It’s no secret that one of Menorca’s main selling-point is its beaches, and so any guide to Menorca has to include a section on its coastline.
In general, its coast is a long succession of cliffs of varying heights interrupted by a plethora of beaches of all shapes and sizes: minute or vast, unspoilt or built-up and with all creature comforts, remote or easy to reach. Some are accessible by car or even public transport, others are only reachable on foot; some are ideal for families with kids, some are more suitable for those wanting to be on their own, while others will suit best couples or groups of friends. Whatever your fancy, during a stay on Menorca there will always be many different ways of enjoying both the beach and the sea.
Most of Menorca’s beaches are linked by the Camí de Cavalls, a well-marked trail circumnavigating the island that offers best way of getting to know the island’s coastline at your own pace. Here you can check out all the stages of this circuit or download a pdf map of the whole route.
If you want to enjoy a quiet day at a beach with clean transparent waters and few waves, remember to check the weather forecast – especially the wind – before choosing which beach to go to. If the winds are from the north, it is always best to go to one of the beaches on the south coast; if they are from the south, head to the northern beaches.
Menorca’s beaches and coves. North coast.
Menorca’s north coast, famously buffeted by the tramontana, the powerful north wind, conceals a series of marvellously rugged and diverse landscapes. This sinuous coastline, interrupted by the imposing headland of Cavalleria cape and attractive Fornells Bay, boasts an array of beaches and coves, both pebbly and sandy, and all with a stark natural beauty. This is Menorca at its wildest and most natural.
Near the town of Maó lies the S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park, the island’s only such protected area. In this park you can enjoy Es Grau beach, one of Menorca’s best beaches for kids; towards Favàritx lighthouse, you can spend the day at Cala Presili or Cala Tortuga, two of the most stunning of all Menorca’s many unspoilt beaches.
The central part of the north coast is strictly protected as an integral reserve and includes two of the island’s most beloved beaches, Cavalleria beach and Cala Pregonda. As a protected area in which fishing is banned, this stretch of coast has become the best area for snorkelling and observing the highly diverse marina fauna that these waters harbour.
Further west, you come to Cala Pilar, a beach in an unbeatable natural setting that is only accessible on foot; today it is well known as a nudist beach. Finally, north of the town of Ciutadella de Menorca, beaches such as La Vall or Algaiarens offer a gentler side to Menorca’s north coast.
Menorca’s beaches and coves. South coast.
Menorca’s south coast, sheltered from the fury of the north winds and gales, is much quieter than its northern counterpart. Its westernmost end is characterized by pine-clad limestone cliffs, interrupted by small unspoilt coves of white sand and turquoise waters. Here you’ll find the unblemished beaches of Ciutadella – Cala Turqueta and Cala Macarella – and of Ferreries – Cala Mitjana – that are probably the best known of all the island’s many beaches. The latter beach is near Cala Galdana, probably the most spectacular of all Menorca’s beach resorts.
In summer, due to their fame, small size and proximity to Ciutadella, these unspoilt beaches often get overcrowded. Consequently, access to each is controlled by a series of car-parks: if they are full when you arrive, you have no option but to find another beach. Signs along the access road indicate which beaches still have room in their carparks. Keep an eye out for these signs.
The central part of the south coast boasts the island’s largest beaches: Binigaus (the only unspoilt beach in this sector), Sant Tomàs and Son Bou beach (the island’s largest).
Although becoming more rugged eastwards from here, this final sector of the south coast as far as Maó is in fact the most built up of the whole island. Worth highlighting is Calescoves, one of the best coves for dropping anchor and where you’ll find one of the island’s most important Talayotic necropolises. Here too there are a number of beaches that are ideal for a day out with children: Cala en Porter, Binibèquer and Punta Prima.
Best beaches of Menorca for all the family
Menorca is an ideal holiday spot for families and many beaches are perfect for kids due to their beautiful sands and the variety of alternative activities on offer.
Here are three excellent ideas for things to do with young children that start off from some of the island’s best beaches:
Menorca with kids 1. Es Grau beach, S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park, and a kayak expedition to Illa d’en Colom, an offshore island. Es Grau beach is the beach for families in Menorca and lies right next to a large lagoon, S’Albufera des Grau, in the heart of the island’s only natural park. This is an excellent starting point for trips out for all ages, be it on foot or by kayak.
Menorca with kids 2. Cala en Porter, stroll along Camí de Cavalls, and visit to the archaeological remains of Torralba d’en Salort and So na Caçana. Cala en Porter is an excellent place for a day out with the family. From the beach you can enjoy a pleasant walk along the Camí dels Cavalls to two fascinating Talayotic archaeological sites that lie just a few kilometres away.
Menorca with kids 3. Platja de Sant Tomàs, Platja de Binigaus along the Camí de Cavalls, and a visit to Cova dels Coloms. The beach at Sant Tomàs has all kinds of services and a delightful promenade suitable for even the smallest kids. If you prefer more natural beaches, head for Platja de Binigaus, just a few minutes’ walk along the Camí de Cavalls. From there, cut inland for a 30-minutes’ walk to the spectacular Cova dels Coloms.
Boat trips to the coves of Menorca
One of the best ways of enjoying the beaches is to travel by boat, especially if access by land is not easy. On Menorca there are many companies that will hire boats without crew for a day as well as others that organize day-trips to some of the island’s best unspoilt beaches.
If you have a boat or aim to hire one, you can check out here some of the best places to drop anchor on Menorca and the most rewarding beaches to visit by sea.
Menorca’s beaches by kayak
If you like to go at your own pace and want to explore some of the island’s smaller coves, one of your best options is to go by kayak. Many beaches have kayaks for hire, which will enable you to paddle to even the most inaccessible of coves. In our guide to the best kayak routes in Menorca, you’ll find a number of suggested routes starting from beaches such as Es Grau, Cala Galdana and Sant Tomàs where kayaks are for hire. If you are fit enough, you can always paddle around the whole island! More information about the best sea kayak trips of Menorca.
The beach at Son Bou with its fine white sands is the longest in Menorca (3 km). The sea here is shallow, its waters clear and clean