You’ll fall in love with Menorca when you watch the sunset at Son Bou
Son Bou is Menorca’s longest beach at 2.5 km with fine white sand on a wide stretch of beach overlooking the Mediterranean sea and a marsh area at the back which is teeming with fauna and flora. At the end of the beach lies the unspoiled Atalis bay, with one of the most beautiful sunsets in Menorca. Fancy spending a day with sunshine, sea and history? And finishing off with a stunning natural show while sitting quietly at a beach bar and wiggling your toes in the sand?
You really should stop at the entrance to the beach as, before you get to the wooden walkway, you’ll see and hear the ducks and other water fowl as they dip in the little strip of fresh water trickling down from Prat de Son Bou wetland. In the winter and on stormy days, this stretch of water runs into the sea and splits the beach.
Son Bou, the longest beach in Menorca
El Prat is one of the most important wetland areas in Menorca after Albufera de Es Grau lagoon. This is where the streams run down from the ravines Son Boter and Es Bec. Soaring cliffs of white rock with and tumbling green vegetation form part of this lovely natural landscape. With about 80 hectares of land where rice was cultivated 80 years ago, and now comprises a natural and safe habitat for hundreds of birds.
The dunes which separate these wetlands from the beach keep them in good condition and no one should walk on them so that they are preserved. You probably know that it the dunes that help to stabilise the sand on the beaches and stop them being swept away.
There are all facilities available on Son Bou beach: showers, toilets, rental of sunbeds, sunshades, pedalos, canoes... there’s also a water park, lifeguards and some great beach bars where you can have a drink or a snack.
Defence tower at the unspoiled Atalis bay
If you turn right and walk along the shore you’ll see that it gradually gets less crowded as you reach the little bay of Atalis with its gorgeous clear water. This a very quiet beach as not many people go there, but walking along the shore and letting the water lap at your feet is simply perfect first thing in the morning.
Beside Atalis is Punta Rodona, a small penninsula where the remains of an old defence tower can be seen. All that is left is the lower section, as the rest was destroyed by an English frigate in 1808. From here you can join the Camí de Cavalls old bridle path and walk on to Sant Tomàs beach.
The 80 m cliffs of Cap de Ses Penyes separate the Eastern side of the beach, right at the other end from Atalis. Close to here you will find the remains of a paleo-Christian basilica, one of the oldest religious building in Menorca. It was built in 5th century by the first Christians to live on the island, but only the remains are left as when the Norses, who arrived 300 years later, set fire to it.
The mystery of the submerged city in the sea at Son Bou
There are some very interesting stories about this part of Son Bou. They say that there was a small city called Sa Canessia there, which was flooded by the sea but whose remains can still be seen on the sea bed.
Some marine archaeologists say that they have seen columns and streets made from huge rectangular rocks. And, from the air, they say that about 300 metres from the beach at a depth of 15 metres, these remains can be seen.
Even the famous ocean researcher, Commander Cousteau, moored his boat Calypso in Son Bou to view this submerged city which is evidenced, according to Menorcan archaeologists such as Josep Mascaró Pasarius, by writings from the 18th century that refer to it.
Nobody knows who lived there or how it sank. It’s one of Menorca’s own special mysteries.
A sunset to make you fall in love with Menorca
It is from the paleo-Christian basilica at Son Bou that you start to see how the sun drops to the horizon. The light intensifies the colours of both sky and sea. How about dinner at a beach bar while you watch the sunset?
The closest one to the basílica is Es Corb Marí, where everyone recommends the irresistible tuna ceviche, sobrassada croquettes and Mahón cheese, apart from some other delicious gastronomic dishes from Menorca.
The place is just perfect. Listen to the sound of the sea along with the gentle live music played at night while you delight in one of the most incredible natural sights: the sunset. It changes every day, and you’re lost for words while witnessing the harmony of colours until it grows dark. Is there any better way to finish a great day off?