What to do with children in Menorca
Menorca, despite its small dimensions, offers a large amount of very entertaining activities to do with children. Plans that allow family fun and, at the same time, learn about the history, culture and landscape of the island.
From the Royal Son Bou Family Club we propose several ideas for you to enjoy Menorca with children and come back home full of good memories.
1. Sail through the Port of Mahón by catamaran
Mahón is the largest natural harbor in the Mediterranean, with a length of almost 6km, and getting to know it from the water on board of a catamaran is a unique experience.
During the trip you can see the four islands that are within the port, several historical buildings and a panoramic view of the city of Mahón. An essential excursion to learn more about the history of Menorca and the port.
Fortifications and defense towers, pirate stories, the fisherman's cove of Es Castell, the colonial houses of Admiral Collingwood and Lord Nelson ... there are so many things to see, that children will enjoy a lot with this excursion! In addition, the catamaran has underwater rooms that allow you to observe the fishes and the seabed.
2. Museum of Menorca
The Museum of Menorca is built around a beautiful cloister, occupying the building of an old convent and located next to the Church of San Francisco. Inside, young and old will be surprised by touring the history of Menorca and getting to know all the civilizations that populated the island. A very illustrative review that will lead you to discover the first inhabitants, the Roman domination, the Muslim period or the English domination.
There is an area dedicated exclusively to children, where children can try on different clothes, decipher hidden messages or play corsair cards. Between games and fun, children will live a great adventure!
The Museum offers also guided family tours, the best option to know in detail all the history of Menorca.
The Museum of Menorca is open from Tuesday to Sunday.
3. Archaeological sites, open-air museums
In Menorca there are more than 1,500 archaeological sites spread over 700km2. Talayots, taulas, navies, caves, villages, necropolis ... the heritage left by the first settlers makes the island an authentic open-air museum.
You cannot leave Menorca without visiting any of these monuments. The largest town, Torre d’en Galmés, is very close to the hotel, on the road from Alaior to Son Bou. It is located on a hill and is formed by a large number of buildings: three talayots, a taula enclosure, a hypostyle hall, a water collection system, several circular houses and four hypogea. It is one of the most important towns of the Balearic Islands and its visit is highly recommended. Moreover, the interpretation center has a virtual reality application in which one of the houses of the Talayotic period of about 2,300 years ago is rebuilt. It is an interactive experience where through virtual reality glasses you can enter the reconstructed house, discover the different corners and observe how the inhabitants of the time lived.
Another town that is worth visiting is that of Talatí de Dalt, 4 km from Mahón. It is formed by a village, caves and hypogea and is preserved in very good condition.
Two talayots can be distinguished, but what stands out most is the taula that remains in perfect condition and, due to its large dimensions, it will impress the little ones.
One of the most visited monuments on the island is the Naveta des Tudons. It is a funerary construction, used between 1200 and 750 BC, and it is considered the oldest fully preserved building in Europe. It is located 5km from Ciutadella, on the Maó-Ciutadella road.
There are many stories and legends related to some of the archaeological sites that will arouse curiosity and blow up the imagination of the kids.
4. Get to know the animals of Lloc de Menorca
The best plan for animal lovers? Visit the zoological center "Lloc de Menorca". It is a very special place, where children can meet a variety of animals of native breeds and exotic species from around the world. The animals that live here have been collected in European rescue centers.
The facilities are created with animal welfare in mind and the center allows visitors to interact with them, but without interrupting their rhythm of life. Children can see how animals play, eat or rest without disturbing them. Lemurs, macaques, birds of prey, reptiles, fallabella horses ... which animals will your children like best? It will be an unforgettable visit!
5. Horseback riding
Can you imagine riding a horse enjoying the nature of Menorca with your children? A horse route, along the Camí de Cavalls, is one of the most authentic ways of getting to know the essence of the island.
If you and your children do not have experience riding, do not worry, there are excursions specially designed for beginner riders and families with children. In addition, horses are very quiet animals and are trained, so you can enjoy the ride safely.
You can hire the excursion with Son Bou Rutes a Cavall, which is very close to the hotel and organizes horse riding every day. From here you can take a horse ride to the virgin beach of Atalis, bordering the wet lands which are between the urbanization and the beach and watching the rocks of the Bec and Son Boter ravines.
6. The circular houses of Torre den Galmés
Very close to Son Bou is the most extensive and important prehistoric town of Menorca. It has 3 talayots, monuments of large stones that served to detect and communicate with other villages, a taula enclosure and several caves.
But the most curious thing about the town of Torre den Galmés are the circular houses. His remains can only be seen in Menorca. Built with stones they have several delimited spaces: the kitchen, the bedroom, the food store, a workshop to work the ceramics or to make manufacture fabrics and they even have a small place for the domestic animals that lived with them. The children will be able to visit them all.
An outdoor patio and a curious system for collecting rainwater are other features that have been discovered in the 27 houses that have been found, although they believe there will be more. If you go in summer you will see many students and archaeologists from different countries who take advantage of the holidays to continue the excavations of this interesting place.
The taula of the town fell and is not preserved but in that enclosure a small bronze Egyptian figure was found representing the demigod Imhotep. If you've been to the Menorca Museum, you've surely seen it. Imhotep was the architect of the step pyramid of Saqqara, in Egypt.
The route is well marked with explanatory signs of each area. And, before entering the town, there is an information center open every day except Monday. This day the entrance is free and the rest costs € 3, € 1.80 for children.
7. All the crafts of Menorca in the Artisan Center
Do you know how the stone walls that you see bordering the roads of Menorca are made? The stones are placed without anything that unites them, they just fit together into one another, with great care, creating this unique landscape of the Menorcan countryside.
In the town of Es Mercadal is the Artisan Center of Menorca. An excellent sample of 16 of the usual ancient trades of the island. The riverbank carpenters who make the wooden boats, the beekeepers who collect the honey from the bees, the cheese makers who prepare that cheese that children like so much, ...
This center has been renovated very recently and now has interactive elements that make the visit very fun because children can perform different educational activities. How do the trades sound? Do you know how to distinguish their sounds? Do you know what materials each of these artisans uses? You can discover this, and much more, and spend a very entertaining day with the family.
Surely the children are interested in knowing how to make the typical sweets of Menorca. Those candies so tasteful! Or to work as "traines" assembling the puzzles of each trade. And, of course, they will want to climb into a saddle and photograph themselves with the illustration of a horse behind. It will only be one of the great memories that will be taken from this center.
Jewelers, shoemakers, dressmakers, blacksmiths, ... even children after seeing this sample are determined to devote themselves to one of these artisan crafts.
The Artisan Center of Menorca opens from Monday to Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and admission is free.
8. Barranco de Algendar
The Camino Real, an ancient road from medieval times that people who went from Mahón to Ciutadella traveling in cars or horses, passes through the Barranco de Algendar. It is one of the most beautiful rural landscapes of Menorca.
The path is full of legends that you can read on the posters that you will find: the one at the Cruz de Son Gornés, the one at the Pozo de la Perdiz Blanca, ... Each of these signs suggests activities you can do on the route such as distinguish the most common aromatic herbs that you find and recognize them by their smell. Children will enjoy striving to guess them all.
There are times when it seems that the trees are tilting forming a passage to give you shade and the white rocks and the stone wall delimit the path until you reach the last section, the Cuesta de na Salema.
It is essential to stop along the way to rest in the Royal Cave, formerly used by farmers and hunters to protect themselves. It was a house in prehistory and, although it is not very large, it is the ideal place to sit and enjoy its cool temperature.
In this part of the Barranco de Algendar, in Ferreries, children will have fun when they see some of the animals that live there. The calm turtles eating on the banks of the road, the raptors that fly in such an elegant way that they seem to float in the air, and, of course, the cows that graze in the green fields that surround the entire path.
9. Cova d’es Coloms
An excursion that will surely impress you is the Cova d’es Coloms, in Es Migjorn Gran. It is the largest natural cave in Menorca, measures 24 meters high, 100 meters long and 15 meters wide, and is known as La Catedral. Because of the archaeological remains found, it seems that in the Talayotic era it had some religious or ritual function.
To get to Cova d’es Coloms it is recommended that you go to Santo Tomás and from there you cross Binigaus beach. When you reach the end of the beach, you will find some stone drinkers where the road is divided, on the one hand, it leads to Cala Escorxada and on the other, to the right, it will lead you into the Binigaus ravine. Next, you will follow a narrow path that runs between forests and rocks within the ravine. The indications to reach the cave are not very clear and, in many cases, they are painted on the rocks. You can make a fun game with the children to see who discovers the arrows that will take you to your destination.
Before arriving at Cova d’es Coloms, there is the Cova de Na Polida, it is a cave that is difficult to access and cannot be reached at the end, since it has been closed to protect a family of mouse bats that live there. After this cave, on the right, you will find the path you must follow, and in a few minutes, you will reach the spectacular Cova d’es Coloms.
The funny thing is that Cova d’es Coloms means Cueva de las Palomas, because there is a natural drinking fountain where the ringdoves are going to drink and cool off.
This excursion is more recommended for children from 5/6 years. The route does not have much difficulty, but there are narrow and steep areas.
And what do you think if you finish the excursion with a good dip in Binigaus beach?
10. Castell de Santa Àgueda
Climbing the Castell de Santa Àgueda is an excursion suitable for the whole family. The castle is located on top of a 264 meter hill and access is only for pedestrians.
About 3 km from Ferreries in the direction of Ciutadella, there is the Camí dels Alocs, you must continue about 4km, where the road entrance is. To climb you have to walk about 1.5 km, and you reach the top in just over half an hour.
The castle is the most important heritage of the Islamic era. It was built by the Arabs on a fortification of the Roman era, and in 1287 it became the last point of resistance of the Arabs, when the island was invaded by Alfonso III.
Currently only the remains of the fortification remain, but it is worth climbing to enjoy the fantastic views of the western part of Menorca.
11. Natural Park of the Albufera de Es Grau
There are more than 5000 hectares of countryside, beaches and coves, lagoons, the island of Colom, the lighthouse of Favàritx, ... a large space to discover the most natural Menorca and privileged landscapes. It is the Natural Park of the Albufera de Es Grau, the nucleus of the Biosphere Reserve.
The Rodríguez Femenias reception center, on the road from Mahón to Es Grau, has a small exhibition on the different ecosystems of the park. There they offer you all the explanations about the 3 itineraries that you can choose, all easily accessible so you can prepare a fun family outing.
The first itinerary, Sa Gola, takes you to the beach of Es Grau along a path surrounded by large trees. The viewpoint, with an impressive view of the lagoon and the animals that live there, is one of its attractions. It is interesting how salt water entrance to this freshwater lagoon is regulated. You will see it from the bridge at the beginning of your tour.
The second itinerary, Santa Madrona, has several wooden screens in its path so that children can observe water birds without disturbing. A little silence and we will enjoy your games in the lagoon.
The third itinerary, the Mirador de Cala Llimpa, is one of the easiest to travel and ends at Punta de na Verda from the bottom you can see the white houses of Es Grau. The Observatory den Biel, a wooden house with drawings of all the birds that inhabit the area allows you to see them naturally, in their own habitat, and recognize them by the images. Cormorants, ducks of all colors, galapagos, ... the children will be so entertained that they will want to stay there for a long time.
12. Salinas de Mongofre
Salinas de Addaia and Mongofre within the boundaries of the Albufera d’Es Grau Natural Park. Two salt flats of the nineteenth century separated by a narrow strip of land, which have been in disuse since 1990. It is a bird nesting area, making it an ideal place to observe them.
To start the excursion, you have to reach the urbanization of Addaia and, from there, follow the signs of Camí de Cavalls. It is an easy and flat route of about 3 km, there is only one descent that will be uphill on the way back.
On this excursion you can see seagulls, storks, ducks and other birds. It is important not to shout or make a lot of noise so as not to scare these animals. How many different species are you able to see? A fun idea is to bring a notebook for children to draw the birds and other animals that they discover during the excursion, it will be a nice memory to take back home.
13. Canteras de s’Hostal
This impressive place, which ceased to function as a quarry about 20 years ago, has become a space where you can learn how the typical Marés stone of Menorca was worked. Its cuts in the high walls, the botanical gardens, those corners in the shade of the trees, the labyrinth in which children will be lost in fun trying to find their way out ...
A marked route will walk you along the paths that have already been rehabilitated. You will see the Totem, a tall stone sculpture formed by the cuts that the stonecutters made and you will hear the sound of the water of the medieval garden.
The botanical gardens have the names of all the plants that have been incorporated giving color to a simple landscape of white and ocher stones that seem scratched by work
In addition to visiting these facilities you can approach the Wildlife Recovery Center located in the same enclosure. It is like a hospital for animals. Children will love to see how they take care of them and the explanations of the guides who take care of them until they are recovered and can return to their natural habitat.
Various cultural activities are organized between the high walls every year in summer: theater, music, ... says that the acoustics are incredible and, in addition, when the sun goes down, the shadows make fun shapes on the walls.
14. Excursion to the beach
And what if you combine hiking and beach? The trip to one of the most beautiful coves of Menorca can be a real excursion and, after a walk, it will be very pleasant to bathe in the sea and enjoy a day at the beach.
- Getting to Cala Pregonda from Binimel·là beach is an easy and simple route, about 30 minutes, but there is no shade. Cala Pregonda is located in the north of the island and for its golden sand, its transparent waters and the rocks that protrude from the sea is one of the most spectacular coves in Menorca.
- From Cala Galdana you can go to Cala Mitjana on one side or Cala Macarella on the other. Without a doubt, they are two of the most beautiful beaches of the island, surrounded by vegetation, with crystal clear waters and fine white sand, they are a true paradise. They are also the most famous, so they are very popular during the months of July and August.
- In the northern part of Ciutadella is Cala Pilar, a beach of golden sand and transparent waters, surrounded by clay soil. To get there you will have to follow a path that goes into the forest.
It is essential to keep in mind that virgin beaches do not have any service, so do not forget to bring everything you need.
To carry out any of these excursions it is very important to always bring plenty of water and some food, as well as sun protection. And of course, both children and adults, you will need suitable walking shoes and comfortable clothes.
Get up early, get strength with a good breakfast in one of our restaurants and go exploring Menorca. Are you ready to live authentic family adventures?
15. Visit the lighthouses
Around the coast of Menorca there are 7 lighthouses. None of them are the same and the spectacular location of each one makes visiting them all very much worthwhile. The little ones will like to discover the landscape, run and play outdoors and will be amazed to see how high the lighthouses are. To go with them, we recommend those of Favàritx and Cavalleria.
The Favàritx lighthouse will not leave you indifferent, located on steep cliffs of black and gray slate rocks, the surrounding environment has nothing to do with the rest of the island. A lunar landscape that will awaken the imagination of the little ones.
Nearby is the beach of Cala Presili, with fine white sand, from which you can see the lighthouse in the distance. You can reach the beach through the Camí de Cavalls. Although it is a virgin beach, so you have to keep in mind that it has no services. Access to the Favàritx Lighthouse is only allowed by bus from Mahón.
The lighthouse of Cavalleria is the favorite place of many people to watch the sunset. It is located at the northernmost point of the island, next to a golden sand beach and red cliffs with the same name. Very close to the lighthouse is the small natural port of Sanitja and the archaeological site of the Roman city of Sanissera, two visits that you can also do with your children.
16. Visit the craft markets
In summer, all the towns of the island dedicate one night a week to the artisan market. It is a perfect opportunity to know the different locations and be carried away by its charm, touring the streets and squares of the center. The stalls are full of all kinds of handmade products made on the island (jewellery, footwear, clothing, decoration, etc.) and typical Menorca food (sausages, cheeses, pastries, honey, jams, etc). Surely you will find a good souvenir to take as a reminder of your vacation. In addition, there are different shows and performances that the whole family will enjoy.
The craft market closest to Son Bou is that of Alaior, which you can visit every Wednesday from 7pm to 11pm.
About 20 minutes from the hotel is Es Migjorn Gran. Its craft market is held every Tuesday and is aimed exclusively at the family audience, with shows, circus, theatre and children's workshops that will delight the little ones.
17. To visit Ciutadella and Mahón
Mahón and Ciutadella are the largest cities in Menorca.
Mahón is the capital of the island and has the largest natural harbor in the Mediterranean. A family walk through the port is a must if you visit the city. Children will love to look for the Little Mermaid statue. And then you can approach some viewpoint to contemplate the port.
The streets and pedestrian squares of the city center are also well worth visiting. In the City Hall building you can see a clock acquired by the English governor Richard Kane in the 18th century. In the same square, there is the Church of Santa María that has an organ from the year 1809. It is also worth visiting the Claustre del Carme, where there is a craft market.
Ciutadella breathes peace. The alleyways of the old town, with its palatial buildings and the cathedral, invite you to get carried away by fantasy and stroll through the stories of its past. At the entrance, you will see a careful windmill now converted into a restaurant, and from there you can walk through the pedestrian streets, stop at the different shops, walk under the arcades with arches of Ses Voltes street and reach the Plaza del Borne, where is the town hall and a large obelisk, built in honour of the inhabitants who fought against the Turkish attack of 1558. And the beautiful port, with its boats moored, is a must see.
18. Climb Monte Toro and discover the S’Arangí forest
Almost in the center of the island is the highest mountain in Menorca: Monte Toro. It measures 358 meters, but Menorca is very flat and from there you can see the whole island. And on clear days you can see Mallorca, the neighbouring island. It is an essential visit if you want to enjoy wonderful panoramic views. At the top of the mountain is the sanctuary of the Virgin of Monte Toro, built in the 17th century.
At the foot of Monte Toro is Es Mercadal, a town whose streets preserve the Menorcan essence. And a few kilometers away is the public estate of the S’Arangí forest, an environment that invites children to become explorers, to walk paths, climb rocks and meet different species of trees and plants. There are three circular itineraries of different difficulty and duration:
- The blue, 446 meters, can be reached in about 20 minutes. It is simple, because it is quite flat and reaches an area with tables and benches, where you can enjoy a family picnic.
- The green, 488 meters, is an excursion of about 30 minutes. It has a medium difficulty and some climbs between rocks.
- The red one, of 2,116 meters, will take you around 90 minutes to cover everything. It is for the more adventurous and reaches the top of Mount Puig Mal.
And then you can see the Peña de S’indi, a large rock that in its shape reminds of the head of an Indian chief.
19. Patronal feasts of Menorca
Almost every weekend of July and August, the festivities are celebrated in the different towns of the island. It is a celebration of medieval origin in which horses are the protagonists and stand on their two hind legs to the rhythm of the music. During the days of the festivities, tradition joins with joy and fun in very special events for the Menorcan.
If you have the opportunity, it is worth enjoying the holidays and to know them with the little ones, but at the same time, do not enter the square at the time of the “jaleo”, better look for a safe place to see it, especially if you take a baby carriage . It is also very important to wear comfortable clothes and appropriate shoes, such as sports shoes.
20. Play in children’s playgrounds
Swings, slides, castles, rockers ... what child could resist a playground?
If you visit any of the towns of the island, set aside some time to make a stop for the little ones to have fun in one of the playgrounds. In Mahón, those of Es Freginal, the Plaza de S’Esplanada and the Pont de Sant Roc stand out, and in Ciutadella, that of the Plaza dels Pins. If you go to Alaior, you will find one in the sports area; and in Fornells there is one next to the port. And, without a doubt, one of the most original is that of Cala en Porter, located on the beach, ideal to play for a while after a good swim in the sea.
21. Watch the sunset from the beach
You cannot leave Menorca without enjoying a magical sunset on the beach with your family. Bathing in the sea while the sun goes down will surprise young and old. Without doubt, the beach of Son Bou is our favorite to watch the sunset. It is the largest in Menorca and, being located in the south, offers wonderful sunsets.
And after telling the sun "see you tomorrow", there is nothing like a refreshing shower, to end the day with dinner at one of our restaurants and have a drink on the terrace of the Bar Marés enjoying the show.
What activities would you like to do with your children on your trip to Menorca? Surely you will live a unique vacation!