Amazing Day Trips to Take From Menorca by Boat

Cala Mitjana is one of Menorcas most famous beaches
Cala Mitjana is one of Menorca's most famous beaches | ©  zianlob / Getty Images
Mark Nayler

Mahon, the capital city of Spain’s Balearic Island Menorca, has the world’s second-largest natural harbour after Pearl Harbour in Hawaii. It’s the perfect starting point from which to explore a coastline peppered with coves and beaches, with many of these accessible only from the sea. To help you navigate what is one of the most stunning spots in Spain, here’s our guide to the best day trips to take from Mahon by boat, from dipping into fishing villages to discovering some sublime diving spots.

Sail around Menorca’s coastal.

Alcaufar

There are two places to swim in this peaceful village; off the tiny beach or from the rocks at the far end, where the bay opens out to the sea. Survey the fishing boats and the volcanic cliffs that flank the cove from Hotel Xuroy’s terrace; and if you’re up for a jump, follow the hiking trail to a point about halfway up the bay’s southern side, to reach a cliff top that local kids have designated a natural diving board.

Punta Prima

From Alcaufar, resume sailing or walk 3km (2mi) along the clifftop path (Cami de Cavalls) to the slightly more developed resort of Punta Prima. Here you’ll find a small beach backed by a children’s play park and a chiringuito (beach bar) serving classics such as seafood paella and pescaito frito (a sharing platter of fried fish). Indulge your inner child at Splash Sur, a water theme park with a restaurant, located around 15 minutes on foot inland from the beach.

Cala Macarella

Menorcan-style paradise comes courtesy of two beaches on this stretch of the island’s southwestern coast. Cala Macarella, the largest, has a chiringuito specialising in fish and roasted Menorcan lamb; but if you’re after an undiluted desert-island vibe, drop anchor in the luminous waters off Cala Macarelleta. Hugged by pine-scented woodland and cliffs, its only man-made features are the stone steps leading down to the sugar-fine sands. A ten-minute walk separates the two coves.

Cala Mitjana

Arrival by boat definitely gives you the advantage at Cala Mitjana, one of Menorca’s most emblematic and frequented coves. Otherwise accessed from a car park that quickly reaches capacity during peak season, its shallow, translucent waters also wash the sands of neighbouring Cala Mitjaneta, a smaller enclave flanked by the remains of stone bunkers from Spain’s 1936-39 Civil War. Bring your own refreshments, as neither beach has facilities.

Binibeca Vell

Binibeca Vell’s unique attraction is a cluster of chunky white houses designed in the 1970s by Antonio Sintes Mercadal, a Catalan architect tasked with recreating a traditional Menorcan fishing village. Wind your way through medina-style alleyways and marvel at wooden eaves and Moorish arches before retiring to a waterfront restaurant for fresh fish and chilled white wine. If you’re looking to take a dip, you can swim off a sandy beach south of the village or there’s a rocky cove to the north with ladders down to the water.

Es Grau

The fishing village of Es Grau boasts one of north Menorca’s largest beaches, on which the most popular activities are stand-up paddle-boarding, snorkelling and kayaking. Extended shallow waters also make it a top spot for families with young children. If you’re keen to see a bit of nature, mark the Albufera des Grau Natural Park on your map. This protected area of wetlands features wild olive groves and dunes populated by water birds.

Colom Island

Robinson Crusoe would have felt entirely at home on either of the beaches on Colom Island – an uninhabited, untamed piece of land 200m (656ft) off the mainland opposite Es Grau. Pack your walking shoes to explore the dusty Mediterranean shrubland or a snorkel to marvel at fields of Posidonia swaying in transparent waters. If you prefer to leave your vessel in Es Grau, take a public ferry or rent a kayak and paddle across from the mainland.

Playa Sa Mesquida

Playa Sa Mesquida is a great destination for experienced divers, offering exceptionally clear waters to depths between 20m and 40m (66ft and 131ft) deep. If sunbathing is more your thing there is more than 300m (984ft) of golden sand on which to claim a spot. To keep energy levels up, take your own refreshments as there are no snack bars available. While catching rays, keep your eyes peeled for a squat, cylindrical structure on the rocky headland to the right of the beach, a structure that served as a defence tower and was built by occupying British forces at the end of the 1700s.

Cala Trebaluger

Given that this cove on Menorca’s southern coast is only accessible on foot and is located around 45 minutes from the nearest car park, it hardly ever has more than a handful of people on it – and most of those will be fellow boaters. This idyllic bay makes for a top swimming spot, with flat waters ebbing the white sands and there is also a river on the west side of the beach in which to swim or kayak. One of the beach’s more unusual attractions is a Civil War bunker hidden in the forest on its eastern flank.

Cala En Porter

For a lively party scene, especially during the summer months, set sail for Cala en Porter and park up in the bright blue waters of its cove. The Cova d’en Xoroi bar and nightclub, which has several cliffside terraces high above the water, makes for a top spot for sunset copas and, if the mood takes you, dancing through to the early hours. A less buzzing spot but definitely worth a visit is a network of caves carved into the rocks at Cales Coves, which served as burial chambers from the 11th century BCE until the Roman era.

Discover these secret spots in Menorca.

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