Menorca, the smallest of the Balearic Islands, is a small piece of paradise within the western Mediterranean and one of the most popular family destinations. This is an exceptional place to explore with natural parks, a rich cultural heritage, and delicious local cuisine for you to discover.
Menorca has 216 km of highly varied coastline, comprising stunning beaches, soaring cliffs, hidden coves, tiny islands, and marine reserves teeming with life. Resorts vary from the picturesque fishing village where you can relax and unwind on quiet beaches, to bustling seaside towns catering for all ages, tastes, and budgets. The island is extremely family-orientated, with play areas attached to restaurants to entertain younger children.
It is not simply a sun destination; there is so much to do for those who want an active holiday.
Water parks and water sports such as swimming, diving, kayaking, paddle–boarding, sailing, windsurfing, fishing, sailing and scuba diving are available in many resorts. Menorca’s crystal clear waters and stunning sea bed is a favourite amongst diving enthusiasts. Surfcasting and rock fishing are very popular, and you can also hire a boat, with or without crew.
Walking, cycling, and horse riding
The 116-mile Cami de Cavalls is an ancient coastal bridleway encircling the island, taking in remote beaches, plunging cliffs and secluded beauty spots. Originally created to provide access between neighbouring watchtowers and safeguard inhabitants against foreign invaders, the path was reopened in 2011 after a 400-year closure. This can be explored by walking the lanes that crisscross the countryside, horse riding, or hiring a bike to meander along the quiet roads, stopping at a roadside inn to savour the ‘menu del dia’.
Culture and excursions
The ancient town of Ciutadella provides an excellent day trip. With its ancient Baroque and Gothic architecture, quaint narrow cobbled streets, and shops and restaurants aplenty, it is a fascinating and atmospheric place to visit. The Aqua Rock water park in Cala’n Bosch makes for a great day out with swimming pools, slides, and rides. A trip to Mahon, the commercial and cultural centre, features a depth of history, culture, and night life.
Whenever you visit Menorca, you are likely to stumble upon a local fiesta - check with your tourist office for information on events.
Menorca was recognised by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve in 1993. The architectural heritage enjoys a protected status and a policy is in place against any over-development. There is an amazing variety of flora, fauna, and birds to view.
Seafood is in abundance; especially heavenly are squid, mullet, prawns, mussels, and sea bass. The island’s signature dish is caldereta de llagosta, a beautiful lobster stew which was originally prepared by the fisherman on their boats.
A family complex offers on-site entertainment and a mini splash park for the kids. Options include the Hi Binimar apartments in Cala’n Forcat, one of Menorca’s top resorts, with a sandy cove only 300 metres away.
The laid-back atmosphere in Menorca is perfect for a family holiday and the lack of club scene keeps the night owls away. The holiday resorts of Cala’n Bosch and Cala’n Forcat have a great choice of bars and restaurants all catering for families.
The season starts in May with peak season late June to late August, with a reduction in prices either side of these dates. Best of all, there are no awkward 6am starts! From May 22 to September 18, flights leave Dublin every Sunday at 2pm and land back in Dublin at 8.30pm (flight times subject to change ).
Grenham Travel are renowned for their expertise in arranging family holidays. Call to 1-3 Connaught Street, phone (090 ) 6492028, or visit www.grenhamtravel.ie