It is said by many, that it is difficult to know the past and present of an island like Menorca without knowing its harbours. Whether they are natural or man-made, we propose this guided tour through the most charming harbours in Menorca in order to truly get to know the island.
Harbour of Mahón
It is, without doubt, one of the best places to see in Mahon, the capital of Menorca. Besides being the most important oneon the island, it is one of the largest natural harbours in the world – the largest in the Mediterranean and the second in Europe – with its 5 km in length. Its facilities combine the tourist activity with its industrial function. The deep draft of its water allows entry to the largest transatlantic ships in the world. In its very long extension, the maritime promenades of Mahon and Villacarlos are mixed, full of leisure and restoration areas. And on its northern side we find a good number of “calas”: Cala Larga, Cala Rata, Cals Deslinde…
Its strategic location -in the middle of the western Mediterranean- has made it the epicentre of conquests and reconquests throughout history: Romans, Byzantines, Carthaginians, British Vandals, Muslims … which has given a huge historical wealth to both the harbour itself and the city of Mahón in general. On its northern shore we can visit the Fortress of La Mola, built during the reign of Isabel II. And in its surroundings we can also find the castle of San Felipe or the islets of the King -in honor of the one who conquered Menorca in 1287, Alfonso III-, and the Lazareto, where a hospital for infectious diseases was located in the 19th century.
Harbour of Ciutadella
Located in the most populated town on the island, this harbour has earned its mention in our what to do in Ciutadella in one day post. Its origin dates back to the Middle Ages and has a length of 1200 meters and 175 moorings. It is home to the cargo and passenger ships that link Menorca with Mallorca and Barcelona. Since 2011 it has an external dam (Son Blanc) that allows the mooring of large boats. Above all, it is a harbour with an undeniable charm and views that are among the best ones on the whole island. To this we add a wide range of gastronomic offer, a handful of markets and the proximity of attractions such as the Ses Voltes squares and the Town Hall.
Harbour of Fornells
The town of Fornells, located north of the island, is considered one of the most beautiful ones in Menorca. And the charm of its harbour is part of that beauty. It is the second in Menorca as far as the number of moorings goes, after Mahon. This harbour has a great fishing tradition – in the waters of the north of Menorca delicious lobsters are fished -, even if it is just a small harbour. Today, it hosts a good number of nautical activities. It is framed in a beautiful bay with white houses, 100% Mediterranean, away from the hustle and bustle of the urban centers. Very near the harbour we find the Tower of Fornells, from which you can contemplate some of the most charming views of Menorca.
Harbour of Sanitja
Very close to the town Fornells, in the town of Es Mercadal, we find another one of the most charming harbours in Menorca, Sanitja, located right next to an ancient Roman city called Sanisera. There is still speculation about its exact location and denomination, the first written reference to this population dates back to the 1st century. With its 800 meters in length and a low seabed, it is a splendid refuge for small boats when the fearsome Tramontana wind blows. From the lighthouse of Cavallería, very close to this harbour, you can contemplate one of the most spectacular sunsets in Menorca. Despite its undeniable beauty, it is still one of the best kept secrets on the island.
Although these four are the most charming harbours of Menorca, we cannot fail to mention the small and very little known harbour of Addaia in the north, bordering the Natural Park of Albufera d’es Grau as well as the Es Castell (the easternmost town of Spain, marked by the British era of domination) and Cala’n Bosch, a marina with almost 300 moorings located on an artificial lake in the southwest of the island.
History, beauty, harbour, gastronomy, tourism, leisure … All this goes hand in hand in the dikes, walks, moorings and surroundings of the most charming harbours of Menorca. These places are a must in order to enjoy your trip to the fullest.