A route kayak to explore the northern coast of the Albufera des Grau natural park.
This kayak excursion begins on the beach of Na Macaret, where there is a small slipway for launching. Head eastwards, passing close to the islets of En Carbó and En Carbonet and paddle towards the gap between the headland of Punta de Mongofre and Illa Gran d’Addaia. Before continuing any further, it is worth circumnavigating the islets of Addaia and entering into the small and almost totally enclosed cove on the east of the Illa Gran. Follow the coast eastwards and you will find numerous rocks and small headlands to navigate through. You can snorkel and explore the seabed when and where you want. In this stretch up to and past Cala en Brut you will find a good number of coves and pebble beaches where you can rest a while.
Continuing eastwards, you reach the beach of Arenal de Mongofre or Platja des Sivinar, with its golden sands and large sand dune. The pines provide good shade before you turn back. In July and August you will find many boats anchored here. If you want a bit more peace and quiet, continue on to the next beach, Cala de s’Enclusa. If you have enough energy, on the way back to Na Macaret it is worth entering right into the port of Addaia to enjoy its beauty and tranquillity.
Na Macaret – Illots d’Addaia – Arenal de Mongofre – Na Macaret
Distance: 8.69 km (4.9 nautical miles). Estimated time: 3 h
Port d’Addaia (there and back)
Distance: 5 km (2.68 nautical miles). Estimated time: 1 h 30 min
The strong northerly tramuntana and easterly winds can make this excursion difficult. Paddling between the rocks can be dangerous in rough seas, although it can be great fun if you act sensibly. If the weather turns, there are a good number of coves en route where you can take shelter. A number of paths lead between these beaches and the estate of Mongofre Nou. In July and August beware of the other pleasure boats and crafts entering and leaving the port of Addaia.
ALTERNATIVE AS FAR AS FAVÀRITX
If you want to paddle further, you can continue on to Favàritx lighthouse. A little after Cala de s’Enclusa you reach the pebble beach of Pou d’en Caldés. During the remaining part of this route the pebbles and reefs are omnipresent and make your progress more challenging and more entertaining. The geology of this part of the coast is singular and there are many sheltered spots where you can snorkel and explore the seabed. Just before reaching the lighthouse you pass by a small beach, Portitxol, and then, just a few metres further on, there is an inlet hidden amongst the rocks that takes you to a wonderful natural swimming-pool known as S’Escala, the best place for landing on this stretch of the coast. This spot is near the road to Favàritx, which can make the logistics of the excursion much easier.
Na Macaret – Arenal de Mongofre – Favàritx – Na Macaret
Distance: 15.25 km (8.24 nautical miles). Estimated time: all day.
• This route can be combined with that of
Es Grau – Cala sa Torreta – Cap de Favàritx
Na Macaret – Favàritx – Es Grau
Distance: 14.23 km (7.74 nautical miles). Estimated time: all day.
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 tramuntana, and is very irregular, with many submerged reefs and outcrops of mudstones, slates and conglomerate and limestone rocks. The vegetation here, although poor, is well-adapted to the adverse weather conditions (strong, salt-laden winds) and is fairly varied and includes interesting endemic plants such as the socarell (Launaea cervicornis) and a sea-lavender Limonium minutum. Birds include shag, peregrine falcon and yellow-legged and Audouin’s gulls. On the islands of Addaia Gran and Addaia Petita lives a subspecies of the Balearic lizard (Podarcis lilfordi addayae) that has a greenish back, while on Illot d’en Carbó, the subspecies Podarcis lilfordi carbonerae has clearly different reddish tones.
How to get there
Na Macaret is 11 km north of Alaior. From this town, take the road towards Arenal d’en Castell along the road to Addaia. After 7.5 km, you reach the roundabout on the road to Fornells; 2 km later ignore the turn-off to the port of Addaia on the right, and keep straight on at the roundabout where roads head off to Cala Molí and Arenal d’en Castell. After another 1 km you will reach the small village of Na Macaret and its diminutive beach. From Maó it is best to take the road towards Fornells from the roundabout at the end of the port. After 14 km, you reach the junction (roundabout) with the road to Addaia, where you should turn right to Port d’Addaia and Na Macaret.
During the high season a bus runs to Addaia and Na Macaret from Alaior and Maó. Check out bus times and frequencies (that vary according to the season).
See all routes Menorca by kayak
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.
All these routes are within S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park, Menorca’s only natural park. The coast here is formed of low-lying siliceous rocks with sand dunes and small beaches.
Fornells Bay is very sheltered and well protected from bad weather. Nevertheless, strong winds – above all, from the north – can make the sea rough.
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.