Driving on Menorca
What's it like? Rules and regulations, Road network and Ideas for Day Tours
Good to Know
Menorca was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1993 and is one of the best preserved natural paradise in the whole Mediterranean. The road network reflect this - No Motorways, limited coastal roads, myriad of small narrow lanes. That all said the traffic is light ( exceptions in July/August on main roads )
Must Know - Key Points
- Seatbealts Compulsory front and rear - (police will stop and issue on the spot fines!)
- Children under 12 should sit in the back on booster seats
- Know where the few Petrol Stations are and opening times
- Mahon will be signposted as Maó
- Binibeca will be signposted as Binibéquer
- There is only one backbone road ME-1
- Speed Limits
- If no signs in towns 50 Km/h , outside towns 90 Km/h
- Traffic Laws
- Max Alcohol is 0.25
- Using a Mobile fine ( upto 600 Eur. )
- Driving in sandals with no heel straps is illegal
Driving around Menorca is generally easy. The road system is small consisting mostly of a few major roads (connecting to a single east to west main road,the ME-1) and delightfull smaller narrow roads (Camis). There are no motorways and very few dual carriageways. Seat belts are compulsory front and rear and there is a no tolerance to drink driving and on the spot fines if caught.
Make sure you have/buy a current road map. In recent years the whole Balearic road numbers have been rationalised and re-signed. The main road on the island is now the ME-1.
Mahon is often seen in english holiday literature as the name for the island's capital. The correct name though is Maó (prenounced 'Maow') and will be used in local maps and road signs. Many local place names may be confusing as they will appear in Catalan and Spanish spelling variations eg Cala d'en Porter or Cala en Porter or anglicised Calan Porter - the road sign will show however Cala en Porter
The majority of road signs are standard throughout Europe.
Driving around you will often notice quite a few stop checks - mainly looking for uninsured and untaxed vehicles so hire cars with 'obvious' tourists inside are unlikely to be stopped. HOWEVER do not think about drinking and driving the penalties are very strict and the legal levels LOW. Seat belt wearing front and back is COMPULSORY with on the spot fines and children under 12 ( or cm height ) should sit in the back with booster seats so that seat belts fit correctly.
Some road signs you should become familiar with
- camino cerrado = road closed
- centro = city center
- curva = curve
- desvio, desviacion = diversion
- de sentido Ășnico, sentido obligatorio = one-way
- entrada prohibida or adelantamiento prohibido = no entry
- estacionamiento, aparcamiento = parking
- salida = exit
- sin salida = dead end/ Cul de Sac
- peatones = pedestrians
- peligro = danger
- policia= police
- prohibido, prohibida = prohibited
- velocidad maxima = speed limit
Petrol Stations and Filling up
There are only relatively few petrol stations and most have restricted opening hours so be careful you don't get caught out. Filling up will often mean paying in advance. Note your pump number, goto to the counter ask for gasolina sin plomb ( unleaded petrol ) or diesel and an amount. The pump will fill automatically to this amount . Most petrol stations are open from 07 - 22:00 weekdays.
There are small unknown brands that offer an 'automated' service on very small forecourts and . Law requires the attendant is present.
Menorca Holiday Tips
Most of the petrol stations are inland so be carefull with hire cars at your beach resort. If your accommodation is NOT in the south east you need to make sure you have enough fuel to get back to resort AND back out to fill up, possibly 25km or more.
Don't forget photo ID if paying by credit card.
Don't forget that a local fiesta may mean a station is closed.
Check out our locations map with opening times for nearest petrol station.
VADO PERMANENTE_GUAL PEMANENT where ever you see this sign do NOT park there e.g driveway,garage and vehicular access opening.
In towns there will be areas marked with blue lines and sometimes the word 'Ticket'. These are Park and Pay parking bays. Machines may be someway down the road, so don't be tempted to not pay and display a ticket. Prices are reasonable starting at 20 mins for 20 cents.
While locals seem to constantly try parking in impossible places don't try it yourself - they have the claim that the tourists have taken up all the spaces -which is often true in Summer!
Our Airport Car Hire guide provides recommendations and will help you avoid any unpleasant rentals experiences.
You should always have the hire documents with you while driving about including a current driving licence and your photo ID (passport) ( preferably as a photocopy ). Drivers normally must be at least 25 years of age and have held a full licence for at least 3 years for insurance to apply. Drivers between 21 and 24 can sometimes pay an excess - See individual hire firms policies.
Menorca Holiday Tips
The island is small and returning a car with an empty fuel tank is not as easy as it sounds -check carefully with hire company on their current fuel returns policy.
Menorca's Road Network
There is nothing like the freedom of a car to explore. Many of Menorca most beautiful spots cannot be reached with public transport.
The central ME-1 is the main connecting route along the island
Days out tips
Cala Morells,Cap Favaritx, Es Alocs area in small countryside lanes to wilder coasts. Cala Pilar turn-off ME-1