Ibiza and Mallorca are on the tip of everyone's tongue when you think about Spain's Balearic Islands. But you'd be a fool to overlook their little sister Menorca.
So you’ve heard of the Spanish islands of Ibiza and Mallorca, but what about their other sibling, Menorca? Some even say it’s the most authentic of all the Balearic Islands. Here is our guide to spending 24 hours on the island tourists forgot.
6 am: Get your exercise in early
Before the heat of the day sets in, go on a sunrise hike - or a cycle - on the famed Cami de Cavalls walking track. The path circumvents the entire island, so you can walk the whole 185 kilometres, or simply do a leg of it instead – which in 24 hours, is all you’re going to have time to do. Depending on which part you attempt, you could find yourself overlooking sapphire-tinged waters, scaling rocks or walking amongst cattle in green fields.
10 am: Swim the warm seas
The clear blue waters of Menorca are calling your name, so answer their call with a morning of swimming. Caló Blanc is famed for its crystalline, turquoise water and might just become your favourite swimming hole, anywhere. There isn’t a lot of sand here though – it’s more of a lie-on-the-rocks situation – but that means you won’t have to worry about getting all sandy, which is actually a major plus.
1 pm: Go to a local winery
Experience Menorcan wine in the beautiful surrounds of Binifedet winery. Go on one of their one-hour tours, where you’ll explore the vines, learn about the winemaking process and then get to taste the cellar (alongside nibbles) – all for only €10. They also have a delightful restaurant with plenty of shade, so staying for lunch might just be the best way to spend the hottest part of the day.
3 pm: Enjoy the pool at your gorgeous hotel
Occupying a building dating back to the 14th century, swish hotel Alcaufar Vell is worth it for its antiquity alone. This isn't a cheap stay, so make the most of it by spending your afternoon relaxing by the pool. The rooms inside are pared-back, chic and very, very elegant, and every corner of the hotel, including its beautiful gardens, reeks of history; even the white-washed, roughly-hewn walls themselves. It's definitely a once in a lifetime sort of place – try to stay at least a night here.
6 pm: Watch the sunset in style
Put down your phone and just try not to Instagram this venue. You’ll fail; the temptation is too powerful. It’s called Cova d’en Xoroi and it’s a bar and club built into the rocks themselves, on the southwest coast of Menorca. It’s open until dawn for late night revellers. For the rest of us, grab a Pomada (gin and cloudy lemonade – a Menorcan speciality) and enjoy the sun setting over the sea from one of the island’s best vantage points.
8 pm: Eat the island’s most famous dish for dinner
If there’s one dish you have to eat in Menorca, it’s ‘caldereta de langosta’, a sort of stew with local blue spiny lobster as its star. The place to try it is in the fishing village of Fornells, and the restaurant most famous for serving it is Es Cranc. Sit back in traditional surrounds and eat Menorca’s most celebrated dish; you won’t forget the evening in a hurry.
10.30 pm: Bedtime
Head back to Alcaufar Vell for a blissful night’s sleep – you’ve had a busy day; now it’s time to chill.