As our thoughts turn to holidays – perhaps even for next summer, it’s interesting to focus on some great places to travel to, and then to think about how we can make our trips as eco-friendly as possible. Sadly most trips involve air travel which isn’t the best start but what are the little things we can do? Here we intersperse some tips amongst this spotlight on Menorca from a guest writer Steve Conway, a techie by profession and a passionate traveler who loves to soak up the sun, swim in azure waters and explore far-off destinations that hold the promise of great adventure.
You can truly make the most out of this beautiful 435-square-mile island (which claims a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve accolade since 1993) This means its classified as a place that has been able to develop socially and economically while preserving its natural worth.
Its natural diversity means it has coastal cliffs above often empty beaches of red sand, there are wooded ravines and gorges known as barrancs leading to inlets of soft white sand. According to Green Traveller Guides there are 220 species of birds—including migratory African visitors like Egyptian vultures—and 1,000 species of plants thrive in the gullies, caves, ponds, lagoons and marshes, dunes and islets. The wild olive is the most common tree species on the island. Wild flowers are riotous in spring.
Rent a Luxurious Villa
The first step to having the ultimate holiday in Menorca is to skip the cookie-cutter hotel or the hand-holding resorts and instead take your holiday into your own hands. Balearic Island holidays are simply not complete without your own private villa. Whether you go with a group, or with your family, a villa is the perfect place to relax and unwind without the feel of people watching over you. You can enjoy a luxurious stay on your own terms, and then explore Menorca to your heart’s content and at your own leisure.
The Best Beaches on the Island
There is over 200 km of pristine coastline, which means there are dozens of incredible beaches to choose from. Either find your own personal haven along the coast of sandy paradises or choose from our top picks:
· Cala Turqueta
This beach offers white sands and pine forests, which makes for a unique and stunning beach in the Mediterranean. With the white sands here, the water is also truly spectacular, with the blue of these waters being out of this world and completely unforgettable. There are even nearby cliffs that you can jump into the sea from, offering a fun and exhilarating day at the beach that isn’t just enjoying the views.
· Cala Mitjana
This beautiful cliffside beach is easily accessible to all and a great place to lounge all day at. Walk along the waters, enjoy a dip in the water, or soak in that beautiful sun.
· Cala Pregonda
For golden sands and beautiful cliffs, head to Cala Pregonda. You can reach the beach via a footpath, so it isn’t ideal for families or groups who have a member with limited mobility, but for those without such concerns, a beautiful paradise awaits you.
Think of this trip in an eco friendly way though too..
Top Eco Tips
A code of conduct has been signed by a collaboration of various associations with the aim of reducing the number of single-use plastic carrier bags in Menorca. That’s quite something as they aim to reduce the use by sixty per cent, its estimated around twenty two million plastic bags were used, so be an eco-tourist and take your own bags!
Don’t use plastics, use recyclable containers and it goes without saying doesn’t leave ANY rubbish on the beaches In addition if you have a few spare minutes pick up any rubbish you see and put it in the nearest bin or recycling container, go on do your bit! Of course be careful with sanitary waste do not flush down the loo!
Can you use a beach mat and avoid getting your towel too sandy? Try and wash your towels and linens as little as possible in your villa.
Conserve water. It’s a precious resource in Menorca, most is bottled and bought onto the island so don’t waste it! When you shower, wash your hands and even clean your teeth think how you can save water, imagine when you clean your teeth that you are comping, so have a mug of water rather than leaving the tap running!
Limit energy use. Ask yourself if you really need the air conditioning and make sure lights are turned off when you leave your villa or hotel room.
Respect the local environment and obviously don’t move stones etc on the beach!
Top Sights in Menorca
Beaches aren’t the only things to do and see in Menorca. There are many other top sights to choose from and enjoy:
· El Toro
El Toro is the peak of Menorca and the tallest mountain in the Santa Rosa mountain range. If hiking is on your to-do list, then this destination offers some of the best panoramic views in all of Menorca and elevates you more than 2600 m over sea level.
· Mola Fortress
Visit Mola Fortress, which was built on special orders of Queen Elizabeth II (of Spain). It is a stunning structure you can now explore.
Things to Do In Menorca
Activities in Menorca involve the sea, the towns, and great food:
· Explore the Towns
The Towns are great for enjoying local traditions trying locally produced speciality food and drink.
Rent a Boat
Renting a boat or booking a boat tour (we recommend either a catamaran tour or a sailboat tour) means you can get a glimpse of all the beautiful beaches mentioned above from the sea. There are sunset options, food and drink tours, and even snorkelling and other water adventure sports to be had.
· Fun in the Sea
There is so much you can do on the coast of Menorca. Swim, sunbathe, scuba dive, snorkel, parasail, surf – the options are limitless. You came for the beaches, so make the most of your beach days by getting your feet wet and setting your sense of adventure aflame.
Go with your friends, go with your family – whatever you do, spend time with the ones you love on Menorca. This laid-back island has all the makings of an island escapade at a pace that will rejuvenate and whisk you away.