Es Mercadal &emp; North East
Es Mercadal & North East Menorca
Unspoilt, rocky and covered in pine trees, the north coast of Menorca is wilder than the resorts in the south, but the beaches are just as beautiful, and the surrounding countryside mesmerising.
The horse-shoe shaped bay of Arenal d'en Castell is by far the largest resort and extremely popular with visitors, lured by the soft white sand, turquoise waters and array of things to do. Coves Noves and Son Parc have developed around this, each with their own special offerings including the only golf course on the island at Son Parc and the laid-back atmosphere of the residential Coves Noves. Here, on the north-east coast it's all about the beach life, and getting out into nature, taking some of those stunning coastal walks that Menorca is celebrated for.
And don't forget the delightful rural hamlet of Sa Roca with its traditional Menorcan whitewashed houses, mountain views and iconic little countryside restaurant with enchanting views.
Out and About
Arenal d'en Castell
The horseshoe-shaped bay of Arenal d'en Castell is one you may have seen before, as it's often used to show visitors what Menorca has to offer.
So, what makes this bay so enticing? Aside from the powdery soft sand and clear teal blue sea, it's encircled by pretty dense woodland, taking you back to nature. And for families, this is an idyllic haven. As children paddle around in the shallow, warm waters, or float on lilos, you can take time to enjoy some pretty special views whilst sitting on what some think is the finest sand on Menorca. Then when you're ready for refreshments, there's plenty of bars and restaurants along this stretch to take shade from the glorious Spanish sun. It's no wonder it's been awarded Blue Flag status.
If you're looking to get active after lunch, why not take a pedalo out and admire the bay, or have a go on water-skis. The variety of watersports should please the whole family. If you'd prefer to be on dry land, you might want to cycle or walk through the woodland, snapping some instgram-worthy pictures of this rugged northern coast. Kids might enjoy flying a kite up on the windy cliffs. And if that's not enough, head on over to the picturesque championship golf course at Son Parc or the tennis courts at Coves Noves.
Although it's mainly about the beach at Arenal d'en Castell, you can take a stroll to the fishing village of Na Macaret, or drive to the small market town of Es Mercadel - where you can walk to the island's highest point, Monte Toro for breathtaking views of the island.
Sun-kissed and happy, the evening is all about retiring to a wonderful sea-front restaurant or bar with some light entertainment to savour the last hours of a fun-filled day.
Coves Noves is a splendid residential resort that's set up for a laid-back, stress-free experience.
Wonderful whitewashed villas and apartments, located right next to the stunning horse-shoe shaped beach at Arenal d'en Castell, is a hit with families. And with a vibrant little centre featuring a well-stocked supermarket, souvenir shop, bars, restaurants and a children's play area, everything has been thought of to make your stay as relaxed as possible.
Benefitting from its location right next to the beautiful bay of Arena d'en Castell, the beach should certainly be taken advantage of. With calm, shallow waters for the children, soft, fine sand and a number of waterfront restaurants and bars, many a day can be spent here, relaxing in true Menorcan fashion. Sun loungers and umbrellas are available, and if required, pedalos for some real family fun. There's even water ski-ing and snorkelling amongst other watersport activities.
At Coves Noves itself there's a water park and tennis courts. And, with a diving centre and a championship 18-hole golf course nearby at Son Parc, you're spoilt for choice.
With so much to do, and nothing to do except laze on the beach, it's no wonder Coves Noves is popular. And after a busy, sunny day, head out to one of the many bars and restaurants in the area for a meal and light entertainment. Coves Noves is well-lit, so finding your way back to your villa is never a problem. They really have thought of everything.
If you're looking for somewhere to lounge on a beautiful beach with a fantastic championship golf course nearby, Son Parc could be just the place for you.
Set amongst valleys and pine woods, this purpose-built resort on the northern coast of Menorca is a pretty proposition. With villas and apartments set slightly higher on a rocky headland, you'll need to take the sandy path down on to Son Parc beach where you'll find stunning white sands, attractive sand dunes and pine trees. Aside from its visual appeal, there's calm, shallow waters - perfect for children to paddle around in, pedalos for hire and its own beach bar. The natural beach of Arenal de Son Saura gently slopes into the water and is an idyllic snorkelling spot.
It doesn't stop there though. If you're feeling restless, there's canoeing and jet ski-ing at sea, and hiking and horseback riding inland. And, if you like to play golf, you're in for a real treat. Son Parc has the only golf course on the island, and an attractive, 18-hole championship one at that. Open every day of the year, it's a must-do for a sporty family.
When you're not enjoying that warm Menorcan sun on the beach, there are many walks to take around the coastal paths, followed by a refreshing drink, or a tasty seafood lunch at one of the bars or tavernas along this stretch of beach. There is a little slice of nightlife here, but it's certainly a lot tamer than the neighbouring islands. There's also plenty of small shops here for all your needs.
Staying at Son Parc means you also get to enjoy the celebrated Arenal d'en Castell beach - a larger horse shoe-shaped bay boasting white powdery sands and turquoise waters, making this a sought-after area.
For trips out you can cycle to the little market town of Es Mercadel or drive to the vibrant capital of Mahon. And to understand one of the reasons why this little Balearic island is flying the sustainable tourism flag, just head to the perfectly preserved Parc Natural S'Albufera d'Es Grau wetlands.
Serenity reigns supreme in the delightful hamlet of Sa Roca. Enveloped by pretty countryside, this beautiful location offers superb views.
Set in rural Fornells, this is perfect terrain to take a stroll, cycle or horseback ride through the lovely Menorcan surroundings. And there's plenty around to see. Cycle to the market town of Es Mercadel, where you'll be greeted with the highest spot on the island for more fantastic views, or the popular fishing village of Fornells. And then of course, there’s Son Parc just a 10-minute ride away.
Closer to home, a visit to Puig de Sa Roca is a must. This iconic little restaurant hidden in the foothills of Fornells is a pure delight. Local fish, meats and vegetables are conjured up into some truly delicious fare, which you'll get to eat at this pretty whitewashed Menorcan restaurant, with views of a magical twinkly swimming pool and spectacular pine forests.
For a purpose-built resort, Arenal d'en Castell has been developed very much with the beautiful Menorcan countryside in mind, and blends beautifully into its surroundings. Whitewashed villas with teracotta roofs, surrounded by pretty foliage make this an attractive place to stay. Likewise, Coves Noves plethora of apartments and villas, some with swimming pools, charming terraces and landscaped gardens, which look out on to panoramic sea views, are certainly alluring. Or, head out to the rocky headland for Son Parc villas set into the wooded hillside. Whatever option you choose, this is one beach holiday the whole family will not forget.
Not to be missed
For a little break from the beach, head to Es Mercadal. It may be a small town, but i'ts surrounded by the most stunning Menorcan countryside and boasts the highest point on the island, Monte Torro, form which you can see the most breathtaking views.