Menorca’s beautiful unspoiled beaches surrounded by crystal waters are one of the island’s main attractions. Each with its own personality, they range from large stretches of fine white sand to tiny hidden coves, some of which can only be reached by sea.
Despite a coastline of only 216 km, Menorca claims more beaches than Ibiza and Majorca put together. Although some are inaccessible, there are still around 70 wonderful coves and beaches to be discovered, making for plenty of choice wherever you are staying on the island.
The island’s natural and geographical make-up has resulted in there being distinctive characteristics between the northern beaches and those along the south coast. On the north coast with its rugged cliffs, the beaches tend to be smaller with red sand and backed by woodland, while on the south coast, which is sheltered from the northerly prevailing wind called the Tramuntana, the beaches have fine white sand and are some of the longest on the island.
Although many beaches offer all the facilities you would expect from an established resort, including bars, shops and watersports, there are still many that are completely undeveloped. Being more difficult to access, they provide an idyllic, secluded setting in pretty rocky coves backed by woodlands or high cliffs to relax in the sun and enjoy a picnic. The only problem may be deciding which beaches best suit you and your family’s needs the most.
To help, Menorca-Live is currently putting together a brand new Beach Guide for 2012 to provide you with a comprehensive reference point with regularly updated information that is quick and simple to use. A member of our team will have visited each beach to ensure accuracy. With a detailed description, illustrated using pictures and icons, you will be able to plan your perfect beach outing with confidence, whether you seek family facilities or solitude.
While the Menorca-Live Beach Guide is being developed, we have listed the beaches to be included below, including a short description. For easy reference, we have divided the island into five regions, so you can find the beaches nearest to where you are staying and hopefully be tempted to explore new ones during your holiday. We shall also be adding more detailed articles about Menorca’s main beaches to this section. Please click here to read our report on the popular resort of Arenal d’en Castell.
The 5 regions are as follows:
- Menorca's North Coast
- Menorca's East Coast (north of Maó)
- Menorca's South East coast (south of Maó)
- Menorca's South Coast
- Menorca's West Coast (Ciutadella region)
If you visited Arenal beach this Summer, it’s probably hard to believe this is the same beach. Gone are all the people, sunbeds, umbrellas and pedaloes, yet the beach remains equally beautiful and the prefect place for a relaxing walk by the sea on an Autumn day.
This stunning semi-urban beach is close to a near perfect horseshoe and the headlands on the water’s horizon close in so much, they almost appear to form a lake. The area behind the beach has been developed into the self contained resort of Arenal d’en Castell, one of the larger holiday resorts on the north east coast with a mixture of hotels, apartment complexes, private accommodation, bars, restaurants and shops.
Natural beauty yet close to amenities
As a summer tourist destination, Arenal is rated as one of the best and most beautiful resort beaches on Menorca. It is particularly suited to families with smaller children due to its fine golden sand and gently sloping shallows into clean, crystal clear turquoise waters, which are sheltered from the worst of the elements by the protruding mouth of the bay. However, it is also large enough for those wishing to find a quieter spot away from the more crowded areas. Sunbeds, parasols, pedaloes, including motorised versions, are all available for hire on the beach.
The north of the island is much more rugged due to the erosion against the coastline caused by the Tramontana wind. Here the beaches have reddish sand stained by the ochre and red of the rocks and are set amidst beautiful landscapes offering idyllic beaches and virgin coves.
CALA MORELL: The beach in Cala Morell is small, although there are some excellent platforms in the surrounding cliffs for swimming and snorkeling. The area also has some incredible prehistoric caves, many of whose artifacts are now on show in the Museu de Menorca.
CALA ALGAIARENS: The clean sands of the two dune beaches here called Tancats and des Bots have been declared a Nature Area of Special Interest. The area before these beaches is known as La Vell. The owners of this paradise restrict its use to only 200 cars per day, with an opening and closing time and a toll payment made on arrival, justified by using the car park. So getting there early is advised.
In1993, UNESCO declared the island of Menorca a Biosphere Reserve. This accolade has been granted to only 411 places in the world where an important natural and cultural heritage exists and where its society has adopted an economic development compatible with the conservation of nature. In short, a Biosphere Reserve is the agreement of man with his natural surroundings.
The Natural Park of Albufera des Grau, Illa d'en Colom and Cap de Favàritx-Prat is situated in the north east of Menorca and boasts the island's most important wetland area and contains a fantastic variety of ecosystems – marshes, pastures and cultivated land, woody hillsides, coastal colonies, cliffs, dunes and beaches. Its natural, scenic and ethnological importance has made the area worthy of being declared a natural park.
The coastline is a series of sandy beaches with several rocky sections. Beaches within this area include:
ILLA D’EN COLOM: A small island with an area of 58 hectares situated 200 metres off the coastline. There use to be an isolation hospital on the island. Accessible by boat from ES GRAU beach.
This region has some of the most popular holiday resorts with a combination of sandy coves, small inlets with moorings and rocky beaches. The landscape is flatter here compared to other parts of the island.
CALA SANT ESTEVE: This is a small rocky beach that has just one bar (not always open). Marlborough Fort, the remains of an old English fort and now a museum, can also be found here.
Between Cala Sant Esteve and Calo de Rafalet, there is an area with many archaeological sites and caves that were excavated during the Iron Age. These are located in the Torre de En Penjat area.
S’ALGAR: There are numerous bars and restaurants nearby this rocky coastline beach with sand behind and platforms built out over the rocks to allow swimming. There are sun beds, parasols pedalos, Red Cross and also a sub aqua diving school. Calo de Rafalet can be found at the north end of S’Algar where there is a very steep sided and picturesque inlet.
CALA D’ALCALFAR: This is a small sandy, sheltered cove with sun beds, parasols and pedalos together with bars and restaurants. The first hotel in Menorca was built here.
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