An island as special as Menorca does not end in the summer. In fact, visiting Menorca in autumn offers the advantage of being able to do it without feeling crowded, without haste, and focus more on savouring its many charms. Nature, history, gastronomy, art…Whatever it may be that you enjoy the most, surely, among all these proposals you will find your perfect autumnal plan.
Menorca was declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1993, which means that it has many natural charms. It is essential to visit Monte Toro – the highest point on the island with an altitude of 358 meters – to enjoy spectacular views of the entire island and, on clear days, you will even be able to see the coast of Mallorca. At its top we find the Sanctuary which houses the patron saint of the Menorcans.
Another interesting location is la Cova des Coloms which will surprise you because of its impressive size (24 meters in height, 15 meters in width, 300 meters deep) and it is known as “the cathedral”. Beware: it is not easy to reach or explore it. The Cales Coves add a historical value, since they house a prehistoric necropolis dating back to the 11th century BC. C. Of course, we cannot forget the natural beauty of some of the most impressive coves on the island also in the fall; whether you will take a bath in the sea or not, you should definitely visit: Macarella, Turqueta, Media, Morell, to name a few.
Mahón and Ciutadella
There are many places to visit in the two main towns of Menorca. In the capital, Mahón, we emphasize the port -the most important of the island-, the Museum of Menorca, the fortress of Isabel II – which was ordered to be built by the monarch in the XIX century- or the Castillo de San Felipe; but, above all, it is well worth to wander around its historic centre, a mix of French baroque and modernism. On the other hand, in Ciutadela the following monuments stand out: the Castillo or of San Nicolau (seventeenth century) and the Cathedral of Santa María. If you want to take a walk, you have the Plaza del Born and its surroundings. And for lunch, we recommend the Mercat des Peix or some of the best restaurants on the island, such as Mon and S’Amarador.
The gentle temperature of the Menorcan fall is beneficial for both ingestion … and digestion. How about going around the island in search of the best lobster stew? This typical dish is part of Menorca and a culinary emblem of the island; it was first served in its clay cauldron (or tià de terra) at the end of the nineteenth century in the legendary Can Burdó in Fornells. Today, you can taste it in restaurants such as Sa Llagosta, Es Cranc, Es Port, to name a few.
But there’s much more than the caldereta in Menorca. It is worthwhile to taste other local delicacies such as the oliaigua (a soup which represents a perfect example of the traditional Menorcan rural cuisine); the partridge with cabbage stuffed with bacon, sobrassada and butifarra (a type of sausage); the “perol menorquin” (a potato and tomato stew); or one of its desserts: the sublime Mahon cheese or the Cuscussós navideños (a Christmas sweet similar to marzipan), along with the Crespells (circular-shaped pastries).
Towns with magic
Menorca in autumn is also perfect for enjoying in a more relaxed way the places that have a particular rural charm: its most beautiful villages. Discover the white houses and the alleyways of Binibeca Vell; the tower and the delicious lobster stew of Fornells; the landscape and the dancing horses of Mercadal, at the bottom of Monte Toro; the Moli Dalt and the vestiges of the French domination, so present in San Luis; or Alayor, the third largest town on the island, which still maintains its balance between tranquility and good environment.
Despite its small size, Menorca has a lot of art, literal and contemporary. In recent years, art galleries and all kinds of exhibition spaces have multiplied. Some centres focus on local talent (Antara, Encant, Retxa…), others are workshops by foreign artists based on the island (Broeschen, BInarroca), and there are also alternatives outside the habitual circuit of Mahón and Ciudadela, such as Sa Sinia Art Hub, in the coastal village of Es Castell.
In Menorca you will find the most important traces of the ever-mysterious Talayotic culture, a native Balearic town that developed a culture of its own more than 4000 years ago. There are more than 1.500 deposits in Menorca: 2 per square kilometer. Autumn is a great time to plan a visit to the iconic Naveta dels Tudons, the villages of Torre d’en Galmés or Talatí de Dalt, and the Necropolis of Cala Morell. Fascinating!
The Lighthouse Route
Seven are the lighthouses of Menorca and, of course, you must definitely pay them a visit. Seen as immortal icons of the island, there are 4 in the north and 3 in the south. Without a doubt, the most impressive of all is the one in Favàritx, completely isolated in the middle of a harsh lunar-like environment, having reached recently the milestone of 100 years. On the other hand, Cavallería, is the northernmost part of the island and stands out for its more than 150 years of history, its privileged surroundings and for having the most famous sunset on the island that, in the fall, can be enjoyed without the summer agglomerations.
After all these clues, plans, visits, meals, art and culture, it is clearly shown that Menorca in the autumn… can also be inspiring and very, very enjoyable. You won’t regret it!