If you are looking to travel solo, Menorca couldn’t be more of a perfect destination. Manageable in size but with no shortage of things to do, suitably quiet but with plenty of buzz, as a single traveller you have the chance to explore, discover and enjoy this beautiful island completely at your own pace. Here’s how solo visitors can get the most out of this Balearic gem.
Get out on the Water
It would be a crying shame to come to a sun-soaked island and not see its beauty from the water. With so much coastline to explore, there are a number of options to choose from. If you are into exercise and peace and quiet, paddleboarding makes a great day out. You get away from the bustle of the beach and out on the water, and may even discover a cave or two on your travels. But if standing up isn’t your thing, kayaking could be a great alternative; or you could sign up to a boat tour from Mahon, Europe’s longest harbour. While on the tour, you’ll get your fix of conversation with your fellow tourists, and may even get some great recommendations for other places to visit during your stay.
Circumnavigate the Island
This isn’t just a walk. Menorca features the celebrated Cami de Cavalls – a 185-kilometre (115-mile) path that circumnavigates the island. Its significance comes from a notable time, in 1330, when it was used by the subjects of King James II. He insisted that all islanders kept an armed horse, poised and ready for battle. And it was this path that they were to keep watch from, which is how it got its name: Horse Trail. The walks are rated from easy to average difficulty, making them accessible for practically everyone. Pick a section of the camino, or hop onto it briefly to get to your next beach spot. For those looking to trek the whole road, it would be advisable to talk to a specialist agency who can help with pick-ups and drop-offs, or even arrange for you to do it on horseback.
Some Historic Sightseeing
Through invasion and political unrest, Menorca has a very lengthy and chequered history, one which is reflected in the many historic sites peppered all over the island. Allow yourself to be immersed in Menorcan history by visiting some of them. The best ones include the quarry and gardens of Lithica and the beautiful Arabic-influenced buildings of Ciutadella. One amazing site is La Mola, the Fort of Isobel II in Mahon – a fine example of military architecture. You can arrive there by water taxi (for the full military invasion experience) and be sure to rent an audio guide to get the most out of your visit. There are fabulous views, too, so make sure you give yourself enough time (we recommend around five hours) to soak it all up.
Seek out Some Culture
After a long day of exploring, you may want to relax and be entertained by someone else in the evenings. Mahon and Cuitadella are the most bustling towns, with full programmes of live events, but the smaller towns also have their own fiestas over the summer months. Taking place from June to September in various towns, Menorcan horse shows are a truly unique spectacle and not to be missed. If music is more your thing, the Menorca Jazz Festival takes place in spring in across a number of venues and streets in Cuitadella, Mahon, Alaior and Ferreries. This is a must-see for music fans and will give you access to a different side to the island that you might not previously have considered.
Tear Into the Tapas
The Spanish eating culture lends itself beautifully to solo travellers, and you are rarely alone when you pull up to the bar and take a stool. Tapas restaurants are all over the main towns and resorts, so why not turn your evening meal into a daily tapas tasting session? Take it upon yourself to review all the classics before going back for seconds, just to be sure. And for those who want to fully indulge, you could always head to a vineyard, olive grove or the famous Xoriguer gin distillery to sample Menorca’s famous gin.
Become a Nudist
The Balearics are known for having numerous nudist beaches, and when better to indulge in the enjoyment of public nakedness than when travelling alone? Head to Playa de Binigaus, next to Santo Tomas, and enjoy the beautiful turquoise sea and white sand for a day. It’s a virgin beach, with very little in terms of services or facilities, so make sure you arrive prepared, and don’t forget the sun cream! Should Binigaus be too popular for your nudist tendencies, there is another beach next door, Cala Escorxada, which is considered the most isolated beach on Menorca’s southern coast.