Discover the hidden treasures of the best-kept Balearic secret–the island of Menorca.
Photography by: Svadore
One of the few hotels in Menorca situated directly on the beach, this modern 11-story hotel lies in a Blue Flag cove offering a heavenly stay in the south coast of Menorca. Its white sands, pine trees and high cliffs guard the entrance, unveiling a crystal clear, turquoise water cove. With plenty to offer from yoga classes, morning spin classes, private boat trips, mini golf, water sports, scuba diving, cycling, horse back riding and more, one does not get bored. It’s a perfect base for hiking and scenic walks to near by calas, or coves, and secluded natural beaches untouched by tourism, such as Cala Mitjana, Cala Macarella and Cala Macareletta. Although a kid-friendly resort, guests staying in the exclusive rooms also known as the “Level” receive access to their own benefits including a private adult-only pool, spa, restaurant and more.
Positioned alongside a tranquil, small port in the old city of Ciutadella lies Safiguera restaurant, a fresh, local, Mediterranean cuisine restaurant. As is customary in Europe, Pat and I decided to enjoy a nice 2 hour lunch in this canal enjoying a nice cold local beer (..or two!) alongside a fresh Sea Bass baked Menorcan style and grilled Octopus on a bed of potatoes. As we dined and unwound, we enjoyed the backdrop of shimmering waters and luxurious yachting vessels passing by. The meal tasted fresh and local, simple yet full of flavor. To this day, it is one of Pat and I’s top 5 meals.
As waves of intoxicating aromas linger in the air, you will first be struck by the magnificent beauty of your oceanic surroundings as you savo high-quality, freshly caught fish. The restaurant stays open till late at night, which is perfect following your late and fulfilling lunch! The breeze of the Mediterranean sunset, the tranquil atmosphere and rich Menorcan gastronomy will turn your experience at this local restaurant into a sublime memory.
Enjoy a cocktail on a beautiful candle-lit terrace while enjoying sea views over Cala Galdana, while a live band plays in the background. If you’re ever there and see the epic “Negroni” cocktail on the menu, you can thank Patrick! While at this fine terrace bar, Patrick ordered a Negroni. Not knowing what the cocktail was, the waiter asked Patrick to teach him how to make it. After a couple of tries the bartender brought Patrick the drink, asked him if it tasted right, and proceeded to bring him complementary Negroni’s all night! We ended up bringing a little piece of Northern Italy to Spain.
Although Patrick and I did not get the chance to go this unique and renowned bar for a drink, I highly recommend everyone stop by Cala en Porter when visiting the island. World-renown for its location it is set in a series of caves carved into a cliff on the Southern shore with terraces perched above the crystal clear waters. But a tranquil happy hour isn’t the only thing happening at this one-of-a-kind bar, once the sun goes down, the cave transforms into an chic nightclub hosting international DJs and the latest club music. Unfortunately, the experience doesn’t come cheap. A drink while watching the sunset will cost you roughly €12 per person, including a drink-not bad! However, if you want to reserve a VIP seafront terrace, prices start around €150 per person. If your spending that much on the view, you might as well down a couple of more drinks and stay to watch the sunrise again.
Rent A Boat
One of the many luxuries on the island of Menorca is that you are able to rent a kayak, a paddle boat or even a BOAT to explore the caves, nearby beaches and beautiful landscape of the island. The boat does not cost much and gave Pat and I time to enjoy the crystal turquoise waters (I swear the water looks radioactive at times from how clean and clear it is!) from the nearby coves, undisturbed by people under a nice shaded canopy.
A trip to the Old Town is a must, even if it’s just for lunch. Lose yourself in the pretty small ports, labyrinth passages, small caved boutiques, archways and sudden unexpected views. With more Spanish character and history than the islands capital Maó, the town is filled with mains square enveloped by aristocratic palaces and former cathedrals to enjoy. A small port lined with fishing boats and restaurants is the perfect spot to enjoy a local and quaint lunch.
Hike to Cala Mitjana, Cala Macarella and Cala Macareletta
You’ve probably seen these images lurking around Pinterest and Instagram and thought to yourself, where on earth is this paradise?!?! Well…low and behold, these secret beaches can be found in none other then Menorca. The virgin beaches of Macarella and Macarelleta are some of the most photographed and shared beach, cove and island photographs in the world. Stunning shades of boats floating above impeccable clear turquoise and radiant light blue water in a bay surrounded by white sandy beaches and rocks with shallow waters make you feel like you’ve stepped into paradise.
The hike from Cala Galdana to Cala Macarella is about 30 minutes from Hotel Audaux. After strolling through pine trees and natures, the woods part to reveal limestone cliffs with three large caves and sandy white beaches. Head to the beach bar on the western end where you can grab a quick beverage after the hike.
On the eastern side, you can hike from Cala Galdana to Cala Metjana. The 20 minute walk begins above Hotel Sol Gavilanes where a gate opens out onto a woodland path. The path opens to reveal white sandy beaches curved inland surrounded by trees and high limestone cliffs full of caves. You can even enter one of the caves if you choose to swim and enter through the small crack that leads you through a tunnel running 50 meters into the cliff!! If you decide to be adventurous and go into the cave, look up as you’ll notice natural arches into which steps had been carved by smugglers long ago.
This is just a very, VERY small list of what to do on the island of Menorca and is very specific to the Cala Galdana area. There is so much more to see..explore the city of Mahon, horseback ride across the Menorcan countryside inland, spend an afternoon at one a winery, take a cooking class, go visit the prehistoric monuments scattered throughout the island and visit the hundreds of other renowned and hidden Cala’s. The experiences and adventures are endless. I will definitely have to go back in the next year or so to report on what else the island of Menorca has to offer..!
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