Menorca is the easternmost of the Balearic archipelago, an island of unique natural beauty. The island of Menorca is famous for its long sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and the variety of activities its beautiful landscape offers. On this page you can find useful information on holidays and what to do in Menorca, sightseeing and popular activities as well as ferry connections and tickets to the Balearic Islands and mainland Spain.
Holidays in Menorca
Menorca, or Minorca as it is also called, is an ideal destination for nature lovers, especially for those who like to combine holidays with outdoor activities. A slow-paced and colourful island, the wild beauty of Menorca will charm you straight away.
The capital of Menorca is Mahón (or Maó in the Catalan dialect), which is located on the east side of the island. Mahón is also the island’s main port, one of the biggest natural harbours in the world. When in Menorca you should definitely spend some time walking around the port of Mahón and its historical centre, full of monuments and picturesque corners. The city of Mahón is also the centre of the island’s nightlife, and during the summer you will find music festivals and the best summer parties there. The second biggest city and port of Menorca is Ciutadella, located on the west side of the island. An attractive city, with an important heritage and a charming old town, Ciutadella is also another place you should definitely visit on the island.
The island’s high season is mid-July to mid-September and, as most of the Balearic Islands, Menorca supports eco-tourism so you can find many options for sustainable holidays. Actually, since 1993, Menorca is a natural and biosphere reserve designated by UNESCO due to the unique landscapes and the endemic species that exist in the island.
Warm sunset light over the marina and old town of Ciutadella.
The beaches in Menorca
Of the four beautiful Balearic islands, Menorca is the one with the more virgin and wild landscape, and it has a large variety of beaches and coves to choose from - many of them untouched. A list with the best beaches of Menorca:
- Cala Mitjana: A small sandy beach with crystal blue waters, one of the most popular beaches in the southwest. The cove is surrounded by pine trees, and you should swim or hike to the smaller, but similarly beautiful beach of Cala Mitjaneta.
- Cala Turqueta: Beach in the southwest Menorca with white sand and turquoise waters. You can sit under the pine trees or at the nearby rocks, a great choice for snorkeling.
- Son Saura beaches: Part of the largest cove in Menorca, two long sandy beaches with shallow waters, a popular choice for families.
- Cala des Talaier: Small sandy beach with crystal clear waters, close to Son Saura. The beach is not organized and there is little or no natural shadow on the beach so be prepared.
- Cala Macarelleta: A beautiful beach with white sand and crystal blue waters, it features in many Menorca postcards for its amazing landscape. During high season we recommend arriving as early as possible to secure a spot.
- Cala Pregonda: Scenic bay at the north coast of Menorca, with golden sand, rocks, and small island formations. Great scenery, you arrive at the beach on foot from the car park (about 30min walk) or by boat.
- Playa de Cavalleria: Beach in the north with golden sand and rocky cliffs, a great choice for diving and snorkeling. A 10 min walk from the car park and is an unorganized beach so make sure you bring parasol and supplies. It can be windy so check the weather before you go.
- Cala Escorxada: Impressive secluded beach with turquoise waters, white sand, and pine tree scenery. You can get there by boat from Cala Galdana or with an hour coastal hike from the village of Santo Tomás.
Walking to the impressive beach of Calas Mitjana in the southwest of Menorca.
Sightseeing in Menorca
Menorca has a long and important history influenced by different cultures, which is evident in the numerous prehistoric and modern heritage sites, in the picturesque villages and old towns, castles and cathedrals. The island's nature is also impressive and we recommend that you take some time exploring the landscapes and formations of Menorca, such as caves and parks. Here are some of the most interesting sights to visit in Menorca:
- The Talayotic settlement of Torre d'en Galmés
- The funeral monument of Naveta des Tudons
- The Cathedral (Basilica) of Ciutadella
- The cape and lighthouse of Cavalleria
- The Favàritx Lighthouse
- The large circular watchtower in Fornells castle
- La Mola, the fortress in the capital Mahón
- The S' Albufera natural park
- The caves of Necropolis
- The S'Hostal quarries
The cape and lighthouse of Cavalleria as seen from the Fornells village.
Activities in Menorca
Menorca is an ideal destination for outdoor activities! The nature of the island is unique while the number of beaches and coves allows for a variety of watersports. Some recommended activities in Menorca:
- Mountain biking
- Hiking in the historical trail of “Camí de Cavalls”
- Hiking at the Algendar gorge
Tip for Menorca: If you find yourself in Menorca in June, don’t miss the summer solstice festival of Sant Juan with fireworks, bonfires, and a horse parade in the streets of Ciutadella!
Impressive ruins from the Talayotic settlement in Menorca.
Food in Menorca
All four Balearic islands have delicious food, and Menorca stands out for its tasty and fresh local ingredients. The “Mayonnaise” sauce is considered to have its origin from the island of Menorca, so if you pass by the city of Mahón look for and try the fish with mayonnaise in its place of origin! Some of the local products and recipes that you shouldn’t miss while on holidays in Menorca:
- Oliaigu, a delicious cold tomato soup
- Lobster stew (“caldereta de langosta”)
- Stuffed aubergines
- The traditional Mahón cheese, made from cow’s milk
- The typical festival drink in Menorca, “La pomada” (Menorcan gin with lemonade)
- The distinctive Xoriguer Gin, produced in Menorca's gin distillery at Mahon’s port
Useful information and numbers for Menorca
The island of Menorca offers many accommodation options, especially in high season (mid-July to mid-September). In the two main cities of the island, Mahón and Ciutadella, you can find hotels and smaller apartments to rent and enjoy the local vibe, as well as attend music festivals and cultural events. If you want to experience nature and be close to the beaches, there are many villas, hotels, resorts, rooms, and camping sites in many other areas in Menorca such as Son Bou, Cala en Porter, Punta Prima, Santo Tomás or Fornells. Menorca also has a small airport, with just one terminal, that serves mostly domestic flights and charter flights from European destinations. The airport is located 4.5 km southwest of the city of Mahón and 47 km of Ciutadella.
Some useful phone numbers for your stay in Menorca:
- Emergency number: 112
- Hospital Mahon (Verge del Toro): +34 971157700
- Health Centre Ciutadella (Canal Salat): +34 971480111 / 480112
- National Police: 091
- Local Police / Fire Brigade: 092
- Medical Emergencies: 061
- Port Authority of the Balearic Islands. Port of Mahon: +34 971363066
- Spanish Tax Agency’s Customs and Special Tax Department (Mahon): +34 971352924
- Menorca airport: +34 913211000
Tip: If you are driving around Menorca, make sure not to park in spots with the sign 'Vado Permanente' as it is prohibited to park there, and your car might be removed by the police.
A sunny day at the port of Mahón.
Ferry schedules and ferry tickets to Menorca
Menorca has two ports that serve mainly ferry routes to mainland Spain (Barcelona and Valencia) as well as the rest of the Balearic islands: the port of the capital Mahón, located in the east side of the island, and the port of Ciutadella, located in the north-west of the island.
The ferry itineraries from mainland Spain to Menorca are regular throughout the year and serve both of the island ports. Travelling by ferry from the port of Barcelona is the fastest way to get to Menorca by ferry, while the port of Valencia is located south of Barcelona (approximately 3,5 hours drive) so the ferry trip to Menorca is longer. Valencia is, however, a very suitable departure port to the Balearic islands if you are in the south of Spain. Some more specific details about the ferry connections to Menorca:
- Barcelona - Menorca ferry route: There are at least 7 ferries per week that serve the Barcelona - Mahón route and the duration of the ferry trip is approximately 9 hours. The Barcelona - Ciutadella ferry connection is also served by 7 weekly sailings but the duration of the trip is around 7 hours.
- Valencia - Menorca ferry route: The ferries from Valencia only travel to the port of Mahón. The ferry route Valencia - Mahón operates once a week and the duration of the ferry trip is 15 hours.
The frequency of the ferry connections may vary each season so we would recommend that you check the Ferryhopper search engine, in order to verify the available ferry schedules from mainland Spain to Menorca.
Island-hopping in the Balearic islands
Menorca and Mallorca are the two biggest islands of the Balearic complex and they are located very close to each other - so island hopping between them is a must! Here are some combinations of departure and arrival ports that might help you plan your ferry trip from Mallorca to Menorca:
- Ferry from port of Alcúdia (Mallorca) to port of Ciutadella (Menorca): This is the easiest and fastest way to get from Mallorca from Menorca. The two ports are located opposite to each other so the ferry trip is short: only 2 hours and 30 minutes with a conventional ferry and 1 hour and 30 minutes with a high speed ferry. There are around 14 weekly sailings of conventional ferries operating the Alcudia - Ciutadella route while 2 or 3 times a day you can catch a high-speed ferry for this journey.
- Ferry from port of Alcúdia (Mallorca) to port of Mahón (Menorca): The distance between the port of Alcudia in Mallorca to the port of Menorca’s capital, Mahón, is longer but it works if you want to arrive in the more central areas of the island. There is one ferry per week serving the Alcúdia - Mahón route and the ferry trip duration is approximately 6 hours.
- Ferry from port of Palma (Mallorca) to port of Mahón (Menorca): This ferry route connects the two island capitals, Palma de Mallorca and Mahón in Menorca. There is at least one ferry crossing per day in this route and the duration of the ferry ride is approximately 5 hours and 30 minutes.
You are not sure which port of Mallorca and Menorca is more convenient for your holiday plans? You don’t have to worry as on Ferryhopper you will find all the ferry options, schedules and tickets for you to choose and start dreaming of your holidays in the Balearic islands!
Sunset hour sailing in the sea of Menorca.
Where to book ferry tickets to Menorca?
If you are looking for some quiet holidays by the sea, close to nature and away from the city sounds then Menorca is the perfect holiday destination for you! And if, while there, you feel that you want some party time, you can always jump to a ferry to Mallorca, Ibiza or Barcelona! On Ferryhopper you will find all the available ferry itineraries from and to Menorca, for you to choose the ferry trip and the ferry ticket price that best suits your holiday plans and your budget!