Visiting Cala Galdana | Menorca’s Family-Friendly Resort

On the island’s south coast, Cala Galdana in Menorca is a destination that often divides holidaymakers. A purpose-built resort that caters to tourists, the horseshoe bay is one of the prettiest, but also one of the busiest on the island during the summer months. Great if you’re after a family-friendly, all-inclusive destination. Less so if you’re looking for an authentic village vibe.

But stick around, as we’ll explain why this stunning area of Menorca has something for every kind of visitor.

The resort overlooks a half-moon bay, with a beautiful pale sand beach and clear turquoise waters safe for swimming. On either side of the bay, rocks provide shelter, each dotted with trees adding a different splash of colour to the palette.

Family-friendly hotels overlook bobbing sailboats, and in the resort itself, souvenir shops, bars and restaurants serving a variety of international and Catalan menus line bustling streets.

Outdoor activities are a highlight too. The Cami de Cavalls and other inland and coastal hiking trails are easily accessible. There are watersports aplenty, ranging from kayaking and scuba diving to piloting your own boat for a day.

Also, unlike many holiday resorts in Menorca, this one has excellent public transport links, particularly in the summer months. It’s easy (and cheap) to visit more typical Menorcan towns such as Ferreries, Es Mercadal and Fornells nearby.

So, if it’s sun, fun and outdoor adventures you seek, with a dash of familiarity thrown in for good measure, Cala Galdana may be the right place for you!

A Brief History of Cala Galdana

Cala Galdana circa 1960 was very different to the modern resort you see in Menorca today. It was a sandy cove, surrounded by lush countryside, with a nearby limestone gorge and an array of native birdlife and wildlife.

A small footbridge straddled the creek (which still exists today) but nothing much more. Fast forward to the 1970s, and the Mediterranean package holiday boom had begun. Cheap flights were taking off from northern Europe and demand for familiar, family-friendly holiday resorts was at an all-time high.

Local administrations of the Balearic Islands and beyond rushed to create all-purpose resorts, eager to bring in funds to boost the economy from the burgeoning tourist trade.

Today, Cala Galdana is fully developed – still pretty, only the raw wilderness of the 1960s has been replaced by hotels, villas, shops and restaurants.

Getting to Cala Galdana

If you’re considering a holiday in Cala Galdana, or just visiting for a day trip, there are three ways to reach the resort.

For the most flexibility, consider renting a car. The journey time from Menorca Airport to Cala Galdana is an easy 35 minutes. Simply follow the Me-14 road north out of the airport and join the Me-1 in the direction of Ciutadella. When you reach the town of Ferreries, take the Me-22, driving south for 10 minutes until you reach Cala Galdana. It’s clearly signposted the entire way.

There are no direct buses to Cala Galdana from Menorca Airport, however, you can hop aboard the #51 from Mahon Bus Station. The bus journey takes under an hour, and it’s a bargain at €4,25 per person. If you’re wondering how to get to Mahon Bus Station from the airport, the L10 bus operates half-hourly.

Fancy an easier, hassle-free option? Jump in a taxi to Cala Galdana. The standard rate is around €50 one way from the airport, making it a convenient choice for families or groups.

Things to do in Cala Galdana

Activities in Cala Galdana can be as energetic or as relaxing as you choose. From hiking scenic trails and relaxing on the beach to perusing night markets or partaking in water sports, there’s something for everyone.

Enjoy Beach Time

Cala Galdana’s half-moon Blue Flag beach is easily one of the most photogenic in Menorca – even if it isn’t as wild and unspoilt as many other coves on the island.

This family-friendly beach features sweeping soft sands, clear shallow waters for swimming and snorkelling, and plenty of loungers and parasols for relaxing while the kids splash around in the sea.

Nearby restaurants and beach bars offer lunch menus and light snacks, and the area is also accessible to those with limited mobility. Don’t leave without walking to the best photo spot, Mirador Sa Punta, to capture the picture-postcard bay in all its glory.

Partake in Watersports

You can’t visit the island of Menorca and not partake in at least one water sports activity!

In Cala Galdana, the choice is vast. With boats, kayaks, and paddleboards available for hire, as well as several diving and tour boats departing from the pier each day.

One of the most enjoyable ways to explore the coastline is to hire a small boat. Several boat hire companies offer half and full-day boat hire, and you don’t even need a licence! Just be sure to pick a calm day to go sailing on the seven seas…

If you enjoy discovering underwater treasures, Blue Islands Diving offers expeditions to shipwrecks, caves, and to view the varied marine life around Menorca.

Another fun way to navigate the coastline of Menorca is by kayak. Set off from Cala Galdana, paddling at your own pace, gliding past hidden caves and stopping for a swim at nearby Cala Mitjana.

Hike the Cami to Menorca’s Most Beautiful Beaches

There are several beaches near Cala Galdana that are among the most beautiful on the island. Two such beaches, Cala Macarella and Cala Macarelleta are just a short 30-minute walk away via the Cami de Cavalls.

This little slice of paradise is hemmed between rocks and vegetation with clear turquoise waters and powdery white sands primed for hours of sunbathing. 

The hike is relatively easy, through shaded pine woodlands and along nature trails. There are viewpoints to explore along the way, offering vistas over the two beaches and beyond. Bring a picnic, your sense of adventure and enjoy the journey.

Still feeling energetic? Continue on the Cami to Cala Turqueta. With a dense pine forest backdrop sweeping down to the clearest waters you’ve ever seen; this beach is known for its natural beauty. It gets busy in July and August, but at any other time of the year, it’s a must-visit idyllic beach in Menorca.

Hike the Cami to Cala Mitjana/Mitjaneta

There are many scenic walks from Cala Galdana, making it an excellent base for keen hikers. Another popular route is in the opposite direction to Cala Macarella described above. Instead, venture east along the Cami de Cavalls and you’ll reach the idyllic twin coves of Cala Mitjana and Cala Mitjaneta.

These beaches are wild and rustic, and beloved by the locals. You won’t find any chiringuitos lining the shore, nor any nearby accommodations, just a hiking trail between the pines and a small abandoned quarry hiding in the hills.

The beaches are reached within half an hour of leaving Cala Galdana on foot, or if mobility is an issue, you can arrive here via boat instead. The sea is calm, perfect for swimming and snorkelling, and the views and photo opportunities en route are plentiful.

Again, if you feel like stretching your legs a little further, simply continue on the coastal trail until you find the stunning shores of Cala Trebaluger and the even more secluded Escorxada Bay. Read more about these beaches, here.

Hike the Lesser-Known Pas d’en Revull

This magnificent nature hike transports you away from the coast into the bucolic hills of Menorca. Pas d’en Revull is a trail usually frequented by locals. The pathway leads you through the heart of Algendar Gorge, through dense forests and areas punctuated with wild fig and olive trees.

The trail is mostly shaded, offering a welcome respite from the sun, and although certain sections can be challenging, it’s the perfect place to escape from throngs of tourists for the day.

Pack snacks and water and start the route in Cala Galdana or catch a bus to Ferreries and join the hike west of the town past Cami Reial o Cami Vell open-air museum.

Alternatively, you can drive to the free parking lot, here, just beware the road is very narrow with little room to move over should you encounter a car approaching!

Hit up the Local Historical Attractions

Break up your beach time with a visit to one of these local attractions nearby to learn more about the history, natural diversity, and geographical identity of the island.

Museu de Binissues

On cloudy days in Menorca, or to keep the kids entertained for a few hours, head to Museu de Binissues. The interesting natural science museum is set inside a grand mansion (formerly a stately farmhouse), surrounded by sculpted gardens a short drive from Cala Galdana.

Exhibits include 8,000 different island species including plants, fossils, butterflies that camouflage themselves to hide from predators and insects that existed during dinosaur times. There’s also a huge collection of handmade mushrooms, depicting the 350 species that grow in Menorca – a work of love by one of the museum’s founders.

Poblat Talaiotic Torretrencada & Naveta d’es Tudon

A stone monument (taula) in Torre Trencada, Menorca, Spain. Built by the Talayotic culture between 1000 BC and 300 BC.

Around 4000+ years ago, the Talayotic people lived on the island of Menorca.  During their time, they constructed stone settlements across the island – remnants of which can still be seen today. One such village is Poblat Talaiotic Torretrencada, just 20 minutes by car from Cala Galdana.

Immerse yourself in centuries of culture and history as you wander around the archaeological site. Admire the craftsmanship of megalithic caves and dwellings. Discover how the ancient civilizations harvested and distributed water and admire views from the open-air museum.

If you want to see more, continue to Naveta d’es Tudons nearby, one of the most well-preserved stone funerary chambers on the island.

Monte Toro

Monte Toro or El Toro (the Bull) is Menorca’s highest peak and is steeped in myths and legends. It’s not quite a mountain, but high enough to see across the island and to neighbouring Mallorca on clear days.

The Sanctuary of the Virgen del Toro sits at the summit – a Gothic-style chapel dating to 1670, and there’s a replica statue of Christ the Redeemer statue close by.

Venture here for lunch and dine in the restaurant with a view, or hike from nearby Es Mercadal, arriving just before sunset to gain incredible photo opportunities from the outdoor balcony.

Related Reading: Best Things to do in Menorca

Head to the Local Markets

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in local culture is at an open-air market. During the evenings in the summer months, Menorca’s streets spring to life, embodying the essence of the island with local stalls, live music, folk dancing and a vibrant Balearic atmosphere.

Cala Galdana

The busy tourist resort opens its annual night market during July and August, on Wednesdays from 8pm-11pm. You can peruse everything from souvenirs and casual clothing to food, and arts and crafts.


The Ferreries Saturday morning craft and food market is legendary. You can browse everything from freshly picked fruit to Menorcan sausage and cheeses, preserves, lacework and glasswork. It takes place at Placa Espanya. In July and August, they also host a Friday evening craft fair.

Es Mercadal

On Thursday evenings between June and September, the town’s streets come alive with market stalls and local vendors selling fresh seasonal produce. The market stretches from Placa Pare Camps along Carrer Nou to Carrer Major.

The Best Places to Eat in Cala Galdana

Although Cala Galdana is a tourist resort with a selection of international eateries, it also has a fine choice of Spanish and traditional options. If you’re seeking restaurants in Cala Galdana catering to all the family, here are a few choices.

Cala Mitjana

Cala Mitjana Restaurant is in the Serpentona area of Cala Galdana. The menu offers an array of seafood, steaks and decadent desserts. They also have a gluten-free and vegetarian menu. The owners are friendly and knowledgeable, happy to discuss the local produce and wine list with you, and the portions are generous.


A charming restaurant in Cala Galdana, Delit specialises in family-friendly food with something for everyone. The seafood paella is their speciality, but they also serve fish and meat dishes, pizzas and veggie options with a set ‘Menu del Dia’ to help keep costs down. The restaurant is open plan, with a modern aesthetic and the wait staff are friendly and welcoming. Don’t miss out on the desserts either, they are delicious!

Pizzeria Restaurante Sa Lluna

This popular eatery has something for everyone with a range of pizzas, fish, meat, noodles and tapas. It’s an ideal place to share a skillet of paella over a glass of wine or feast on decadent desserts after sundown.

Enjoy the Nightlife in Cala Galdana

Evenings in Cala Galdana can be as lively or relaxed as you choose. Most entertainment is centred around the hotels and beach bars, with many showcasing live music performances and tribute acts on outdoor stages during the peak season.

There are a handful of pubs in Cala Galdana too. Blanc|Negre is a popular family-run, neon-lit sports bar, serving good hearty food, and potent mojitos. Nearby, the aesthetically pleasing Bona Vida Lounge has live music most evenings and is open until 2am.

For something a little different, spend an evening in a typical Menorcan bar in Ferreries or an upscale venue in Ciutadella. The latter boasts enchanting cocktail bars, salsa venues and hip clubs for dancing until the early hours.

Day Trips / Attractions Near Cala Galdana

Within a 10-20 minute drive (or a short bus ride) from Cala Galdana, there are several interesting towns, villages and attractions to discover. Here are a few of our favourites:


Ferreries is a town with oodles of character and authentic Menorcan charm. It’s famous for its shoemaking expertise and is, therefore, the perfect place to stock up on quality avarcas.

Don’t miss the 18th-century St. Bartholemew Church, walking the Algendar Gorge, or to the ruins of Santa Agueda Castle for incredible views.


Ciutadella is a treasure trove of history. Begin your exploration at Ciutadella Cathedral, continuing to the cloisters of St. Augustine and its interesting museum. Break for lunchtime tapas in the characterful fish market before visiting Can Olivar, a grand mansion filled with art and tapestries. End the day with a pomada (Menorcan gin and cloudy lemonade) by the harbour at sundown.

Es Mercadal

In the centre of Menorca is Es Mercadal – a hotspot for foodies. Try the tastiest ensaimadas on the island with a cup of coffee, explore incredible handicraft emporiums and shoe shops. Then grab your car or your hiking shoes to scale Monte Toro – Menorca’s highest peak – for views of the entire island and across to neighbouring Mallorca.


Fornells sits on the northern coast, but it’s only a 20-minute drive across the island. An enchanting fishing village, it’s popular for its watersport activities, seafood dishes and bougainvillea-scented streets.

A perfect day trip to discover historic tails of Menorca’s early years, and to walk other sections of the Cami de Cavalls trail.  Highlights include Castell de Sant Antonio by the harbour entrance, and the distinctive Torre de Fornells.


Cavalleria is one of the best beaches along the north coast of Menorca. A swathe of reddish gold sand with calm waters for swimming, it’s an idyllic destination for a picnic, a spot of sun worshipping, or snorkelling in a calm bay.

Nearby, the Cavalleria lighthouse sits at the island’s northernmost point, and dates back to the mid-1800s. In the small onsite museum, you can learn about how the tower saved many ships from the wreckage and discover more about the unique geography and history of the island. The sunsets are magnificent here, and there’s a small bar/cafe for refreshments.

Cala Galdana Key Things to Know

Cala Galdana is a seasonal destination, so the shops, restaurants and bars are normally open from early May through to the end of October each year. That said, some open around Easter time. And when I was in the area on the 2nd of April this year, that was certainly the case!

As an area catering to tourists, you’ll find all the facilities you need within the town itself. Including car hire, an ATM, a couple of supermarkets and more!

Where to Stay in Cala Galdana

There is plenty of choice of where to stay in Cala Galdana. From family-friendly apartment hotels to adults-only hideaways and luxury villas. Here are a few of our recommendations:

Meliá Cala Galdana is the iconic hotel front and centre of the beach. You can’t get a better location than this, or a better view if you opt for the seafront rooms! It’s a family-friendly 5-star hotel, with some adults-only areas – so everyone is catered for.

Comitas Floramar is an apart-hotel near the beach. It offers self-catering accommodation and hotel facilities for small families or couples.

Villa Can Pere caters to larger groups and families with its generous four bedrooms and five bathrooms. You’ll adore the private swimming pool, incredible views, and sense of privacy offered at this cliff-top villa.

Read More: Best Places to Stay in Menorca

I hope this article has served as inspiration for a future holiday to Cala Galdana in Menorca! It really is a superb base for couples, families and solo travellers looking for a lively setting alongside a combination of excellent hiking, outdoor adventures, beach and resort fun.

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