menorca – stunning unspoilt island, sept 2019

sept 14th 2019 , arrived into mahon intl airport saw some planes that presumably are for the air show tomorrow , couple of fighters and a troop carrier.

we are staying in Ciutadella [“sweet-a-day-a”] on the opposite side of the island, so we hired a MPV from “ok cars” … after heeding online advice and noting all the scratches and videoing eveything ! very cheap car hire must be said . after grabbing the c3 aircross , we headed straight to mahon which is the eastern capital as there is  football match starting in an hour. found a place called restaurante pierro http://www.restaurantepierro.com/ who had a projector and a large tv showing matches right on the harbour side . 4 euro a pint not bad considering location , food was bang average tho .  destination estrella and 3 points …great start !

after driving across quiet excellent condition and well signed roads navigating the island to the west side , that evening we hit some mex style street food in ciutadella town at “magi 24”  , a really great vegan burger , super tasty pork and chicken tacos , guac and dips. and beer ! low cost and great service and food @  https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187465-d16717994-Reviews-Magi24-Ciutadella_Menorca_Balearic_Islands.html

next day is first day proper, and a cracking result i saw online there was an air show display at Son Bou , a large beach on the south coast . traffic was congested but somehow by luck we managed to navigate right down to the front car park . hundreds and hundreds of cars got backed up on main road but we slipped thru a village and down to the beach . result indeed .

as the air show was 12-3.30pm, about 4pm after most people had dispersed went to Arenal Son Saura beach up on the north of the island to get away from the thousands at the air show . we wanted to get a canoe and row north , but at 5pm the guy had locked up all the canoes so we didnt end up going out on the water that day .

after Arenal Son Saura we headed back west , stopping at “hola ola” in cala blanca just south of ciutadella https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Pub/Hola-Ola-Mediterranean-Beach-178672065623487/

its a hipster hippie-esque beach bums surfer dude kinda hang out with ska reggae jazz blues and a random assortment of i guess eclectic ‘balearic’ vibe music where everyone crashes out onto communal tables or the grass alongside . a winner for us . its an almost unique place to most other places i discovered on the island . nachos rocked , so did cocktails, but a classic mojito made with coke was err…unusual lol. margaritas ruled there. and beer. of course being west facing sunsets dominate the agenda along with jumping into the cove .

hola ola ciutadella

and followed up into ciutadella town for more beer and junk

day 3 , went to cala galdana on the south coast. it was a toss up of cala galdana and cala en bosc to hire a boat . so we chose galdana and hired out a speedboat for 140 euro for 4 hours . cheaper than greece for sure, it was 100 an hour in lindos i think it was when we visited in june this year ? with a small outboard it was plenty fast enough for sailing from bay to bay . i planned out 3 coves to the west , 2 to the east . we loaded up a stack of beers with ice in a cool bag , lunch and snacks , and set sail for a day anchoring in each bay and jumping overboard to cool off . some of the finest beaches on the island are in this area .

cala galdana port

Macarella and Cala De La Macarelleta [a twin cove] , feeding the fish from our boat.

Cala en turqueta

Playa des Talaier

Cala Mitjana

we actually drove thru that hole and out the other side…risky …

Cala de Trebalúger

with a brilliant sunset later that evening

next day it was off to get a canoe and row out from from Es Grau ,  off the east coast in the Parc Natural de s’Albufera des Grau  , to the island of illa d’e colom . there are two bays which looked nice . its a tiny island about half a mile long with no buildings or cars . upon arrival we realised what a good decision it had been planning this day out to the island .

southern bay

northern bay

and back to hola ola on the west side that evening !!

later that night more football was on so we looked for a ‘brit central’ resort on the west coast and hit “jimmy hills bar” lol . guaranteed uk champions league footy . and egg n chips . and beer . https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jimmy-Hills-Bar/119912501421533 . they don’t mess about with the gin measures here either !

next day over to the north of the island … cala pregonda . talked about one of the jewel in menorcas crown , for me it didnt compare to the southern beaches . sun is ‘behind you’ on the beach, sand is grittier,  beaches arent as white , but its def worth doing and is a fine spot. its about a mile walk from the car park , round a couple of bays , over the headland round some dunes , up a cliff … its a decent half hour or so trek with a backpack full of beer and the days food and chill needs …

widescreen > click >

that evening we had Estrella in a ciutadella town square , then a thai meal in “La Cayena” . luckily she managed to squeeze us in , as it was packed . varied fusion food , high quality and varied. totally get vegans . it really worked for us .  chicken pad thai and a veggie thai curry i think the other was .   https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187465-d1790470-Reviews-La_Cayena-Ciutadella_Menorca_Balearic_Islands.html

once more into the jeep and mapped out a route along to the south west corner of the island . first up is binidalli . you walk down quite a few steps to the cove.

widescreen > click >

widescreen image > click >

after here on to our next cove just 5 mins drive awaybinisafuller playa . after parking up on the main road we went to  “opera ristorante & pizzeria” . run by Italians , this place really does knock the pizzas out the park . mrs robster who is very fussy on food quality says maybe the best vegan pizza shes ever had . I had salami and agree , spot on . the freshly made miss shapen dough we just so good . must do truly perfect pizza .

widescreen image > click >

we got really excited when sitting on the shoreline an octopus came right up near our feet . grabbed the camera and managed to grab a shot of it . when it finally moved away it shot off so gracefully with a few little fish chasing after it .

after all the excitement we then headed over the Instagram central …Binibeca . the crokked higgledy-piggledy all white ‘fishermans village’ . looks great in the pictures . a couple of the properties had for sale notices on for a few hundred thousand euro . small cheap properties now highly in demand .

on the edge of the village is “Sa Cuina de Binibeca & Bar Mar Blau” , a cool place to hang out with a pool , views , and a dj who was just setting up as we left .

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g656875-d17629342-Reviews-Sa_Cuina_de_Binibeca_Bar_Mar_Blau-Sant_Lluis_Menorca_Balearic_Islands.html

widescreen image > click >

while over on this corner of the island we badly wanted to do the Mexican “la mexiterranea” . a decent looking Mexican we had found online , and god do we love mex !! took a drive and a while to find it , however it was an extremely limited menu , and when we said 1 is vegan they said they had nothing . we asked if we could have something really basic like a beans & rice burrito they said I don’t want to make it for you !!! WTF ??  when we said ok what veg have you got they said NOTHING . no veg at all , nothing ?!? not even corn carrots avocado , nothing at all .  the restaurant was empty it wasn’t like they had anything to do . so we left . a restaurant with NO VEG ?

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g642211-d14057359-Reviews-La_Mexiterranea-Mahon_Menorca_Balearic_Islands.html

after walking along a short distance to another mex inspired place [allegedly] that I had noted down , “maria bonita” , it turned out it wasn’t Mexican just tapas and very expensive too . but it worked out perfectly in the end . strolling along deciding what to do we saw a place very busy with the locals “café baixamar”and spontaneously decided to eat here . brilliant waiter could not have been better , compared to “la mexiterranea” service it was next level . we ordered lots of tapas and everything was delicious . everything so fresh and made to order . everything happens for a reason hey 😉

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g642211-d8735355-Reviews-Baixamar_Cafe-Mahon_Menorca_Balearic_Islands.html

further along the prom we headed to  “akelarre” next to the ferry terminal , and stayed for drinks . sadly midweek it wasn’t busy , but a really cool venue . stunning area at the back that opens from a glass wall out to a vertical sheer cliff hundreds of feet high . a jazz and dance club with dj’s and live acts open till the am’s . also does food .

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g642211-d3528896-Reviews-Akelarre_Jazz_Dance_Club-Mahon_Menorca_Balearic_Islands.html

next day was our last full day . we went to the centre of Ciutadella , took a walk around the streets , did some shopping and sightseeing , and headed to “Piqniq” , a take away in the back streets for organic veggie vegan specials , but also had a chicken option too . perfect for us both . food was very good , like the reviews .

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187465-d10438703-Reviews-Piqniq-Ciutadella_Menorca_Balearic_Islands.html

the fish market area

and our chosen beach for the final day was Son Saura , down towards the south western corner of the island . a drive out along farmers fields down dirst track roads , past livestock , and a huge car park at the end . there was not a single car park on the island we had to pay , although the 2 capitals had street meters in parts . on reflection the ‘tourist fees’ you have to pay to visit the island seems very good value , I nearly didn’t go at one point due to add ons at the final total . initially it put me off a bit seeing what some of the moneys got swallowed up on , but after visiting and seeing how immaculate the island was id happily pay it again and return . I think this was the only beach we visited that had any sellers , couple of blokes with ice creams and fruit .

widescreen image > click >

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and once more off to “hola ola” to end the last night .

and next day we sadly have to leave ;-(   I was shocked at how unspoilt menorca was . absolutely spot on . one of my fav places in Europe ive been to , spotless , awesome beaches , top notch food , not expensive like Ibiza for example , or full of ghastly high rise hotels on the beaches . friendly people , compact , great driving roads , loads to see and do …. just absolutely brilliant ! 1000% we will be back sooner rather than later to see what we missed .

this is the 5th time we have been overseas on a plane this year lol , and we aren’t done yet . so suck it up extinction rebellion crusties this ones for you!!!  a nice clear day for the flight home with a window seat , football stadium spotting , mines , jodrell bank …and a good tan . adios

www.jodrellbank.net

VIDEO OF TRIP

check out some of my other posts on tharosbter blog …

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9 Responses to menorca – stunning unspoilt island, sept 2019

  1. Qualityspy1 says:

    A brilliant blog with excellent photos of my island home! Menorca is indeed a special place… come back soon!

  2. Nick M says:

    Welcome back! That was a great read…….I went to Menorca about 30 years ago and enjoyed it. I’ve been contemplating another visit and you’ve just sold it to me.

  3. Luleelala says:

    Hi tharobster,
    Thank you for keeping me updated on your travels. As usual, great information, brilliant pictures and another fabulous insight to another fascinating country.
    Great to see you enjoying all your travels.
    Luleelala.

  4. Vicki says:

    Another great blog, Rob – love a wee Estrella Galicia to wash down the lovely vegan food – I agree who would make a mojito with coke – that’s just weird!

    The kayaking would suit me perfectly – looks amazing. Also looks like you brought a wee bit of Goa with you (the sarong on the beach).

    The XR crusties would hate me too, we just done a mammoth trip to Borneo and Singapore – I don’t think even Elton could offset my carbon emissions this year 🙂

    • tharobster says:

      lucky you…one of my friends is off to borneo next week , its a monkey thing! kayaking was extremely good here, I think there are 99 coves to get to on the island. and yes the goa throw went and we left it in menorca as it was wet and dirty before our trip home. never mind another £2.50 should get us a nice new one, they go[a] all over the world now these things !! bring on our indian xmas 😉 safe travels

  5. Graeme Reid says:

    Another great blog, Rob! Looking forward to your next one.

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