Start your day with a glass-bottomed boat trip around the port of Mahon. At six kilometres long, it’s the largest natural harbour in the Mediterranean, so there’s plenty to see. Mahon is a patchwork of white and yellow architecture, interspersed with flashes of red colonial buildings and bright merchants’ villas. From your open-top catamaran, you’ll have sweeping views across the water and the island’s capital city. Below deck, meanwhile, there are glass-lined viewing areas for watching rainbow-coloured fish swirl around the boat.
But it’s not all about photo opportunities – there’s a good dose of history on this tour, too. Hear the dark tales about Isla del Rey, also known as ‘Bloody Island’, and see the high stone walls of Quarantine Island. You’ll also be able to see the hilltop building of Golden Farm, where Admiral Nelson met Lord Collingwood to discuss the strategy for the Battle of Trafalgar.
Once your feet are firmly back on dry land, you can spend some time meandering through Mahon’s pretty streets. With café-lined plazas, designer boutiques and ancient churches, this is a place where old meets new. Georgian mansions rub shoulders with stylish bistros, while the 17th-century cloisters house a delicious food market. Here, you can sample creamy cheeses, traditional almond biscuits and refreshing pomada – a cold drink made with Menorcan gin and cloudy lemonade. And, when you step outside into the sun, you’ll be greeted by panoramic views of the city and the harbour.
On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, the market square comes alive with stalls and street vendors, so it’s a great spot for souvenir shopping. If you’re more interested in history and architecture, head over to Santa Maria Church. With Gothic archways, stained-glass windows and six chapels, it’s an impressive sight to behold. But the organ is the star of the show. Built in 1810, this monumental instrument has 103 keys and a staggering 3,210 pipes.
After a busy morning, take some time out on a stretch of powder-soft sand in Punta Prima or S'Albufera des Grau. Hidden away in a beautiful nature reserve, the village of Es Grau is home to a 500-metre-long crescent beach, bird-filled wetlands and stop-and-stare scenery. This beauty spot is so secluded that it feels more like a lake than the sea, with turquoise water, primary-coloured boats and small silver fish. Lapped by shallow water, the beach is ideal for families, as little ones can play far away from the shore while still being able to stand. There are a handful of restaurants to choose from, too, ranging from a great-value café at the back of the beach, to a seafood terrace over the sea.
Alternatively, you can grab a bite to eat in the sleepy beachside town of Punta Prima. With coastal walks, classic tavernas and a Blue Flag beach, this place has managed to keep a firm grip on its traditional charm, despite its huge popularity. You can stroll along the white sands and go for a paddle in the calm sea. For lunch, tuck into a Spanish feast of paella, octopus or squid in one of the seafront restaurants, while looking across the bay to the striped lighthouse on Illa de l’Aire.
With panoramic sea views, two bars and a nightclub, these are not your average caves. For starters, the Caves of Xoroi – pronounced ‘Sure-Roy’ – aren’t underground. Instead, they’re indented into the side of a sand-coloured cliff, about a hundred feet up from the Mediterranean Sea.
Soak up the views as you make your way down 90 steps to the first bar. If you’ve booked the Love Menorca tour, you’ll receive a complimentary drink here, including juice, beer and cocktails. Take a seat on the sun-trap terrace and look across the ocean – on a clear day, you’ll be able to see Menorca’s big sister, Majorca, floating on the horizon. The second bar is down a few more steps, where you can go inside the caves themselves. Multi-coloured lights illuminate jagged tunnels, while tables and booths cluster in shadowy alcoves. Come back later in the day to watch the sun sink below the horizon, or return after dark when the caves turn into a lively disco. With lights reflecting off the rocky ceiling and the sea, this truly is a magical place to dance the night away.
Step back in time at the end of the day with a visit to Binibeca. In the Seventies, there was a competition to see whether somebody could design a traditional fishing village, which would be built above a rocky cove near Binibeca. The winner was Spanish architect Antonio Sintes and the result was Binibeca Vell, or ‘Old Binibeca’.
With its sugar cube houses, tiled street signs and stooping archways, Binibeca Vell is a picturesque maze. Walking through these cobbled lanes is like being in a dream, mainly because everything is painted bright white. The only pop of colour is the purple bougainvillea, which drapes over hidden balconies and tiny doorways. The village has an Alice In Wonderland feel to it, too – the alleyways are so narrow that you can easily touch both sides with each hand. Why not take some photos of the whitewashed labyrinth, dip your toes in the sea, and grab a cold drink from an al fresco café? After a full day of exploring, you deserve it.
With its sea views, quiet pools and panoramic restaurant, the adults-only is a Menorcan retreat.
There are plenty of reasons this family-friendly hotel is such a hit with customers – a great pool scene and packed activities line-up are just a couple of them.
Uninterrupted views are all part of the deal at Insotel Punta Prima Resort and Spa. And it’s just a 10-minute walk to the sandy beach and quaint town centre.
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