Menorca is brimming with things to do and places to see, so much so that 48 hours will probably not feel like enough time to fully immerse yourself in this Balearic beauty. We’ve whittled down some of our favourite recommendations, to help you squeeze as much of the good stuff as possible into a two-day break.
Breakfast at Bar Imperi
Start your two-day extravaganza with an authentic Menorcan breakfast at this favourite locals’ haunt. Grab a seat outside overlooking the courtyard, dip your flakey ensaimada (pastry) into a freshly brewed cafe con leche and watch the city awaken.
Grab a Picnic for Later
Before heading out of Ciutadella for the day, pick up a picnic at Piqniq to take with you for when hunger strikes again. Borrow a cooler and load up with delectable salads, vegan burgers, veggie quiches and slabs of homemade banana bread to finish.
Take a Bus to the Beach
Some of the best beaches are surprisingly easy to reach by bus from the centre of Ciutadella. Cala Galdana is everything you want from a Balearic beach: soft white sand and calm clear waters, all framed with plenty of pine trees perfect for taking a break in the shade. Take a 25-minute hike along the coastal path to Cala Mitjana or kayak with a guide around the bay, exploring some caves and pausing to snorkel along the way.
Head Back to Ciutadella
Return to the island’s second city later in the afternoon for a wander around the cobbled streets of its pretty Old Town, shopping and drinking in the arch-covered lanes of Ses Voltes. One of the loveliest spots for a early evening tipple has to be on the harbour front. Sit waterside on the terrace at Bar Restaurant Club Nàutic Ciutadella and enjoy the sunset as it it bathes the bobbing boats in warm red light.
Cook Dinner for Yourself
One of the most novel ways to end the day in Ciutadella is to cook your own dinner at Cuk-Cuk. Learn how to rustle up a hearty Menorcan fish stew or an authentic paella and dine with your new co-chefs on long, social tables with a glass or two of locally produced wine.
Stay at Hotel Can Faustino
Why not bed down for the night at one of the most luxurious residences in the city? With gorgeous views overlooking the port, the stately 16th-century palace of Hotel Can Faustino is worthy of every one of its five stars. In the morning, take breakfast on the gorgeous vine-covered terraces and be sure to make use of the cave-like underground spa before you leave. Speak to reception about hiring a car for the day to give you better access to the rest of the island, and venture out of the city for day two of your Menorcan adventure.
One of the most popular excursions on the island is to see the spectacular quarries of Lithica. Carved out of sandstone, these magnificent cavernous spaces have been cultivated more recently into a series of gardens and mazes. Shaded paths wind through arches, past cooling fountains and little hidden gardens that showcase many species of native plants. There are four labyrinths to explore at Lithica, all of which meander through the quarries and the pretty gardens that have flourished within.
Lunch at El Gallo in Ferreries
For a really rustic and authentic Menorcan lunch, make your way along the country roads to the very special Meson El Gallo restaurant. Sit under a canopy of vines in the courtyard outside and order from a mouthwatering menu of traditional island fare. The beef in particular, prepared the same way for over 40 years, is the melt-in-the-mouth experience that steak lovers dream of.
Pick up Some Authentic Menorcan Sandals
While you’re in the area, swing by the famous Can Doblas store in Ferreries. No trip to Menorca is complete without the purchase (and wearing) of Avarca sandals. These classic shoes, made from soft leather and with sturdy rubber soles, are both perfect for hiking in the countryside, strolling on the beach and exploring pretty whitewashed towns.
Hike up El Toro
If you are feeling adventurous and in need of walking off some of that heavy lunch, go for a hike up to El Toro. The lookout from the top of this hill, located almost bang in the centre of the island, is quite spectacular. With breathtaking panoramic views that seem to stretch the length of the isle, you will not be disappointed after your efforts.
Head to Mahon
Approximately 45 minutes drive from Ciutadella lies Menorca’s only other city and the capital, Mahon. Check in here at the gorgeous and very cozy boutique hotel Jardí de Ses Bruixes. The beautiful interiors at this converted 19th-century townhouse are hard to beat. It’s situated in the heart of the Old Town, so you will find all the capital’s attractions within easy strolling distance.
Wander the Streets of Mahon
Check out the cathedral nearby for a dive into Mahon’s rich cultural history, or take a leisurely stroll down to the harbour. The tapas bars in Mercat de Pescados are a sure hit with many visitors. Soak up the atmosphere and rub shoulders with the locals while sipping on a chilled glass of Cava or two and eating some oysters.
Dinner at Mestre D’aixa
Still a little hungry? Take a pew at Mestre D’aixa, overlooking Mahon harbour. Perched directly opposite a line of super-yachts on the waterfront, and decorated like the inside hull of a ship, the nautical theme prevails here. Sloping walls, rope ladders, dangling fishing baskets and a fantastic array of fresh seafood on the newspaper-like menu all make for a novel and enjoyable dining experience.
Sunset Cocktails and Dancing
You must not leave the island without visiting the Cova D’en Xoroi, one of the most famous bars in the Balearics. This incredible venue is best enjoyed at dusk, when you can sit on the terrace, cocktail in hand, and admire the sunset as it dips into the horizon out at sea. Then head into the caverns (yes, literally) for a night of revelry and dancing as the DJ spins some tunes to an enthusiastic crowd. Just don’t get too carried away and forget that you have to catch your flight in the morning.