Head straight for the beach. Then fling yourself into the hotel pool. Gorge on cured ham and local cheeses, then take a siesta and head into town for shopping. Days fly by on the island of Menorca, especially when you’re there with your squad.
Menorca is a small island that has been fought over for centuries. Cousins to Ibiza and Mallorca, this land mass in the Mediterranean is now Spanish territory, but has changed hands countless times through strategic naval takeovers, religious inquisitions and overall migration patterns. My head spun while I tried to keep track of the timeline. Here’s a bunch of great experiences to be had on this laid-back island:
The British left their mark on Menorca in the most British way possible – with booze. This gin factory generously gives away samples of all their flavored liquors, from rose and chocolate to mint and coffee. The best is the classic, though – a juniper scented gin that actually goes great with lemonade. Buy a bottle and make your ‘pomadas’ back at the hotel – simply local gin, lemonade and ice!
Cova d’en Xoroi
Kick off embracing the island vibe with a toast to the good life at this lounge and nightclub. You literally walk through a maze of caves to reach the bar and perfect Mediterranean view. During the day before sunset the crowds are fairly tame for a casual cocktail, but the huge DJ stage and lighting system makes me think things really heat up after dark.
Boat ride from Mahón
Nothing like seeing the shore of the island from the sea. A catamaran tour is the ideal way to get a little bit of sun and a lay of the land. The highlight was the underwater viewing areas to spot fish below – we saw a barracuda!
It’s all about the ambiance at this vineyard and winery in Menorca. The wine and food isn’t half bad either! Go as sunset to see rays to pop through the leafy grape vines and snag the best table outside on the veranda. The sparkling rose was our favorite variety – light and easy to drink with the local cheeses.
Fort de Marlborough
A little historic background is worth the visit to this fort. Climb to the top for some great panoramic views and learn about how this area has been strategic in battle for centuries.
Horseback riding – Son Bou Rutas a Cavall
Do something new (or something nostalgic) with your group and wrangle up the trusty steeds. We loved horseback riding along the rocky coastline as a squad. The island has their own breed of gentle, jet-black horses that are a delight to ride.
While staying at the cozy Hotel San Luis, our group was always searching for nearby grub. Tucked among the small shops by the water is a tiny café serving a few local dishes and made-to-order pizzas. It seems nothing special, but the staff remembers your name after a couple visits and you can eat out in the vine-covered courtyard.
Menorca Craft Centre
Take a break from the heat and check out some beautiful exhibits at this newly designed museum. The video interviews of local craftspeople is well worth the visit. See some of the textiles, woodworking and steel crafts in the center, then head for the gift shop to pick up some local handmade items.
It’s the tallest point on the island of Menorca with the prettiest views. Take your wheels up the mountain/hill for panoramic views of the Mediterranean. Plus, there’s a beautiful church at the summit with an interesting history.
Have you been on a group trip to an island? How did it go? Do you like to hang at the beach all week or explore inland?