Things to See and Do
Ideas for ALL
Ideas for ALL
While professionally organised trips and tours are increasing year by year they are still relatively few and far between. However, the island is small enough that armed with these ideas and information, you will be able to organise something yourself and better still tailored just to you.
Often addresses here and in guide books, leaflets will be listed as Ferreries-Galdana km 5 .The roads have Kilometer marker signs on the side and are the best guide to where a location is. So the previous address is along the road from Ferreries direction of Galdana around the 5 Kilometer marker .
Hotel Holiday Rep., organised trips while convenient are often over priced, include too many 'spending opportunities at our friends places along the way' and of course means you are tied to everyone elses timetable.
With so much of the island preserved by environmental laws and thoughtfull tourism the island has many, many beautiful places to walk and discover. For a small place there is a suprising array of landscapes to explore on foot. Valleys and gorges,lavarock 'moonscapes', lakes and hills,wild dramatic rocky coastlines, soft rolling hills and woods.
There are deep lush gorges that start in the centre of the island and meander to the coast to open up out into a beautiful beaches. Take a walk early morning or evening in S'Albufera National park and enjoy a drink on the beach in Es Grau. There official signed routes along historical coastal paths and more personal walks from island residents and regular walkers (in guides)
Its important to walk at the right time of day and to have plenty of water with you. And don't forget when walking close to the coast to have swimwear and a towel with you so you can take that well earnt swim on that remote beach you've reached!
Cami de Cavalls, ('path of the horse') is a rough track medieval coastal path that originally followed much of the entire Menorcan coastline. The path encircling the island is now open to the public and can be freely used by hikers, cyclists and horse riders. The 184 kilometres of path is divided into 20 sections, each of which is now clearly signposted and fitted with an information panel giving details of that particular stretch. Parts of the Cami de Cavalls are open for horses ( see sign below). Other sections are accessible for walkers and mountain bikes. Originally created by occupying nations for the purpose of keeping an eye on the coastal defences as a horseback supply route.
It is a great way to see the coastline - 'natural' so take care at the cliff edges.
This recently completed attraction is still in its early stages of tourist development so you will need to plan any multi-day walks carefully as accommodation is restricted to holiday resorts facilities which may or may not be open outside of may-october
The various signs below indicate that a section of the Cami de Cavalls is under your feet or in that direction
With a little planning you should be able to reach most destinations by public bus and/or Taxi if you don't have a hire car.
A memorable day out is to visit one of the virgin beaches or take in the island on a cycle. A trip to one of the island three water parks. Two on the west coast at Los Delfines and Cala en Bosch and a smaller one at Son Bou ( Club San Jaime). Younger children may enjoy the animals at Loc de Menorca
The island is rapidly discovering cycling, particularly off road and making bigger efforts to provide for it. While there are few purpose made cycle ways, alongside roads cyclists are allowed to use the 1.5m wide plus margins at the side of most of the major roads. There is now an increasing network of signposted recommended routes and more and more places offering cycle hire. Note that outside of the beach resorts most cycling requires an off road capable two wheeler!
The island has an extensive network of the original horse back coastal supply routes( "Cami de Cavall" ) An extensive project to re-open these and signpost them as part of walks, mountain bike tracks and bridleways is now complete. Fully signedposted and described in an all in one guide or section maps (from island tourist offices/bookshops) .
Here are a collection of walks and cycling trips done and described by others on clear maps with points of interest on the way in photographs
A small island with so many attractive beaches means you can experience several beaches during your stay. Beach resorts can be reached public buses,(mini resort trains in some areas) . The renowned virgin beaches will take more effort but they are definitely worth it.
After a first visit it's clear why Menorca has so much history for such a small place. It was very desirable to posses for strategic reasons. And so it has been occupied by outsiders at many times in it's history, each leaving their mark both good and bad on the island.
The island is known as the largest open air pre-historic museum and not without good reason. Even if you are not a history buff you'll be suprised just what is on the island. 4m high Stone structures ( Taulas ) that defy gravity and 2000 years of weather. There are so many stone structures from Menorca's distant past its difficult sometimes literally not to trip over them. You don't have to be a historian fanatic to appreciate them. At some of the sites you get a real sense of life in its most primitive form. A few short years ago many of the sites were completely as they were, now some 30 or so have been made more accessible to the public complete with guide information and signange but charge a moderate entrance fee to cover personel and upkeep costs. But well worth it.
Visit late afternoons when the light is best and heat of the day is over. They may have shut up the ticket office but you can still go in and visit . Oh and make sure "little Johnny" does not scramble over the stones that have survived many,many years pre Johnny times :-)
The museums hold collections of all the items that were found in prehistoric and in other times of occupation such as in Roman times. The Museum buildings themselves are interesting as they are located in old palaces,churches and convents.
If you are feeling the day time heat a museum trip can be just the thing to cool down with Air conditioning and relaxing surroundings.
The horse holds a special place in the hearts of the islanders. The Island native race is a magnificent beautiful much prized animal. You can enjoy the island scenery from on top of and behind (in a carriage) a horse. Ride through enchanting woods, gallop along the beach. Riders of all levels are catered for.
If riding is not your thing there are horse shows, visits to stables and gentle pony rides for little ones.
Fiestas are not held for the benefits of tourists, so are genuine and much loved by the islanders. Each town has its own during summer but all will be ceremenonial and visual with lots of music and dance. Riders will showing off their amazing horsemanship skills with parades, races and the famous 'Jaleo'.
Towns to wander morning or late afternoons, Cities for shopping, enjoying and people watching. The island's many historical sites and sights.
Monte Torro is the highest point on the island the name most likely coming from the Arabic, al-tor, meaning highest mountain. Though not a mountain it is worth a visit if you have a hire car for the stunning views ( particularly in spring when you can see over the length of the island) There is a pleasant Bar Restaurant Sa Posado del Toro at the top with inside seating and an open terrace with views to the south. Monte Toro is signposted from Es Mercadal in the dead centre of the island along the ME-1. El Toro in Catalan or Monte Toro in Spanish has viewing areas to take in the views to the north and west. Can also be walked along the good access road as is 'only' 350 meters high.
Wealthy landowners built their places in Ciutadella and Mahon. While some are still privately owned today several are to view with multi-language guided tours
Enjoy a tasting, get insights into how it's made and just enjoy the surroundings of a Vinyard or country produce maker on a visit.
Menorca's crystal clear warm waters make snorkelling a real pleasure. Many of the southern beaches are in sheltered bays of gently shelving sand with borders of rocks making them ideal for snorkelling. The sea water quality around Menorca is excellent so there is an abundance of fish and other marine life. Snorkel from your own resort beach or via organised trips from boats to special locations.
Organised Snorkel trip companies: Directory
Cala en Porter has superb snorkelling in a spectacular location, with a great beach for other members of the party and you can buy basic equipment along the beach promenade. Cales Coves is a wonderful snorkel area with great back drop scenery.
A huge part of this island's beauty can't be seen from the land, but only from the sea - the island's pristine, unbuilt coastline and it's many seculded coves and beaches that can only be reached by boat.
Why not join one of the regular boat excursions to different parts of the islands' beautful coastline and see the coves and beaches,some hidden from land. Spend some time on one of the destination beaches and enjoy a swim stop. There are larger boats, with inside/outside seating, catering and some with underwater viewing galleries departing from the island's principle harbours. Or perhaps let the wind through you hair on a speedy Rib( sporty open speedboat ) for smaller groups to places of your own choice.
Indulge yourself in a cruise along the coast, taking in virgin beaches and swimming in picturesque bays. Either aboard motor cruisers or under sail by day chartering as a group or joining a group.
Boats can be charted by the half and full day with all the necessary crew and can be a lifetimes menory for all.
Being an an island naturally makes sailing very popular. Catamarans and small sail boats for the experienced can hired straight off some resort beaches. The north of the island is very popular for sail fans with it's favourable winds, marine reserves and dramatic coatlines. They are sail schools for beginners through to handling larger yachts.
An increasingly popular activity and a great way to see the beautiful coastline up close is from a kayak. Sea Kayaks can be hired from the beach to explore your resorts waters , at specialist centres close to interesting coves or you can be part of a small guided tour starting at various points along the coast. There will be single, double and three seaters with life jackets provided.
Waterskiing is available though not wide spread and some resort beaches will offer local services with banna boats,paracending to the more sedate old favourite - Pedalos. Watersports centres can be found in Fornells,S'Algar and Son Xoriguer.