9 best things to do in Menorca in winter (2023 guide)

MENORCA, SPAIN. 3 SEPTEMBER 2020. Panoramic view of Cala Macarelleta with people on their boats enjoying a day of vacation.

Are you interested in visiting Menorca in winter? Find out why, what to do and what it’s like in this comprehensive blog post written by Liza, a Spain expert!

The Balearic Islands are incredibly popular as a summer destination – but have you ever considered coming in winter?

Out of the summer season, the Spanish island of Menorca is an oasis of tranquillity and natural beauty, making it a super relaxing getaway.

In this post, I’ll share all you need to know about visiting Menorca in the winter months based on my personal experience of spending a few weeks there in February.

Why visit Menorca in winter?

Cap de Favaritx sunset lighthouse cape in Mahon at Balearic Islands of Spain

Menorca often hides in the shadows of its more popular sister island, Mallorca, but it has a ton to offer visitors.

Unlike Mallorca with its glam and glitzy reputation, Menorca is a more laid-back and authentic Spanish island.

It’s more quiet and peaceful and attracts visitors looking for a more low-key holiday.

In the winter season, Menorca draws much fewer tourists, due to the cooler (but never too cold!) temperatures. 

Low-season Menorca means at times, it might even feel like you have a cove or beach all to yourself!

It’s the best time to bask in the island’s natural beauty, take long scenic walks, and simply unwind from the stresses of life… without crowds of people!

Weather in Menorca in winter

Menorca’s Mediterranean climate means that it experiences fairly mild winters.

From December to February, the average daily temperature in Menorca is around 11°C to 15°C (52°F to 59°F)… which is positively warm if you’re coming from further north in Europe!

You can expect some rain (so pack those waterproof jackets) but with 8 to 10 hours of daylight, you’ll have plenty of time for exploring.

While it’s not scorching, it’s definitely possible as a winter sun destination! 

The sea might be just about bearable in December, but in January and February, it’s too cold for swimming (unless you’re into cold therapy).

January is the coldest and wettest month but overall, as Menorca averages 300 days of sunshine per year, you’ll still get blue skies and lots of sunshine here even in winter.

Things to do in Menorca in winter

So, what are the best things to do in Menorca in winter? It’s the best time to enjoy the island’s natural wonders and historic towns!

Discover the island’s old capital, Ciutadella

One of your first stops on the island in winter should be to visit the historic Ciutadella de Menorca.

For centuries, this was the capital of Menorca and a quick wander around will reveal historic treasures.

The main square, Placa d’es Born, is the heart of the town, with a towering obelisk and the town hall building. There’s the 19th century Palacio Salort and the impressive Cathedral with a baroque-style exterior and the Bishop’s Palace courtyard next to it.

Or just wander around and take in the old buildings and warm atmosphere.

And of course, don’t leave Ciutadella without strolling along its port.

The low season is the perfect time to visit if you want some peace and solitude, with the hustle and bustle of tourists and crowded restaurants gone.

Explore the town of Mahón

Beautiful town of Mahon, Menorca, with light cloud in the sky

Don’t miss Mahón on your visit to Menorca.

This is a charming port town that bears traces of British influence (it was under British dominion in the 18th century).

Today, Mahón is one of the largest towns on the island but it still retains its historic centre with old buildings, cobblestone streets, and cute little alleyways.

Don’t miss the view of the harbour, Teatre Principal de Mao (the oldest theatre in Spain), the Church of Santa Maria, and Mercat del Claustre (a local food market housed in former cloisters).

Wander around the quaint seaside town of Binibeca

Binibeca in Menorca

On the south side of the island, you’ll find the beautiful whitewashed village of Binibeca.

A lively place in the summer months, Binibeca turns into a peaceful haven in the winter.

Explore Binibeca Vell, the old town, with its unique little houses and tiny, winding alleys.

Then venture out and explore the small walking trails along the cliffs and seaside.

Be sure to pop by the beach at Binibeca! While it may be too cold to swim, the sight of the sunlight gleaming off the turquoise waters is too beautiful to miss.

Walk a section of the Cami de Cavalls

Over 180km long, the Cami de Cavalls is a coastal walking and biking trail that circles around the entire island of Menorca.

Many people visit Menorca just to do the Cami and the winter, with lower daily temperatures, is a great time to do it.

If this sounds a bit too intense for you, don’t worry.

You don’t have to do the entire Cami de Cavalls!

For us casual walkers, the good news is that there are some easy portions of the trail that can be done in an hour or two; ideal for an active winter break without too much exertion. 

I recommend the southwest portion of Cami de Cavalls, anywhere from Binissafuller to Punta Prima – this route is directly by the sea and offers stunning landscape views. 

Walking leisurely from Binissafuller to Punta Prima (one-way) takes about two hours.

Go beach and cove-hopping

Cala en Porter beach in Menorca

Menorca’s beaches and coves are some of the best parts of the island.

In the winter, instead of hoards of tourists seeking the sun, you’ll probably be lucky enough to get a beach all to yourself!

You can find beaches and coves all around the island but I’m partial to the ones on the south coast.

With a car, you can easily cove-hop as the distances between them are pretty short.

Some places to check out are Son Bou, Cala en Porter, Cala Binidali, and Playa Binissafuller.

Marvel at the Mola Fortress

Mola Fortress in Menorca

Built to protect the port of Mahón, said to be the best harbour in the Mediterranean, Mola Fortress is a Spanish masterpiece built in the 19th century at the behest of Isabel II.

Today, the fortress is still well-preserved and its design and scope are impressive. On top of that, you’ll get sweeping views of the sea and cliffs.

The fort complex is large and it has limited opening hours in the winter (10:00 to 14:00 daily, closed on Mondays) so I would advise coming early so that you can see as much of it as possible.

Don’t forget to get a map of the fort at the information counter when you arrive!

Dive into the ancient past at Naveta des Tudons

Scattered around Menorca you’ll find remains of ancient buildings and monuments, some dating to pre-historic times.

One that I would recommend visiting is Naveta des Tudons.

As it’s located on the route to Ciutadella, it’s ideal as a stop on your visit to the old town.

Free to enter in the winter, this structure is a well-preserved funerary site dating back to Neolithic times and a mark of Talaiotic culture.

This serene ancient site is a great way to peek into Menorca’s long history.

Get a bird’s eye view of the island at Monte Toro

Venture to the tallest point in Menorca to take in spectacular views of the island.

The island is fairly flat and at a mere 358m above sea level, Monte Toro is the highest hill here.

Though small in size, it’s worth visiting Monte Toro on a clear day for gorgeous views of the island (if you’re lucky, you might even spot Mallorca!).

Aside from the views, there’s a church and a small monastery on top of the hill as well as a large statue of Christ.

Be warned that the road up is steep and twisty (but short) so drive carefully.

Get closer to nature at Parc Natural de s’Albufera des Grau

Menorca is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserveand one of the best places to take in nature’s wonders is at the S’Albufera des Grau National Park.

There are three main trails and you’ll easily find signs at the park entrance that outline the available routes.

They’re all easy walking trails so you can do it no matter your fitness level.

The park is a great spot for bird-watching so you might want to bring binoculars if you have them.

Or simply keep your eyes peeled and you’re sure to spot at least a few species of birds.

It’s worth it to walk around the park for a few hours and immerse yourself in nature.

Afterwards, head to the village of Es Grau where you can find refreshments and rest your tired feet.

Visit Fornells and Cap de Cavalleria

Cap de Cavalleria in Menorca

On the north side of the island lies the small fishing village of Fornells.

Stroll around the seaside promenade, try one of local restaurants (I highly recommend Can Tanu, a small family-run restaurant), and make the short walk up to the torre to admire the views of the landscape.

Then hop in your car and take a 20-minute drive to Cap de Cavalleria.

Here, you’ll find the island’s oldest lighthouse but the real gem is the spectacular view you’ll get of the surroundings.

Time your visit here with the sunset and you won’t be disappointed!

Where to stay in Menorca in winter

High dynamic range (HDR) View of Punta Prima in the island of Minorca, Spain

During my trip to Menorca, I stayed in the cute little seaside town called Binibeca which is about a 20-minute drive from Mahon.

I loved the proximity to nature; just 5 minutes of walking to get to a beach and loads of walking trails around the town.

If you have a car and prefer to be close to nature, there are various hotels and vacation rentals available in the seaside towns, particularly in the south of Menorca such as in S’Algar, Alcaufar and Cala en Porter.

For a historic atmosphere and more accommodation and restaurant options, you can choose to stay in Mahón and Ciutadella which are the biggest towns in Menorca.

Last tips for visiting Menorca in winter!

Already excited about planning a visit to Menorca in winter? Here are two tips to keep in mind.

When visiting Menorca in winter, the best way to get around is to rent a car.

The island’s bus services area limited in winter which makes it tricky to get around if you’re staying outside of the two major towns, Mahón and Ciutatdella.

Having your own car will give you the flexibility to wander at your will and discover different parts of the island.

Another thing to note is that many restaurants in Menorca will be closed in the winter (even if they appear open on Google Maps!).

In the smaller towns, you can typically find about 2 or 3 restaurants open during lunchtime whereas you’ll have more choices in places like Mahón and Ciutadella.

Spain has so many beautiful places to visit and I hope this article has inspired you to plan a trip to Menorca in winter. Happy travels!

FAQs about visiting Menorca in winter

Does Menorca close down in winter?

While some businesses may close or reduce their hours during the off-season, Menorca does not entirely shut down in the winter. You can still enjoy the island’s natural beauty and explore its historical sites. It’s a quieter time of year, so you can experience the island’s charm without the crowds.

Is Menorca warm in the winter

Compared to other parts of Europe, Menorca remains relatively mild in the winter months. Average temperatures in December and January hover around 15°C (59°F). While you may need a light jacket or sweater, you can still enjoy outdoor activities and strolls on the beach.

What is Menorca like in December

December is one of the quieter months in Menorca, making it a perfect time to visit for those seeking a peaceful getaway. The island’s natural beauty is still on full display, and the holiday season adds a festive atmosphere. It’s an ideal time for hiking, exploring historical sites, or enjoying a cup of hot cocoa by the sea.

What is the coldest month in Menorca

The coldest months in Menorca are December and January, with average temperatures ranging from 12°C (54°F) to 16°C (61°F). However, it’s worth noting that temperatures can occasionally drop below 10°C (50°F) at night, so it’s best to pack accordingly.

Does Menorca get snow?

While Menorca’s winter climate can be chilly, snow is incredibly rare on the island – there was a freakish snowstorm in 2019, and on average there’s a little snow every two to three years. Visitors can expect mostly sunny and dry weather, with the occasional rain shower.

Is Menorca hot in January?

Menorca isn’t hot in January, but it’s still relatively mild compared to other destinations in Europe. Average temperatures hover around 15°C (59°F), making it a great place to escape the harsh winter weather of northern Europe. It’s still possible to enjoy outdoor activities, although you may need a light jacket or sweater.

About the author: Liza got the travel bug at age 2 when her parents took her on her first trip to London. Since then, she hasn’t stopped travelling. Today, she runs the travel blog Always in Spain where she dishes out Spain travel tips and shares experiences about her favourite country.

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