Cheap flights to Menorca (Mahon)
Family-friendly resorts, lush green mountains, secluded coves and undoubtedly Spain’s best beaches; if it’s rest and relaxation you’re after then Menorca is just the ticket. It might not be as famous as its noisier Balearic sisters Majorca and Ibiza, but Menorca packs just as big a punch in the perfect holiday destination stakes. For one thing it has more beaches than the two of them put together. If you like your sand fine, your waters crystal clear and warm and some beautiful deserted coves, bays and rocky inlets, then this is the place for you. Menorca really is beach heaven! Tempted yet? Well you will be when we tell you that the island has also remained relatively untouched by tourism despite tempting thousands of visitors back year after year. You don’t get any neon lit high-rises here.
Menorca is a slice of traditional Spain at its best and once you’ve veered away from those beaches, if you can, you’ll find another world completely. One of small hillside villages and rolling countryside complete with smatterings of ancient Talayotic and Roman ruins – perfect walking country, if you’re up for it. Or how about visiting the dunes and wetlands of the UNESCO bioreserve of S’Albufera d’Es Grau that stretches 8 kilometres along Menorca’s east coast?
You could easily linger for a day in the beautiful city of Ciutadella, Menorca's former capital. There's a pretty port, a mazy historic centre and a 14th-century Catalan-Gothic cathedral to explore, as well as a liberal sprinkling of fine restaurants.
S'Albufera d'es Grau Natural Park spreads across a wild, remote, lushly green pocket of wetlands on Menorca's northeast coast. This Unesco Biosphere Reserve is a terrific place for a short hike.
Every wondered the best way to make paella, gazpacho or Menorcan fish stew? Try a workshop at Cuk-Cuk, an ancient town house turned into an eatery. You get to learn the tricks of the trade and munch (or sup) the fruits if your labour. For more information visit www.cuk-cuk.com.
Ciutadella kicks-off fiesta season in June. Majestic Menorcan horses strut through the old town's cobbled streets; music erupts from every other street corner and locals sup potent pomada by the bucketful.
Ciutadella kicks off Menorca's fiesta season in June, with its annual celebrations in the name of St John. Even if you're not on the island for the patron saint's day (24th June), the street parties, decorations and concerts running up to it will help you get a sense of the fun.
As October comes to an end, pop in to any of Menorca's cemeteries. Morbid as it may sound, they come alive with elaborate bouquets of fresh flowers, as islanders remember their loved ones ahead of All Saints' Day on 1 November.
Music's in the air at both ends of the island, as Mahón and Ciutadella host their summer festivals. From balmy cloisters and ancient opera theatres, the venues are often as impressive as the tunes. (http://festivaldemusicademao.com)
Want to brush the dust off your sailing skills? The shallow waters in the bay at Fornells are perfect for novice, or nervous, sailors to play around on a boat, windsurfing board or even try stand-up paddle.
Much of the island falls into a deep slumber in winter, which makes it a delight to explore on foot. The Parc Natural S'Albufera d'es Grau, a Unesco Biosphere Reserve, is a fine place for a stroll. Keep an eye out for birdlife (fish eagles, kites and the like) and Hermann's tortoises among the wetlands.
As the temperatures ease up in autumn, the cooler days are perfect for hiking a stretch of Menorca's 185km Camí de Cavalls, which encircles the island, taking in its most secluded bays, historic sites, pine forests and wildest stretches of coast.