*This post is part of a paid campaign to promote the Balearic and Canary Islands, as part of their #SpanishIslands Campaign. Although all views are my own and I have not been instructed what to include.
Exploring Menorca from the water is a fantastic way to see this Spanish gem from a different viewpoint. UNESCO named Menorca a Biosphere Reserve in 1993 and with 160 km of pristine coastline to explore it’s easy to see why. There are more than 70 beaches on the island, white sand and crystal clear waters in the south and beautiful deep golden sandy beaches to the north. Not only that but there are many caves, gullies and secret beaches only accessible by the water, so jump in to gain a unique perspective of this popular holiday destination. From kayaking to snorkelling or just a gentle swim in the Mediterranean Ocean there are plenty of watersports in Menorca to be discovered.
If you’ve not kayaked before then Menorca is the place to give it a go, warm waters and sparkling ocean make it a very welcoming sport. Double kayaks are a fun way to explore with someone else. I recommend booking onto an organised tour, especially if you want to adventure into caves along the coastline. I went on a kayaking tour from Cala Galdana in the south of the island; the Atrium Audax Hotel has an exciting 3-hour trip along the dramatic coastline. Heading east there are some incredible caves to explore, Dragon’s Cave being one of them, this trip is definitely for the adventurous, you get to paddle right inside this incredible cave. Equipped with head torches you will kayak through the entrance and once inside get to turn off your torch. How often can you say you’ve kayaked into the eerie darkness of a cave? The other stop off on this tour included a very narrow cave, kayaking through Pont de n’Ali, a limestone tunnel and further along at the final stop we go the chance to moor up and swim out of for a spot of snorkelling. The tour guide provided us with beers and snacks too; it was such a novelty to be perched on a rock, towering cliff edges behind, a cave to my right and a beer in my hand! On this trip the scenery is just beautiful, hidden coves and beaches, imposing cliffs and a bit of cave exploration too; all of which are only accessible via the sea.
Another place I recommend hiring a kayak is Punta Prima in the southeast. SUPaire have kayaks, paddle boards and windsurfers for hire. Around a mile from the beach is Illa de l’Aire an uninhabited island just right for exploring. Also known as Black Lizard Island as its only inhabitants are, you guessed it black lizards. The lighthouse on Illa de l’Aire is the tallest in Menorca standing at 38 metres high. Once you’ve navigated over, park up and explore the footpath leading right to the lighthouse, keep an eye out for the lizards on your way. This stop is even better if you find yourself to be the only ones there, a proper Robinson Crusoe moment! Check the conditions before going out as it can be a bit of a struggle in strong winds; the guys at SUPaire are the best ones to chat to.
The incredibly clear waters surrounding Menorca are ideal for discovering underwater life. Grab a mask and snorkel and explore a whole other world. Snorkelling has to be one of the most popular watersports in Menorca and it’s easy to see why. From octopus to starfish and barracuda, there are plenty of beautiful creatures to be discovered. Don’t forget to take a GoPro to capture those underwater memories.
S’Algar and Cala Alcaufar are nearby each other on the south coast; both have rocky shorelines with an abundance of marine life. There is a dive school at S’Algar who offer snorkelling boat excursions too.
The beach at Es Grau is part of the S’Albufera des Grau Nature Reserve; shallow waters make it a great spot for everyone including children to have a go at this very relaxing activity.
Fornells is another protected area with an abundance of under water life.
Cala Morell in the north has a rocky seabed home to all sorts of sea creatures, making it the perfect place to snorkel. The small beach is pebbly so take protective footwear.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
I love paddle boarding, perfect for adventuring out onto the water on a calm day. It is one of my favourite watersports to do in Menorca; it’s also good exercise for engaging your core muscles! Menorca is the perfect place to learn to paddle board as well as taking organised tours to explore the coastline. WindFornells offer rental and combined paddle board and snorkelling trips from Fornells Bay. While SUPaire in Punta Prima have paddle boards to hire and excursions along the coastline to hidden caves.
It’s not all about exploring the open seas, a boat trip around the harbour in the capital Mahon is a great opportunity to see this pretty city from a different viewpoint and learn more about the history of the island. Climb aboard Yellow Catamarans for a one- hour tour on a glass bottom boat. Cruise along the largest natural harbour in the Mediterranean, past forts, hidden coves, islets and pretty architecture. Enjoy spotting the marine life from the glass bottom viewing area and hear all about Menorca’s rich history with the historical commentary. Out of all of the watersports in Menorca this is best for those who more keen on staying dry.
If history is your thing, another trip you shouldn’t miss is the short boat ride from the quaint fishing village of Cales Fonts in Es Castello to Lazareto. It was once used as a quarantine island; from 1817 to 1917 all ships entering Mahon and Europe were required to stop at Lazareto. Passengers were checked for diseases such as the plague and yellow fever and quarantined on the small island. Its buildings and heritage can now be discovered on a two hour guided tour. Tours run throughout the summer, choose an evening one to watch the sunset, it is magnificent from Lazareto.
Watersports in Menorca aren’t the only way to enjoy the coastline; this blog post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the beaches. With more than 70 to choose from it would be a crime not to spend some time on at least one of them and take in this Balearic Island’s laid-back vibes.
Arenal d’en Castell is a huge crescent shaped bay with a sheltered shoreline. The sparkling, shallow waters are picture perfect and just right for a refreshing dip or a spot of sunbathing. Cafes and bars are dotted between the wooden raised walkway, which is nice for a stroll too.
Punta Prima, located right in the centre of the tiny town this is a lovely small beach with views out over towards the lighthouse on Illa de l’Aire. There are rock pools to explore and crystal clear waters to dive into.
Cala Alcaufar is a gorgeous spot, there isn’t much of a sandy beach as such but it is beautiful. White washed authentic buildings and fishing huts line the rugged shoreline of this tiny bay.
The beach at Calas Mitjana has shallow, turquoise water backed by cliff tops of pine forests and is very popular. There are no facilities at this spot so pack a picnic and supplies for the day. In the height of the summer the car park fills up quickly, plan to arrive early to beat the crowds or reach it by boat.
The beaches in the north are quite different from the white sand beaches of the south. Full of natural beauty the sand is darker and rugged green cliffs back the shoreline. Pregonda Beach is one of my favourites with golden sand and glistening waters. There aren’t any facilities here, which is nice if you want total relaxation.
From caves to beaches there are many hidden spots only reach via the sea, making watersports in Menorca an adventurous was to discover some incredible locations you might etherise miss out on. Even if you’ve not had a go at any of them before choose a qualified instructor to help you, there’s so much waiting to be discovered. So jump in a kayak or climb aboard a boat, you won’t be disappointed.