Day 2 to 7
During our time on Minorca we will have 5 days of walking. Here, to
give a ‘flavour' as to the type of walking Menorca has to offer, below we describe some of the walks which a holiday could include.
Cap Favaritx to Es Grau along the Cami de Cavalls
This is a very pleasant walk which follows the relatively isolated east coast. From Cap de Favaritx lighthouse we go south along the well signposted Cami de Cavalls as far as the pretty fishing village of Es Grau. It is a mostly stony, undulating path along the way we will have breaks in isolated bays. Just before Es Grau there is the chance to walk along the duckboards through the wetlands of the Albufera national reserve area. This is part of the ENESCO biosphere where tortoises are often spotted.
10km gently undulating.
Cala Tirant or Santa Teresa and Fornells
On our way to the north coast we drive to the summit of Mt Toro and its sanctuary at a height of 358m. The sanctuary is worth the visit - from the island's highest point the views covering much of
the island (and on a clear day, its big sister Majorca) are impressive. We drive down to take a look at Es Mercadal, the main market town on the island for coffee.
Dropped off by the coach in what appears to be the middle of nowhere, we walk along a track to the bay of Cala Tirant crossing the bay along the top of the beach. In the wetter areas we may see (or at least hear) the stripeless tree frogs. In the drier areas there are tortoises and a variety of birds and maritime plants. Whilst some look for the wild life others may take another opportunity for a quick dip from the beach during the warmer months.
After leaving the beach at Cala Tirent we make our way across rough volcanic rock to the tower of Fornells, originally built to look out for marauding pirates. We finish in Fornells for refreshments before taking a coach back to the hotel.
10km and about 200m of ascent/descent.
The south west coast
We follow the ‘Cami de Cavalls' between Santa Galdana and Son Xoriguer. The path
goes partly along the open rocky cliff top and partly a little inland through pleasant pine woodland. In places it dips down into wonderful sandy bays which are difficult to access, except on foot. These are often quoted as being "some of the best beaches on earth". We picnic at one and have time to soak up the beauty and have a memorable paddle or swim, if warm enough.
The whole route is some 16km. Although no great heights are involved, the descents and accents into and out of the bays accumulate to about 290m over the day.
Trepuco and Fort Marlborough
We walk from the hotel around a creek where Admiral Lord Nelson's ships took on fresh water. Heading inland we may visit a site of talayots and taulas, then pass along country lanes through farmland to the Cami de Cavalls and a Napoleonic watch tower, guarding the approach to Port Mahon. We descend into the delightful creek of St Stephen and the huge fort built by the Duke of Marlborough. This is a good spot for a picnic lunch. A Roman road takes us across country to drop into the fishing harbour of Cala Fonts to find refreshment. We have views of many strategically and historically important sites in the harbour. We continue, crossing the old parade ground of the British garrison of Georgetown and back to the hotel in Port Mahon.
We walk 12km but it is mostly on easy ground and we cover it comfortably.
Torre d'en Gaumes
Son Bou to Es Migorn Gran
En route to the south-east of Menorca, we spend an hour exploring the large ancient settlement of Torre d'en Gaumes. Originally established 3,500 years ago, its use continued through Roman times and into the Middle Ages.
From Son Bou we walk along the beach, on the dunes and on board-walks to pick up the Cami de Cavalls to resort of San Tomas. Continuing west along a section of the coast popular with naturists we reach Barranca Binigaus and take the path north up this narrow limestone gorge. We make a diversion, into a cathedral like cave. Our route then follows an ancient rocky mule track out of the gorge. In thirty minutes we are quenching our thirst in Es Migorn Gran, before taking the coach back to Mahon.
We ascend some 120 metres up and out of the
gorge. Total distance for the day is about 12km.