While many associate the Balearics with hedonistic partying, Menorca offers a sleepier Spanish experience. At just 50km long, the entire island is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve criss-crossed with walking trails, traditional stone walls and quiet little villages serving up tasty tapas. Get your bearings, by ascending El Toro, Menorca's only mountain. Best of all, Menorca's coastline is littered with stunning beaches and most are lined with craggy cliffs, fragrant woods or rolling grasslands - picturesque Cala Mitjana is ever popular.
When the lounging is done, head into one of Menorca’s 2 charming harbour towns. Island capital Maó sits to the east while Ciutadella, to the west, has a stunning pedestrianised Old Town. Equally, one of the island’s most famous spots is Cova d’en Xoroi, a stunning bar and club built into the cliff face on the southern coast - amazing sunsets.
It’s rare to find loungers or umbrellas on Menorca's many beautiful beaches, instead there’s usually just soft white sand accessed through woodland or rural pathways. The south coast is sprinkled with picturesque little coves; families will like Cala Binibequer (one of the few with sunloungers and a snack bar), while purists may prefer the natural beauty of tiny Cala Binidali (pictured). We also love Playa de Cavalleria on the north coast (great for surfing).
Fornells fishing village is the place to try Menorca's signature dish caldereta de langosta (lobster casserole), and every town and village has its share of independent tapas bars. In terms of fine dining, you can’t beat Hotel Torralbenc's restaurant. Book an alfresco dinner under the beautifully lit pergola, trust the sommelier's recommendations, and surrender to a delicious (and often theatrical) 3-course extravaganza - not to be missed!
Menorca’s west coast stronghold, Ciutadella was a merchants' town for centuries and its pedestrianised Old Town still boasts many beautiful townhouses and cobbled squares. Visit the Lithica stone museum and garden (outside town); head into the centre for lunch by the harbour and a stroll around the imposing cathedral - guests at Hotel Tres Sants can get a bird's eye view from the hotel's roof terrace.
Menorca’s coast is lined with an ancient path stretching 185km. Its origins are uncertain, but 17th-century documents refer to it as the Camí de Cavallers, meaning Path of Knights, so perhaps it once helped defend Menorca from sea attacks. Today, it’s a popular route for hikers, trekkers, trail runners and mountain bikers - although no one will judge you if you simply use it to stroll from one beach to another.
Many of Menorca’s excellent vineyards are open for tours - try Binifadet with its pretty vine-covered terrace, family-owned Binitord or award-winning Hort Sant Patrici (pictured), where there’s also cheese production, a modern sculpture garden and, if you want to stay longer, Ca Na Xini.
Fun fact: Maó is the birthplace of mayonnaise! Other than sampling this island delicacy, don't miss the Xoriguer Gin Distillery, the Museum of Menorca and the Teatre Pricipal, one of the oldest theatres in Europe, which still hosts musicals, operas and shows. Following renovations, Jardi de ses Bruixes was able to rescue some original doors from the theatre and repurpose them as headboards in their hotel rooms.