Snorkeling in Binimel·là beach
The seabed at the coves to the east of Binimel·là beach have fascinating underwater habitats due to the restrictions on fishing in this zone imposed by the North Menorcan Marine Reserve.
The beach of Binimel·là lies in the centre of Menorca’s northern coast in the municipality of Es Mercadal and in the heart of the North Menorcan Marine Reserve. It can get quite busy since from here you can walk to the attractive and popular beach of Cala Pregonda. Yet, Binimel·là is also well worth a visit and it too has a series of fascinating natural habitats. The beach is sandy and behind it lies the wetland that has formed at the mouth of the Torrent de Salairó. There is also a small area of sand dunes that in recent years have regenerated since cars are no longer allowed to park on this interesting natural habitat.
The eastern part of the beach is backed by low cliffs and is where you will find three small beaches at the mouths of three small gullies. This is the most interesting area for diving since the underwater rocks provide divers with attractive underwater habitats to explore.
The seabed at Binimel·là and, above all, the three coves to the east have fascinating underwater habitats and, due to the restrictions on fishing in this zone – above all, on the use of harpoons – imposed by the North Menorcan Marine Reserve, the fish here tend to be larger. Likewise, they are less shy and give you a better chance of close-up views.
The seabed around these small eastern coves is mainly composed of thick-grained sand and rocks in the form of shallow platforms. Here, it is easy to spot communities of light-loving algae including typically species of ‘brown’ algae such as the ear-shaped Padina pavonica, the Dictyotales (laminate algae with Y-shaped thalli) and Halopteris scoparia (with feather-like thalli).
Further out to sea, you will find Cystoseira balearica, a species of alga that is very sensitive to contamination and which is disappearing from numerous places in the Mediterranean. Marine animals here include the occasional octopus hidden amongst the rocks and even a moray resting on the pebbles of the seabed. Fish here include white seabream, European seabass and a few gilthead.
How to get there
Binimel·là is 10 km from Es Mercadal. To get there, take the small road north from this town that heads to the beaches of the north coast. After 7 km you will come to the crossroads at Binialàs, where you should turn right. After just over 450 m on the left, you will see the turn-off to Binimel·là. This broad dirt track will take you to the beach car park in 2 km.
From Maó you can get to Binimel·là along the road to Fornells, which you should pick up from the far end of the port. After just over 20 km, you reach the Es Mercadal-Fornells road; continue straight across at this staggered junction/roundabout and pick up the Camí de Tramuntana. After 6 km along this narrow road you will come to the turn-off to Binimel·là.
Nearby sites of interest
• Cavalleria lighthouse: This 15-m high lighthouse, built on the island’s highest and most imposing cliffs, stands on the tip of Cap de Cavalleria. This is the most northerly point of the island of Menorca and is 13.2 km from the town of Es Mercadal. To get to this lighthouse from Binimel·là, return along the Camí de Tramuntana and after about 2 km turn left and head for the beach and Cap de Cavalleria. More information.
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Best places to snorkel in Menorca
Menorca is an ideal place for snorkeling because its waters are relatively warm and very clear. Although any cove or rocky inlet can be good for diving or snorkeling and for investigating the seabed, the waters of the northern coast are especially recommendable since the restrictions on fishing ensure that its marine fauna is more abundant and just a bit more approachable.
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