Menorca in 2 Days: everything you need to know

Menorca is an island big enough to fill your agenda for a weekend. Beaches, cities and prehistory are some of the things you can visit.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

13 min read

Menorca in 2 Days: everything you need to know

Menorca | ©Salva Farreri

There are three islands that are in everyone's heart in Spain: Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca. The latter, for many considered the little sister of the whole Balearic archipelago, is full of paradisiacal beaches and an exciting history.

Two days is just enough time for you to get to know both sides of the island of Menorca: the historical and cultural side, as well as the beaches and relaxation. It all depends on what your priorities are and what you aspire to do on this unique and multifaceted island.

Day 1: Mahón, the beaches of Son Bou and the site of Torre d'en Galmés

Through the streets of Mahón| ©mark bartlett
Through the streets of Mahón| ©mark bartlett

The actual capital of the island is Mahón. This is a small city with only about 30,000 registered inhabitants, but in summer it doubles in size, making it a very busy place. In addition, the airport is very close, so it is better to start your trip here.

During the first day of your trip, you will be able to get to know the charms of Mahón. But there are other activities to do in Menorca, such as relaxing in the afternoon on the beaches of Son Bou and nearby and ending the day with a visit to the archaeological site of Torre d'en Galmés, where you will learn something of the Mediterranean prehistory. Do you want to join us?

Mahón, from the airport to the port

The best way to get to Menorca is by flight, especially if you are traveling from the Iberian Peninsula or from another country. The airport of Menorca is only 4 kilometers away from the city center, so it is very easy to get to the city from there. If you take bus line 10, in about ten minutes you will be in the city. There are also transfers from the airport that can take you to your hotel.

If you come by plane, my advice is to rent a car. For two days it will not be expensive and will allow you to visit all the corners of the island at ease, without pressure of bus frequencies that often do not reach more remote areas. You can rent it the day you arrive, when you are already in Mahón.

On the other hand, if you do not want or can rent a car, the situation is more limited but there are still alternatives. In Mahón and the next day in Ciutadella you can take buses, but the frequency is not the best. If they are longer distances or if you are going to coves and more secluded places, the best option will be a cab or Uber. Finally, do not rule out hiring an organized excursion, with a departure and arrival time, although in that case you will have to organize your agenda accordingly.

Book a guided tour of Mahón

Drive to the fortress of Isabel II

As a first urban tour, I recommend that you go towards the peninsula of La Mola, the coast in front of the port of the city. You will not get lost and, at the end of it, you can access a huge fortification: it is the fortress of Isabel II, an original military type construction of the nineteenth century that is opposite the Castle of San Felipe. It is a military fort built for its strategic position and was never attacked, so it is spectacularly preserved.

My advice is that, if you have a car, drive half an hour around this peninsula and get to the fortress of Isabel II. If not, you may also have two options:

  • Hire an Uber or a cab, which in a few minutes can take you along those 8 kilometers of coastline.
  • Book Water Taxi, which will take you through the coast in a more expeditious way. On the way back, you can take the same alternatives to get closer to the center of Mahón.

This construction is perfect for strolling, because you can make a quick tour in the open air, ideal for taking pictures. Very close to the fortress is the easternmost point of Spain, so it is a very cool thing to visit. And you can also visit the Cova de s'Aigua, which is a real marvel.

Book a guided tour of the Cova de s'Aigua

Tour the port of Mahón

Port of Maó| ©Eduardo Ortín
Port of Maó| ©Eduardo Ortín

Once you have finished at La Mola, I recommend that you go to the port of the city, which is very close to the city center, where you can continue the rest of the tour. It is charming: it is an extremely long natural harbor, where you can see all kinds of boats, large and small.

Take advantage of the morning to walk along the entire edge of the harbor and take pictures in the series of viewpoints that are there, as well as find out about possible boat trips, if you have availability. Here are some of the options you have:

One of the most characteristic viewpoints of the port is the Plaza de la Miranda, but in the tour you will find others that are also very cool, like the Pont Des Castell race or Punta Cala Figuera.

Book a boat trip in Menorca

Walk and have lunch in the city center

It is quite possible that you will start to get hungry, as it will be close to noon and it is imperative to find somewhere to eat. The best thing to do is to go to the center of town. This is located on the rise behind the port of Mahon and besides having a wonderful charm for its architecture and streets, is also a perfect place to sit and eat.

You can park in one of the streets if you go on a day that is not very busy, but if not, I recommend that you leave it in the free parking of the race of Sant Sebastia. And if you do not have a car, it is best to take a bus or go directly walking, because there is not such a great distance. From there, do not hesitate to walk. The Plaza de la Constitución is the most central and where the town hall is located, a 17th century building, which was renovated centuries later. You can also contemplate the churches located in the surroundings of the square.

When you go to eat, you can choose between some of the best restaurants in Menorca. Very close to the square you have Es Musclet, a tapas bar with excellent references. But a street and a half from there you can try the best seafood and have the best lunch at El Romero. Half a street down, towards the sea, you can eat a fantastic vegetarian menu, Clorofil. And a tip: don't forget to try Mahón cheese, one of the most typical products, so much so that you can book a cheese workshop in Mahón.

Book a cheese workshop in Mahón

Learn about history at the Torre d'en Galmés archaeological sites

Torre d'en Galmés| ©Ivan_bea
Torre d'en Galmés| ©Ivan_bea

Ready for lunch? Then let's go to the new point of this tour through the east of Menorca. These are archaeological sites that reveal part of what was the Talayotic culture that is presumed to have inhabited Mallorca and Menorca between 1200 BC and the Romanization of the island. But why is this site worthwhile?

It is not common to know prehistoric works and civilizations that left very little built and nothing written. The prehistory in Menorca has been very studied and a great effort has been made to bring out all these findings and the Torre d'en Galmés is one of those sites. Once you arrive, you will be able to park your car in total comfort, the general admission only costs about 3 € and the site is divided into two parts:

  • An interpretation center, where the history and Talayotic findings are told. If you go through the interpretation center, you can better understand how it was distributed and what constructions there were. This visit does not exceed one hour.
  • Another part is the actual settlement of Torre d'en Galmés.

You can get there by car in about 20 minutes through the Me-1, crossing towards the road to Son Bou to end up in the road to Sant Llorenç. If you don't go by car, the main alternative will be to take a cab or a service from a car sharing app. You can also find out if there is any organized excursion with guided tour and book it in advance, but taking into account the time and place of departure.

Relax on the beaches of Son Bou

Once your stomach is full and after having strolled through Mediterranean prehistory, you need to rest. So why not go to one of the best and most important beaches of Menorca? Son Bou is a paradisiacal spot. By car you are only ten minutes away from the village of Torre d'en Galmés and you can park without any inconvenience. Also, if you hire a cab from there, the fare will be quite cheap.

This beach is incredible for tourists, because it is up to 2.5 kilometers long, which makes it the longest on the island. In addition, it preserves the characteristic of many of the beaches and coves of Menorca: very clear waters and a soft and warm sand. In addition, in this beach the sea is very calm, so you can bathe in relative tranquility. Also, it is an area where there are many services. You can practice all kinds of marine sports such as diving baptism and also have a snack in the different beach bars.

My recommendation is that, if you arrive at the beach at about 3 pm, you can relax until nightfall and get rid of all possible worries. Contemplate the sea, swim, enjoy the waves, the sand and everything that Son Bou offers. If you want to have dinner, a beach bar is a phenomenal offer. Even if you like to party, you may find some locals and hotels nearby. Otherwise, Mahón is waiting for you again to rest and in this case, you can take a bus that will drop you off directly. To do so, take the TMSA lines, for about 2,60 €.

Book a boat trip to the coves of the south of Menorca

Day 2: Ciutadella, la Cala en Turqueta and Fornells

Port of Fornells| ©dani valle
Port of Fornells| ©dani valle

There is a lot to see and do in Menorca. Already on the first day, you were able to tour the east coast of Menorca. Now the other half of the island is missing, where you will find a beautiful city: Ciutadella. But not only: you can also visit the most pristine beaches of Menorca, such as Cala en Turqueta and close the day in a bucolic viewpoint of Fornells.

Straight to Ciutadella

At the other end of Menorca there is a phenomenal town called Ciutadella. I recommend that, if you are staying in Mahón, you get up very early, have a good breakfast and take the car so that you have time to see all that Ciutadella has to offer. In only about 40 minutes you will be able to get to the old town, which is the start of this tour. If you do not go by car, it is best to take a TMSA bus, which costs about 5.40 €.

It is convenient to leave the car at the Carrera del Príncep and from there, do the tour walking. When you leave it, you will only have to walk down one and a half streets until you reach the Plaza de Alfonso XIII, popularly known as Plaza de las Palmeras. This is a square surrounded by bars and restaurants, so if you haven't had breakfast yet, this is your best chance to sit down and do so.

In fact, one of the options you have, although depending on the time you are there, is the Molí des Comte Asador, a traditional Spanish restaurant that serves mainly roast beef and monkfish. The peculiarity of this place is that it is located inside an old wheat mill that was preserved and adapted to form this structure.

Book a boat trip to the coves of the north of Menorca

Get close to the cathedral, the town hall and the Explanada square

As you walk around you will realize why Ciutadella is such a beautiful city. Its architecture, all huddled together in pastel colors and low rise is iconic because it combines different styles centuries apart that came together to give it that unique beauty. If you continue practically in a straight line, you can see other centers such as the Cathedral of Santa Maria de Ciutadella, a Gothic style construction also in pastel colors. In front of it there is a small square that is an ideal spot to take the best pictures.

If you continue walking for about five minutes more, you will come across the Plaza des Born, which has an imposing obelisk in its central part and is usually occupied by street vendors selling handicrafts. In front of it is the imposing town hall building, known as Palau Squella, originally from the 18th century and with postcard-perfect palm trees in front.

Finally, just half a street away, you can reach the Explanada square, which is the largest square in Ciutadella and is full of terraces, bars and places to sit. This is the place to take a few minutes to rest.

Traveller Tip

If you are a fan of historical monuments, then you can spend more time on the tour and walk around the historic center, until you reach the Nou Mercat.

Stroll and have lunch at the port

Port of Ciutadella| ©Jaume Escofet
Port of Ciutadella| ©Jaume Escofet

Just as in Mahón the port is one of the most important sites, in Ciutadella it is exactly the same. This port had its origins in the Middle Ages, but it was after the expansion of the city in the twentieth century when it acquired greater commercial importance. That is why, although it looks like a very old port, its restorations have made it look newer and newer.

If you are in the Plaza des Born, you can walk a little towards the sea and from the top, have a panoramic view of the entire port. This is the perfect space for you to take all the pictures you want of the coast of this city, because it looks phenomenal. Afterwards, you just have to go down some very picturesque stairs and you will be at the port, from where many boat trips leave from Ciutadella that you could do, if you have time.

It is great if you cross the port between both coasts and from one end to the other. It all depends on how much time you have and if you are already tired from walking. But what is important is that you eat. In the port, you have seafood options, mainly. Many of them are specifically Menorcan specialties. For example, in the restaurant Cafè Balear you have a lot of variety in seafood that you will also find in the Aquarium Port Ciutadella, specializing in lobsters. If you prefer something more international, there are also options of pizzas and buffets.

Book a catamaran excursion in Menorca

Relaxing in turquoise coves

If you already had lunch, you just have to walk back to the parking, pick up the car and go to relax all afternoon on the beach. Now yes, my advice is to go to the coves: beautiful beaches that can be found in Spain and that seem hidden because they are between small cliffs and are difficult to access, which has preserved them in their natural state.

However, if you do not go by car, then to get to them you will have mainly two options:

  • Hire an excursion at the port of Ciutadella that will take you or take a cab or Uber.
  • There are also buses from companies such as Autocares Torres that make these tourist routes, but you have to find out the frequencies beforehand.

In the west of the island, 20 minutes drive from the center of Ciutadella, you have some of the best coves of Menorca as Cala des Talaier and Cala en Turqueta, which I advise you. It is the most famous virgin beach of the whole island. Its name is due to its turquoise waters and its own physical characteristic. It is like a kind of cliff, surrounded by mountains in the shape of a semicircle that make it very inaccessible. Therefore, you must leave your car in a parking lot that is 10 minutes from the beach.

In this cove you will not find more infrastructure. There are public toilets, a lifeguard in case of emergency and little else. It's just about being there, enjoying the sea and having a maximum disconnection from all the urban hustle and bustle. This is your time to relax and you can stay here without any problems until late afternoon.

Book a boat trip to the coves in the south of Menorca

Say goodbye to the trip in Fornells

Lobster stew| ©Eugene Peretz
Lobster stew| ©Eugene Peretz

Not so soon: there is still one more point left for your itinerary. And is that the best sunsets are seen on the north coast of Menorca. That's why, depending on the time the sun sets, it would be great if you go north. And for that:

  • You have the option to take the car again.
  • You can go by bus. For that, you will have to go back to Ciutadella first and then take another one to Fornells.
  • I advise you to take a cab or Uber if you can't drive. In about 30 minutes you will arrive in Fornells, a small coastal town with beautiful architecture and nestled between hills and is also the starting point for different boat trips.

If it is still daylight, the best thing to do is to go straight there for a walk and a bite to eat. In Fornells you can eat a phenomenal lobster stew. In fact, you can eat it right in front of the sea, in restaurants like Sa Llagosta, while watching the sky turn orange.

Fornells is very small and quick to walk around, but to see the majesty of the sunset my advice is to go up to the north. There you will find the Tower of Fornells, an old military defense and just before the cliff, some viewpoints where you can close your trip in calm, watching one of the best sunsets of the island. On the way back, you will only have to drive about 20 minutes to Mahón or take a bus. And if you are still looking for more plans, I recommend you to end your trip with a stargazing tour.

Book a stargazing tour