Things to do in Menorca for culture vultures: A complete guide
Seaside or countryside? On this Balearic Island, you don’t have to choose. Yet, aside from its phenomenal beauty, Menorca has a burgeoning cultural scene just waiting to be uncovered. Discover the best cultural things to do in Menorca
It may quite possibly be the most beautiful Spanish island, but to make such a claim is risky. Yet the rocky coves, long golden stretches of beach and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve make Menorca a picture-postcard paradise that has been overshadowed by its rowdier neighbours. The island’s scenic towns retain their traditional charm, while top restaurants and the best hotels in Menorca exude a unique blend of Menorcan warmth and hospitality. However, don’t let Menorca’s demure demeanour fool you into thinking that this is nothing more than a sleepy Mediterranean holiday hotspot. Oh, no! This island is a hedonist’s paradise, bursting with plans that will bewitch you into wanting to stay here forever. Don’t believe us? Read on to uncover the hottest cultural things to do in Menorca.
Grab a pen and paper and make a list of the unmissable things to do in Menorca
We know that you have probably finalised your travel list for this year. But, it is worth noting that Menorca is worthy of a place on your list. This island is one of the Mediterranean’s hidden jewels where you can let your hair down and experience the luxurious feeling of freedom. Before we regale you with the endless things to do in Menorca, picture this: No sooner after arriving at your hotel can you venture off to a secluded cove and swim in its turquoise waters. It sounds like paradise, and that’s because it is. However, if you should tire of mesmerising ocean views, here is a list of things to do in Menorca, Spain, that will grant this island first place on your travel list.
Things to do in Menorca: Explore Ciutadella
One of the things to see and do in Menorca is the Ciutadella Old Town
Get ready to take a trip back in time. Ciutadella is one of the best things to see in Menorca and this ‘Old Town’ was formerly the capital of the island. Anyone with a passion for history will fall in love with its stunning architecture and its labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets. Wander around and you’ll discover pretty sun-splashed plazas surrounded by elegant townhouses and Mediterranean-style architecture with a small harbour as the focal point. The must-see highlights? The impressive Santa Maria Cathedral, for one. Built in the 13th century on the site of an old mosque, it conserves part of the minaret, making for an intriguing blend of cultures and designs. The main town square, Placa d’es Born, is not only the island’s most beautiful square but it’s also considered to be one of the loveliest in the whole of Spain.
Things to do in Menorca: Discover Ses Pedreres de s’Hostal
Best places to visit in Menorca: don’t miss the Ses Pedreres de s’Hostal
Less than a mile from the old town you’ll encounter the sandstone quarry of Ses Pedreres de s’Hostal, an Instagram moment if ever there was one. Believed to be more than 200 years old, this was the excavation site for the sandstone used to create the island’s traditional houses and buildings up until the 1990s. What was left behind at Ses Pedreres de s’Hostal was an intriguing mix of geometric shapes carved out of the earth.
What was left behind at Ses Pedreres de s’Hostal was an intriguing mix of geometric shapes carved out of the earth
True to the island’s form, the site has been protected and repurposed. Spotting its inherent beauty, Laetitia Sauleau, an Italian sculptor, set up Líthica, a non-profit cultural association which has not only preserved the site but also created a stone labyrinth and added botanical gardens and orchards. This amazing effort has turned the quarry into one of the top 10 things to do in Menorca as it is now a unique cultural venue that now hosts concerts and exhibitions.
Things to do in Menorca when it rains: Museum of Menorca
If you’re having lunch at one of the restaurants along the harbourside in Mahón, one of the best places to eat in Menorca, you can also feed your appetite for history.Tucked away above the harbour in a baroque convent building, you’ll find the Museo de Menorca, a free museum open to all.It’s a great museum spread over several floors with exhibits that tell the stories of Menorca’s colourful past, including ancient maps, sculptures and artefacts, as well as an interesting collection of art from the 18th-20th centuries. It’s a great option if you’re stuck for things to do in Menorca on a rainy day.
Things to do in Menorca: Visit Xoriguer
Fun things to do in Menorca: Sip Menorcan gin and lemon at Xoriguer Gin Distillery
Who fancies a G&T with ice and a slice? The British occupation of the island led to the swift foundation of gin distilleries. It didn’t take long for the locals to get a taste for it too and it remains one of the most popular spirits on the island. Of all the local brands, Xoriguer is the most popular and the tours of its distillery on the Mahón waterfront are delightful.
Of all the local brands, Xoriguer is the most popular and the tours of its distillery on the Mahón waterfront are delightful
One of the best things to do in Menorca is to come and sniff the botanicals here but don’t ask for the recipe, as it’s a fiercely guarded family secret.
Family things to do in Menorca: visit the Museo Etnológico Molí de Dalt
Are you ready to learn about traditional village life? Molí de Dalt is the island’s ethnological museum, housed in an ancient windmill in the little town of Sant Lluís, one of the most charming Menorca destinations. Built during the French occupation, the lovingly restored Molí de Dalt is the town’s only surviving windmill. Its quaint interior is used to tell the story of its importance for the town’s agriculture, display traditional farming tools and crafts, and give insights into the life of the villagers. A trip to this museum is one of the more unusual things to do in Menorca but it is certainly worth it, especially for history lovers.
Things to do in Menorca for families: Torralba d’en Salort
Are you fascinated by prehistoric sites? One of the cool things to do in Menorca is to beat a path back to the Bronze Age. Come and marvel at the mighty boulders and megaliths still standing at Torralba d’en Salort, a Talaiotic village that’s Menorca’s answer to Stonehenge.
Come and marvel at the mighty boulders and megaliths still standing at Torralba d’en Salort, a Talaiotic village that’s Menorca’s answer to Stonehenge
In addition to a circle of standing stones used as a religious ceremony space, you’ll find the actual village where the original architects lived still perfectly preserved. Historians believe that this site was first founded around 1000 BC and was a thriving settlement right up until the Roman occupation.
Things to do in Menorca: A trip to Cap de Favàritx
Romantic things to do in Menorca: discover the Cap de Favàritx
Beach walks are even better when you can discover secret little coves and lighthouses. The Cap de Favàritx lighthouse, located on the northeast tip of the island, is still fully operational. Built back in 1922, its majestic tower stands 47 metres tall. It won’t take you long to walk out to the lighthouse, but you’ll be rewarded not just by fabulous views over the ocean but also by the discovery of one of the island’s prettiest beaches – Cala Presili. Pack a blanket, a picnic and a bottle of wine – this is one of the best places to visit in Menorca, Spain to watch the sun slowly set over the Mediterranean Sea.
Top things to do in Menorca: a day trip to Isla del Rey
Hop on a boat – a yellow catamaran to be precise – in Mahón and it’s a short journey across the water to the teeny tiny island of Isla del Rey, located right in the middle of the harbour. The island was the former home of the old British Military Hospital, with many older buildings also still standing. Today, it’s a protected site of natural as well as historical importance, home to lots of local flora and fauna. Discover one of the best things to do in Menorca, Spain - no trip is complete without a sightseeing cruise to this island to uncover the beauty and magic of the entire bay.
So, have we convinced you to uncover the magic of Menorca?
From coast to coast, Menorca is an island that sparks a lifelong love affair with the Mediterranean. It is far from the unforgiving grasp of mass tourism and the obscene displays of wealth that are commonly associated with the Balearics. Perhaps, this is why the locals and those who have ventured here before are so keen on keeping this island a closely guarded secret. After all, its small size and undisturbed natural landscapes mean that only a handful of visitors can holiday here each year without the island losing its essence. But, we cannot deny that the endless list of wonderful things to do in Menorca makes this island a tantalising option for those in search of the last of the summer rays.