Menorca – The Balearic Island for Families
If you're thinking of taking your nearest and dearest away for next summer's escape, or even some winter sun, the options open to you are pretty wide. However, for a good balance of sunshine, family activities, budget friendliness and ease of getting about, the Balearic island of Menorca could be just the ticket.
It may be small, but it brings plenty of character to your holiday. While there are simply dozens of reasons to visit Menorca for your next holiday, consider a few of the below points in particular when planning your next family break.
Abundant natural beauty
From the hill of El Torro at the island's heart to the rolling meadows, rich forests and pristine beaches, Menorca's natural appeal is impossible to fault. UNESCO has certainly thought so since 1993, with the entire island and its surrounding sea recognised for plant and animal life alike.
If your kids are fans of the great outdoors, or you're keen to draw their gazes up from their screens, Menorca has much to offer. It's been left relatively untouched by the kind of mainstream tourist development you'll find on other Spanish-speaking islands. Frogs, turtles and terrapins are often spotted on the island, as are vibrant birds and horses that you and your loved ones can ride cross-country or along the beach.
Menorca benefits from the fact that all its finest sights are connected. The island hosts an old route known as the Cami de Cavalls, which is popular with hikers, cyclists and horse riders, and it connects beaches, dales and forests alike from one side of the island to the other.
Plenty of fun and excitement
Because Menorca is not one of the party islands, it benefits from an authenticity not seen in its fellow Balearic islands. That said, you needn't expect the kids to get bored. Attractions such as the AquaCenter waterpark combine steep chutes and wild slides with big blue pools and more tame activities for those little ones a little more shy of the water. AquaCenter is tucked at the far west of Menorca, making it easy to reach and also well within range of nearby beaches.
Kayaking is another popular way for families to enjoy the natural beauty of Menorca. Even if you've never tried it before, experts are on hand to get you to grips with your oars and kayak, before you and your loved ones set off on a little convoy to see the shallow seawater surrounding some superb coves and caves.
As you might expect from an island with over 3,000 years of history, Menorca likes to mix its rich heritage with fun activities. A good example can be seen in the pirate tours running out of Ciutadella, which are steeped in swashbuckling stories and take you all on a boat trip out to coves it's said were once used to smuggle plunder.
Back on dry land, the shops around the harbour of Menorca's charming capital of Mahon are pretty appealing. Cheap souvenirs are a given, but there are also some local sweet treats like churros to enjoy, as well as dedicated cake shops whose sights and sounds entice like no other.
It's not a trip to Menorca with the family without a stop at the island's splendid beaches. Because the island has a more relaxed approach than others surrounding it, these beaches are safe, warm and family friendly.
A good place to start is Santo Tomas Beach. It's close to the more active Son Bou, but is a little more tucked away, with plenty of amenities. That includes lifeguard support, a playground and pedalo boat hire. You can also opt to get even more off the beaten track by visiting the twin beaches of the Son Saura coast. Both Bellavista and Banyul come complete with clean water, plentiful ice cream and even more abundant sunshine.
Altogether, Menorca comes highly recommended for a family getaway, and it's often more affordable than you realise. A good mix of attractions, cosy hideaways and splendid sights make it ideal for making memories together.