Welcome to Menorca: wild and preserved nature, endemic cultures, exceptional architectural heritage, white sand beaches, crystal clear water.
Menorca is the most laid-back and tranquil of Spain’s popular Balearic Islands — less clubby than Ibiza, less touristed than neighboring Mallorca. Authentic towns filled with locals and Spanish, unreal beaches, nature, active adventures, and wonderful little restaurants make this a paradise for those lucky enough to holiday on this “hidden gem”! After several weeks of hotel hopping throughout Spain, we ended our Spanish adventure by settling into villa life with friends and family, and this was the perfect complement to an immersive holiday.
BINIGAUS NOU VILLA
The exceptionally private Binigaus Nou is a delightful and authentic Menorca villa with beautiful spacious bedrooms, terrific entertaining areas, and a gorgeous pool. The villa has a desirable location on an undisturbed UNESCO protected biosphere reserve, boasting sea views and its own direct access to one of the most seductive beaches on the island.
The village of Migjorn Gran is just outside the long private drive and has great restaurants, a market, and other conveniences for villa renters and is centrally located between several of Menorca’s must-see towns – Mahon, Fornells, and Ciutadella.
Most of our meals were spent al fresco with perfect temperatures and gentle breezes, day and night.
While the kitchen is perfect for guests who would like to cook, we loved having the services of the delightful Chef Manu who was not only the sweetest person, but he spoiled us with beautiful salads, Menorca specialties, and desserts for several wonderful lunches and dinners. Having a chef means everyone can be on vacation at the villa! Menorca food thrives on fresh local products from the land and sea – lobster stew, roasted chicken and fish, asparagus, peppers, and fruits are all gorgeous!
Villa life for our two families was pretty blissful, and our favorite days may have simply been hanging out at home!
The estate itself has an endless number of trails for walking and cycling, great for hard core hikers and cyclists. Horse riders can venture onto the Camino de Cavalls, a 200 km trail around Menorca that actually crosses through the Southern edge of the estate where the villa is located.
This is a paradise for active adventurers and those seeking some of the most beautiful beaches in the Med!
Right from the villa, we hiked up to explore the impressive 80 foot tall cave, walking the same steps as so many other cultures who have made up 100’s of years of Menorca’s rich history.
There are more beaches in Menorca alone, than on the rest of the Balearic islands combined. The beach and seaside restaurants of Santo Tomas are a wonderful walk right from Villa Binigaus Nou.
And my favorite beach activity – bellying up to a beach restaurant with fresh seafood and crisp local wines!
Boating is a must while in Menorca and it is the ultimate way to see the beauty of the shoreline and sea on the two very different Southern and Northern coasts. Here in the South, we cruised along the crystal blue waters, gently gliding into the various “calas” (small bays) that make up the Southern coastline of Menorca.
In contrast, our day navigating the northern part of Menorca, the topography was mountainous and rural with a landscape characterized by a rugged, craggy coastline with natural harbors, red sand beaches, secret caves, and sandy coves.
Our captain, in between navigating the boat and taking his own plunges into the Med, whipped up a lovely paella for our lunch!
Menorca is so much more than gorgeous beaches and turquoise waters. Explore the island with an outstanding local expert guide on a 4×4 Jeep safari.
Menorca is remarkable – 300 year old Bronze Age monuments, the Roman empires strategic settlements, culture from the British rule of Menorca, private farms offering their local production of cheese and wine – it’s all part of the process of falling in love with Menorca.
The incredible Menorcan coastline is best explored by Kayak!
On the far western end of Menorca sits Ciutadella, the island’s ancient capital! This beautiful port city’s historic quarter, called Es Born, is surrounded by medieval streets filled with palaces, churches, and fortresses, adorable shops, and superb seafood restaurants. Tonight our group headed out to celebrate Gil’s birthday!
Evidence of life in Ciutadella dates back to 2000 B.C. and traces its history under Arabic and Christian rule. Today, the charming medieval streets of Ciutadella are best explored on foot, so plan to spend at least a half day here!
We enjoyed a magical dinner at S’Amarador!
Good night, Menorca. A week here was not nearly enough! This is the type of place you can come for a week and easily stay for a month or more. Menorca is approachable, interesting, relaxing and truly authentic! Finding a place like this today is not easy so tuck this information away and only share it with those that will truly appreciate its charms!
For those that prefer to explore the island and stay in wonderful small hotels, I can not say more about the Fontenille group of unique former homes that have been converted into boutique hotels – one with nature, active, sustainable with a focus on wine and gastronomy. In Menorca they operate two wonderful hotels – Santa Ponsa and below, Torre Vella: The decor is refined with white sheers, driftwood, local stone, and weaving give it a bohemian chic spirit.
All holidays must come to an end. I feel that travel is being respected on a higher level and those that have the privilege to go, are realizing how privileged of an experience it is. Stay longer, dig deeper, go off the beaten path, and by all means finish a long trip with an extended villa stay where you can really live a while!