In the heart of the Mediterranean, the Balearic archipelago has undergone an eventful history, made up of invasions and reconquests. The inhabitants of Menorca have been able to take advantage of this to build an identity apart, which combines respect for difference, sensitivity to the environment and a certain taste for the festive. Here is a short guide for those who want to enjoy it in the best conditions!
What are the must-see visits to do?
Are you going to visit the island of Menorca soon? So here are some ideas for must-see visits to try on site!
Navigate in front of the port of Mahon
Beautiful Menorca is home to the second largest natural port in the world. We advise you to rent a small boat there and go coasting along the coast to admire the view of the land and the magnificent villas facing the sea. You will be able to see the imposing fortress of La Mola and indulge in reverie as you cross the luxury yachts which anchor in the protected waters of the bay.La Mola Fortress
Satisfy yourself in the village of Es Castell
The village of Es Castell is known for its authenticity and the charm of its traditional houses. Life here seems frozen in time and we recommend that you sit at the table in one of the bars or restaurants. In the village square, you can listen to the elders tell their stories until nightfall, tasting local specialties.
Visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria de Ciutadella
The Cathedral of Santa Maria reflects the convolutions that have built the history of Menorca. Built on the site of an old mosque by the Catalans when the island was captured in 1287, you can still see the old minaret and the small museum it houses. This will provide you with valuable information on the rich but eventful past of Menorca.Santa Maria Cathedral
Admire the view at the Cavalleria lighthouse
On the northern tip of the island, rises the most beautiful lighthouse in Menorca. The Cavalleria Lighthouse was built in 1857 to guide ships cruising in the insecure waters of the archipelago. On its cliff almost 100 meters high, it offers a breathtaking view of the sea and you can also end the day on the beautiful beach of Cavalleria just a few minutes walk away.The Cavalleria lighthouses
When to go to Menorca?
Like its big sister Mallorca, the island of Menorca enjoys the favors of the Mediterranean climate which allow it to welcome tourists under a blazing sun during the 5 months that its summer lasts. The temperature can then approach 30 ° C and the rains are rare. It is also an ideal period to learn about the local culture with many festivals, in particular the patronal feasts with their parades of riders mounted on the proud breeds of Menorcan horses.
In spring, the temperatures are a little cooler, between 10 and 15 ° C, but the flowering then offers a magnificent spectacle and the crowd is less dense. Just like in autumn, a season in which the water is sometimes warmer than in summer. November is the rainiest month on the island and the temperatures are starting to drop seriously. We will avoid winter and its chilly climate due to the more northerly position of Menorca compared to its Balearic neighbors.
What budget to plan on site?
The cost of living in the Balearics is on average equivalent to that of France, with however clear differences in certain sectors. Be careful with strong seasonal variations and the price of accommodation which can soar in summer. We advise you to book in advance to benefit from the best rates throughout this period. The biggest differences can be seen in the hotel sector. Hotels are on average 50% more expensive in Menorca than in France, with prices that can go up to 120 euros per night for 1 star accommodation in summer!
CLIMATE : compare the annual climate trends of Port Mahon and know when to go to Menorca.
On the catering side, we will eat for 15 euros for lunch while a dinner will cost between 20 and 30 euros depending on the chosen standard. We will console ourselves with the local beers, excellent and very inexpensive. Those who buy their food in the supermarket will benefit from very attractive prices and many products such as cigarettes or clothes will allow them to fill their suitcases at a lower cost, when leaving Menorca!
How to get to Menorca?
The fastest and most economical way to get to Menorca is by plane. Nantes, Bordeaux, Lyon, Paris and Marseille serve Mahon airport directly during the summer months. By taking it in advance, you can sometimes find return tickets for less than 100 euros but beware, latecomers will pay a high price! Menorca airport is only 10 minutes from the city center and there are bus lines returning tourists there every half hour.
You can also take a taxi or hire a rental scooter to reach the center. The second option, especially recommended if you want to avoid the sometimes high car rental rates during the summer, is to borrow the ferry from Barcelona. The crossing still lasts 8 hours but in summer, you can enjoy the bar, the swimming pool and the activities organized on the bridge. Warning, depending on the type of vehicle, the crossing can be very expensive, sometimes more than 400 euros.Mahon
How to get around the island?
The island of Menorca has only one main road which stretches between Mahon and Ciutadella. The rest of the road network is a tangle of small secondary roads. Nevertheless, car rental is the most favorable solution for autonomous travel on the island. Watch out for prices during the summer, which can quickly add to the budget. The more adventurous will opt for the bus, which is very accessible financially, but whose network is quite irregular. You will often need to take several connections to get where you want to be.
Menorca lends itself very well to exploring the island by scooter. Many rental companies offer their services and the relatively light traffic allows you to travel in complete safety. We can also rent a bike to discover the winding paths along the coast of Menorca! Sometimes, and even often, it will be necessary to set foot on land to explore the most beautiful camis, only accessible by foot.Punta Prima
What to eat and drink in Menorca?
Typical of the Balearic archipelago, Sobrasada is a mixture of minced pork, to which is usually added a good dose of paprika. It can be eaten raw or cooked, with honey or melted cheese. La Caldereta de Langosta is an essential dish in Menorca. This sort of lobster soup is also the favorite of King Juan Carlos. Mao's cheese is also very popular with visitors. They say Americans love it and never leave without having visited one of the artisanal cheese factories in Menorca.
Here, we also really like pastries. Tradition and sweetness with Ensaimada, cookies to take everywhere with Pastisets or even Coca Bamba for breakfast, we let you taste and experiment! Menorca is also known for inventing mayonnaise, which is said to be a derivative of a typical Mahon sauce. The locals, during the period of British rule, incorporated gin into their uses. Mixed with lemon lemonade, it gave the Pomada, which we drink with pleasure especially at the time of the patronal feasts.
Where on the island to stay?
Many travelers will choose to stay in the island's capital, Mahon. The proximity to the airport, the variety of leisure activities, the excellent transport offer and the colonial charm of the city will be more than enough for their happiness. Others will prefer to settle at the other end of Menorca, in the city of Ciutadella. With its pretty port and old town, a historic resort for the local nobility, the town has also developed a very dynamic nightlife and has a wide variety of accommodation options.
It also exists a multitude of quieter spots for accommodation in Menorca. Punta Prima is a privileged place for Menorcans who appreciate its white sand beach, turquoise waters and the relative calm that reigns there. Cala en Porter beach, on the other hand, is home to the island's most famous nightclub and is home to many aficionados of nightlife. Those who seek above all the serenity of unspoiled nature will rather turn to Son Bou beach. Here, no buildings on the seafront because the area is protected, but the hinterland offers all the comfort amenities to enjoy it serenely.Son Bou beach
- health: Menorca offers all the safety and health guarantees of a classic European destination. No vaccine is mandatory or even recommended.
- Formalities: Menorca belongs to Spain and, as such, does not require any particular procedure to access its territory for nationals of the European Union.
- Visitor Center : For more information, do not hesitate to visit the Menorca Tourist Office website, you will find the dates of the festivals, the connections served by the buses and a lot of other information!
Ready to visit this small Balearic island?
In Menorca, you will combine the joys of nightlife with those offered by a reserved nature, and this for a large part of the year! We are waiting for your feedback to enrich us, so do not hesitate to comment and share on the networks.