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A Weekend in Menorca, Spain’s Underrated Island

You may have heard of Ibiza. You may have heard of Mallorca. But have you heard of Menorca? I’ll admit that prior to moving to the UK, I didn’t know much of Spain’s Balearic Islands, an archipelago in the Mediterranean. I had heard about the infamous parties on Ibiza and Mallorca – popular with British holidaymakers – but beyond that, I was clueless. After a few years of living in London, I had the chance to visit Mallorca, and all of my preconceived notions about the island were thrown out the door.

So when I was invited to visit Menorca for a long weekend as part of a blogger’s conference – you may have seen some posts on social media under #MustSeeMenorca from the group – my curiosity was piqued. Was I in the dark about this island, too?

And after three days on the island, I’m shocked that I hadn’t thought of visiting Menorca before. Because Menorca is not only full of things to do, it is absolutely stunning. Need proof?

For a long weekend, Menorca is the perfect option for those based in Europe (and flights are only two hours from London). If you’re planning a trip to Europe soon, I recommend looking into adding the island of Menorca to your itinerary. It’s beautiful, relaxing, easy to get around, and, if you ask me, seriously underrated.

This is an island filled with white sand beaches, sleepy towns, and turquoise water in every direction. An island with fresh fish, plump oranges, and locally-made gin. An island for both the beach-goer and the history buff, the family, the friends, or the solo traveller who just wants a break from a fast-paced way of life.

It’s quiet here; the word “unspoilt” comes to mind often. There are lively bars and restaurants, yes, but Menorca is renown for a laid-back vibe, an island where time seems to stand still. There are siestas and the sound of lapping waves. Morning drives around the island, checking out one cobblestoned town after the next, brightly-painted houses that stand out against the azure sky. Afternoons by the pool with a glass of sangria, taking in the warm sun. Evenings where the sky explodes into pink and gold. Dinners of steaming paella, fresh mussels, salty olives, and bread still warm by the oven. Bottles of chilled white wine by the twinkling lights of the harbour. It’s a place where you go to unwind, to enjoy life, to feel the salt on your skin.

And although I only had three days on the island of Menorca, I know I touched upon something great, something magical. I only hope that I can get back again soon to discover even more.

Recommended Towns to Visit in Menorca:

-Ciutadella (for beautiful, narrow streets and white-washed walls)

-Mahón (a bigger town, this one is great for shopping)

Recommended Beaches to Visit in Menora:

-Mitjaneta

-Macarelleta (nearby Macarella is often quite busy in summer)

-Cavallaria

-Pregonda

-Mitjana

Recommended Things to do in Menora:

-visit Illa del Llatzeret, a former hospital found on an island, for a haunting look at the island’s history

-drink local gin at Cova d’en Xoroi at sunset; this bar inside a cave makes for a stunning place to watch the sun sink into the sea

shop for Avarcas, a type of leather sandal made on the island (I bought two pairs and have worn them all summer… they lasted perfectly through six weeks in East Africa and are still going strong)

-explore some of the many Megalithic sites on the island, many of which date back to 2,000 BC

-walk the Cami de Cavalls, a 125-mile route around the island (cycling is a possibility, too)

-taste gin at the Xoriguer Gin Distillery, a distillery with a fantastic history; it continues to use copper stills that are over 100 years old

When to go to Menorca:

A lot of places close during the winter months. While it can be a bit rainy in spring and autumn, these months are the best in terms of having the beaches to yourself. Summer is hot and sunny, and it’s when Menorca is at its busiest! I was there in late May and it was absolutely perfect.

Further Reading on Menorca:

The Best of Menorca (Condé Nast Traveller)

Why Menorca Should Be Your Next Summer Escape (The Common Wanderer)

Six Incredible Reasons to Visit Menorca (Along Dusty Roads)

25 Photos That Will Make You Want to Visit Menorca (Lines of Escape)

A Taste of the Balearic Island – Menorca, Spain (Where’s Mollie)

Lepers, Pirates, and Lighthouses: A Tour Guide’s Passion for Menorca (Flora the Explorer)

Five Days in Menorca (A Lady in London)

Many thanks to all of the awesome people who took these photos of me, including the bloggers above and Compass Chasers, Savoir There, Polkadot Passport, and Paperboyo

 

Many many thanks to Traverse, Spain Tourism, Visit Menorca, and Jet2.com for this fantastic long weekend in Menorca! I was also given a Nissan Leaf electric car to drive for a day and it was a great way to get around the island.

Have you ever been to Menorca? If not, would you like to go?

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31 Responses to A Weekend in Menorca, Spain’s Underrated Island

  1. Cate August 9, 2017 at 11:16 pm #

    Wow, this looks incredible! I would love to visit, it looks like a spectacular holiday. Great pics!

    • Brenna Holeman August 11, 2017 at 6:04 am #

      Thank you so much – I hope you get there soon!

  2. The slow pace August 10, 2017 at 10:13 am #

    Menorca is actually the favourite island of lots of Spaniards! Formentera is also a dream. Well, I’m a big fan of the Balearic islands, even Mallorca and Ibiza have a rural heart that is absolutely stunning.
    xx,
    E.

    • Brenna Holeman August 11, 2017 at 6:07 am #

      Yes – I know that Spaniards love it, but it certainly isn’t that well known in North America (at least amongst my friends/family!). I am hoping to get to Ibiza one day and discover how beautiful it is there, too 😀

  3. kuheli August 10, 2017 at 11:47 am #

    Your dresses.. <3

    • Brenna Holeman August 11, 2017 at 6:05 am #

      Thanks! 😀

  4. Grace August 10, 2017 at 1:20 pm #

    I loved Menorca when I was there! You’re right, it’s completely underrated. If you go back, you have to go to the section of beaches by Cala Turqueta! They’re gorgeous, and the virgin beaches you can reach by foot on the Cami de Cavalls are always so much less crowded than the ones that have cars/buses. Wish I could have made it to the cave bar, it was just too far from Ciutadella.

    • Brenna Holeman August 11, 2017 at 6:05 am #

      I really need to see more! I can definitely vouch for the cave bar, though 😀

  5. Lauren Brady August 10, 2017 at 1:49 pm #

    Yesssss!! I have been waiting for this post, heading the second week in September, can’t wait to unwind with some local gin! xxx

    • Brenna Holeman August 11, 2017 at 6:05 am #

      I’m sure you’re going to love it! Have fun 😀

  6. Yuna August 10, 2017 at 4:19 pm #

    So, this is also my first time hearing about Menorca. It looks relaxing and impressive. 🙂 <3

    • Brenna Holeman August 11, 2017 at 6:06 am #

      It is such a beautiful island, I’m glad I found out about it!

  7. Den August 10, 2017 at 4:20 pm #

    How do you get around easy? Good public transport?

    • Brenna Holeman August 11, 2017 at 4:02 am #

      I talked about how I had a car for the day… that would definitely be my choice for getting around any of the Balearic Islands, to be honest. It doesn’t have to be that expensive but it really makes your life so much easier… and you have the freedom to get all over the island! There were a few public buses and plenty of taxis which weren’t too pricey, too…

  8. Emily Killian August 11, 2017 at 11:47 pm #

    This post came at the perfect time! I am planning on studying abroad in Granada next semester and I really wanted to go to a Spanish Island that was laid back that didn’t have partying as the focus. Absolutely beautiful pics!

    • Brenna Holeman August 12, 2017 at 6:00 pm #

      That’s so great! Yes, I’d definitely recommend the Balearic Islands… just rent a car and get a place away from the party towns… then there’s so much to see and do!

  9. Victoria @The British Berliner August 14, 2017 at 9:47 am #

    I love your write-up and the fantastic photography!

    I’ve been to Spain loads of times, but I have to admit, I’m quite snobby about the Spanish islands and haven’t been to a single one! Not only ‘cos of the large amounts of cheap packaged British visitors, but also because of the cheap packaged German visitors too. And being a British person living in Germany, I should know!

    Having said that, Menorca sounds much nicer. And dare I say, calmer!

    • Brenna Holeman August 14, 2017 at 5:29 pm #

      Thanks, Victoria! Menorca was very laid-back and peaceful.

  10. Katie August 14, 2017 at 2:36 pm #

    I’ve spent time on Ibiza and Formentera (Formentera was one of my favorite places ever), but haven’t been to the larger two islands. I loved the vibe though, even on Ibiza’s beaches away from the crazy club scene, and I’d love to go back!

    • Brenna Holeman August 14, 2017 at 5:29 pm #

      You should definitely check out Menorca one day! 😀

  11. Jodie August 16, 2017 at 1:10 pm #

    Your photos are incredible, that sunset one is beautiful! Menorca is certainly on my list to visit now.

    • Brenna Holeman August 16, 2017 at 8:46 pm #

      Aw, thank you! And yes, Menorca is fantastic 😀

  12. Suzanne - The Travelbunny August 20, 2017 at 8:28 pm #

    I was blown away by Menorca – such a beautiful and unspoilt island. It’s also great that it wants to be sustainable with a good balance between natural beauty and tourism. Lovely to meet you albeit briefly 🙂

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 3:28 am #

      I agree – such a gorgeous island! And yes, it was lovely to meet you, too 😀

  13. Becke Quillin August 23, 2017 at 2:04 am #

    Well, I love an underdog so I’m sold. But if this is the underrated of the Spanish Islands… Your pics are beautiful and I love the historical tidbits, because I am a nerd about history. I’ll be in London in a month and you said two hours… Maybe I’ll add another couple days to the trip!

    • Brenna Holeman August 25, 2017 at 3:46 am #

      I would definitely recommend it! It’s so beautiful and relaxed…

  14. Zalie August 30, 2017 at 4:52 pm #

    It looks so gorgeous there! I remember you saying how much you loved it 🙂

    • Brenna Holeman August 30, 2017 at 6:50 pm #

      It really was gorgeous! I wish I had more time there…

  15. Mick October 16, 2017 at 2:05 am #

    Wow! I’ve never heard of Menorca until now! Great pictures – winding streets next to the water!!

    Thanks for the read, Brenna!
    Mick

    • Brenna Holeman October 16, 2017 at 1:30 pm #

      Thank you!

  16. Rachel October 20, 2017 at 10:24 pm #

    Some stunning photos you have taken! You really sell a place that I think is offer overlooked a bit. Glad you enjoyed 🙂

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