Wild beaches in Menorca

Wild beaches in Menorca

Macarella beach, Menorca. Photo by Nick HaslamWith 216 kilometres of coastline, most of which is totally untouched and pristine, wild beaches in Menorca are plentiful and idyllic. Hidden between small rocky headlands, or backed by dense woodland ringing with birdsong, these secret gems are wonderful places to swim from and explore, or to take a break from a walk or kayaking trip.

Many of the wild beaches on both south and north coasts can be reached by narrow country lanes and have purpose built parking areas set in fields some distance from the beach to minimise impact on the coastal environment.

To avoid traffic chaos in the height of summer, electronic signs at the closest major road turn off to the beach will indicate parking availability. It is very difficult to turn your car around in the stone walled lanes, so be sure to look out for the parking indicators before you commit yourself.

For serious walkers practically the entire coastline of Menorca is ringed by the newly reopened Camí de Cavalls, a bridle path used for centuries by smugglers and Revenue guards. Now well marked and cleared for horse riders, mountain bikers and walkers the Camí offers a new way to explore and to discover yet more hidden beaches and secluded bays.

On the southern coast many of the wild beaches lie at the end of long barrancs – the wide deep ravines and gullies cut over millennia by rainfall into the limestone plateau which covers the southern half of the island. Here, the wild beaches need at least a ten minute walk from car parks set back from the coast, or perhaps a long scramble down a rocky path, but the adventurous beach fan will be rewarded by a lovely stretch of white sand, crystal clear sea , and even in the height of summer very few others sharing the quiet seclusion.

Macaralleta beach, Menorca. Photo by Menorca Tourist BoardAt the western end of the island, some of the most attractive wild beaches can be reached by lanes running off the ring road around Ciutadella. Cala en Turqueta, Macarella and the smaller Macarelleta for example are only a twenty minute drive from Menorca’s second largest town.

Parking here is a good 15 minutes away on foot from the sea but the beaches are amongst the most beautiful on the island, with small coves backed by steep wooded cliffs and rocky headlands which have stunning views over the pristine clear sea.

Further along the coast, and accessed by the road which runs from Ferreries to Cala Galdana, Cala Mitjana and Cala Trebalúger can be reached by a 30 minute and 60 minute walk respectively along the Cami de Cavalls. The beach at Cala Trebalúger is a sand bar and behind it a fresh water river extends for more than a kilometre through lush wetlands which teem with wild life.

Cala en Turqueta. Photo by Menorca Tourist BoardThe wilder northern coast has many beautiful hidden red sand beaches reached by paths through woodlands and trails over the rugged rocky terrain exposed to the strong Tramuntana winds. La Vall close to Cala Morell is a lovely curving beach tucked behind a deeply wooded headland.

Unusually for a wild beach there is a lifeguard’s tower here, with parking about 1 kilometre from the beach. In the height of the summer the car park often is full, but determined walkers can usually be sure to find somewhere close by for a cooling swim from a deserted stretch of sand.

Cala Pregonda, close to the high cliffs of Cap de Cavalleria is one of the most beautiful wild beaches on the north coast with small islets set inside a bay of red sand and an inviting clear sea.

In the natural park of S’Albufera des Grau there are lovely wild beaches which can be reached from Es Grau itself following footpaths through the wetlands of the park or the Cami de Cavalls. Cala de sa Torreta, within the park with its ancient watchtower perched on a headland has several tiny sandy beaches which even in the height of the season are usually deserted.

Those using the wild beaches of Menorca should always remember to take enough water and food for their excursion and make sure to leave the beaches as pristine as they found them. Many Menorcans will tell you that they often bring home more from the beach than they take for they invariably pick up rubbish left behind by other less careful beach goers. It is one way they say, to repay the island for the wonderful carefree days they can spend on its beaches.

Find out more about Menorca beaches
Responsible Travel would like to thank the Menorca tourist board for their sponsorship of this guide
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