9 of Menorca's most magnificent beaches
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Menorca* might not be top of the list when it comes to huge swathes of sand, but then that's the whole reason for visiting the island.
Its beaches, of which there are many, are instead made up of gorgeous sandy coves, rugged coastal crevasses and serene relaxation spots complete with clean, soft sand and clear, sky-blue seawater.
Whether you're looking for active watersports such as kayaking and paddleboarding, want to delve into the deep blue with a spot of diving or snorkelling, looking for a safe seaside spot for the family, or simply need a space to soak up the sun, we've got you covered, with our guide to the best beaches in Menorca.
Getting to Menorca: this beautiful Balearic island is easy to get to with TUI*, which has countless great value offers on holidays that depart from airports across the UK.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that you were an extra in that famous Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach when you get your first glimpse of Macarelleta.
This tiny cove on Menorca's south coast is bookended by salt and pepper-coloured cliffs and backed by lush green trees, both in stark contrast to its almost-white sand and blue topaz seawater.
Small boats can drop anchor here or you can arrive at nearby Cala Macarella, Marcarelleta's big sister, by car and walk over the headland.
Platja de Binigaus is all about wide-open spaces, and is part of a large bay backed by low-lying orange-red cliffs stretching for nearly four km.
While easily accessible from nearby Sant Tomás by footpath, the beach is in a protected Natural Area of Special Interest meaning that facilities are scarce to non-existent, so pack for the day and make sure to take everything with you.
The shallow waters are ideal for snorkelling and good for families, although some parts are quite pebbly. Those looking for an all-over tan should head to the sands' far reaches where nudism is the norm.
Platja des Grau
If you're looking to do as the locals, then head to this beach on Menorca's east coast. Popular as a weekend retreat for residents of nearby Mahon*, the beach at Grau is ideal for families with young children.
The beach and sea are shallow and protected by the natural cove, giving the water an almost lagoon quality, both calm and warm.
While the beach doesn't have too many facilities, the seaside fishing village of Es Grau is right next door, with a handful of traditional restaurants serving the freshest of catches.
This Blue Flag beach is the longest stretch of continuous sand on the island, running for 2.4 km. Unsurprisingly, that means that it's a popular spot all year round, but don't be put off as there's more than enough beach to go around.
The upside, apart from the powdery sand and clear waters, is that facilities are abundant, from showers and toilets, and sunbed and parasol rentals, to pedalo hire and watersports activities.
While most people tend to head for the island's southern sandy reaches, the north coast has its own, often quieter, beaches that offer serious competition in the relaxation and beauty stakes.
Pregonda, for example, has almost otherworldly pink-gold sand and a range of small rocky islets poking out of the deep turquoise seawater. Bring your snorkel as this area of the sea is protected and fish are abundant.
At Son Saura, you get a two-for-one deal, as the beach is split into two, Banyul and Bellavista, by a rocky outcrop.
A firm favourite with families, the beach has lifeguards and the waters are shallow, meaning little ones are well looked after. Older children and teenagers will enjoy kayaking around the coves and calm waters.
You might notice a lot of seagrass on the shoreline and rocks. This is Posidonia oceanica, or Neptune grass, which is endemic to the Mediterranean Sea and responsible for maintaining the natural cleanliness of the water that surrounds the Balearic Islands.
One of the more remote beaches on the island, Escorxada is a secluded cove with classic white sand and crystalline water. The beach has a backdrop of pine forests and a small stream, Torrent de sa Torre, runs down to the back.
Access is either by boat (a water taxi service can drop you off and pick you back up) or by walking part of the famous Camí de Cavalls path that runs the circumference of the whole island.
Arenal d'en Castell
Located in the popular resort of Arenal d'en Castell*, this beach is for those who want easy access to both sea and services. There are spots for renting kayaks and pedalos, plenty of white sand for laying your towel, and calm water for swimming and paddling.
The Blue Flag beach has a promenade with bars and restaurants, ideal for a spot of lunch - try some fish meatballs, Mahon cheese or locally made sobrasada (spreadable chorizo) - or stay for the evening and enjoy sundowners next to the sea.
Another hugely popular spot for beachgoers, watersports enthusiasts, and photographers wanting to snap the postcard views, is Cala Galdana.
Surrounded by high cliffs, the sea is fed by two streams, Algendar and Algendaret, and the fertile soil further upstream means you'll catch glimpses of peregrine falcons soaring overhead.
There is also a small marina for boats to dock. There are plenty of restaurant options here too, such as beach bar Xiringuito Toni, and Restaurant El Mirador with its spectacular views of the bay.
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