Camí de Cavalls guide
The Camí de Cavalls is a remarkable path that has existed since 1330, year in which King James II obliged all settlers on the island to keep an armed horse at the ready to defend Menorca in case of need and to use this path to keep watch over the island. This strategically sited coastal path was also used by the English and French during their respective periods of dominance of the island, but since then it has been much more used as a right-of-way to connect different parts of the island. Popular protests in 1996 led by the Coordinadora per la Defensa del Camí de Cavalls were successful in reviving this important element in Menorca’s historical, ethnological and scenic heritage. Finally, in 2010 with the completion of the restoration work the path was reopened to the public as part of the European network of long-distance footpaths under the denomination GR223.
The Camí de Cavalls is divided up into 20 stages that can be walked as a single long hike or individually in sections, or can be used simply as somewhere go for a stroll. Discover Menorca here describes the official stages as 20 separate day-long walks, using the morning for the outward bound stretch and the afternoon for the return. A whole day is plenty of time to walk each stage and return without any need to hurry, thereby allowing you to enjoy all the delights the route has to offer. Either by leaving a car at the beginning of the walk or by using public transport (if there is any), you can avoid for once having to worry about logistics like accommodation – just make sure that you don’t forget your lunch and take plenty of water with you.
• To avoid contradicting the official order of the stages and the direction, we describe the stages starting from Maó and walk them in an anti-clockwise direction. Despite being free to tackle the stages as you see fit, it is best to walk westwards to allow the sun to illuminate the landscape and warm your backs but without blinding you in the early morning.
• Most of the stages are fairly rocky underfoot. Thus, make sure you wear appropriate sturdy footwear even if just going out for a short stroll.