Take your pick: ultimate guide to Menorca's resorts

Quieter than its better-known Balearic siblings Majorca and Ibiza, Menorca isn't an island of vast resorts and packed playas. Here, a more laid back holiday style reigns - one that focuses on kicking back and relaxing where the resorts are smaller and more authentic.

Discover Menorca's laid back vibe this summer © Stuart Black - Alamy Stock Photo
Discover Menorca's laid back vibe this summer © Stuart Black - Alamy Stock Photo

Owing to the lack of big names, though, it can be tricky to decide on the right one for you. Do you want to be in the heart of the holiday action or tucked away in tranquillity?

Would you rather get the scuba gear on for a dive beneath the waves or simply sit and enjoy the Mediterranean views? Do you want access to a city, or would you prefer to have authentic inland villages within easy reach? Pick your ideal holiday match with our ultimate guide to the best of Menorca's resorts.

Getting to Menorca: there's no shortage of holidays to Menorca with TUI*, which offers stays in each of the following resorts across this stunning Mediterranean isle.

Son Bou

Seeking a beachy break? On Menorca's south coast, Son Bou has the longest beach on the island at 2 km and, as long as you head west along the sands, there are plenty of quiet spots, the sand dunes stretching up behind you - beware, the further west you go, the fewer clothes you'll see!

This is also a great base for cultural exploration. It's an easy trip inland to the ancient market town of Alaior - around a 15-minute drive away.

Here you'll find an appealing old town, its white-washed buildings clustered along narrow streets that spill out as if straight from the church of Santa Eulalia.

On the drive back be sure to stop at Torre d'en Galmés, Menorca's largest Talaiotic site.

Part of the prehistoric remains of a settlement at Torre d'en Galmés © Lunamarina - Fotolia.com
Part of the prehistoric remains of a settlement at Torre d'en Galmés © Lunamarina - Fotolia.com

These prehistoric settlements are found throughout the Balearics, and this one features three talaiots (large stone-built towers that may have had a defensive purpose) and a series of private dwellings with rooms leading off a central courtyard. Add a roof and you imagine you could almost move right in.

Es Castell

Just along the coast from the island capital of Mahón, Es Castell is the ideal resort for those seeking a spot of city culture as part of their holiday.

You're on the Bay of Mahón here, one of the Mediterranean's - if not the world's - very finest harbours, and a boat trip through its sheltered waters to check out 19th-century La Mola fortress is unmissable. Most boats have glass bottoms for checking out the local marine life, too.

It's a 15-minute drive to Mahón, for a visit to the historic Xoriguer gin distillery and lunch at the vibrant fish market, where you can join the locals for some of the island's best seafood.

Back in Es Castells you'll find the pretty harbour of Cales Fonts, lined with waterfront bars and restaurants. It's the ideal place for whiling away your holiday evenings over tapas and the excellent local wine.

Cala en Porter

Bringing the little ones? Cala en Porter is the ideal swimming spot for them, with gently sloping shallows and sheltered, clear waters. There are also tons of family-friendly facilities here, from trampolines and bouncy castles to a go-karting track.

The beach at Cala en Porter on Menorca's south coast © Luis Cagiao - Fotolia.com
The beach at Cala en Porter on Menorca's south coast © Luis Cagiao - Fotolia.com

There are roughly 200 steps down to the beach from the clifftop resort centre, but the mini train can save you the workout, and once you're down there it's a real suntrap. You won't need to head back up for lunch either, as there are numerous restaurants and bars along the beachfront here.

If you fancy a day trip, it's just a 20-minute drive to Alaior or to the island capital of Mahón.

S'Algar

There doesn't seem to be a lot going on in S'Algar that is, until you put your face in the water.

This is one of Menorca's very best diving and snorkelling spots, with easy access to the newly-declared (June 2019) Isla del Aire nature reserve, where you can swim with the fish, including groupers, octopuses and starfish.

The local diving school, S'Algar Diving, offers snorkelling excursions and dives for beginners, as well as the chance to get your PADI qualification.

When you're not beneath the waves, you'll find very little else to distract you from how pretty this wee white-washed ex-fishing village is. There are a few shops and restaurants around the small central plaza though, as well as one of the island's best bakeries.

Cala Galdana

Cala Galdana is one of Menorca's most attractive resorts, a horseshoe-shaped curve of white sands backed by mature trees and flanked by wooded cliffs.

For beach bars and watersports, including windsurfing and snorkelling, you'll want to stick to the main beach. For those who are keen to escape the crowds, it's worth hiking along the coast to more secluded coves such as Cala Mitjana in the west and Cala Macarella in the east.

The protected cove of Cala Galdana, Menorca © Stanciuc - Fotolia.com
The protected cove of Cala Galdana, Menorca © Stanciuc - Fotolia.com

You're an easy 10-minute drive from Ferreries, a quiet but interesting town that has long been the island's centre of shoe-making.

You can visit the factory shop of Jaime Mascaró here, and if you time your visit for a Saturday morning, will find a small food and crafts market on Plaça Espanya.

Playa de Fornells

If it's good enough for the king of Spain, then it's good enough for us. The traditional fishing village of Fornells on Menorca's north coast is known for being a favourite of past King Juan Carlos I, and is also the best place on the island for lobster, served up in a delicious stew called caldereta de llagosta.

The resort of Playa de Fornells is just a half-hour walk (or five-minute drive) along the coast from Fornells itself, overlooking the sweeping sandy bay of Cala Tirant.

Bring your snorkel to explore the crystal-clear waters and spread out on the sands of this tranquil resort's still largely undiscovered beach.

Ciutadella

Before it was usurped by Mahón, the attractive city of Ciutadella was the island's capital, and it has plenty of elegant, historic buildings that nod to its past as a seat of power.

Today, it's more focused on la dolce vita, with chic restaurants and classy wine bars clustered along the harbour's edge. Its old quarter is a pleasant place for a stroll too, its cobbled streets lined with Medieval, Gothic and Moorish buildings.

Harbourfront restaurants in Ciutadella, Menorca © Ian Dagnall - Alamy Stock Photo
Harbourfront restaurants in Ciutadella, Menorca © Ian Dagnall - Alamy Stock Photo

Just a 15-minute walk from the city centre is the teeny beach of Cala des Degollador, while the larger sweep of Cala en Blanes, its white sands backed by pine forest, is just 10 minutes away by car.

Weather in Menorca

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This Balearic beauty is a perennial favourite, warm in spring, hot in summer and just delightfully pleasant as it eases into autumn. Find out more about the weather in Menorca and see when we think is the very best time to go.

Chosen the perfect resort for you? Check out the latest deals on holidays to this much-loved Balearic island with TUI, which offers great value escapes to Menorca departing from airports across the UK between May and October.

More about Menorca

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Helen Ochyra

Helen Ochyra
Posted on Thursday 1st August 2019 in: Beach Europe Excursions Summer

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