Must Know - Key Points
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 should sit in the back.
Some road signs you should become familiar with
There are only relatively few petrol stations (14) and most have restricted opening hours so be careful you dont 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.
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!
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. Divers between 21 and 24 can sometimes pay an excess - See individual hire firms policies.
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.
There is nothing like the freedom of a car to explore. Many of Menorca most beautiful spots cannot be reached with public transport.
Cala Morells,Cap Favaritx, Es Alocs area in small countryside lanes to wilder coasts. Cala Pilar turn-off ME-1