Menorca

MENORCA – Balearic Islands

The much quieter northern neighbor of Mallorca… Even in summer you can enjoy many quiet strolls and walks on this island.

If you want to stay in the small and beautiful city of Ciutadella (2nd on the island), I can heartily recommend the newly renovated Hotel Geminis.

Most of the walks described below are between population centers and/or a short bus ride back to your (possibly) town of choice. So this time it makes a lot of sense for once NOT to pack lunch, but to wait for the most convenient (or best) Tapas Bar. Taps on this island is cheap and can reach amazing heights of cuisine. In Ciutadella you will find the best Tapas on the island (my bet), the bar and restaurant Aurora at Plaça de Ses Palmeres. Decent stuff also at Tapas del Mar down at the harbour. In the resorts (with one notable exception, Cala’n Bosch) Tapas Bars are not ready at hand, and eating there is at your own risk!

In Mahón there is good Tapas at cafeteria La Bombilla (Plaça Bastió) and Casino Consey at the Esplanade.

In Ferreries try the Snack-Bar Vimpi. Excellent stuff!

In Cala’n Bosch you can surprisingly enough find Las Tapas by the lagune.

In Son Bou there is no Tapas Bar, and by all means stay out of the Cafeteria Manolo. I am at the time of writing still suffering from the late effects of that one!

Selected walks: For walks on Menorca see Landscapes of Menorca by Rodney Ansell, referred to below as /Ansell/. You should also check out the 34 Menorca Walks by Discovery Walking Guides. PLEASE NOTE: when I refer to walk numbers etc. from this book they are all taken from the 3rd edition and you also need the spring 2003 Update Sheet posted on the publisher’s web site. In this Update Sheet note that (most of) the info listed under “Walk 1” is actually for Walk 18, except that the last sentence is (obviously) for Walk 17.

UPDATE: A new and corrected 2004 Update Sheet is now available.

UPDATE 2: I hope the latest 4th edition of /Ansell/ makes most of my objections below unnecessary.

•1 CIUTADELLA (my total time 1h42, includes only short stops for photography; +24m -27m, 0 laps): This is walk 20 in /Ansell/. Just strolling around in Ciutadella is very pleasant, but is better left for a Sunday in summer at least, due to all the traffic. Unfortunately many of the sites described in the book will then be closed. Oh well, you can’t get everything at once. You cannot go very wrong here, just mind that the plaza at the start of the walk (“Alfons III”), is better known as “Ses Palmeres”. Indeed there are seven palm trees… And I think that if you actually see the “Sant Bartomeu” street change its name to “Ses Roques” (p.120 in /Ansell/) you have already gone too far and should have kept right already. Confirm directions with the map here, I had a couple of minutes of doubt at that point, just relying on the text, before eventually finding the “Santa Helena”. My times stops at the avenue back up to the plaza (just two minutes or so away).

•2 EAST AND NORTH OF CIUTADELLA (my total time 2h05, includes only short stops for photography; +-46m, 0 laps): This is walk 21 (a and b) in /Ansell/. Follow more instructions in the Update sheet for the second of these two walks. No other problems of note. Still decent strolls this, but are indeed getting more and more uninteresting. For the second stroll I took the right option at the fork 600m up Cami de Ses Capelletes. This forked at lot, following what looked like the main and/or most interesting track pretty soon ended by a gate (“Prohibido El Paso”). This sign may or may not apply to walkers, but I would not pass without further indication that walking here was indeed OK.

•3 CALA SANTA GALDANA – CALA’N BOSCH (my total time 4h13, includes only short breaks and short stops for photography, add your beach time; +-253m, 1 lap): This is walk 18 in /Ansell/. Important new information here in the Update sheet, although listed as “Walk 1”. There is indeed a new waymarked route between Cala d’es Talajer and Cala’n Turqueta. This is easy to find also when following the walk in the opposite direction. Outside the walls and gate to the Cala’n Turqueta beach turn sharp left on a footpath waymarked in green. Notice the big green arrow on the wall here. After a few meters fork right. After this, carefully following the green arrows and paint blobs should take you easily to the next beach. No other issues important enough to note. But mind that the only footwear that is “comfortable” for these partly rough coastal path are walking boots.

•4 CALA SANTA GALDANA – CALA TREBALÚGER + return (my total time 3h00, includes only one swim and short stops for photography and birdspotting, add your beach time, net walking time is about 2h10 in my pace; +-234m, 1 lap): This is walk 16 in /Ansell/. Don’t even dream of finding this beach “deserted” in summer, there are beach boats at least twice a day. There are quite a few walkers also. If you can catch this beach between the beach boats (first one returned at 12.30), it is at least peaceful. The rough “path” down is a bit awkward, but a nylon rope is now attached to the cliff face to help you on your downward leg. Very useful. No other difficulties of note, but be aware that the coastal path is steep at several points and made more difficult by fallen trees.

•5 FERRERIES – SON MERCER – FERRERIES (my total time 3h24, includes short stops for photography and all the necessary sightseeing, net walking time is about 2h48 in my pace; +-288m, 2 laps): This is walk 15 in /Ansell/. Note that you cannot take the 10.00 bus from Ciutadella towards Cala Galdana to Ferreries, this is a so-called “direct bus”. Even if it DOES go down into Ferreries to PICK UP passengers! Instead you will have to take the possibly overcrowded Mahón bus. HOT BUS HINT: To avoid the crowds and find a good seat (or indeed, a seat at all…), many of the buses can actually be boarded at the Esplanade (15-20mins before their departure from the Ciutadella bus station, and at the OPOSITE end of the park from the local buses). Be sure to check if YOUR bus does this, but the 10.00 to Mahón DOES.

Another rather easy walk, hardly strenuous at any point. Great views also! I actually did this walk in reverse, as I did not believe much in the “broad track” at 41min. I passed it too early for the time check to match, and it looked very uninviting, with a new padlocked and unclimbable metal gate with barb wire. I later discovered that a closer inspection at this point would have revealed that one of the wires had actually been cut and bent aside, allowing just enough room for (carefully!) squeezing through… But I gave it a miss, soon to discover that there was no other track. But I decided just to continue, since I was going to walk here on the return anyway, hoping that finding my way in reverse would not be a big problem. And it was not. It can of course be more difficult to reverse walking instructions, but here it worked very well, thanks to the book’s clear descriptions and that the general direction was easy to deduce. Special care is needed when passing the farm down in that valley, though. Also mind the small snappy dogs around the place.

•6 MAHÓN – TORRE D’EN PENJAT – ES CASTELL – MAHÓN (my total time 3h54, includes short stops for photography and a minimum of sightseeing; +-178m, 1 lap): This is walk 4 in /Ansell/. You also need the latest Update sheet. Note that the new Mahón bus station (for all buses) is at Avenida J. A. Clavé. HOT BUS HINT (If you are travelling from Ciutadella): To avoid the crowds and find a good seat (or indeed, a seat at all…), some of the buses from Ciutadella can actually be boarded at the Esplanade (15-20mins before their departure from the Ciutadella bus station, and at the OPOSITE end of the park from the local buses). Be sure to check if YOUR bus does this, at least the 10.00 to Mahón DOES.

Easy to follow at all points, but the updated instructions for passing that new building beyond Hotel Agamemnon says to follow a path straight ahead for “200m”, I think it is actually even less than 100m, you are just curving around one single new house here.

•7 FERRERIES – TERRA ROTJA – SANT FRANCESCO – FERRERIES (my total time 2h17, includes only short stops for photography; +-219m, 1 lap): This is walk 14 in /Ansell/. Note that you cannot take the 10.00 bus from Ciutadella towards Cala Galdana to Ferreries, this is a so-called “direct bus”. Even if it DOES go down into Ferreries to PICK UP passengers! Instead you will have to take the possibly overcrowded Mahón bus. HOT BUS HINT (If you are travelling from Ciutadella): To avoid the crowds and find a good seat (or indeed, a seat at all…), some of the buses from Ciutadella can actually be boarded at the Esplanade (15-20mins before their departure from the Ciutadella bus station, and at the OPOSITE end of the park from the local buses). Be sure to check if YOUR bus does this, at least the 10.00 to Mahón DOES.

Again a rather easy walk, hardly strenuous at any point. Surprisingly good views from these actually pretty low hills! Easy to follow also, no problems to note.

•8 MAHÓN – TORELLÓ – TALATÍ DE DALT – MAHÓN (my total time 3h06, includes short stops for photography and the necessary or at least minimum of sightseeing; +-100m, 0 laps): This is walk 7 in /Ansell/. Note that the new Mahón bus station (for all buses) is at Avenida J. A. Clavé. HOT BUS HINT (If you are travelling from Ciutadella): To avoid the crowds and find a good seat (or indeed, a seat at all…), some of the buses from Ciutadella can actually be boarded at the Esplanade (15-20mins before their departure from the Ciutadella bus station, and at the OPOSITE end of the park from the local buses). Be sure to check if YOUR bus does this, at least the 10.00 to Mahón DOES.

An interesting walk where you will finally be picking up some of the many ancient sites on the island. Easy to follow, but mind that the track (path I would say) after the 28min point is rather overgrown. With very spiky stuff, also… The Camí Vell de Sant Clement has another (unmentioned) fork immediately after turning off from the lane. You go left. Refer to the map at this point. Around the T-junction at 1h36min new access roads have been built, but this should not confuse you too much. Pretty soon you are at the very interesting Talatí de Dalt site, and will discover they now charge an entrance fee of 3€. So the bit about the public having free access to all sites on the island is not entirely correct anymore.

•9 MAHÓN – TREPUCÓ – MAHÓN (my total time 1h30, includes one rest, short stops for photography and the necessary sightseeing; +-69m, 0 laps): This is walk 5 in /Ansell/. Note that the new Mahón bus station (for all buses) is at Avenida J. A. Clavé. HOT BUS HINT (If you are travelling from Ciutadella): To avoid the crowds and find a good seat (or indeed, a seat at all…), some of the buses from Ciutadella can actually be boarded at the Esplanade (15-20mins before their departure from the Ciutadella bus station, and at the OPOSITE end of the park from the local buses). Be sure to check if YOUR bus does this, at least the 10.00 to Mahón DOES.

A short and easy stroll from Mahón. There are so many signs towards Trepucó that you just cannot go wrong.

•10 MAHÓN (my total time 1h17, includes only short stops for photography; +-75m, 0 laps): This is walk 1 in /Ansell/. Note that the new Mahón bus station (for all buses) is at Avenida J. A. Clavé. HOT BUS HINT (If you are travelling from Ciutadella): To avoid the crowds and find a good seat (or indeed, a seat at all…), some of the buses from Ciutadella can actually be boarded at the Esplanade (15-20mins before their departure from the Ciutadella bus station, and at the OPOSITE end of the park from the local buses). Be sure to check if YOUR bus does this, at least the 10.00 to Mahón DOES.

Just strolling around in Mahón is very pleasant, but is better left for a Sunday, due to the traffic and the crowds. Unfortunately some of the sites described in the book will then be closed, and the walk cannot be done EXACTLY as described in the book.

•11 MAHÓN – ES VERGÉ – MAHÓN (my total time 2h07, includes only short stops for photography; +107m -104m, 0 laps): This is walk 3 in /Ansell/. Note that the new Mahón bus station (for all buses) is at Avenida J. A. Clavé. HOT BUS HINT (If you are travelling from Ciutadella): To avoid the crowds and find a good seat (or indeed, a seat at all…), some of the buses from Ciutadella can actually be boarded at the Esplanade (15-20mins before their departure from the Ciutadella bus station, and at the OPOSITE end of the park from the local buses). Be sure to check if YOUR bus does this, at least the 10.00 to Mahón DOES.

Another pleasant stroll from Mahón. Everything is still as described in the book, except that the main roads you will have to cross are now wider and traffic is subsequently faster… Which is also why you probably will want to avoid the optional detour to the Kane Memorial. I am not quite sure about the correctness of all the street names at the end of the walk, but it’s just to keep ahead in the pretty obvious direction. My timings stop by the Sant Roc gate (part of optional detour at the end), at the Plaça Bastió (or the Cafeteria La Bombilla to be more precise…).

•12 SANT TOMÀS – SA CATEDRAL – ES MIGJORN GRAN – SANT TOMÀS (my total time 3h31, includes short stops for photography and the necessary or at least minimum of sightseeing, net walking time is 2h23 in my pace; +-194m, 1 lap): This is walk 13 in /Ansell/ (route b). An excellent little walk. The valley is very peaceful and the “Cathedral” is awesome. Easy to find and follow, just follow the instructions in the book carefully. There are also many waymarks in the valley, just mind that at certain points the book will use a route that might go a bit different. Also, this path is slightly overgrown in places. Only adds to the fun, really. When entering the outskirts of Sant Tomás again, go right before going downhill (new unmentioned T-junction).

•13 CIUTADELLA – NAVETA D’ES TUDONS – TORRE TRENCADA – CALA SANTA GALDANA (my total time 4h32, includes short stops for photography, a minimum of sightseeing and some investigation; +209m -230m, 1 lap): The first part of this walk is basically the last part of walk 22 in /Ansell/ (but in reverse, or more correctly actually the first half of the new alternative to Walk 22, so you might want to have a look at the latest Update sheet), then linking up with Walk 17 by just continuing on the Camí Vell, then doing the first part of that walk (in reverse) to the coast (but using the track from the Shorter walk for the ultimate leg).

Lots of heavy traffic on the initial part of Camí Vell from Ciutadella so I would not like to do that part twice. So I was looking for an alternative to the new alternative. I decided to try the main walk in reverse, to at least check the new described situation. And indeed there was the dreaded “Prohibido El Paso”. Again, it may or may not apply to walkers, but I would not pass without further indication that walking here was indeed OK.

The next “exit” from Camí Vell would be to link up with Walk 17. So I did. Lots of road work here, but at least that kept almost all traffic out. “In nine minutes pass farm buildings” (p.98) shortly before 2h50min point: Two minutes afterwards a NEW “Prohibido El Paso”. Sigh. In further two minutes the track has been expanded (forking out right just meters before the original track ends by a wall and a GATE), and there is new (?) development further on. It could be OK to continue though the gate (not described in the book, but seemingly replaces some of that make-shift wall), but there was no clear path through that scrappy backyard (not “field” I would say). I turned back.

Last opportunity was just continuing on the Camí again, and follow the initial part of Walk 17 down to Cala Galdana. At least there was no problem in following this route.

•14 SANT TOMÀS – SON BOU + return (my total time 5h27, includes short stops for photography, a couple of swims and an hour or so of lunch, walking time is only about 2h50 in my pace; +-107m, 0 laps): This is walk 11 in /Ansell/ (but in reverse). If you are staying in Ciutadella it is more convenient in terms of bus connections to do the walk this way. And the instructions in the book goes both ways, so it does not really matter at which end you start.

The beaches are perhaps more interesting than the actual walk here. Also be sure to pack your own lunch, and avoid eating at these tourist resorts, even if nice they may look. See more comments in the general section above.

•15 ALAIOR – ES MERCADAL (my total time 2h13, includes only short stops for photography; +140m -170m, 2 laps): This is walk 10 in /Ansell/ with Alternative ending 1. HOT BUS HINT (If you are travelling from Ciutadella): To avoid the crowds and find a good seat (or indeed, a seat at all…), some of the buses from Ciutadella can actually be boarded at the Esplanade (15-20mins before their departure from the Ciutadella bus station, and at the OPOSITE end of the park from the local buses). Be sure to check if YOUR bus does this, at least the 10.00 to wards Mahón DOES.

A gentle stroll on historical ground, an ancient road. Easy to find and follow at all points.

• Good starting points: • Mahón – the capitol, from here bus will take you around to the entire island, find (not totally up-to-date) bus schedules here • Ciutadella – also from here bus will take you around to the entire island, find (not totally up-to-date) bus schedules here

• How to get there: • By air • By ferry from other Balearic islands

• More info: Sorry, none yet


This page was last modified at April 21, 2009.

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