After having tackled some of the excursions that can be made on the north coast of the island, we will go into the centre of Minorca to discover some routes that will lead us to discover beautiful places less known about our island
- Camí Reial (Ferreries)
- Camí de Binixems (Alaior)
- To do by car - Camí den Kane and Crta. Maó a Fornells
- S'Ermita de Ferreries (Sa Rovellada Hill)
- Santa Águeda Castle
- S'Alqueria Blanca holm oak
We continue with the hiking routes around Minorca started in the first post of this series.
On this occasion, it will be the central and inland area of the island that we are going to talk about, getting to know it through six routes that will take us to see beautiful places, as well as old hermitages and the remains of a castle.
Camí Reial (Ferreries)
Approximate duration: 1 hour 30 min.
Difficulty level: Low
The old Camí de Cavalls has been recently rehabilitated, becoming a magnificent route for walking and cycling. It is worth noting the variety of vegetation that we will find along the way as well as the great contrast of landscapes.
We will leave by car from Ciutadella taking the main road (Me-1) towards Maó. After approximately 15 km, we will reach the town of Ferreries, and just before entering it, on the right hand side, we will see a sign indicating "Santa Galdana". We will take this road (Me-22) and just after we have advanced about 20 mts, on the right begins the Camí Reial. Just in front of it, we will see a small area where we can park the car. Once we are next to the sign that indicates "Camí Real" the excursion will start on foot.
Beginning of the route of the "Camí Reial
At the beginning of the path we will find several small private gardens, but just as we have advanced a little further the landscape changes completely in a very lush vegetation, and this is really where the route begins. The path is not lost and consists of a very pleasant walk through the Minorcan countryside, thanks to which we can contemplate a great variety of landscapes.
One of the most beautiful sections of the "Camí Reial
Along the route we will find, more or less halfway, a small cave known as "Cova Reial" (which seems to have been used as a shelter for animals) and almost at the end of the route we will reach a small ascent of about 211 mts. long and is known as "Costa de na Salema".
Once you have passed this section, you will reach the end of the Camí Reial which, as indicated, links up with the Barranc d'Algendar, another of the most beautiful spots on the island.
Another section of the "Camí Reial
To return we have two options; one is to go back along the same Camí Reial, and the other consists of returning along the asphalted road that we will find just to the right of where the route ends. If we choose this option, we will go out to the main road (Me-1) and turning again to the right, after approximately 10 minutes on foot, we will arrive again at the point where we parked the car.
Camí de Binixems (Alaior)
Approximate duration: 3 hours.
Difficulty level: Low.
This route will take us to know one of the most unknown rural roads of the island (even by the Menorcans themselves) and will surprise us by its beauty and relaxing sensation during the whole journey. We will also stop to visit the hermitage of "Sant Llorenç de Binixems".
We will take the main road (Me-1) towards Maó. We will pass through the villages of Ferreries and Es Mercadal, and in the latter we can take advantage of this to visit the "Cas Sucrer" bakery and buy the typical "carquinyols" (a kind of almond biscuit) and if we have time, we can also visit the "Centre Artesanal de Menorca", which has a large exhibition and sale of local crafts; we will find it on the right of the road, located at the same level as the village of Es Mercadal.
Following the main road, when you reach the village of Alaior, instead of going straight on, take the turn-off on the right, signposted with a green marker, and enter the village. Cross it until you reach a junction on your left where it says "Addaia / Macaret", enter here and go up a hill passing through two roundabouts. When you reach the top of the hill, where you will find another roundabout, turn right and go straight on until you reach the Alaior cemetery. Once you have the cemetery in front of you, turn right again and take the Camí den Kane (there is a sign that says "Maó 12 Km"); continue along this road for about 5 minutes until you see an entrance on the left that says "Camí de Binixems", enter it and park the car. Here is the point where you will start the excursion on foot.
Here begins the route of the "Camí de Binixems
We will start the route by following this path, and along it we will find ourselves surrounded by Menorcan countryside and trees. About halfway along the route you will come to the small but beautiful chapel of "Sant Llorenç de Binixems", which you can visit from outside as it is currently only used as a holiday camp.
A view of the chapel of "Sant Llorenç de Binixems
We continue the walk, encountering places of great beauty, and after approximately 45 minutes, the Camí de Binixems ends, connecting with the crossroads of the Camí des Pontarró, which on its left would take us to the road from Maó to Fornells and on its right would lead us back to the village of Alaior.
On the route of the "Camí de Binixems
To return, we will go back along the Camí de Binixems until we reach the place where we parked the car.
Menorcan cows in the "Camí de Binixems
To do by car - Camí d'en Kane and Road from Maó to Fornells
Approximate duration: 3 hours.
On this route to be done by car, we will discover two of the quietest and least travelled secondary roads on the island. The first is the "Camí d'en Kane", a road that was built by the English governor Richard Kane in the 18th century, during the English domination of Minorca, and which is about 20 km long. The other route is the secondary road from Maó to the fishing village of Fornells, which is 23 km long. On both routes, apart from going through them, we will be able to visit some points of interest which will be detailed below.
Start of the "Camí d'en Kane" from the village of Es Mercadal
We will leave Ciutadella by the main road (Me-1) towards Maó. We will pass by Ferreries and after approximately 25 km we will arrive at the town of Es Mercadal. When the town ends and still from the road, we will see a roundabout on our left which we will access and we will immediately see a sign indicating the entrance to the "Camí d'en Kane", we will follow it and our route will begin here. Continue along this beautiful path, surrounded by lush trees in the first part, until you reach the height of Alaior and its cemetery, where the path becomes wider.
A section of the "Camí d'en Kane" surrounded by trees on both sides
On this route where the road widens, we can enjoy on both sides the magnificent views of the Menorcan "tanks" with their cows and sheep grazing peacefully under the rays of the Menorcan sun, as well as some of the most beautiful stately homes on the island, including "Santa Rosa de Lima" or "Montserrat".
Flock of sheep in a "tank" on the "Camí d'en Kane"
In its final section, the Camí d'en Kane leaves us on the road from Maó to Fornells (Me-7), which we will take on the left and begin a new route in which the first singular visit we will make will be to the hermitage of Fatima, situated on a small mound and which we will be able to see perfectly from the road on our right. Exactly at Km. 8 is the entrance that leads to the chapel; it is really worth entering and parking the car for a moment to enjoy this bucolic stone construction, located in the middle of the Menorcan countryside.
Hermitage of Fátima, on the road from Maó to Fornells
We will continue with our excursion along the road from which we will be able to access some beaches in the north, all of them urbanized, but they are still a good option to visit. Such is the case of Arenal d'en Castell, the Addaia marina, Son Parc, etc.
It is also important to point out that at approximately Km. 10 of this route, and specifically on our left, is the "Santa Catalina" estate, where we can take advantage of the opportunity to buy Menorcan artisan cheese with a Designation of Origin.
Entrance to the "Santa Catalina" estate. Here we can buy Menorcan cheese with D.O.
Before reaching the destination of this route, which is Fornells, we find another interesting place to visit: the "Puig de sa Roca", an extensive wooded area surrounded by pine trees and which is noteworthy for its elevated location from which there are magnificent views of the Menorcan countryside. You will find the entrance on your left, just at km. 20 of the Me-7.
Rocks and pines in the beautiful spot of "Puig de sa Roca
Once we have visited the "Puig de sa Roca", we will continue our route along the same Me-7 road until, after about 10 minutes, we find the intersection that connects with the Me-15 road which, turning to the right, will take us, after 3 km, to the picturesque fishing village of Fornells, where, if we feel like it, we can taste the most typical dish of Minorcan gastronomy, the lobster stew, in one of its many restaurants that are in front of the sea, on the same promenade.
A panoramic view of the village and port of Fornells
Finally, to return, we will go back to the road from Fornells to Es Mercadal (Me-15) and once there, we will take the main road again (Me-1) which will take us back to Ciutadella.
S’Ermita de Ferreries (Sa Rovellada Hill)
Approximate duration: 1 hour.
Difficulty level: Medium.
In this excursion we will have the opportunity to visit a small religious house that houses an image of the Virgin of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and which is located on the hill known as "Sa Rovellada", at the foot of the village of Ferreries. At the same time, as this is a moderately short excursion, if we do it on a Saturday, we can also take advantage of it to visit the small craft market in the village square, open from 9 am to 1 pm.
We will initiate this route leaving Ciutadella by the main road (Me-1) towards the next town which is Ferreries, which is approximately 15 km away. Once we are in this town, we will continue by the main road that crosses it and immediately we will find a first roundabout that we will take straight ahead, as if we were going to Maó. After 2 min. a second roundabout will appear on our way, and there we will turn right, following the sign that indicates "Es Migjorn Gran". Go straight ahead along a wide avenue until you see a first entrance on your left, without any signs, where you can park your car. You will have parked at the foot of the hill of "Sa Rovellada" and, accessing the stairs, you will immediately find a small dirt track that will be the starting point of the walk, and which will lead you to "S'Ermita de Ferreries".
On this little walk you will start the excursion to the top of the hill of Sa Rovellada
The whole way up is a climb, up the hill, so it is advisable not to do it too quickly, but quietly and enjoying the pleasant climb, surrounded by vegetation and contemplating the magnificent views of Ferreries and the adjacent hills.
On the way to "S'Ermita de Ferreries
After about 20 minutes of ascending route, we will reach the top of the hill and the chapel, a small construction with a religious image inside, very well cared for and with floral offerings deposited by the devotees of the nearby town of Ferreries.
"S'Ermita de Ferreries", with the image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary inside
The views from the top of the hill are truly magnificent. On the way back, we will go down the same way we went up before and arrive again at the point where the car was parked.
Splendid views of Ferreries and the nearby mountains, from "S'Ermita de Ferreries
To return to the hotel, access the main road (Me-1) and head back towards Ciutadella.
Santa Águeda Castle
Approximate duration: 2 hours.
Difficulty level: Medium.
This is an itinerary that will take us to the Santa Agueda mountain, the second highest point in Minorca, through a pleasant climb, passing first through an old Roman road and then through a beautiful path full of vegetation and typical landscapes of the island. At the top are the ruins of the Santa Águeda castle, an ancient fortification dating from the time of the Arab domination in Minorca, from which we will have impressive views of the north coast and the interior of the island.
We will start the route from Ciutadella on the main road (Me-1) towards Maó; when we are approximately at Km 13 (before reaching Ferreries) we will see a sign on our left indicating "Ets Alocs", and it will be here where we will enter, but we must be especially careful to do so in the area especially indicated for this purpose, we will not turn directly, but rather access it from the turning island that is in front of us.
Once on the Ets Alocs path, continue for about 10 minutes until you see the entrance gates to the Santa Cecilia estate on your right. Park your vehicle here and, on the path in front of you, start the climb on foot.
Entrance to the farm "Sta. Cecilia". Right here, the ascent to the mountain of Sta. Águeda begins
We will soon find a metal barrier which we will open and pass through, but always taking care to leave it well closed afterwards. We will start to climb and during the journey we will pass through beautiful wooded areas and also through some clearings. At the beginning you will see the remains of an ancient Roman road, a civilisation whose coins and other objects have been found in the excavations carried out in the ruins of the castle.
Remains of an ancient Roman road, on the ascent to Mount Santa Águeda
As it is all the way up it will be convenient to go at a quiet pace. After about 1 hour, we will reach the top and we will be able to contemplate the ruins of the castle as well as splendid views of the island and Monte Toro, the highest point in Minorca.
Ruins of the castle of Santa Águeda, with "Monte Toro" in the background
On the way back, we'll go down the same path we went up before until we reach the foot of the mountain, where we park the car. We will go back along the Ets Alocs road and enter the main road again towards Ciutadella.
S’Alqueria Blanca Holm oak
Approximate duration: 2 hours.
Difficulty level: Low.
This excursion will give us the satisfaction of being able to contemplate one of the most impressive trees on the island, a grandiose oak that is estimated to be between 600 and 700 years old and was catalogued as a "Singular Tree" by the Balearic Government in 1992. This magnificent example of holm oak is located within the estate known as "S'Alqueria Blanca", one of the places in Minorca that best preserves the traditions and rural style of Minorca.
We will start the route leaving Ciutadella on the main road (Me-1) towards Maó; when we reach Km. 13 of this road and just before arriving to the village of Ferreries, we will see a sign on our left indicating "Ets Alocs", and this is where we will enter, but bearing in mind that we must do so in the area specially prepared for this purpose, that is to say, we will not turn directly, but rather access it from the turning island that is located just in front.
Continue along the Ets Alocs path and after approximately 8 minutes, after passing a small bridge, you will find an entrance on the left with a green sign that says "S'Alquerieta - Associated with Coinga"; enter here and park the car to start the excursion on foot. We will start walking along a beautiful rural path until we reach the ruins of a house with a red façade that says "1956" and almost immediately afterwards we will find a white property that has a path on the right, we will take it and at once we will see another entrance on the left (just where the cattle tracks of the property are), we will access it and we will go up a small hill that just before it ends has, on our right, a metallic barrier that belongs to the entrance of the path that will take us to the oak tree.
Barrier at the entrance to the path that leads to the majestic oak of S'Alqueria Blanca
We will go down this short path, full of vegetation and soon we will have in front of us the monumental tree. It is impressive to look at, with a very thick trunk and about 40 metres long from branch to branch.
The holm oak of S'Alqueria Blanca, declared a "Singular Tree" by the Balearic Government
Right next to the majestic tree, there is an area fitted out with stone chairs and tables where we can rest and have lunch under the shade provided by its enormous branches.
Small stone place where we can rest in the shade of the oak
To return, we will go back by the same route we came by until we reach the place where we parked the car again. We will take the Ets Alocs road on the right, and link up with the main road where we will begin our return to Ciutadella.
It is also very interesting before reaching Els Alocs.
In order to do all these hiking routes, it is recommended that you wear good footwear and stock up on water, 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 you do not have to worry about lunch, as most of these routes are located in places without any kind of catering facilities.
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!