relatively few tourists venture here. With a little under 100,000 local residents, Menorca is the perfect getaway for a relaxing vacation where you can enjoy endless beaches and a slower pace of life.
In this article, I’m sharing some of the best places to visit in Menorca as well as attractions and activities that shouldn’t be missed while visiting.
Possibly the most famous cala, or cove, of all the Balearic Islands, this small, circular beach has the most beautiful turquoise water and lovely white sand.
Hidden among pine trees, you must walk about 10 minutes to get to the beach from your car. In high season, the Cala Turqueta can be quite crowded, so it’s recommended to get there before midday.
The beach does have bathrooms nearby and a lifeguard, making it a good option for families as well.
Santa Maria Cathedral
This church, in the middle of the city of Ciutadella, is known as the Catedral de Santa María de Ciudadela and is in fact consecrated as a basilica. The Cathedral of Menorca, as many call it, was built in the 14th-century atop the former Muslim mosque, in the Catalán Gothic style.
Its various chapels are beautiful, but the most prized is the Capilla de las Animas, with its 18th-century Baroque style. It is the site of many classical music concerts as well as being the seat of the parish.
Museo Etnologico Molí de Dalt
These spectacular windmills in the town of San Luis house an ethnological museum, as well as being a landmark in their own right. Of three windmills, the Molí de Dalt is the only one still standing today, a picturesque blue and white structure.
It is made up of 140 square meters, divided over three floors, which houses a collection of agrarian instruments and pieces used previously to grind wheat in the windmills.
Cala del Pilar
This 240-meter beach in the north of the island is quite difficult to reach. Valued for its privacy, as well as its reddish-gold sand and crystal clear water, the beach is beautiful and peaceful, and really worth a visit.
To get to it, you must park and hike for 45 minutes. Be sure the north wind isn’t blowing during your visit, as this Cala is very exposed to it and when it blows, the waves become big and the beach dirty.
Eat Mahón cheese
Mahón cheese is one of the island’s most delicious delicacies and something that you absolutely must try when visiting Menorca. It’s a Spanish cheese made from cows’ milk, it is produced with nearly all the milk made on the island (from about 600 farms).
You can find everything from young (semi-aged) to old (a ten-month aging process). The cheese is pillow-shaped with orange rinds, thanks to the rubbing they receive of olive oil, butter, and paprika.
Young Mahón cheese has a dense, moist texture, and the older, aged cheese is more crumbly. The taste is buttery and salty, thanks to the terroir of the island.
Mahon, the capital city of Menorca, is home to one of the world’s largest natural ports. Over six kilometers long, the port is strategically located on the Mediterranean, which made it important throughout the years for trade and communication.
Nowadays, the port plays an important role in the city’s tourism. It holds some interesting landmarks, such as the Club Nautico, the Isla del Rey, and the Isla Plana islands, various marinas, and more.
If there were one cala, or cove beach, that represented Menorca, Cala Macarelleta would be it. One of the most photographed places on the island and most well-known beaches, Macarelleta is just gorgeous.
White sands, crystal clear water, rocky cliffs surrounding brushed with pine trees—it is fit for (and, indeed, appears on many) a postcard. In summer, the cala can only be reached by foot or public transportation, as it becomes popular and crowded.
For many, Ciutadella is the most picturesque city on Menorca. Located on the west coast of the island, the city was settled by the Carthaginians. The city is made up of a port, quite charming in its own right, and a stunning old quarter.
A visit to Ciutadella is best spent walking its streets, stopping to eat at the restaurants on the water, and just marveling at the beautiful historic buildings and architecture.
The city’s plazas are also beautiful, especially Placa d’es Born, and the Plaça Libertat has a covered market. Strolling through the historic streets of Ciutadella is definitely one of the best things to do in Menorca.
Lazaretto (Isla del Lazareto)
The island of Lazareto sits at the entrance of the Port of Mahon, and it is one of the island’s most incredible sights. The island holds a unique architectural wonder, built at the end of the 18th century—a Lazareto.
These so-called buildings were constructed for quarantines, and this one was created to prevent plagues from the arriving ships from infiltrating Menorca. In 1919, it closed, and in 1993 it was declared a protected monument.
You can take a guided visit of the impressive facilities to learn more about Isla del Lazareto and its history as “the quarantine island”.
Fortaleza De Isabel II
Located on the La Mola peninsula, the fortress of Isabel II offers spectacular views of the entire island, from the Port of Mahon to the island’s north coast.
Thanks to Menorca’s importance on the trade route from the Orient, no price was spared in the construction of this fortress. Originally built in the 1800s, it is quite well preserved.
The fortress also goes by the name Mola Fortress (Fortaleza de la Mola) and if you’re interested to learn more details about its history and importance, there are guided tours available.
Bodegas Binifadet is one of Menorca’s outstanding wineries. They offer visits to the vineyards, the winery itself, and they even open a wine bar in the summer.
The bodega boasts a restaurant, which specializes in the local cuisine of the island. The winery grows everything from cabernet sauvignon to syrah to merlot and is located on a beautiful terrain in Sant Lluís.
Es Grau National Park
This national park is a full 2,000 hectares of natural beauty. Whether you are seeking beautiful views of the sea, a variety of flora and fauna, or natural landscapes, S’Albufera d”es Grau has it.
The lagoon in the national park is a fabulous place to birdwatch. There are also unique species, such as the Balearic lizard.
Take in the views from Monte Toro
Monte Toro is the highest point on the island of Menorca. Although it only comes in at 358 meters, it towers over the tiny island, which is less than 700 square kilometers.
The name, “Bull Mountain”, comes from a legend that says a bull used to guard the top of the mountain, and one evening he led monks to an image of the Virgin Mary.
A sanctuary was built on the spot, and it is currently a pilgrimage site. The beautiful church is open daily for visits. There is a defense tower nearby, as well, that dates back to medieval times.
Torralba d’en Salord Talaiotic Village
This perfectly preserved example of a Talaiotic village dates back to 1000BC. The Talaiotic culture were the first inhabitants of the Balearic Islands, and Menorca is full of their monuments—over 1500 of them.
The monuments in Torralba d’en Salord include caves, a taula, and a hall. The beautiful remains of the taula, a T-shaped monument used in worship, are in fabulous condition today.
Just outside of Mahon, Binibeca is a village built by the architect Antonio Sintes Mercadal. The village is a project that aimed to recreate a traditional fishing village, and it dates back to the early 1970s.
The buildings have a Moorish touch, and the streets are cobbled lanes and picturesque whitewashed houses, making it a postcard-perfect place to visit.
Binibeca was built to attract artists, and indeed it did. Francesc Poch Romeu, an important Spanish artist, fell in love with the village and used it as a subject for his canvases often.
Interesting facts about Menorca
- It is believed that mayonnaise was invented here in the 18th century, Salsa Mahonesa.
- Menorca has the second-largest natural harbor in the world. Only Pearl Harbor in Hawaii is larger.
- The whole island has been declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
- Menorca has more stretches of beach than Ibiza and Mallorca together
- There are more than 1500 megalithic sites on the island of Menorca.
- Menorquins (the locals) are the first Spaniards to see the sun rising every day.
- Gin is very popular on the island these days, a legacy from the British rule in the 18th century.
- Menorquín is the local island language, considered a Catalan dialect by many.
- It’s possible to walk the entire circumference of the island
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