Readers will already be aware that Spain is one of my favourite countries to visit. It has in abundance what my own country lacks, that being sunshine and warm weather. My recent trip to Spain included a visit to the Balearic island of Menorca (Minorca), located in Spain’s part of the glorious Mediterranean Sea.
Always in search of the perfect beach, here are my thoughts on the beaches in Menorca that I visited. All of the below are located in the western half of the island.
BEACHES IN MENORCA
This cove on the northern coast consists of two beaches: Platja des Tancats and Platja des Bot. Platja des Tancats is the larger of the two and is approximately 300 metres walk from the nearest carpark. It is a sandy beach and is backed by dunes. The swimming area is split in two by rocks.
The walk to Platja des Bot from the carpark is close to 1km in length. The beach can also be accessed by scrambling over the challenging rocky forested area at the north end of Platja des Tancats. There are no facilities on the Cala d’Algaiarens beaches so bring food and drink. However, both beaches gently slope into the sea and are therefore excellent for children.
Another northern coast beach, Cala Pregonda is one of the best-known beaches in Menorca. The earth in the surrounding area has a reddish hue which gives Pregonda’s sand a darker golden glow than others.
I accessed Cala Pregonda by parking in the nearby Platja de Binimel-La carpark and walking along the coast. To be honest, this long walk to Cala Pregonda (approx. 30 minutes) took the delight out of the experience as did the narrow road leading to the general area. Cala Pregonda is a beautiful beach but was a little crowded during my visit. Perhaps midweek would have been a better choice.
The Son Saura nature reserve is located on the south coast of Menorca and consists of two beaches: Platja des Banyul and Platja de Bellavista. Even though Platja des Banyul is the closest beach to the carpark (150m approx.), the majority of people were heading towards Bellavista. Platja des Banyul had rocks submerged quite close to the shore plus an abundance of sea weed.
Although Platja de Bellavista was busy, a chilled-out vibe and large swimming area more than made up for this. Boardwalks are installed so that degradation of the sand dunes doesn’t take place. Highly recommended.
CALA MITJANA/CALA MITJANETA
Another south coast beach, Cala Mitjana and nearby smaller Cala Mitjaneta are the ultimate screen savers. Getting to them involves a lengthy trek but they are more than worth the effort. A forested walking path, beginning in the residential part of east Cala Gandana, will lead you to Cala Mitjaneta first.
Continue along the path for 100-200m and the boardwalk access to Cala Mitjana will be visible. Alternatively, park in the carpark (okay, it’s a field with carpark signs) on the Me-22 road on the outskirts of Cala Gandana. This walking route is slightly longer but is predominantly paved so ideal for bicycles. Both beaches are surrounded by high cliffs and the water is of the turquoise colour we associate with paradise.
Although there were individuals selling water, beer and fruit on Cala Mitjana, bring more substantial food if staying for a while. And you will. I did.
Located near the south coast resort of Santo Tomas, Platja Binigaus is a wide-open beach that requires a walk over a rocky shore area. I parked in a field-like carpark on the Me-18 road into Santo Tomas and walked the 0.8km to Binigaus.
There are other beaches nearer Santo Tomas (Platja de Sant Adeodat and Platja de Sant Tomas) but they are backed by hotels and other buildings. Platja Binigaus has no facilities but has that sense of remoteness that more isolated beaches have. Platja Binigaus is a textile-optional beach.
If I could find a fault with the beaches in Menorca it would be the issue of access. Unlike neighbouring Mallorca, Menorca’s beach car-parks are located quite some distance from the shore areas. It makes for more secluded beaches but it requires a certain level of fitness. The roads leading to these areas are quite narrow and I could see many drivers having difficulty with this aspect.
I really am only skimming the surface when it comes to Menorca’s coastal favourites. For such a small island it has a massive array of coves and beaches that I’ve yet to discover. So I’ll be returning to this glorious Mediterranean island for my year’s supply of sunshine.
WEST MENORCA TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
I stayed in Catalan-influenced Ciutadella, the island’s second-largest urban area. Ciutadella has a great selection of cafes, restaurants and shops but is limited for parking space.
For those travelling by public transport, Ciutadella has excellent bus connections to the remainder of the island. Some of the south coast beaches didn’t have car-parks so were best accessed by public bus.
Menorca is not as popular as neighbouring Mallorca for holiday-makers so has limited flight connections to other European countries. I flew to Menorca’s Mahón Airport (IATA Code: MAH) from Madrid with Iberia who have a number of daily flights to the island. Mahón is the capital of Menorca and is also called Maó.
My departure time for my flight from Mahón Airport back to Madrid was at 7am so I arrived at the airport at 5am only to find it closed!