Es Grau – Cala sa Torreta by kayak
Kayaking along the virgin beaches of the heart of the Albufera des Grau and Colom Island natural park coastline.
This route begins at the small holiday village of Es Grau (Maó). To launch, you can use any of the slipways on the jetties behind the houses or the beach itself. Head towards Es Pas, the canal between Menorca and the Illa d’en Colom, Menorca’s largest island. Following the coast, you will pass many small beaches on your way to a small entrance where, amongst the rocks, you will find a number of small caves and natural tunnels that you can pass through and come out opposite Cala es Tamarells, an excellent place for snorkelling and exploring the seabed. Continuing north along the coast, on the nearby cliffs above you will see a defence tower built by the English during their second period of occupation (1802) and in the distance the lighthouse of Favàritx. Without leaving the coast, continue paddling as far as Cala sa Torreta or Cala Rambla, where you can rest in the shade of the small pinewood just behind the beach. On the way back, once past the defence tower, you can head for Illa d’en Colom, where two small coves – Arenal d’en Moro and Cala es Tamarells – are inviting spots for a quick dip. The rest of your energies you should save for the paddle back to your starting point.
Es Grau – Sa Torreta – Es Grau
Distance: 7 km (3.78 nautical miles). Estimated time: 2,5 h
The northerly tramuntana and the easterly winds can seriously hamper kayaking. However, on this route there are a good number of coves where you can take refuge in the event of a sudden turn for the worse in the weather. Many paths connect the various coves and beaches on this route with the village of Es Grau.
• At Es Grau you can hire a kayak during the tourist season:
Menorca en Kayak. Tel. (34) 669 09 79 77
Illa d’en Colom: Those with enough energy may want to circumnavigate Illa d’en Colom whose eastern and western faces are very different. Best in calm seas as there are very few places around this island where you can land.
Es Grau – Sa Torreta – Illa den Colom – Es Grau
Distance: 10 km (5.40 nautical miles). Estimated time: 4-5 h
Cap de Favàtitx: Those who have the whole day at their disposal and who are relatively fit could continue as far as the lighthouse of Favàritx, and also stop at the popular beach of Morella, also known as Cala Tortuga. To return, head straight back taking the strait between Illa d’en Colom and the mainland as your bearing. If you choose this option, bear in mind that the return leg can seem much longer than you expect.
Es Grau – Favàritx – Es Grau
Distance: 13.4 km (7.24 nautical miles). Estimated time: all day.
All these routes are within S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park, Menorca’s only natural park. It was declared in 1995 and also includes Illa d’en Colom. The coast here is formed of low-lying siliceous rocks with sand dunes and small beaches. The coastal flora is very varied and includes the socarell (Launaea cervicornis), a small foxglove (Digitalis dubia) and lavender cotton (Santolina chamaecyparissus). By contrast Illa d’en Colom is formed of Carboniferous rocks and has high cliffs on its eastern side with seams of sphalerite, a zinc mineral. Here the rocky reefs are frequented by small groups of shags resting and drying their feathers in the sun. During the whole route sandy seabeds and posidonia meadows alternate; in the strait some of these meadows can be exposed at certain times of year and depending on the state of the sea.
How to get there
Es Grau is 8 km from Maó. To get there, leave Maó on the road to Fornells, which you can pick up at the roundabout at the end of the port. After less than 1 km, turn right towards Es Grau.
During the summer season, a bus runs to Es Grau from Maó. Check out bus times and frequencies. Check out bus times and frequencies (that vary according to the season).
See all routes Menorca by kayak[printfriendly]
Paddling right around the island in a kayak is the best way to gradually get to know Menorca’s coastline. The island’s shallow coastal waters are an ideal place for kayaking since they offer a wide variety of subtly changing landscapes, with coves and shallow bays, sandy and pebbly beaches, cliffs, solitary headlands, semi-submerged sea-caves and small unspoilt islands, all bathed by inviting transparent waters.
This route is very much the ‘route of the caves’. Throughout, you follow the limestone cliffs that are so typical of Menorca’s southern coasts, which reach up to 40 m in height.
Fornells Bay is very sheltered and well protected from bad weather. Nevertheless, strong winds – above all, from the north – can make the sea rough.
This route runs along the northern coast of S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park, Menorca’s only natural park. The coast here has been severely modified by the strong northerly wind.
The coastline on this excursion consists of the typical limestone cliffs of the southern coast of Menorca that are only interrupted by the white-sand beaches of Cala Mitjana and Trebalúger.