While Majorca and Ibiza get the lion’s share of the limelight, Menorca holidays offer perhaps the most rustic and blissfully unspoilt of the three Balearic Island destinations. The most easterly of the island group, the Menorcan landscape is a picturesque patchwork of lush rolling hills, virgin pine forests and rural farmland peppered with ancient stone walls that zigzag for miles. Sleepy whitewashed villages are dotted around the interior, which spring to life on market days and during colourful local fiestas.
That’s before even mentioning the main reason why most choose holidays to Menorca – its downright exceptional beaches. From long strips of powdery sand that slope gently into turquoise shallows to countless secluded coves where limestone cliffs meet shimmering crystal-clear waters, Menorcan beaches are some of the finest in the world. While a handful of coastal resorts have been developed for tourism, the whole island was designated a Unesco Biosphere Reserve in 1993, meaning it retains its untouched feel.
There are plentiful sightseeing opportunities on a Menorca holiday, too. The capital Mahon is a fascinating cultural collage where medieval forts and British colonial mansions hark back to its various occupations. At the opposite tip of the island, Ciutadella has a labyrinthine old town, and hundreds of pre-historic sites are scattered around the island. Menorca’s laid-back vibe makes it a popular choice with families, but its unfettered natural beauty catches the eye of couples in search of romantic breaks, and adventurous travellers too.
El Toro is the highest mountain on Menorca, and offers sweeping panoramas of practically the whole island. It is also topped by a 13th-century monastery.
Torre d’en Galmes
Hilltop Torre d’en Galmes is Menorca’s largest Talaiotic site, dating from the Iron Age. At this hilltop archaeological site you’ll find fascinating prehistoric monuments including watchtowers and houses.
Santa Maria Cathedral
While you’re wandering the enchanting maze of Ciutadella’s old town, be sure to make a stop at the cathedral to admire its splendid stained-glass windows.