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The most obvious (and probably the cheapest and easiest) thing to do with your kids is to hit the beach. There are many beautiful white sand beaches to choose from, and most are great for children. Cala Galdana is a huge bay with soft white sand and stunning clear and shallow turquoise waters. Part of a resort, the beach has all the facilities that you might need – restaurants, shops, toilets, lifeguards, pedalos, sun-loungers – but is not in the least bit rowdy, and is still incredibly beautiful despite the hotels at the back of the beach. Popular with local families, Son Saura, has two sandy beaches (Banyul and Bellavista), separated by a rocky point, and although there are lifeguards and toilets, the beaches have a wilder feel and don’t get too busy. The free car park is about 10 minutes’ walk away and while the beach itself is great for young families, the walk is not really doable with a pushchair, so it’s one to visit with walking-age kids.
Most kids love a trip to the zoo, so if you can tear your kids away from the beach or the pool, Lloc de Menorca Zoo is a great place to visit. About a ten-minute drive from the capital city, Mahon, this small zoo houses species native to Menorca (mainly horses, cows, goats, tortoises, fish and birds) as well as those more exotic animals, reptiles and birds from around the world. There are wetland areas and a lemur forest, as well as lots of interactive areas where kids can touch or hold some animals, and get involved with feeding. There is also a small museum, a kids play-park, and a picnic and barbecue area, making it the perfect place for a full day out.
If your kids are over the age of six and have a spirit of adventure, then a day out tearing through countryside in an open-top 4×4 will probably appeal. Taking in various ancient ruined settlements, as well as woodland and hills, while bumping down rough tracks is great fun, as is parking up on a wild beach and having a quick swim. A local guide will talk you through Menorca’s rich archaeological history and point out important sites, as well as local flora and fauna. A day-out on one of these Jeep Safaris doesn’t come cheap, but it does included transfer to and from your accommodation, and is a fantastic way to see the island. It’s also a day that your kids will likely remember for years to come.
Aquarock Waterpark in the resort of Cala’n Bosch is not huge but there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained. As well as the various obligatory waterslides, there is a large pool with a wave machine, a splash pool for younger kids with water jets and smaller slides, and a whirlpool for mum and dad to sit back and relax in. For older kids, the park also has trampolines and a go-karting track, but it’s worth noting that the go-karts are not included in the park’s entry price, so if you’ve got more than one child the costs could mount up pretty quickly.
The ancient bridle path or cami de cavalls follows the coastline for 185km around the island, and there is no better (or more authentic) way to see it than on horse-back. Menorcans are famously keen on horses, and you will often see the sleek black native (and endangered) Menorquin horses being ridden around the island or performing during fiestas. The bridle paths have been fully restored and are very well sign-posted, and there are various short stretches that are particularly good to do with kids. Son Angel Riding Stables run horse-back tours of the trails, with some of the shorter routes suitable for beginners and children as young as four years old, and full-on five day excursions for more experienced riders. There are different packages available, some of which include food, but if all of that sounds a bit much, most of the many riding stables on the island offer short pony-rides for kids.
Castilla Menorca is an outlet shopping centre that also has an adventure playground with zip wires, sand pits, climbing frames, swings and trampolines, as well as a large swimming pool with slides and a separate toddler pool. There is also a boating pond, go-karting and lots of grassy, shaded areas to run, play or rest. Inside, as well as the various retail outlets and a restaurant, there is a games room with activities for all ages, including toddlers. Possibly the perfect way to combine a shopping trip with a fun day for the kids and a chance to wear them out, all for a very reasonable entry cost.
Carretera de Ciutadella a Maò, Km 35, 07760 Ciutadella de Menorca +34 971 38 04 24
With an abundance of idyllic coves and beaches that are hard to reach by car or on foot, it would almost be criminal to visit Menorca and not take a boat trip, especially if your kids are of an age where they like to swim and snorkel. With Menorca en Barco you can visit various coves on small-ish seven or ten person boats from Cala Galdana (you can share the boat with others or hire the whole thing) with drinks, snacks, snorkelling and two swimming stops included. Alternatively there are various larger, more touristy boats, some of which are glass-bottomed, like those operated by De La Cruz, which run excursions of varying lengths around the island’s coastline from Cuitadella or Mahon.