We continue with our guide to enjoy the coast of Menorca. Not only do we have sun and beach, our island offers an ideal place for hiking and for those who enjoy walking in nature
- Pilar Cove and Macar d'Alfurí
- Tortuga Cove and Favàritx Lighthouse
- Sunsets in Minorca - Punta Nati and Pont d'en Gil Lighthouse
- S'Albufera des Grau Natural Park
- Binillautí Cove
Minorca is a paradise for hiking lovers. Both on the north and south coasts and in the heart of the island there are hundreds of rural paths that allow you to get to know the island on foot. Without a doubt, the best known routes are those of the Camí de Cavalls, but from the rural hotel Morvedra Nou we would like to recommend other less common routes which, although they cross at some point, then end up in destinations less known by our visitors.
In this first post dedicated to hiking, we are going to focus on five routes in the north of Minorca, which at some points is relatively dry and wild but which nevertheless offers us places of immense beauty.
Cala del Pilar and Macar d’Alfurí
Approximate duration: 2 hours.
Difficulty level: Medium
This excursion will allow us to get to know the impressive virgin cove of El Pilar and Macar d'Alfurí, a peculiar spot with a multitude of rounded edges that have been formed by the erosion of the sea over the years. This route will also allow us to get to know part of the landscape of the north of the island.
With the car we will take the main road (Me-1) and go in the direction of Maó. Approximately 11 km after leaving Ciutadella, we will see on our right an entrance on the same road, with a sign that says "El Pilar", we will access it and follow the road until we reach a small car park where we must park since from now on the excursion begins on foot.
Cala del Pilar cove, view from the top of the slope
On our right we will find a stone doorway which is where we have to enter, we will also soon see a small forest of large holm oaks and right next to it is the first of the wooden posts of the "Camí de Cavalls" which will guide us to the cove. We will follow these posts passing through a very beautiful route through trees, bushes and other vegetation typical of the northern zone of Minorca. When we reach a more sandy terrain it will be an indication that we are already close to the beach. The posts of the "Camí de Cavalls" end at the top of a steep slope from which we can already see the cove. We will go down the slope little by little and end up on the beach. The beach can also be reached via the path and wooden stairs that are a little further on and which make the descent easier and less tiring.
On the left side of the beach there is an old fishermen's hut, we will go to it and go up another small slope that is just behind. Once up there, you will see a small path that you will take and that will take you, after about 10 minutes, to Macar d'Alfurí, an impressive place where you will be able to appreciate the round stones mentioned at the beginning of this route.
Macar d'Alfurí with its impressive rounded edges
To return, we will return by the same route we have taken on the way there, bearing in mind that the slope and the wooden stairs leading up to the beach are now uphill and as it is quite steep, the climb becomes a little heavy.
Cala Tortuga and Faro de Favàritx
Approximate duration: 2 hours.
Difficulty level: Low
This route will take us to Cala Tortuga, a totally virgin beach, with transparent waters and very white sand. We will also visit the Favàritx lighthouse, from which you can enjoy impressive views. This route is located within the Natural Park of "S'Albufera des Grau".
We will leave by car from Ciutadella, taking the main road (Me-1) and driving to Maó, the other end of the island, a journey that takes approximately 45 minutes. Upon entering Maó, with the Industrial Park on our right, we will reach a roundabout where you can see, among others, a sign that says "Fornells", we will take the direction indicated by this sign and go down a hill, at the end of which we find another roundabout again with the indication of Fornells; we will take this secondary road always in the direction of Fornells. After approximately 10 km, as you turn right, you will see a sign that says "Favàritx", which is where you will enter to get to the route you want to take. Continue by car along a rural road (but asphalted) until you reach a section where you can see some typical Menorcan wooden barriers on your right (during the months of July, August and September, access to this point is only possible with the shuttle bus that is taken in the area prepared for this purpose at the beginning of the Favàritx road). We will park the car and start the excursion on foot here. Crossing the wooden barriers mentioned above, we will follow the path in front of us. Depending on the time of year, it is very pleasant to walk along it as the aromatic plants found there (camomile, rosemary, etc.) are in full bloom. As we walk we will find a small path on our left that leads to the Capifort beach, also very nice, but smaller, and here we can choose to visit it or continue to Cala Tortuga. If we choose this second option we will follow the path, and after approximately 15 minutes we will find another path that goes into our left and that is the one that will take us to Cala Tortuga. We will take it and in a few minutes we will step on a more sandy ground and immediately we will see the magnificent beach. This whole route is also very well orientated thanks to the posts of the "Camí de Cavalls".
Cala Tortuga, in the Natural Park of "S'Albufera des Grau" with the lighthouse of Favàritx in the background
To return, we will go back along the same path we took and once we reach the Menorcan wooden barriers again, if we continue to the end of the country road we came by car, we will reach the Favàritx lighthouse, located in an unusual spot, surrounded by slate rocks and from which we will have impressive views of the cliffs, the sea and the horizon.
Sunsets in Menorca – Faro Punta Nati and Pont d’en Gil
Approximate duration: 2 h. 30 min.
Difficulty level: Low.
This route, which is actually two, will allow us to enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets on the island, in two emblematic places of Ciutadella: the "Punta Nati" lighthouse and the "Pont d'en Gil", a natural bridge moulded into the rock by the continuous erosion of the sea.
Leave the hotel in the direction of Ciutadella and once you find the first roundabout, take a right towards "Ronda / Port RC-2". After that, we will find two more roundabouts where we will always go straight ahead towards "Ronda / Port" and the third one (which links with the main road Me-1) we will take straight ahead following the sign that says "Calan Blanes". Continue on this road and soon we will find a new roundabout where we will turn left towards Calan Blanes. Go straight on and again you will find two more roundabouts, always in the direction of Calan Blanes. At the next roundabout, turn right and you will reach the entrance that leads to the "Punta Nati" lighthouse. You can park your car next to the roundabout and here you will start the excursion on foot, passing by a beautiful country road that on its final stretch becomes more rocky and rugged.
Start of the route to the "Punta Nati" lighthouse
We will walk along the cycle path until we reach the "Punta Nati" lighthouse, from where we can observe a beautiful sunset and impressive views of the northern coast of Ciutadella.
The "Punta Nati" lighthouse on the rugged north coast of Ciutadella
To return, we will return by the same route we came by until we get to where our car is parked.
One of the magnificent views that can be seen from the lighthouse
Back in the car, take the roundabout towards Calan Blanes to go to "Pont d'en Gil". Once you have arrived at the Calan Blanes urbanization, turn right at the roundabout at the entrance and continue straight ahead until you see a sign indicating "Pont d'en Gil Route". Go straight ahead for another 5 minutes and turn right at the crossroads in front of the "Top Markets", and after another 5 minutes you will reach the entrance to the "Pont d'en Gil". Park the car and start the excursion on foot.
Here begins the itinerary that will take us to the "Pont d'en Gil"
We will pass by the entrance on the stone wall and follow the path marked on the blue painted rocks.
In approximately 10 minutes we will reach our destination: the "Pont d'en Gil", from which we will be able to observe one of the most beautiful sunsets in Minorca.
The "Pont d'en Gil", a privileged enclave on the northwest coast of Menorca
To return, we will go back by the same way between the rocks and we will arrive at the place where we parked the car.
Natural Park of "S'Albufera des Grau"
Approximate duration: 2 hours.
Difficulty level: Low
This excursion will allow us to get to know the Natural Park of "S'Albufera des Grau", a protected area of great natural and ecological value, and also one of the main reasons why Minorca was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1993. We will also have the opportunity to visit the beach of Es Grau and its small village of cosy white houses.
We will start this route leaving Ciutadella towards Maó on the main road (Me-1), a journey in which we will be driving for about 45 minutes, until we reach the gates of this city, with the Industrial Estate on our right. You will soon find a roundabout which you can take on the left in the direction of "Fornells"; go down a slope and reach another roundabout where you turn left again, following the sign that says "Es Grau". In less than 5 minutes we will see the entrance to Es Grau on the right. Enter and continue driving for about 6 km until, a little before reaching the town of Es Grau, you will see an entrance on the left with wooden barriers, signalling the beginning of the natural park. Park your car at this point, as this is where the walk begins.
Stone bridge where the route begins at "S'Albufera des Grau"
We will pass by a stone bridge and immediately have a beautiful view of s'Albufera, a wetland area with a wealth of animal and plant life. As we advance along the path we will come across a sign indicating the presence of a viewpoint, which can be accessed from a wooden bridge that will lead us up a small hill to a high point from which we will have a wide and impressive view of the entire lagoon.
Impressive view of the lagoon from the viewpoint
Another route we can follow is the pine forest that leads to the beach of Es Grau. To reach it, we will go back on the road and follow the path that indicates "Platja des Grau", passing through a shady wooded area that will lead us to the sand.
From here we will access both the viewpoint and the beach of Es Grau
Once on the beach, we will have the town of Es Grau on our right and we can take advantage of it to walk through its streets near the sea and enjoy the view of its beautiful white houses, some of them so old, that were built at the beginning of the last century.
Before returning, you can visit the S'Albufera des Grau Reception Centre, where you will find detailed information and a small museum. To reach it, just follow the road from Es Grau to Maó (Me-5) , where we have come, until km. 3.5 where we will find an entrance on the right indicating "Parc Natural S'Albufera des Grau"; we will access it and in about 5 min. approximately we will reach this information centre.
It is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day of the year.
The village of Es Grau, with its typical white houses
This will be the point and end of this route. We will return to Ciutadella, going back along the route we have been following and accessing the road again.
Cala de Binillautí
Approximate duration: 1 hour 30 min.
Difficulty level: Low.
On this occasion, the route we are about to take will lead us to discover a small, remote, rocky cove which, due to its location, is practically unknown to most of the island's inhabitants. At the same time, the path that will take us there, along paths full of vegetation, old Menorcan lands and native fauna, will make the walk a pleasure for our senses.
We will start this route from Ciutadella towards Maó on the main road (Me-1), which will take us approximately 45 minutes to drive, until we reach Maó and find its Industrial Estate on our right. Then we will find a roundabout that we will take to the left in the direction that indicates "Fornells"; we will go down a slope and we will arrive at another roundabout in which we will turn to the left again, following the sign that says "Es Grau". In less than 5 minutes you will see the entrance to Es Grau on the right. Enter and continue driving for about 2.5 km until you see a sign on your right that says "Parc eòlic de Milà", enter this entrance and continue driving for about 2 minutes until you reach a maroon house and immediately on your left you will find a narrow path with a sign that says "Merdaka". Park the car and start the excursion on foot, entering this small path and going forward until you reach a crossroads that forks into two paths, one on the left and the other on the right (in the middle of this fork you will see a small electric house with a green door). Take the path on the right and continue, passing the entrance to the "lloc" of Binillautí.
A view of the path that leads to Binillautí cove
After about 2 min. we will see a white country house that has another little road on its right, we will take it and immediately we will find an iron barrier, we will open it and pass through, but it is very important to always close the barriers that we open in the field, since normally there are cows or sheep loose. Continue along this beautiful path until you find a new barrier (which you should also be careful to leave well closed) and continue straight on along the path on the right, passing through a beautiful meadow until you reach a point where the path descends. We will go down and almost immediately we will see the sea on the horizon.
Tamarind forest in flower, on the road to Cala Binillautí
Once under this slope, you will come across two old buildings that are half in ruins and take the little path on your left, passing by an old abandoned fish farm, you will reach a beautiful tamarind forest and soon you will finally reach Binillautí Cove.
Binillautí cove, the final destination of our route
To return, we will return by the same route we have done, we will arrive at the point where we parked the car and we will begin the return to Ciutadella by accessing the main road (Me-1)
In order to do all these trekking routes, we recommend the use of good footwear and a water supply, especially during the hottest periods of the year.
In our rural hotel, and for our guests, we can prepare a picnic to take away consisting of a sandwich and a piece of fruit, so that they don't have to worry about lunch since most of these routes are located in places without any type of catering establishment.
All you have to do is ask us in the morning at breakfast time.
Once you have chosen your route, we can only wish you a happy trip!