The very best beaches in Menorca immerse you immediately into castaway island vibes. Gently crashing waves wash away the stresses of everyday life. Pine scents drift down from the nearby woodlands and all is well. Rugged, and occasionally tricky to get to, these beaches are always worth hunting down. Of course, not everyone’s looking for a solo stroll across abandoned sands. Happily, there are coastal spots to suit all types. Facilities, swish spots for lunch, coves to surf in and beaches for snorkelling. In Menorca, there’s always chance to take the clothing optional route too, if you’re in the mood. Here’s a few pointers, to get you started…
For the best nudist beaches…
Let’s not be prudish, there’s a lot to be said for feeling the freedom of the sun and sand, well, everywhere. Though, strictly speaking, there are no official nudist beaches in Menorca. There are however plenty of places to be at one with nature. If you’re still keen to bare all on the sands, head to the more isolated parts of Son Bou in the south and Cala Presili to the north east. The best nudist beaches in Menorca tend to be the ones that are a little more difficult to reach. Cala Escorxada’s quiet shores are only reachable by boat – or, you’re in Santo Tomas, you can walk the hour long trail along the Cami de Cavalls footpath to the sands. You’ll feel comfortable getting your kit off in both.
For the best snorkelling…
Menorca’s beaches practically beg you to don a snorkel and flippers. So much so that you could be convinced that your plane must have touched down in the Caribbean, rather than the Balearics. The clear and shallow welcoming waters have that turquoise hue and biodiverse sea life snorkelers dream of. Though, of course, currents and winds play their part. So the best beaches for snorkelling in Menorca are sands like Son Saura. Swim out from the shore, find the rocky outcrops and bingo, you’re in shoal territory. Son Saura’s known for its rays, but for seahorses, groupers and moray eels, try the remote shores of Cala Viola de Ponent.
Orbzii tip: If you find the sea life a little thin on the ground, try swimming away from any splashing swimmers. Also, pulling a little algae off the rocks and letting it float nearby can attract small fish closer to feed on it.
For a free spa session…
There’s a select handful of beaches in Menorca where, with a little effort, you can benefit from a full body mud mask. Algaiarens Beach, Cala Roja and Cavalleria Beach all have clay and mud deposits right near the shores. Just saunter over to the pools, grab a little of the sticky stuff, mix with sea water and apply. Benefits from the mineral-rich clays include moisturising and exfoliating the skin, detoxing and easing any muscle aches and pains. Of the three beaches, Cala Roja is the pick for quiet shores. Cavalleria Beach in the north gets a little more attention – mostly for the surrounding red rocks, more on this beach below.
To surf Menorca’s waves
Fair warning, Cavalleria Beach doesn’t see anything approaching championship waves in the height of summer. Though, do keep an eye on the weather forecast for the Tramontana winds. When they blow, you’ll be able to surf some powerful, but short, right point waves. In any season other than summer, waves here do reach respectable levels and the surrounding, dramatic red rocks makes for a nice back drop to study while you pick your moment to catch a break.
Orbzii tips: If the lighthouse bar is open, it’s an ideal place to catch a post surf drink. When the northerly winds blow in, it can bring jellies closer to the shore.
For nearby facilities…
The best beaches in Menorca are often remote, rugged affairs with absolutely no facilities. Gorgeous, but not handy for families – or a hassle-free day on the sands. Happily, Menorca also has a couple of stellar sand stretches that come with every amenity you could wish for, without too much compromise. Pick of the bunch, Cala Galdana, is more of a resort than just a beach. Tucked into a cove on the south of the island, the curve of white sand is backed by a promenade. A short walk away, you’ll find a town stuffed with places to eat and attractions to keep families having fun away from the beach. Mini-golf and waterslides are a handy option when you’ve worked your way through all of Cala Galdana’s watersports. Facilities do attract a crowd or two in summer. Then, those in the know, trot along the cliff tops to Cala Mitjana. Quieter, but still within reach of everything you need for the ideal day on the sands.
For untouched coastline
Menorca beaches really do favour the untouched look. With UNESCO sticking a Biosphere Reserve label on the entire island, it’s not hard to find a remote, but protected and wild, spot to lay your beach towel on. Unfortunately, this does tend to mean handy things like car parks, toilets and beach bars aren’t close by – but that’s a small price to pay for natural wonders. The north coast is littered with options. Cala Pregonda and Cala Pilar are nice enough, but it’s Cala Presili that really delivers on everything from views and soft sands to optimum swimming conditions with the shallow sloping beach. Yes, it’s remote, but you can hop on a bus from Mahon to get you close to the closed lighthouse. From the stop, with a map, and a sense of adventure, it’s around a 45 minute walk to the beach.
Orbzii tip: This isn’t a beach to travel light to. Pack everything you’ll need as there’s nothing in the surrounding areas.
For romantic strolls
All too often, the focus for Menorca’s beaches is on a full day out on the sands. But really this island is for the romantics. And, one of the best places to go in Menorca for couples is Binigaus beach. Yet ANOTHER coastline that’s been left to its stunning natural ways, Biniguas sits on the south coast. Orange-tone cliffs and tall green pines are the perfect backdrop for a selfie, the pine and sea smells get the senses swirling and the long, long sweeping sands allow for leisurely, evening, hand-in-hand strolls.
To enjoy the lux side of Menorca’s coastline
With so many beaches going for the au natural vibe, it can be tricky to find a comfy cabana and a cocktail. Not so at Isabella Menorca. Just a 20 minute walk from Playas de Fornells, this stark white restaurant and beach club does nothing to detract from the sunset views and coastal beauty of the serene inlet. Dine on the terrace, sip champers on a cabana or listen to the chilled back soundtrack as the sun sets. Sushi, tapas and a very refined and elegant way to avoid getting sand in your sandals.
The all-rounder …
We’ve possibly saved one of the best beaches in Menorca until last. Cala Turqueta is the Goldilock’s among the island’s beaches. It’s a little off the beaten path – but there’s a car park ten minutes away. There aren’t really any facilities, but local entrepreneurs often stroll the sands selling fresh fruit. And, back in that car park we mentioned, there are showers and a cafe. Wild goats roam the beach. Clear waters make snorkelling easy – though, you’ll need to swim out a reasonable way to see any signs of life. The sands themselves – relatively untouched, given the amount of people that flock to these sands. And there lies Cala Turqueta’s one problem. It’s so beautiful, it draws a crowd. By boat, on foot, by car – it gets busy here, but if you don’t mind a bustling beach, it’s worth it for the scenery. Though, as with many Menorcan beaches, that scenery can be interrupted by the clothing optional crowd.