Walks and Walking Holidays
Guide for people who just want to enjoy a walk while on holiday in Menorca as well as those for whom walking is the holiday...
Walks - Good to Know and what you can expect
There are no overnight huts or such like travellers accommodation other than the existing infrastructure in the beach resorts along the route and inland towns - best places to stay
As your aircraft approaches the island airport or from ariel map images you will see just how sparsely populated Menorca is, how natural it remains and that its's cross crossed by a myriad of 'hidden' footpaths, tracks and narrow stonewall lined lanes. Much of the island's beauty can be enjoyed in easy walks for the casual holiday stroller and longer treks for avid walkers.
You will be able to explore the coastline along the Cami de Cavalls, deep lush limestone gorges, pine forests, rolling hill scapes, pre-historic sites and idylic remote beaches. In 1993 Menorca was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Over 40% of the island is protected.
Camis are small narrow track lanes, the original road system of the island, that criss cross the island.
The island has an extensive network of these Camis built long before the arrival of the motor car. There have been long term projects to re-open these and signpost them as part of walking and cycle routes - only suitable for off road Bicycles.
Cami de Cavalls
Cami de Cavalls, ('path of the horse') is a rough track coastal path from medieval times 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, mountain bikers and horse riders. The 184 kilometres of path is divided into 20 sections, each of which is clearly signposted and with information panels 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 keeping an eye on the coastal defences and as a horseback supply route.
It is a great way to see the beautiful coastline but the pathways are 'au natural' so take care close to cliff edges.
Recommended Route Cami de Cavalls routes like this one from Cala Galdana to Sant Tomas or Cala Galdana to Cala Turqueta will often have a rewarding beach along the way for a quick dip, so don't forget lots' of water and to pack swimwear/towel in your rucksack.
Cala Galdana : Cami de Cavalls to Virgin Beaches
Two long routes east and westward starting at Cala Galdana ( so you can stock up on last minute water/food for trip) along the Cami de Cavalls. Route will take you along stunning coastlines where you can visit four of the island's most attractive Virgin Beaches. Bus no. 51 Mahon-Cala Galdana , Bus no. 52 Ciutadella-Cala Galdana and No. 53 From Ferreries.
Westward to Cala Turqueta 4.3 Km one way ( approx 3 hours return with stopping to enjoy views - terrain easy ) also passing Cala Macarella virgin beach. Startpoint in Galdana is signposted at steps next to Hotel Audax,ewestern end of resort.
Eastward to Santo Tomas 4.4 Km one way ( approx 4.5 hours return with stopping to enjoy views - terrain medium ) more up/down and also passing Cala Mitjana, Tebaluger, Escoxada . I.e te crem del creme of south coast virgin beaches. Startpoint in Galdana is along Avinguida de la Punta ( 3rd Left turn ).
Menorca Holiday Tip You could also have a friend drop off/pick up at either end as Turqueta/Santo Tomas is accessible by car.
Our useful guide to Cami de Cavalls
Hills to Climb
Recommended Route Walk in the footsteps of the Romans. An incredibly well preserved road as you climb for magnificent views at summit.
San Agueda Castle
Due to its political symbolism the castle was destroyed and abandoned by the re-occupying Kings of Aragon, but it remains one of the island most attractive walks with great views at the summit.
Built circa 1230 a castle contructed by the Moorish occupiers (the name is based on the Arabic name "Sen Agaiz") for defence sitting on top of the island's better vantage points on the island. Reached by a 45 min. climb up an ancient path which is in places was an old Roman road ( over two thousand years old ) - the views from the top are superb.
Like many ancient sites Santa Agueda has sprung many rich legends and myths including buried biblical treasures.
Travel the ME-1 between Ferrerias and Ciutadella. Take the turn for Els Alocs and continue 1.5 km until you reach an abandoned building on right ( see photo ). This marks the start of the path to the top of the hill.
Valleys and Gorges to walk
Recommended RouteThe Binigaus Valley is very attractive and offers a couple of extra rewards for the walker. Cova des Coloms and the beautiful virgin beach of Binigaus at its coastal entrance.
Cova des Coloms
Along the Barranc de Binigaus ( Binigaus Ravine ) you will find a spectacular cave called Covas des Colom also known as the 'Cathedral cave' due to the sheer height of its ceiling (24 meters high!). Previously used as a place of pre-historic worship. There is another cave called Cova Polida
Binigaus valley is reached in land from Es Migjorn Gran ( follow the red arrows down a track starting at the old cemetery ) and from the coast from behind Binigaus beach. Route Map
Cala en Porter
The Valley starting behind the Beach nature reserve extends inland towards Alaior or follow coastline west ( Cami de Cavalls stage 16 ) to Son Bou or east along south east coastline or ( Cami de Cavalls stage 17 ) to amazing Cales Coves.
Algendar Gorge ( Barranc d'Algender )
Recommended Route. One of the most spectacular gorges on the island. About 6 kilometers long starting just outside Ferreries stretching to the south coast behind Cala Galdana where the river meets the sea. The easiest access point is at Cala Galdana. The gorge is cut out of one of the soft limestone plateaus so typical of the southern half of the island. This ravine was declared Common Heritage of Mankind in 1998.
Remains discovered in Barranc d'Algender date from the year 2200 BC and are the oldest found in Menorca.
You are led down age-old paths that wind through leafy Mediterranean woods, the ruins of ancient constructions in the rocks and slopes or through lands cultivated with ancient farming techniques.
Its slopes connect to an old path to Mao, popularly known as Ses Voltes, one of the most marvellous spots on the journey. It is one kilometre long, made up of horse-shoe shaped nooks chipped into the rocks and leads down to the bottom of the valley.
S'Albufera National Park is a lakeland, wetlands and marsh area of outstanding natural beauty surrounded by hills. It is protected habitat for wildlife, particularly birds. It is a stop over point on a major migratory route between Europe and Africa making it a favourite with birdwatchers.
S' Albufera Nature Reserve
S'Albufera Parc Natural - is a wonderful place for an early morning or evening walk (avoiding the summer heat). Footpaths lead, through pleasant lakelandscapes and woodlands to the sand dunes behind the beautiful beach at Es Grau. Walk on further to the fishing village of Es Grau to enjoy beachside sunsets at the two waterside Cafe Bars.
The park has a visitor centre and guided walking tours are available. Routes through the park are sign posted and scenic walks which can be taken at any time of the year without a guide.
The area around here is also great for walking and exploring. Follow the Cami de Cavalls from Es Grau beach past watchtowers to the coves of Cala Tamarells and Cala de sa Torreta. Further along you will come across the taula and talayot remains (pre-historic stone structures ) at Sa Torre Blanca.
The pretty authentic village of Es Grau lies inside the park making a good starting point ( long stay Car Parking) or even better still, returning point to sip a drink while the sun sets at one of the little Bar Restaurants near the beach.
The island is so richly covered with sites and often refered to as an 'open air museum'.
Self Guided Walks and Treks
Here are a collection of walks (hikes and easier walks ) and cycling trips recorded and described by others. With clear maps, points of interest en route, photographs and with GPS data -Walks and Cycling Routes
Where Best to stay in Menorca for walking
Outside the May - October main season you will need to stay in Mahon/Ciutadella or one of Menorca's inland towns. If you want to mix relaxation with walks just in the local area with no transport hassles then we've picked out some recommended locations below that would make a great accommodation base.
Ferreries makes a great base in the Western half of the island with a varied mix of walks and sights - Also has easy bus to Ciutadella
Cala en Porter makes a great base in the Eastern half of Menorca - Also has easy bus to Mahon
These have the benefit that will be open all year and have the benefits of loacl all year Food shops, Bars and Restaurants.Most beach resort accommodation is closed Mid Nov to Mid April
Other Island towns to consider
If you don't have a hire car Clever use of public transport will get you close to good walking areas and allow a pick up for non circular walks eg stretches of the Cami de Cavallas
Bus Network for Walkers
Road Network for Drop Off/Pick up points For Cars and Taxis
Guided Walking Tours and Holidays
If you prefer the company of others or enjoy the added interest of a knowledgeable local guide there are some emerging walking tours on offer. Some with pickups from your accommodation,meals and swimming stops
Walking Tours / Guides / Holiday Service Companies
|Walking Holidays with guides and accommodation|
Recommended walking guides and maps
Unbeatable for the colours, Springtime ( mid-March-April ) is a welcome change of scene from winter greys back home. Walks along coastal paths will lead onto a magnificent bay. Inland there are walks through hushed pine forests Menorca's Spring and flights Information for the independently minded.