Discovering the Balearic Islands: Sailing in Menorca

By Kanika Dabra - August 19, 2020

Menorca is the “nature” island of the Balearic Islands. Sailors appreciate its beauty and its 216 km of coastline located between cliffs, coves, white sand and pine forests. The island has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and is full of hidden treasures such as archaeological remains and exceptional sea beds.

Our sailing itinerary in Menorca will take you to all the most beautiful places on the wildest island of the Balearic Islands. All you have to do is open your eyes wide and enjoy its breath-taking scenery.

Practical information for sailing in Menorca

It is best to take this cruise from April to October. The tramontana, the island’s dominant wind, allows pleasant summer temperatures, lower than in the rest of the Balearic Islands.

What boating licence do I need to sail in Menorca?

In Menorca, it is possible to rent a motorboat with less than 15 horsepower or a sailing boat without a nautical licence. If you are not comfortable, it is preferable to rent a boat with a skipper.

Day 1: Discovery of Mahon, capital of the island

Before leaving the port of Mahon, give yourself time to discover the city centre, the unique streets with Georgian houses with colourful roofs are astonishing. You can also visit the church of Santa Maria and admire its 19th century organ with 4 manuals and more than 3000 pipes. It is in this church that the International Organ Festival takes place.

Finally, if you are a music lover, the town of Mahon is perfect for you, as it often celebrates the Opera. Indeed, in summer, it even organizes a week-long festival.

Day 2: Mahon → Binibeca

10.6 nautical miles, 2 hours of sailing

To begin your holiday in Menorca, set sail and anchor in Binibeca. A very famous fishing village built around a cove. Binibeca is full of charm thanks to its bay of fine sand and its white houses with their original designs. This village was founded in 1972 by two architects wishing to create a place of inspiration for artists. There are about sixty houses which are all different from each other.

Let yourself fall under the spell of this magical place, where calm and wild beauty reign. At the end of the afternoon, enjoy the fresh air and walk along the coastal paths.

Day 3: Binibeca → Cala Galdana

15.6 nautical miles, 3 hours of sailing

On this third day of the cruise, head towards Cala Galdana. It is a very large cove where there are many bars, restaurants and shops. In fact, we recommend that you dine in the restaurant at Cala Mitjana, a very famous seafood restaurant.

From the boat, admire the spectacular Algendar cliff, which plunges down to the beach. Observe this panorama while enjoying an aperitif on the deck of your boat.

If you are a hiker at heart, during this stopover, the Barrang d’Algendar hike will not disappoint you! Departing from Santa Galdana, discover these gorges separated by torrents of water. The Barrang d’Algendar, 6 km wide and 50 metres deep, has an exceptional biodiversity.

Day 4: Cala Galdana → Cala Macarella

1.2 nautical miles, 15 minutes of sailing

Continue your journey along the coast and set sail for Cala Macarella. This beach is known as the most beautiful beach in Menorca. Just enjoy the moment, breathe in the fresh air and dive into its crystal-clear waters.

This is the ideal place to showcase your water sports talents: wakeboarding, towed buoy, paddle boarding. There will be something for everyone.

Day 5: Cala Macarella → Ciutadella de Menorca

11.3 nautical miles, 2 hours of sailing

Now sail to Ciutadella de Menorca, Menorca’s second largest city. Narrow streets, a fortified centre and beautiful palaces are waiting for you.

Once there, you should visit Menorca’s cathedral, which was built between the 13th and 14th centuries on the site of an old mosque. It is the most important Gothic building in Menorca.
After this visit, head to the Plaza del Borne, where you’ll find an obelisk which commemorates the city’s heroic defence against the Turkish attack in 1558.

Finally, visit the Castillo de San Nicolás, which was built at the end of the 18th century to defend its port.

In the evenings, discover the city’s Baroque and Gothic past, as well as its local specialities. The city is famous for hosting some of Menorca’s best restaurants. We recommend you dine at the Es Forat restaurant in the Marina.

At night, you can moor in Cala Ciutadella, an idyllic spot away from all the tourist noise.

Day 6: Ciutadella de Menorca → Fornells

22.7 nautical miles, 4.5 hours of sailing

Head to the town of Fornells, which is located in the north of the island and is classified as a marine nature reserve. It is a beautiful coastal town with white houses, a natural harbour and a peaceful atmosphere.
This small fishing village is well known for its famous Caldereta de Langosta (lobster stew), which is cooked like nowhere else.

You can visit the Torre de Fornells, which was built during the British occupation to defend the town. It is one of the largest towers on the island and has a spectacular view. To spend the night in peace and quiet, we advise you to anchor in the bay, or moor your boat in the port.

Day 7: Fornells → Mahon

21 nautical miles, 4 hours of sailing

Before you return, stop at Es Castell, only 5 km from the town of Mahon. Discover an old village with a charming bay which, according to legend, receives the first rays of sunshine from Spain every morning. Once you have finished sailing in Menorca, don’t forget to fill up your boat and check out with the skipper or boat owner.

This cruise in the Balearic Islands is challenging, but also extremely rewarding. The idyllic scenery and the turquoise sea will have you thinking about coming back very soon.

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