Look through this Menorca guide, and get a glimpse of the great experiences to be had on this laid-back island!
After your easy flight to paradise, head straight for the beach. Then fling yourself into the hotel pool. Gorge on cured ham and local cheeses, then take a siesta and head into town for shopping. Days fly by on the island of Menorca, especially when you’re there with your squad.
Menorca is a small island that has been fought over for centuries. Cousins to Ibiza and Mallorca, this land mass in the Mediterranean is now Spanish territory but has changed hands countless times through strategic naval takeovers, religious inquisitions, and overall migration patterns. My head spun while I tried to keep track of the timeline!
With so many exciting places to visit and things to do, let’s dive into our Menorca guide.
Drink Gin at Gin Xoriguer
First thing on our Menorca guide is the Xoriguer Gin Distillery! The British left their mark on Menorca in the most British way possible – with booze. This area is one of the original places where gin was found and the legacy continues. It’s also a great way to start your trip to Menorca since this gin factory generously gives away samples of all their flavored liquors. They have plenty of samplers from rose and chocolate to mint and coffee. The best is the classic though – a juniper-scented gin that actually goes great with lemonade. Buy a bottle and make your ‘pomadas’ back at the hotel – simply local gin, lemonade, and ice!
Explore Cova d’en Xoroi
Up next in our guide is to kick off embracing the island vibe with a toast to the good life at Cova d’en Xoroi lounge and nightclub.
The cave has a backstory — it’s believed that a shipwrecked man, Xoroi, swam ashore and found shelter in this cave. A young woman went missing one night without a trace around the same time. Many years later, the couple was found by armed men one winter day when mysterious footprints appeared leading to the cave. Xoroi, the young woman and their, now, three children were found by the men. Xoroi had no choice but to jump into the ocean after being surrounded and his eldest son followed suit. The woman and her other sons were taken away and the mystery of Xoroi’s life continues!
The cave has now turned into a social gathering place with a bar overlooking the Mediterranean. To reach this view, visitors have to walk through a maze of caves and staircases along the cliffs with views of the coast. Although you may expect the caves to be cold, they remain quite warm.
During the day before sunset the crowds are fairly tame for a casual cocktail, but the huge DJ stage and lighting system makes me think things really heat up after dark.
Take a Boat ride from Mahón
There is nothing quite like seeing the shore of the island of Menorca from the sea. Taking a boat tour is a unique was to get acquainted with the geography. Especially if you take a catamaran tour, it’s the ideal way to get a little bit of sun and a lay of the land. The highlight was the underwater viewing areas to spot fish below – we saw a barracuda!
Visit Bodegas Binifadet
Ambiance abounds at this vineyard and winery in Menorca. The wine and food isn’t half bad either! The ideal time to visit is when the sun starts to set to see rays to pop through the leafy grape vines and snag the best table outside on the veranda.
The winery also has an hour tour for 10 euros! Explore the vineyards with a guide, learn about how this specific winery makes its wine and taste the different local varieties. The sparkling rose was our favorite variety – light and easy to drink with the local cheeses.
Go Back in Time at Fort de Marlborough
A little historic background is worth the visit to this fort. Fort Marlborough was built in the 1720’s to protect the entrance to Mao Harbor. Climb to the top of the Fort for some great panoramic views and learn about how this area has been strategic in battle for centuries. There are even reenactment performances to give you a taste of what it was like back in the 18th century.
Horseback ride with Son Bou Rutas a Cavall Tour
Do something new (or something nostalgic) with your group and wrangle up the trusty steeds. We loved horseback riding along the rocky coastline as a squad. The island has their own breed of gentle, jet-black horses that are a delight to ride.
Eat at Reina Isabel
While staying at the cozy Hotel San Luis, our group was always searching for nearby grub. Tucked among the small shops by the water is a tiny café, Reina Isabel, that served a few local dishes and made-to-order pizzas. Although at first glance it seemed like it was nothing special, the staff was extremely hospitable! They remembered our names after just a couple visits and we were able to eat out in the vine-covered courtyard. It made us feel so welcome away from home and we loved coming back.
Enjoy the Menorca Craft Centre
Take a break from the heat and check out some beautiful exhibits at this newly designed museum. The video interviews of local craftspeople is well worth the visit. See some of the textiles, woodworking and steel crafts in the center, then head for the gift shop to pick up some local handmade items.
Take in Views at Monte Toro
This brings us to the last item on our Menorca guide: Monte Toro. It’s the tallest point on the island of Menorca with the prettiest views. Take your wheels up the mountain/hill for panoramic views of the Mediterranean. Plus, there’s a beautiful church at the summit with an interesting history.
Coming from Barcelona to visit Menorca? Here’s a great 3-day itinerary for the city!
Have you been on a group trip to an island? How did it go? Do you like to hang at the beach all week or explore inland?