Menorca is tough to resist! Those shimmering beaches and sparkling Mediterranean waters lure so many to its shores. Tasty dishes, lively fiestas – there’s plenty of Balearic culture to sink your teeth into.
The understated glamour of this island is idyllic for sophisticated grown-ups, while parents in search of child-friendly fun will find exactly what they’re looking for here too. Menorca is the perfect choice for a multi-generational getaway.
But don’t just take our word for it. Ruth Link is not only a Product Coordinator for James Villas, but she’s also quite the pro at villa holidays with all the family. So after a getaway to Menorca with her husband Jonathan and two young children Thea and Maisie, plus both sets of grandparents, who better to create an itinerary that captures the very best of Menorca for all ages?
Beach to their own
Beach-lovers are spoilt for choice on this blissful island. The big waves of the north are ideal for older children and adults looking to try their hand at some watersports. On the sheltered south coast, long beaches meet with secluded coves. Cala Galdana beach is a real gem. Ruth’s parents sunbathed and watched over the kids paddling in the shallow, clear water, while she and Jonathan grabbed the opportunity for some time together to wander around the promenade.
When lunchtime comes around, if promising the kids another dip later is the only way to persuade them out of the sea, then head for Tobogán. A restaurant with a twist, tasty dishes are served up at this eatery which is also home to waterslides, a splash pool and play area.
Ruth: “Thea raced down slides and jumped on swings as we enjoyed a leisurely lunch. For older kids (and big kids!) you’ll find pedalos, kayaking and even scuba diving available around Cala Galdana beach too.”
Food for every taste
Food glorious food. Spanish tapas, traditional paellas and sweet pastries like crespells (fun shaped biscuits) are firm island favourites. Not forgetting the wide selection of local tipples! Concerned about catering for fussy children? There’s no need to worry. Menorca’s mix of international restaurants ranging from Italian to Chinese, found alongside traditional tavernas, mean feeding all the family is a breeze.
The Links loved eating out in Cala en Bosch, the laid-back hub of Menorca’s west coast. Only a 15 minute walk from their villa to the marina, they could stroll down to dinner whenever they liked. Jonathan’s parents tucked into freshly caught fish, a speciality of Cala en Bosch, while the kids when feeling less adventurous enjoyed familiar favourites. The lip-smacking menus will leave you all with a tough choice every evening!
Pack a picnic for your days out. Fresh food from the market or local supermarket goodies make packed lunches a real treat. Although the laid-back lifestyle on Menorca lends itself perfectly to café culture, and there’s no shortage of pretty places to stop and eat.
Ruth: “The twisty road up to Monte Toro was well worth the drive and Jonathan’s mum spotted a small café so the grandparents decided to sample some strong Spanish coffee. The café had amazing views of Menorca as it’s the highest point of the island!”
Culture and experience
The old capital Ciutadella brings history to life for all the family. Ruth’s parents Anne and Dave loved wandering around the cobbled streets taking in and browsing street markets.
Ruth: “Thea spotted some traditional Avarcas shoes at one market and lived in them all week! Whereas Maisie enjoyed looking around the impressive cathedral.”
From the old capital to the new, no holiday to Menorca is complete without a visit to elegant Mahón. Off from the main square there’s plenty of little shops to browse in and cafés to sit outside and watch the world go by. Down on the bustling harbour you’ll see fishing boats offloading the daily catch. In fact being aboard a boat is another great way to take in the capital, so cruise around the port to discover coves and colonial style houses. Sit back and listen to tales of the city on a glass-bottomed boat, as underwater views keep your little ones occupied. For something a little more grown-up, try your hand at gin tasting. Grandma and Grandad may want to slip off and sample this locally distilled drink for a real taste of the island. Try with soda and a dash of lemon (pellofa) or mixed with lemonade (pomada) and see which one you prefer.
Set sail to explore more of Menorca from Cala en Bosch, and when your sea legs tire jump aboard the miniature road train which takes you up and down the area. Great fun for kids and adults alike.
Dancing the night
Holidaying with the whole family doesn’t mean you have to cut your evenings short. The fiesta spirit runs deep, so many restaurants transform your dinner into a night of entertainment with live music. And for those warm evenings, soak in the atmosphere with al fresco dining. Bear in mind it won’t be long before street artists armed with guitars and violins turn up to serenade you as you eat!
Ruth: “The girls loved to dance to the Spanish music being played in Cala en Bosch’s square as we finished our dinner.”
Menorca may be one of the most family-friendly holiday destinations, but some alone time without the kids is definitely on the holiday agenda. And the beauty of holidaying with grandparents is free babysitting – so here’s your chance! Go ahead and give them some bonding time as you paint the town red. Menorca has plenty of bars, but Cova d’en Xoroi in Cala’n Porter is worth shouting about. This spectacular bar is built within natural caves only 25m above sea level. As night falls they come alive with live music creating a truly magical atmosphere. And with the grandparents and kids all having a fun evening too, you’ll come back to a sound asleep villa. Heaven! If a night in is more your style, the adults can socialise in or outside the villa while the kids rest in their own rooms.
Menorca’s charming atmosphere and idyllic beaches mean holidays here are all about getting to know the local area. But this is a family holiday, so relaxing is an absolute must! Our villas are well equipped for a lazy day at home. Spacious and private with all the necessary home comforts, you’ll be able to relax, refresh and recharge. The Link’s just loved having a pool to themselves. Maisie was a little cautious of getting in the water at first, but after a week of playing in the pool with her sister she became more and more confident. By the end of the week she was swimming on her own with a buoyancy vest.
Ruth: “Moments like these you’ll never forget and having the whole family there to share in it made it even more special.”
Villa Mar was also great for lazy family breakfasts. With the bakery only a two minute walk away, fresh croissants were devoured while still wearing pyjamas on the terrace. Read a book by the pool, nap after a morning of exploration, or even watch TV together after a busy day of relaxing – it’s what our villas are made for.