For a relatively modest island, Menorca really punches above its weight when it comes to its incredible coastline. Unlike its larger and more developed Balearic neighbour, Mallorca; Menorca remains much less interfered with, and in turn, remarkably organic for an island that is becoming increasingly popular with holidaymakers.
This dedication for preserving the island’s historical and natural attractions was recognised in 1993 when Menorca was granted UNESCO Biosphere reserve status, further protecting the island’s unique appeal and creating a haven for curious animals and humans alike.
If you’re planning holidays in Menorca, chances are you’ve already heard of some of the beautiful beach resorts around the island. But did you know over half of Menorca’s beaches are located away from a road, resort, or town? Many of these virgin beaches are hidden from the public eye, concealed behind expansive pine forests and craggy coves. These are, in my opinion, the best beaches in Menorca. And I’m going to give you the low down on how to discover them for yourself!
Visiting the best beaches in Menorca
The following Menorca beaches are pure, untarnished, and, in general, secluded. These covert coastlines often require a decent hike to reach, and a little prior prep to be able to enjoy them to their fullest. But they’ll repay your effort tenfold with their unparalleled beauty. There are just a few things to note before you embark on your journey…
- Because they are largely untouched, don’t expect to find lifeguards, beach bars, or even rubbish bins on many of these Menorcan beaches.
- As a general rule, I find the Northern Menorca beaches to be quieter, both in terms of visitor numbers and aquatic activities. Perhaps it was just the way the wind was blowing, but I also found them to be more sheltered than the favoured beaches of the south.
- There aren’t any official nudist beaches in Menorca. However, because of the nature of these secluded shorelines, it’s not unusual to see bare bods on the quieter coves. I’ve noted below which beaches, in particular, are the more popular naturist beaches in Menorca.
Map of Menorca Beaches
As you can see from the below map, the hidden beaches of Menorca are quite spread out around the island. But given its small stature, and convenient road network, it rarely takes more than an hour to get anywhere, so you’ll be able to fit in visits to plenty of these beaches in Menorca during your stay.
PLAYA DE CAVALLERIA & CALA ROJA
Golden sands and a volcanic-looking backdrop define these bucolic beaches in Northern Menorca. Playa de Cavalleria is clearly the star here, and where most visitors flock. But Cala Roja just around the corner offers a more wild and rocky retreat. Both beaches provide a picturesque place to swim, sunbathe and snorkel. But if you’re heading to Menorca with kids, Playa de Cavalleria is the beach to choose due to its shallow, unobstructed water (no sharp rocks to cut little feet) and ample space to set up a ball game.
To visit Playa de Cavalleria and Cala Roja, drive towards the Cape Cavalleria Lighthouse and you’ll find the car park on your left before the gated entrance to the Cap de Cavalleria. Parking is free and there is plenty available. Proceed down the dusty red path and you’ll come to a beautiful lookout over the beach. If you’re lucky, the picnic table will be yours to enjoy.
A little further (the entire walk only takes 10 mins), a wooden staircase will deliver you to Playa de Cavalleria on the left, or a small trail will lead you to Cala Roja on your right. The latter seemingly being the beach of choice for naturists.
Things to know before visiting Cala de Cavalleria & Cala Roja
- There is a beach bar and toilets in the parking lot (10 minutes walk from the beach).
- It’s advisable to bring an umbrella or pop-up tent for shelter as trees are scarce.
With an otherworldly landscape, Cala Pregonda offers a unique experience on the north coast of Menorca. Set away from the roads and resorts, it’s a calm space where you feel cocooned within the cove. Jagged orange rocks rise from the turquoise water, their edges overlapping to enhance the feeling of being enclosed in this endearing space.
Getting to Cala Pregonda can be a bit of a challenge if you’re new to Menorca. When I first visited, I blindly followed my GPS which unhelpfully led me to a private road, miles from any public beach access. To avoid my misfortune, head towards Platja de Binimel-là instead. The last 1.7km is on a gravel road, but it is wide and in fairly good condition (until you get to the last corner). Park before the restaurant car park and proceed on foot to Binimel-là beach.
Binimel-là is a fine beach in itself, but Pregonda is worth stretching your legs for and walking the extra 20 min track over the headland. The red sand and desert-like surroundings will keep you entertained as you trek.
The ‘official’ Cala Pregonda beach is further away, but I preferred the first little cove you’ll encounter. It’s completely untouched, unlike the larger beach which has a few private houses overlooking it, and totally tranquil.
Things to know before visiting Cala Pregonda
- There are no facilities on or near the beach (apart from the restaurant near Platja de Binimel-là).
- It makes a great place to snorkel – so bring your gear!
- Also, pack a popup tent or umbrella to seek respite from the sun as there are no trees to offer shelter.
Emerging from the desert-like surroundings, Cala Presili is a sight to behold after a long walk in the blazing sun. Situated not far from, and with a fantastic view of, the Favàritx Lighthouse, this hidden beach in Menorca offers a quiet escape from the busier beaches in the south. The crisp white sand is uncharacteristic to this side of the island, and it contrasts beautifully with the azure sea. The beach’s au naturel attitude applies to both the surroundings and the swimmers.
Getting the Cala Presili was a little more challenging than I had anticipated. First of all my GPS tried to direct me down a private road, a plan blighted by the presence of a stern-looking steel gate to stop me in my tracks. After that misstep, I decided to continue in the direction I was going and my GPS soon realigned itself.
Obstacle 2 came in the form of a friendly security guard who ushered me away when I tried to drive towards the Favàritx Lighthouse. Apparently, this road is also private, and only buses and taxis are permitted to enter during the summer months. There is no nearby parking, and the side of the road is cordoned off to deter cars parking on the bank. However, there is the occasional break in the fencing, and I was lucky enough to find a virgin verge that I tentatively left my car in. When I left, mine was the only car there, but when I returned in the early afternoon, 3 or 4 others had squeezed in, and every spare centimetre of parking space either side of the narrow road was crammed with cars.
Once parked, you’ll need to walk back to the security barrier and proceed down the long winding road on foot. It is a lengthy walk on a hot day, but not uninteresting. Wild goats graze in the bush and as you get closer to the sea, the landscape turns abstract – rocky and barren, and not at all like the lush surroundings you just emerged from.
Before you reach the lighthouse, you’ll see a sign directing you to Cala Presili and Cala Tortuga. Cala Presili is the closest beach, just a 900m walk from that point. After 600m you’ll turn off the Camí de Cavalls and follow a smaller path to the left.
Things to know before visiting Cala Presili
- There are no facilities on or near the beach.
- It’s a fairly narrow beach, so perhaps not the best place for your ball games!
- Expect a fair amount of nudity on display.
The next beach over from Cala Presili, Cala Tortuga is akin to the big sister of the two. A grand entrance reveals a larger, more popular cove where kayaks are pulled up on the sand, children play in the shallow water and couples sunbathe under a shared umbrella. Situated within the protected S’Albufera Natural Park, it is an area of abundant bird and wildlife, emphasised by the presence of the natural lake behind the beach, the Bassa de Morella.
To get to Cala Tortuga, follow the same directions as Cala Presili above, but instead of turning off the Camí de Cavalls, you follow it right the way to the beach. It is approx 1.6 km from the turn off on the main road to Favàritx. If you feel like exploring further, or you’re seeking a quieter spot to sun yourself, the rocky but private Cala Morella Nou is right around the corner also.
Things to know before visiting Cala Tortuga
- Be prepared for a long walk if visiting in the summer when the road to Favàritx is closed to private vehicles.
- There are no facilities on or near the beach.
- Take shelter in the form of a parasol or pop up tent.
CALA EN VIDRIER
Just around the corner from the busy Es Grau beach, Cala en Vidrier is a hidden gem away from the crowds. This petite patch of sand benefits from a protected cove, affords stunning views of the Aegean-looking village on the other side of the bay, and is a safe-haven for those looking to practice naturism. But even if you’re not comfortable baring it all on the beach, you’ll still be happy you made the effort to unearth this untarnished beach in Menorca.
To get to Cala en Vidrier, park at the large dirt car park before the entrance to Es Grau village. Proceed in the direction of the village on foot, but make a turn towards the left when you see the wooden platform that leads to Es Grau beach. Stop here if you want to avail of the facilities, or perhaps to hire a kayak to reach Cala en Vidrier. Otherwise, continue to the far end of the beach where you’ll find a thin trail snaking up into the hillside.
Once you reach the top of the hill, take the path that leads closest to the coast, it’ll lead you down a steep decline and round the corner to the beach.
Things to know before visiting Cala en Vidrier
- The closest facilities are on the beach at Es Grau, which is approximately a 15-minute walk away.
- You’ll need decent shoes to navigate the last bit of the path and to protect your feet as there may be (harmless) snakes lurking in the tall grass.
- I’d mark this one as primarily an adults-only beach.
The bay of Sa Mesquida is utterly charming in itself, and its main beach, Cala Mesquida, is wholly worthy of its surroundings. Situated away from the handful of houses scattered around the bay, it offers a peaceful sanctuary. A moon shaped bay awaits you, sheltered between rocky headlands, and backed by low-lying dunes. There’s space here for everyone to do their own thing, but if it’s total privacy you’re after, there’s another rocky bay around the corner where you’ll find it.
Getting to Cala Mesquida is simple, but requires a little forward thought, as parking is limited. Drive to Sa Mesquida before carrying on through and around the bay. You’ll find car parks on one side of the road as you approach the beach. If these are all taken, look for a break in the bush where a decent-sized dusty car park is located just off the main road (on your left as you approach the beach).
Walk down to the end of the road and continue through the roadblock to the paved path beyond. A short stroll will deliver you to the sandy cove. To continue on to Rinconada de Sa Mesquida – a hidden rocky bay around the corner – you can walk a small section of the Camí de Cavalls between the dune shrubs and through a wooden gate.
Things to know before visiting Cala Mesquida
- This is a great beach for kids in Menorca as it is sheltered, it’s not far to walk, and there’s a lifeguard on duty (in the busier months).
- There are toilets available on the beach and a small trailer selling refreshments.
Caló Blanc is a beach hidden in plain sight. Located just off the road, not far from the much busier Binibeca, you wouldn’t know this tiny beach existed beyond the nondescript car park. Not much more than a few meters of sand, this is one of the smallest beaches in Menorca, yet also one of the most popular due to its accessible location and amazing swimming, snorkelling and diving opportunities off the craggy rocks that surround it.
To get to Caló Blanc simply drive towards es caló Blanc where you’ll find a roadside car park. Leave your car there and proceed on foot to the right-hand side of the park where you’ll find a steep stair access way to the beach.
Things to know before visiting Caló Blanc
- Because the beach itself is so tiny, most people set themselves up on the cliffs surrounding it.
- There are no lifeguards on duty.
- This beach seemed to attract more of a teenage crowd than the other beaches on Menorca.
- There are no facilities on the beach, but there are shops and restaurants within a short walk.
PLAYA DE BINIGAUS
The Binigaus beach is only a short walk along the coast from the town of Santo Tomas, but it still offers a feeling of peace and remoteness. Backed by bush and low shrub covered dunes, it’s not the prettiest beach in Menorca. However, if you walk around the corner, to where the sand meets the towering rust coloured cliffs, you’ll find pockets of sandy coves tucked at arm’s length from the crowds. This is a popular beach for naturists, especially in the secluded coves, as it offers privacy while still being a fairly accessible Menorca beach.
To get to Playa de Binigaus simply park your car in the car park at Santo Tomas and walk the short section of the Camí de Cavalls to the beach. It will take you around 10-15 minutes of walking, making this an easy beach to get to with kids. Keep going to the far end of the beach to find the hidden coves.
Alternatively, if you’re up for a bit of a hike, you can walk to Playa de Binigaus all the way from Cala Mitjana or Cala Galdana. Either along the Camí de Cavalls, which mostly takes an inland route; or along the more scenic, but much more challenging coastal path.
Things to know before visiting Playa de Binigaus
- There are no facilities on the beach, but Santo Tomas is just a short walk away.
- This is one of the beaches in Menorca where the sea can get a little rougher, as it’s fairly exposed to the prevailing winds.
- You can swim out to Binicodrell Island for snorkelling or sunbathing on the rocky isle.
The type of beach you dream of discovering, Cala Escorxada is a rarity on an island that is becoming as popular as Menorca. It’s not as beautiful as Cala Macarelleta, or as calm as Cala Pregonda, but it has a rugged, wild brand of beauty that sets it apart from the rest. The beach’s secluded location in the south only adds to its appeal. As you approach after an arduous walk, you’ll be relieved by the sight of the heavenly bay that awaits you. Roll out your beach towel and settle in for the day.
You can walk to Cala Escorxada from either Santo Tomas in the east or Cala Mitjana/Cala Galdana in the west. Both options come with a disclaimer!
If approaching from Santo Tomas, you’ll start the walk overlooking the coves of Playa de Binigaus. It is a stunning walk, that climbs high above the beach. The path is fairly well indicated but there may be a few moments when you’ll be wondering if you’ve gone astray. Thankfully, the sighting of a simple wooden marker will reassure you of your direction. The track alternates between teetering on the cliff’s edge, to snaking through the bushy undergrowth and you’ll welcome the shade the pine trees offer overhead. The walk takes around an hour, even though it’s only a smidge over 2km. And although officially labelled as ‘difficult’, I’d say it’s more realistically ‘moderate’ with a few tricky bits to navigate.
The other approach, from Cala Mitjana, is arguably more interesting, as you’ll pass by Cala Trebalúger and Cala Fustam on the way. However, I found this leg much more difficult. Maybe because I was tired by that point, maybe not. But there were steep sections to navigate, and a little climbing/scrambling involved too.
Things to know before visiting Cala Escorxada
- Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this walk with kids younger than 8. For safety as well as difficulty concerns.
- There are no facilities on or anywhere near the beach.
- Remember to pack plenty of water with you for the day.
- Wear appropriate footwear with good grip.
Cala Fustam often gets overlooked in favour of the larger Cala Trebalúger, or the illustrious Cala Escorxada. But despite its petite size, it still has a lot to offer the astute visitor. The quiet cove is screened in on both sides by pine-fringed promontories and the bay only has enough space for a few fortunate boats. It’s one of the more well-known naturist beaches in Menorca, so bringing your swimsuit is optional.
Situated between Cala Escorxada (5-10 mins) and Cala de Trebalúger (30 mins), you can either walk to Cala Fustam from Cala Mitjana in the west, or Cala Binigaus in the east. There’s no correct way, as both paths present their challenges, and either way will take you over an hour of challenging walking. See the instructions for Cala Escorxada for more details.
Things to know before visiting Cala Fustam
- There are no facilities on or near the beach. Be sure to bring plenty of water, especially in the summer months.
- Access is difficult, so not the best option for families.
Peek through the thick pine canopy as you approach Cala Trebalúger and a magnificent scene will welcome you. Sailboats sit silently on the calm turquoise water, the long stretch of fine white sand is interrupted only by the occasional bather, and a gently flowing freshwater creek emerges from the abundant bush. It’s a vision to behold after clambering around the coastal walk to reach this seemingly secret beach in Menorca.
Of course, its presence isn’t a secret at all. But its remote location and the 40-minute walk to get there from the next closest beach, Cala Mitjana, means only the determined are deigned worthy of its welcome.
To get to Cala Trebalúger, you must first walk to Cala Mitjana. From the beach, you’ll spot a staircase etched into the rock on the left-hand side (opposite the direction to walk to Cala Mitjaneta). This will lead you up into, and through the bush, until you meet Cala Trebalúger. The walk isn’t too strenuous, in fact, the first section will lure you into a false sense of security, but there are a few ‘hairy moments’ including the last descent.
I’m not sure if it was the timing of my visit, but the last staircase to reach Cala Trebalúger led straight down into the sea! So, to save my sandals (not to mention my camera!), I had to instead very tentatively edge my way around the side of the bank until an alternative way down to the beach presented itself. I still got my feet wet wading through the stream, but that was a welcome alternative to having to jump in the sea in my sundress!
Things to know about visiting Cala Trebalúger
- This is not an easily accessible beach. Kids who are good walkers/climbers should manage ok though.
- Wear reef shoes, waterproof sandals, or trekking shoes with a good grip to avoid slips on the track.
- There are no facilities within an hour of this beach. So take everything with you, and take everything back home with you.
CALA MITJANA & CALA MITJANETA
Often cited as among the best beaches in Menorca, Cala Mitjana and its little sister Cala Mitjaneta are understandably two of the busier beaches I visited during my time on the island. Reasonably easy access allows families to enjoy the narrow cove of Cala Mitjana, but its deep lopsided shape means there’s enough sand for the masses to spread out.
To get there, park at the main car park which is signposted just before the roundabout at the entrance to Cala Galdana (township). It’s a large car park, but even then it gets busy, so don’t count on finding a spot if you arrive at midday. Proceed on foot to the western side of the car park where you’ll find a gap in the stone wall. Follow the dirt path (which becomes a paved path) all the way to the beach. It’s around a 20 min walk, and all downhill, meaning you’ll need to save some energy for the trek back up – especially if you’re travelling with young children.
From Cala Mitjana, you can walk a short leg of the Cami de Cavalls to reach Cala Mitjaneta. It’s a petite cove with only enough space to accommodate a handful of people. But its size also earns you the notion of tranquillity – without having to hike to one of the more secluded beaches in Menorca.
Things to know before visiting Cala Mitjana and Cala Mitjaneta
- There hasn’t been any notable effort to make this beach wheelchair or stroller accessible. However, I did see a wheelchair on the beach which makes me believe it’s possible! The wide paved path to access the beach is certainly wheelchair friendly, but the obstacles will be the first dirt track, and once you reach the sand.
- There are no facilities on the beach. Remember to bring everything you need with you – including a rubbish bag to take any used items home.
- You could also access the Mitjana beaches by walking from Cala Galdana. Off Av. de sa Punta you’ll find the short dead-end lane called Carrer Camí de Cavalls. Follow the Camí to the beach.
It’s Cala Macarella’s surroundings that award it the status of being one of the most beautiful beaches in Menorca. Encased within a sublime bay on the southern coast of the island, it’s a beach beloved by locals and visitors lucky enough to discover its shores. Slightly bigger and a little busier than its smaller neighbour, Cala Macarelleta, Cala Macarella appeals to families and those who want convenience and more space to spread out.
Parking near Cala Macarella is restricted to buses during the busier months, so if you come during summer you’ll need to expect some walking. You can either park at nearby Cala Turqueta and walk the Camí de Cavalls for approx 3km (from the beach). Or park at Cala Galdana and walk the Camí de Cavalls for approx 3.5km.
Things to know when visiting Cala Macarella
- Don’t visit Cala Macarella without walking the short coastal track to Cala Macarelleta – the views are incredible!
- There is a lifeguard on duty during the busier periods.
- There are toilets, rubbish bins and a beach bar available.
- There are plenty of trees in the surrounding area to seek out periods of shade, should you need it.
It’s hard to pull a ‘favourite’ card with somewhere blessed with such beautiful beaches as Menorca. But at a stretch, I’d have to say Cala Macarelleta was mine. A tranquil cove surrounded by sun-bleached banks, this quadratic beach gently slides into the transparent water. Sailboats bobbed around at the entrance to the cove, and a lone paddle boarder glided seamlessly around the headland. It was a scene that genuinely left me spellbound. I couldn’t pull my eyes away…
To get to Cala Macarelleta you’ll need to walk from Cala Macarella or Cala Turqueta. During the summer months, private vehicles aren’t permitted to park at Cala Macarella (only buses and taxis), so your best option will be to park near Cala Turqueta and walk. It’s not a long walk though, and there are two routes.
You can either take the coastal path, or follow the Camí de Cavalls. The former is the more scenic option, but the latter is the easier route. If you go the coastal way, you’ll see a first marker pointing the way.. And then you’re on your own. The track is fairly clear though and follows the (very high) cliff’s edge the majority of the way, so it’d be hard to get lost. Just before you approach Cala Macarelleta there is a very steep downward section into the bush. It was at this point I wondered if I’d ever find my way out again, but luckily after reaching the bottom and walking for a few minutes, I was reunited with the Camí de Cavalls and the sign to Macarelleta.
Following the Camí de Cavalls takes a little longer, but is an easier route. The track is 1.9km from Cala Turqueta and takes around 30 minutes.
Things to know before visiting Cala Macarelleta
- Cala Macarelleta is a well-known nudist beach in Menorca, so swimsuits are optional!
- There are no facilities at this beach, however, Cala Macarella is just around the corner and has toilets, rubbish bins and a beach bar to utilise.
- Due to its small size, I’d hesitate to bring kids here. Families are better catered for on the expansive Cala Macarella.
The twin coves that make up Cala Turqueta are tucked between tree-fringed headlands, creating a calm and sheltered bay. A popular spot for families, Cala Turqueta reminded me a lot of Cala Mitjana a little further down the southern coast. It can get busier than some of the other secluded Menorca beaches, presumably as it’s easier to get to. But visit in the early evening and you’ll find the calmness you crave and spectacular sunset scenes.
Access to Cala Turqueta is fairly straightforward. Follow your GPS towards Sant Joan de Missa. Eventually, you’ll come to a crossroads where you can turn towards Cala Macarella or Cala Turqueta. There is a sign here indicating whether there are spaces available in each of the beach’s car parks. Note that in summer, the car park at Cala Macarella is for buses only. Proceed towards Cala Turqueta down a narrow, stone-walled road until you see the car park sign.
Simply leave your car parked in the free car park (arrive early or late in the day to increase the odds of finding a spot) and proceed down the marked path to the beach which is approx a 10-minute walk away. Once you’ve arrived at Cala Turqueta, you can walk a portion of the Camí de Cavalls to Cala Macarella & Cala Macarelleta, and return to Cala Turqueta later in the day.
Things to know before visiting Cala Turqueta
- The path to Cala Turqueta is paved, but only until you reach the top of the cove, some distance from the actual beach. It’s therefore not wheelchair accessible.
- There are no facilities on the beach itself, but there is a beach bar and toilets in the car park.
- Picnic tables are available, and there are areas to seek shade if the sun gets too much.
Menorca’s secluded beaches deliver the perfect escape if you dare to seek them out. Whether you’re visiting Menorca for a quick sojourn, or an entire summer, be sure to add visiting one or more of these incredible beaches in Menorca to your to-do list. You won’t regret it…