Spain Guide


Menorca Tourist Attractions Things to Do

Menorca may not be the liveliest resort in the Mediterranean in terms of tourist facilities and nightlife. But that's part of its attraction.there's plenty to see and do for those interested in nature, history and the island's local culture.

Sports and leisure activities on the island include golf, tennis, horse riding, bowling, go karting and a wealth of water sports.

There are 100 beaches to explore including long stretches of white sand and tiny, hidden coves fringed by virgin pinewoods and lapped by crystal clear azure waters.

Each resort area is relatively small compared with most of Spain's coastal developments. But if you hire a car and tour the island you'll find a veritable treasure trove of ancient burial sites, Muslim mosques from the Middle Ages, castle ruins, modern aqua parks and seafood restaurants to satisfy the most discerning gourmet.

Tour the wild, rocky and virtually untouched region of the north coast, the lush, green pastures of the interior and the limestone ravines of the south.

Visit the historic capital city of Mahon (also known as Mao) in the south east corner of the island. Menorca's other major town, Ciutadella, was the capital until 1721 when the British (colonialist masters at the time) decided to shift it to Mahon.

Mahon boasts the world's second biggest natural harbour which lent it great strategic military importance for many centuries.

British domination here for nearly 200 years has left its legacy in the town where you'll notice English architecture and a certain elegance characteristic of naval towns from a bygone age. You'll find many ancient buildings of historic importance here, the oldest being the Arch de San Roque which was once part of the defence wall encircling the entire city.

The 18th century church of Santa Maria is home to an organ with nearly 3,000 pipes. You can hear recitals here every morning at 11am (except Sundays).

The town has a bustling port and delightful narrow streets to explore with shady squares, pavement cafes and designer boutiques. The local market, held in a beautifully restored 18th century convent, is the place to pick up the freshest fruit and veg, leather goods and cheap clothing.

Nearby Es Castell is also worth a visit. The town is steeped in military history, most evident in it central square which was once the parade ground but is now a play park for children and a great place to people watch from a street café. The Cala Fons inlet here is always popular with visitors, largely due to the shops and restaurants built into the caves around the harbour.

The historic town of Ciutadella, on the west coast, has some lovely harbourside cafes, delightful narrow, winding streets and a 14th century cathedral which took more than 50 years to build.

The pretty fishing village of Fornells on the north coast is renowned for its seafood. King Juan Carlos of Spain pops over from his summer palace in Mallorca to enjoy the fresh lobster here. Look out for the royal yacht!

History buffs will want to explore the many ancient sites and monuments which have been uncovered throughout the island. Bronze age tombs, watch towers and prehistoric troglodyte settlements with cave paintings are all to be found in abundance here.

No holiday to Menorca is complete without a trip up to the highest point at Mount Toro which offers spectacular views of the island (and even of Mallorca on a clear day).

The only way you'll get a better view is to book an aerial trip round the island at the Aero Club on the road between Mahon and St Luis.