Island Towns and Villages to visit or stay in
Being small the Island only has two cities Mahon (Mao), Ciutadella and a few widely dispersed towns. A good place to stay in too? yes, because the island is so small being based in one of the towns rather than a beach side resort you can have the best of both worlds! - a beach is never far away!
This is a great town for wandering early mornings or late evenings when the extreme heat of the summer sun has gone. The "third" capital of the island and a cultural centre. The old town is very pretty and makes a great change to the beach, with a good mix of little shops to browse, Cafes, Bars and Restaurants. There are several clothes and shoe boutiques offering original items not chain store repetition. Childrens playground on the pretty town square (next to ice cream cafes!). Alaior has a weekly market plus an evening market with jewellery , other handicrafts and small boutiques.
Alaior is home to the Pons Quintana shoe factory shop. An name relatively unknown in the UK because most of its high quality leather shoes are exported to France and Germany. At the factory shop you will see reduced prices on beautiful high quality shoes and leather goods.
A taste of former elegant times with fine old spanish palaces, moorish influences, a wonderful old centre and a charming little harbour. Ciutadella was the original capital of the island lying at the western edge of the island looking out to its bigger neighbour Mallorca. A superb contrast to the beach and holiday resort. Great atmosphere and shopping and a place to wander the pedestrianised old city and its many narrow streets with hidden shops and Cafe treats. Also competes with Mahon for the title of the best music bars and venues on the island. The scene for the spectacular Sant Joan festival in June, when stunning native black horses parade through the streets and the brave try to "touch the horses' heart" as it rears in front of them.
Is a delightful traditional town with a great location. Combining stunning views with a great mix of little shops, cafes, bars and restaurants to suit all tastes, price ranges and styles. In the two harbours many of the old fishermans caves have been adapted by various Bars and Restaurants giving them interesting interiors aswell as great people watching seating outside overlooking the water . A very popular eating place for lunchtime Menu del Dias and a great place to while away the summer evenings.
Es Grau is a typical Menorcan fishing village, unspoilt and inside one of the islands most famous nature reserves (S 'Albufera Parc Natural). Set in a horsehore bay with a beautiful natural safe beach and several small virgin beaches close by. A small place but there are still three bars, one waterside restaurant, and corner shop supermarket. Clean clear warm waters make the area ideal for snorkelling with good local facilities for wind surfing, sea kayaking and other water sports. From Es Grau you can ask local fisherman to ferry you to the nearby island 'Illa Den Colom' where you can lie undisturbed on the virgin beach dreaming of the water bottle you left behind...
Menorca Holiday Tips
Kayak hire from beach , paddle around left handside headland and enjoy the tiny hidden beaches there opposite the Illa Den Colom ( Kayaks for 3 Pers 12 Euro an hour )
Es Mercadal is a small town in the centre of the island, with rustic whitewashed houses lining pretty narrow streets. It lies at the base to Monte Toro, Menorcas' highest 'mountain' (357 m). On top there are viewing areas and a small pleasant cafeteria with small outside terrace. From up here there are excellent views of the whole island - upto the bay at Fornells ,the northern coast and the rolling hills of the island's centre.
Es Mercadal is also a Gastronomy and Restaurant oasis, with a range from simple to fine dining but the quality in every price range is very good. "Centre Artesanal de Menorca" is located here too and is the crafts center of Menorca showcasing traditional and comtemporary crafts.
Is a traditional island town occupying a beautiful location and providing a dramatic moment for all drivers as the main island road ME-1 meanders through a very picturesque and narrow gap in the hills. Ferreries is surrounded by beautiful hills and countryside and spectacular valleys ( Barranc d'Algendar ) and history. A great start point for scenic walks,cycling and horse riding. Two Menorcan Horse shows just outside town.
Menorca Holiday Tips
Every Saturday 9-1 pm there is a small farmers and craft market in Placa Espanya ( main town square ) with fresh farm produce, fruit and handicrafts including ceramics and basket crafts. At the Poligno there is a Jaime Mascaro factory outlet offering high quality leathers goods at reduced prices which are sold mostly in French, Italian and German boutiques.
A watersports and restaurant favourite. The village with it's speciality seafood restaurants is located at the entrance to a huge enclosed natural bay whose protected waters make it perfect for all manner of sail based 'messing about'. More like a large salt water lake, the wind conditions here are great for beginners of anything that floats on water. Very pleasant for lunch time and evening drinks and meals alongside the harbour quay. Lot's of boat excursions and activities are based here. Perfect for a quiet authentic Menorca stay. Mountain Bike Hire. Watersports include Jetski,Waterskiing,Windsurfing, Dinghy,Kayaks and Diving.
Es Migjorn Gran
Es Migjorn Gran is authentic Menorca and the town with perhaps the least tourism influence. Surrounded by grand and beautiful country side, with many rural paths and single track roads ( Camis ) to explore. It is the starting point for drives or walks in to wonderful woods and valleys ( Binigaus ) and direct south of the town is perhaps one of the nicest virgin beaches on the island at Binigaus. It has three authentic restaurants ( Ca Na Pilar, S'Engolidor and Can Toni ) for a special evening meal.
Mahon ( Mao or Maó )
Mahon has a great mediterranean charm around the centre and harbour. Busy pavement Cafes and Bars, superb fruit and fish markets and all enclosed in a maze of narrow streets with architecture and many reminders of it's Georgian past. In addition to the traditional the town offers a myriad of stylish shops and bars. Along the whole length of the harbour quayside (Moll de Llevant) there is an electic collection of Cafes, Bars and Restaurants for all pockets and styles. A spectacular setting above the huge natural harbour with ships and boats of every shape and sizes.
San Climent ( Sant Climente )
Located on the main road (ME-12) from Mahon to Cala en Porter is well worth a visit if you are in the area. "Famous" for Es Casino Bar-Restaurant (some of the best tasting/value) Menu del Dias on the island. Great Music nights: Tuesday evening improv Jazz in backrooms of the Es Casino Bar-Restaurant. Last shop on the right of main street heading to Cala en Porter is a traditional bakers where you can experience tasty bread /pasteries made in traditional wood fired ovens.
If you are an independent traveller and waiting to catch a flight then come here for for final drinks and meals in a more personal environment. Airport is just 5 mins drive away. Tabacs shop and cafes open at 6am too!
Is a mostly residential town with a good mix of little shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. Its most well known sights are Moli de Dalt the island's only functioning windmill (open am for visits) and "La Rueda" a popular Tapas Bar & Restauant. In pretty neighbouring S'Uestra and Torret there are some excellent high class restaurants. Mahons trotting and karting track are also near by.
TIP Visit the large Euroski SYP Supermarket here at the Poligno ( commercial area) for a good food selection (english / german food items stocked) and keen prices. The Supermarket's (independent ) Cafeteria Bar offers a great menu del Dia/take away hot food in air conditioned surroundings.
Menorca Holiday Tips
If you have a hire car here are some villages worth a visit.places/llucmacanes.html
A residential village, several of the former farmhouses have been turned into homes and holiday rentals. A little supermarket. There are walks and cycling routes in the surrounding attractive countryside.
A village straight out of the picture books, traditional menorcan architecture, with lots of bougainvillea draped over the old white washed houses. Best to leave the car at the entrance roads and just wander respectfully or as part of a cycle tour. Home to highly regarded restaurants for food lovers (Sa Pedrera des Pujol, Sa Parereta d'en Doro, Pan y Vino ). From behind the unmissable watchtower you can wander down to the coast at Cala Torret.