Menorca | Travel Guide 



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News:

Update August 24:

Spain is on the amber list.

If you're fully vaccinated and returning to the UK from an amber country you won't need to self-isolate when you get back.

You'll need to take a PCR test 72 hours before you depart and a PCR test on or before day 2 after you return.

Children under 18 won't need to self-isolate but will still need to take the precautionary tests. Those aged 5-10 only need to take the day 2 test and those under 4 are exempt from any testing or self-isolation.


Testing requirements:

UK visitors to mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands will require a negative Covid test, proof of vaccination or proof of recovery.

The Canary Islands require a negative test, proof of vaccination or proof of recovery if you're staying in tourist accommodation - you don't need one for private accommodation.

If you're fully vaccinated you'll need to take a PCR test 72 hours before you travel and a PCR test on or before day 2 after you return.

If you aren't fully vaccinated you'll need to take a pre-departure PCR test plus ones on day 2 and day 8 while you self-isolate on your return.


When you're there:

Some regional curfews and restrictions are in place in Spain, and face masks are required for enclosed public spaces.


Traffic light status:

Spain, including the Balearics and the Canaries, are on the amber list, which means it is legal to travel there for any purpose, including a holiday. The FCDO doesn't currently advise against travelling to Spain.

The Balearics (Mallorica, Menorca and Ibiza) moved to England's amber list on 19th July.

Menorca Travel Guide

Welcome to the Holiday Extras travel guide to the georgeous island of Menorca. Here's what you can expect:

Some facts about Menorca


Menorca is a popular holiday destination thanks to its countless golden beaches (700 square kilometres' worth) and the welcoming resorts that frame the island. But there's so much more to Menorca than that. For one thing, it's really quite beautiful with its green mountains, high cliffs and sheltered coves, and for another it has a rich and fascinating history spanning thousands of years.

Weather

Menorca is blessed with a warm Mediterranean climate, with hot summers somewhere in the region of the high 20Cs and low 30Cs. But it's still warm enough to visit in spring or autumn too, with temperatures remaining high into October.

Menorca gets a little more rain than the other Balearic islands and it's most likely to fall in the autumn, so if you're visiting at that time of year make sure you're prepared.

Money

Menorca is part of Spain which, as a member of the EU, uses the euro.

Tipping isn't always expected but it will be appreciated, especially in taxis – just 5%-10%. Many restaurants add a service charge to the bill so only tip if the service has been very good.

Language

Menorca has two official languages – Catalan and Spanish, though most residents speak a Menorcan dialect of Catalan known as Menorqui. English is widely spoken in popular tourist areas as well, so you shouldn't have too many problems. Here are some Spanish phrases to get you started:

  • Hello - Hola
  • Goodbye - Adios
  • Please - Por favor
  • Thank you - Gracias
  • Yes - Sí
  • No - No
  • I would like - Quisiera
  • The bill, please - La cuenta, por favor

How to get to Menorca

Menorca has one airport, just a few kilometres away from the capital, Mahon. There are plenty of direct flights from the UK to Menorca and it takes around two and a half hours to get there.

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Getting around Menorca

By car

Menorca was made a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1993 thanks to its well-preserved natural landscapes, wildlife and culture. This is why there aren't any motorways on the island.

This doesn't mean driving here is inconvenient – the island is criss-crossed by a small network of scenic roads that run along the coast, through green fields and up rugged mountains. There's one main road that crosses the island from east to west, but it only really gets busy with traffic in summer.

A good thing to remember if you're planning on driving here is that most petrol stations are inland, away from the beach resorts, so make sure you fill up the tank at every opportunity.

Public transport

Getting around the island by bus can seem to be a bit complicated at first, as the bus networks on the island are divided among the local authorities and three separate companies. But they all work together to get you where you need to go, whether to or from the airport, or between the island's two major cities – Mahon and Ciutadella.

If you're visiting off season some regular bus services might not be running, so make sure you double check when planning your transport from the airport to your resort and back.


Things to do in Menorca

Historic Ciutadella

Ciutadella was once the capital city of the island and lies on the west coast. It's a charming medieval city filled with narrow streets framed by amber coloured buildings.

Stroll along the cobbles to the old harbour, or to the Placa d'es Born – the town square overlooked by the mighty 14th-century town hall. The island was governed from here until the capital was changed to Mahon in 1722.

The gorgeously preserved old quarter of the city is a delight. You'll discover lively street markets, vast mansions, quaint churches and its unique Gothic cathedral.


Caves of Menorca

Menorca has a honeycomb network of caves home to the hidden depths of the island. There's a countless number of them, some of which haven't even been explored, but the largest of them is one of the most famous attractions on the island.

The Cova des Coloms is 300 metres long and 24 metres high, and the limestone formations inside give it the appearance of a naturally formed cathedral, with vast columns and echoing walls.

Another popular cave is the Cova d'en Xoroi, near the resort of Cala en Porter. The cave here is carved into a cliff face and features a number of terraces across multiple levels, with stunning views over the sea. The cave is also home to a bar, and many visitors like to come to enjoy a drink as they watch the sunset.

Monte Toro

Monte Toro is the highest peak on the island as well as its only mountain, meaning you can see it from almost anywhere. It's around 350 metres high, and you can scale it on foot or by car. From the summit you can take in views of the whole island, and even the neighbouring island of Mallorca on a clear day.

The summit is also home to the Sanctuary of the Mare de Deu del Toro, a 17th-century chapel, and a community of Franciscan nuns.


Cala Turqueta

Menorca is an island known for its beautiful beaches, and Cala Turqueta is one of the best. Set within a cove south of Ciutadella, this stunning stretch of sand is flanked by pale cliffs covered in pine trees – some of which you can jump from into the crystal blue water.

Because of its gorgeous scenery and surroundings, the beach is extremely popular, so if you want a good spot to roll out your towel, you better get there early. There are a couple of car parks within a kilometre of the beach but they will fill up quickly – or you can take a taxi instead.

Torre d'en Galmes

Torre d'en Galmes is an ancient site that dates from the Talayotic period of Menorca's history, more than 3,000 years ago.

It's completely in ruins now but you can still make out the town's relatively advanced underground water reservoir and rain catchers, as well as the unique circular houses and outbuildings separated by columns and walls.

A number of fascinating artefacts have been unearthed here, including a bronze statue of Egyptian priest Imhotep, showing the town once had contact with ancient Egypt. You can learn more at the Museum of Menorca in Mahon.

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Where to stay in Menorca

Mahon

The island's capital, also known as Mao, is a lively city easy to explore on foot, with an exciting collection of boutiques, bars, restaurants and music venues to keep you entertained.

The city is also the heart of the island's nightlife, and while it doesn't compare to the mega clubs of Ibiza, it does boast a selection of smaller clubs that are quite popular.

In terms of where to stay, Mahon has everything from up-market hotels to small, family-run B&Bs.

Cala Galdana

Cala Galdana is known as the 'Queen of the Calas' – the scenic coves that are home to most of Menorca's best beaches and resorts. The resort of Cala Galdana is, of course, blessed with a picturesque beach of white sand and shallow, clear water where you can enjoy watersports and snorkelling.

But there's more than just a beach – cliff-top walks, mini golf, plenty of restaurants plus a combination of all-inclusive hotels and self-catering apartments make the resort ideal for families.


Binibeca

Binibeca lies on the south-eastern tip of the island, framed by beaches and coves. It's perfect if you're looking for a more traditional stay as it's relatively untouched by the big holiday companies in the main resorts.

Instead, much of the accommodation here consists of small, locally owned hotels and villas that can be rented. Letting you enjoy the best of the town and its surroundings, which included a glorious, sheltered beach, a mini train that runs to the nearby town of Punta Prima, and the neighbouring traffic-free settlement of Cala Torret.

What to eat in Menorca

One of the most famous and popular dishes on the island is caldereta de langosta, a stew with local spiny lobster, tomato and garlic. It's served pretty much everywhere so you won't struggle to find it.

Another popular dish is bacalao ab burrida, balls of cod served with garlic sauce similar to aioli – you might like to try it with tumbet, a mix of chopped potatoes, onions, aubergine and peppers fried until crispy.

For dessert you must try bunuelos, small fried balls or fritters, similar to profiteroles, stuffed with a variety of sweet fillings – including sweetened Mahon cheese.

Gin has been a very popular tipple on the island since it was occupied by the British in the 18th century, and there are a number of local distilleries. It's often served with cloudy lemonade and ice – a refreshing combination known as Pomada.

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