3 places in Menorca to enjoy a bike ride with your partner
Menorca is quite a flat island with wonderful scenery. Although it is better known for its unspoiled beaches, you can also enjoy its woods with paths among the trees and the famous old bridle path Camí de Cavalls which goes right around the island. And an excellent way to spend a few days in the fresh air is to do it on bicycle. Shall we set you up with some simple and lovely routes?
1.- Favàritx Lighthouse and remote bays in the Natural Park
Let’s make a gentle start with several options to visit different places. Here at Bini Hotels, we suggest you collect your bike in Mahón and head to Favàritx.
It’s 14 kms to the lighthouse. First you take the Mahón-Fornells road, then you turn right for a lane leading into a sensational landscape. You’ll see black slate rock, and they say that this is the oldest land area in Menorca. There’s a huge seasonal pond called Cós del Síndic, which holds water from the rain and underwater rivers most of the year. And at the end is the island’s most modern lighthouse.
It’s 24 metres high but sits 47 metres above sea level on a spit of land that juts out to sea. This landscape is magical, and there’s a legend to be told too: if you walk barefoot out towards the lighthouse as the moon is rising, picking your way among the rocks filled with sea water, both the sea and moon will transmit their power and energy into your body. Whether it’s true or not, it’s bound to be a very romantic experience. Are you going to find out for yourself?
About 2 kms before reaching the lighthouse there’s a well-marked signpost that leads to two unspoiled beaches: Cala Presili and Cala Tortuga. You’re in the Albufera de Es Grau Natural Park.
The path towards these beaches isn’t bad, but you may need to wheel your bike in the last section as the beaches are lower down. Once you’re sunning yourself on the fine pale sand, you can enjoy amazing views with the lighthouse in the background.
2.- A prehistoric village, beach and huge natural cave
And how about starting off from Alaior today? We suggest that you head towards Cala en Porter on the bicycle path, going past the prehistoric village of Torralba d’en Salort, followed by a swim at Cala en Porter beach and finishing off the evening by watching the sun set from the Cova d’en Xoroi.
It’s only 10 kms on the Camí de Torralba. Halfway along, make the most of it and discover Talayotic Menorca: Torralba d'en Salort is a village that was inhabited about 3000 years ago, and it contains the best taula enclosure on the whole island.
Menorca is the only place where you can see “taulas”, a prehistoric monument made from two huge blocks of stone that are shaped into a ‘T’ in an enclosure that archaeologists believe to have the symbolic role of holding rituals.
The word “taula” means table in catalan and alludes to the belief that the island was inhabited by giants a long time ago, and that these were what they used as tables.
A talayot, watchtowers to protect the coastline, the remains of two circular houses and two artificial underground caves which were used for burial purposes.
After a journey into the past, what better than a refreshing dip at Cala en Porter beach, followed by a visit to the famous Cova d’en Xoroi.
This huge natural cave natural is alleged to have been used as a refuge by Xoroi, a man who reached the Menorcan shore by boat and hid there to avoid being captured. Here, he kept a young local girl in captivity and they had a family. When they were finally located, Xoroi threw himself off the top of the cliff into the sea.
It’s a sad story, but the cave is amazing. It’s open all day during the summer, and at night it’s a discotheque. The perfect time to visit is in the evening as it’s getting dark, so that you can watch the magnificent sunset from one of the terraces as you sip a drink and enjoy the changing colour and light as the sun drops down on the horizon.
3.- A limestone quarry hidden in a ravine
This is a short run but highly recommended. It’s no more than 4 kms of cycling between the trees in the ravine Barranc des Rellotge and on to visit to the Santa Ponça quarries. Experience true nature all the way. How about starting off from Alaior?
It’s from a bike that you can smell the scent of the rosemary growing on the edges of the path and feast your eyes on the brightly-coloured flowers. And, depending on the season, the trees may be laden with fresh fruit. This area is full of market gardens thanks to how its soil retains humidity.
Take the road to Son Bou and then turn right onto the path that takes you past the ravine to the quarry. You’ll love the scenery, with its soaring white limestone walls and long straight scars where the rock has been hewn out in great blocks for building. It’s special and really interesting. Don’t forget to take to take photos as a memento.
These quarries are not worked any more and were declared to be of Cultural Interest in 2000. The route is peaceful and so green and you may come across a few tortoises seeking shelter from the sun in the bushes that line the path.
As you can see, Menorca has so many special places that are worth seeing. And what better way than on a bike! Which excursion do you fancy?