But where is Menorca, exactly?
A 2-hour flight from Paris, affordable plane tickets and good weather all year-round, the Balearic Islands are attractive. Majorca and Ibiza are very touristy, though. If you want to enjoy the island life while staying away from people at the same time, then Menorca is the place for you.
This little island east of Majorca lives off agriculture but it does attract more and more tourists every summer. Still, only 3 cities are inhabited all year; the rest is seasonal.
We spent 4 days exploring Menorca, a tiny island that still feels very wild and authentic, with amazing beaches and a really cool hike if you want to walk all around the island!
1. Menorca: useful information
How to get to and around Menorca
The fastest way to get there is by plane, with a 2-hour flight from Paris. Depending on the time of the year, you can find some really cheap plane tickets (gotta love Europe). We paid €20 (~aud30) for the return flight with EasyJet, and €50 (~$80) for the plane to Menorca with RyanAir.
You can also catch the ferry from Barcelona to Ciutadella, or from Majorca. This is a great option if you have your own car and want to bring it to Menorca; otherwise it is more expensive and obviously much slower.
To get around the island, you have 3 options: car, bus or scooter/motorbike.
Renting a car at the airport costs around €100-140 (~aud160-220). You can also rent it through an independent shop, in the city. It is a small island: 50 km from west to east, 20 km from north to south. You can easily do it in less than a week and a scooter would not be a bad option, as it is usually less expensive and better suited for this kind of distances. It really depends on what level of comfort you want!
The bus network is not bad and you can get to most beaches that way. However, most bus lines operate only during the high season. I recommend you check the bus timetables before you arrive to make sure you will be able to travel on the bus!
Something else to take into consideration: there is only one « main » road in Menorca, the ME-1. There is no road going all around the island and you need to go back to that main road every time you want to go somewhere on the coast. The next beach may be 3 km away as the crow flies, but in reality it will be a 10-15 km trip to get there. Just something to keep in mind!
Budget for a trip to Menorca
Life is generally cheaper in Menorca. For example, you can find hotels with fully equipped rooms (kitchen, bathroom…) for €50-55 (~aud78-86) per night, where you can cook and save on meals – though they recently introduced a ‘tourist tax’ of €1 per person in hotels. Supermarket food and restaurants are also a lot cheaper than in mainland Europe.
If you are planning to stay there for a few weeks, you should check out Vibbo where you can rent short-term apartments for a very decent price!
Fuel prices are pretty similar to the rest of Europe though, aka, really expensive (€1.7/L, or aud2.8/L). Buses are slightly cheaper in that sense, as a ticket costs between 2 and 5 euros and it gets cheaper if you buy them in bulk. The shuttle from Ciutadellà to the airport in Mahò costs €12.50 (~aud20).
Hiking Menorca: the Camí de Cavalls or GR223
The Camí de Cavalls (or GR223) is a 180-km hike all around Menorca, following the coast. Every beach along the coasts gives you access to it, whether on the beach or on the cliffs overlooking the ocean. It’s a really accessible path for all levels of fitness. A couple of sections have bitumen, in the south of Menorca. The north of the islands is made up almost exclusively of tracks. You can encounter some more difficult sections there with a lot of rocks and sand.
I do intend to walk the full GR223 one day so stay tuned for an article on that in the future… 😉
2. 4-day itinerary in Menorca
This is the itinerary we followed over 4 days in Menorca. If you only have a few days to spend there, this is a good plan that will allow you to see a bit of everything. I’ve included a map with our main checkpoints just below. 🙂
Landing in Mahòn
We arrived in Mahòn in the afternoon. The airport is tiny and as I previously mentioned, you can rent a car there (you will be familiar with most rental companies: Avis, Budget, Europcar…) Otherwise, the bus can take you to the city centre. We went for a walk in the old city centre, where you can find a lot of cute cafés and restaurants!
We spent our first night in Bimbolla Apartment in Punta Prima, for €52 a night (aud75). It is only 11 km away from Mahòn and the resort is really nice. Each apartment has its own kitchen and you have a pool too, great value for money!
Day 1 : South-East of Menorca
We first went to Binibeca, about 4.5 km away from Punta Prima. You can actually drive this section along the coast and do not need to go back to the ME-1. Binibeca is a very typical Mediterranean village with white houses, looking a lot like Santorini. You can go for a walk and get lost among those cute houses, and there is a café just outside the village. To be honest, I accidentally found this place via Instagram (I know) and I was ready to be disappointed, but Binibeca is a genuinely nice place to visit and really worth the detour!
Cala en Porter
We then headed to Cala en Porter, 19 km away from Binibeca. This time you have to go back up to the main road (ME-1), and down to the coast again. Once in Cala, you will find the Cova d’En Xoroi, a famous bar / club built straight into the cliffs. It is said to be a great spot for the sunset over the Mediterranean Sea. From Cala En Porter, you can also walk part of the GR223. It takes you on the cliffs and over the ocean, for some really impressive views of the coastline! You can also rent kayaks and see those cliffs from the ocean, as you can see in the photo.
Ciutadella de Menorca
We hit the road again and drove 50 km to Los Delfines, just passed Ciutadella. We spent 2 nights in the Globales Almirante Farragut, mostly because nothing else was open. They offer all-inclusive prices with 3 meals a day, otherwise it costs €100 per night (aud160). The GR223 is right at your doorstep though, and you can go to Pont d’En Gil, a natural arch from where you can admire the sunset.
Day 2 : South-West of Menorca
Cala en Turqueta and Playa des Talaier
On day 2, we headed to Cala en Turqueta, roughly 11 km south of Ciutadella. You have to walk 1 km to get to the Cala en Turqueta. Once there, you can actually walk over to the next beach (Cala des Talaier) via the GR223, about 2.2 km away. It takes you on the cliffs and the view is really worth it!
In summer, the beach is crowded as it is one of the most popular spot in Menorca. We were there in October in the off-season and it was great: amazing weather and very few people, what more can you ask for? You can even go swimming or cliff jumping at that time of the year! If you do not have a car, you can catch the bus 68 in Ciutadella, it will drop you off at the car park.
Day 3 : North-West of Menorca
There is a sharp contrast between the South and the North of the island. The South coast is quite popular, most people go there and the most « popular » spots are there too. The North coast only has two « cities » and the rest of the coastline has remained wild and uninhabited. It is both beautiful and impressive. The GR223 goes along the coast too and we walked some sections.
We first went to Cala Pilar, about 11 km away from Ciutadella. You have to walk 2.5 km from the carpark to the beach and it is definitely worth it. Once there, you will get a 360° view of both beaches and the ‘mountains’. You can find the GR223 there and walk along the coast to get to the next beach. The weather was absolutely terrible when we went but it was still magnificent.
Playa de Cavalleria
We then went back inland and stopped for lunch in Ferreries. We then headed to Playa de Cavalleria, 30 km away from Cala Pilar. Cavalleria is definitely the highlight of our trip to Menorca. We were lucky enough to see it both on a rainy and a sunny day. It is such a peaceful and impressive place, really worth the drive up to the north of Menorca. It is a 1 km walk from the car park, very accessible to all fitness levels, I highly recommend!
We drove another 11 km and stopped in Fornells for the night. It is a small fishermen village, and the only proper « city » on the North coast. A nice little town with its port and old city centre. At the very end of the village, you can walk to Torre de Fornells for a great sunset spot. There is not much accommodation in Fornells and we found a small hotel 1 km away from the centre, for €62 (aud80) a night.
Day 4 : Menorca inland
Far de Cavalleria
For our last day, we went back to Cala Pilar and drove all the way up to Far de Cavalleria, at the northernmost point of Menorca (about 15 km from Fornells). There is a lighthouse and a lot of hiking tracks all around. This is where you can get one of the best view of the island. There is a small café near the lighthouse, it was still open in October, but it would probably close in winter.
We went to Monte Torro for our last visit, the highest point in Menorca. 17 km away from Far de Cavalleria, you will have a 360° view over the island. You spin around in a circle and everywhere you look is beautiful. It makes you realise how tiny the island is, too. A very nice way to finish a trip to Menorca! You also have a bar and restaurant/café at the top if you want to have lunch up there.
And this is it, a very small article about Menorca but I hope it made you want to travel there.
See you in the next article !