If you love beautiful landscapes, dream of remote natural sandy beaches, love to dine well and sip drinks under dreamy stars then Menorca is worth a second look. Most guide books extoll the virtues of Menorca for families much less is written about its attraction for the twenty something plus couples. And while Menorca is no 'Clubbers paradise', there are still plenty of places where you can dance the night away, none more spectacular so than Covas den Xoroi set in natural caves 25m above the bay in Cala en Porter with guest DJs from UK and Ibiza. Most of the dance clubs can be found in the harbour areas with smaller music and "chill out" bars in the side streets of of Mahon and Ciutadella as well as in Es Castell. There is a water taxi between Mahons' and Es Castells' attractive harbours that is an especially delightful way ' to arrive' on summer evenings.
The best tip for Menorca is to treat the whole island as your resort. Absolutley nothing is more than a hour's road trip away. Getting mobile with a hire car will allow you to experience so much more. Reserve in advance as hire on the island is generally more (much more) expensive. The island has a modern bus network that uses four hubs along the spine road of the island (ME-1) so most places are accessible but given the small size of the island and regulated fixed fare pricing a Taxi trip won't break the bank either.
The island definitely does not attract the get drunk quick visitor. Menorca is not a budget destination, never has been and never will be. So you are left with relaxed quaility and if you are in the know then like me you can eat very well for a lot less. Renting a private Villa or Apartment, or staying in a smaller country house or family run hotel will complete a memorable romantic break.
There are picture postcard villages of Torret, Llucmacanes and Trebaluger to visit and lovely countryside drives through stone walled lanes.
Beach Life and Sun Worshipers
There are arguably few, if any, destinations in the mediterranean that can offer so many prisitine natural beaches in such a small area as Menorca. If you wanted to find fine white sands beaches then normally you'd have to fly much longer than the two hours to Menorca. The resort beaches are free from annoying beach traders and while the beach rats might make sand castle obstacle courses at the waters edge due to the restricted tourist numbers the beaches are never over full so that you can't find a good spot away from the little darlings.
Beach visitor numbers to the island's trademark virgin beaches are restricted either by access point for those reachable by car and by a half hour hikes for those only reachable on foot. Once experienced, never forgotten. I never tire of these beaches.
Menorca has finally woken up to two wheel tourism. There are criss crossing miles of pretty single track lanes called 'Camis' connecting the island small hamlets and towns - the original road network of the island. These roughtrack road surfaces are ideal with mountain bikes. There is now a signed network of recommended routes with gradients, time to complete and difficulty information across the island. There is also a booming list of enthusiasts favourite routes with maps and photos.
There is a growing network of cycle hire shops - best to pack you own helmet for comfort and you 'll will save yourself a silly extra surcharge too.
Fancy pounding through the water on beaches at sunset, riding through pine, oak and olive woodland dappled with rays of sunlight? then Menorca offers guided and 'free reign' four legged hire.
Naturally watersports play a big part on the island, however it's not over commercialised so it's not wacky races on waves here!
Fornell's huge bay offers optimum conditions to learn windsurfing, sailing, water skiing and is the most sort out watersports destination.
Of course much of the beauty of Menorca is best seen from the water. If your budget doesn't stretch to private yacht charter( though in a group its affordable ), then there still other ways to enjoy the beautiful coastline. Firstly there are organised trips from Mahon, Ciutadella and Cala en Bosch to virgin beaches along the coast. With stopoffs for bathing and perfecting that tan on the remote beaches. The Red Rocket from Mahon harbours offers a more personal trip in small groups on a sporty red vessel. Why not get up close to the coast with Sea Kayak tours where you can enter the many hidden bays and caves- terrific!
Menorca is a delight for diving too as the water clarity is excellent, the water warm and the sea life very abundant. Menorca offers some great cavern diving due to the soft limestone underwater cave systems. And of course the shallow turquoise waters with rocky fringes make snorkelling a joy.
The island offers some great places to walk outside of the sunnier parts of the day. There are lush limestone gorges, strange yet beautiful rocky coastal landscapes on the north coast and lovely coast paths with stop off beaches for a refreshing dip-always pack water bottle, a swimsuit and a towel! You don't have to be a history buff to appreciate the dramatic prehistoric stone sies scattered all over this island- A real sense of being back in a different world.
Of course nothings beats relaxing at cafe and just watching the world go by picking at Tapas in the early evening with the fashionable locals. Charming Ciutadellas' old town is a delight with its labyrinth of medieval streets and water fountain plazas with their Cafe Bars. Mahon the capital is more cosmopolitan with motor yachts as big as houses in the yacht harbour and many waterside restaurants to suite all tastes and pockets.
A real eye opener is to visit the island in Spring ( April/early May ) when the island is in full bloom, the colours more vivid and the early summer sun a big contrast to grey wintery skies back home- A deserted virgin beach in April is a real tonic! - keep to accommodation in the towns in April though as resorts will still be in 'winter sleep'