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Hiking around Menorca: on the Cami de Cavalls

Hiking around Menorca

It was a perfect day for walking in Menorca, one of those late May days when the sun is warm, the sea sparkling but the temperature in the comfortable early 20s. Although we’d had showers the day before, the skies had cleared with puffs of cloud and the sea seemed to be lit up an intense turquoise. Spring and autumn is the perfect time for walking on Menorca, when the weather is generally warm, before the heat of summer descends and everyone just heads for the beach.

Hiking around Menorca

Our walk for the day would take us along the Cami de Cavalls, an ancient walking path and bridle way that encircles the whole island of Menorca. The importance of this path was recognised by the island’s rulers in the Middle Ages so that horses could move around for defence and goods could be easily transported. The trail gets its name from the Catalan word Cavall which means horse – it’s literally a path for horses.

Cala Galdana, Menorca Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Cala Galdana, Menorca

Our walk for the day started at Cala Galdana, one of Menorca’s most popular resorts where we were staying at Hotel Artiem Audax, a lovely, stylish 4* hotel overlooking the marina. The resort on Menorca’s south coast is an excellent place to base yourself for a walking holiday, with immediate access to the coastal path as well as a number of bars and restaurants to enjoy in the evenings.

Walking from Cala Galdana, Menorca Heatheronhertravels.com

Walking from Cala Galdana, Menorca

We climbed up from the little marina onto the coastal path, almost immediately giving us the kind of views that you expect to see on postcards. Our path took us up onto the rocky cliffs, where wind-twisted pines framed the view of the the turquoise sea glittering below and the cliffs of the headland beyond.

Walking from Cala Galdana to Cala Macarella, Menorca Heatheonhertravels.com

Walking from Cala Galdana to Cala Macarella, Menorca

Before long the route veered off away from the sea on a broad, flat stony path with scrub and trees of pine, olive and oak dotted around us. On one side, the path was bordered by a dry stone wall. Scattered in the grass were miniature pink gladioli and wild orchids, which would have been in full bloom in March and April but were just starting to dry out as summer approached.

Wild orchids near Cala Macarella, Menorca Heatheronhertravels.com

Wild orchids near Cala Macarella, Menorca

The whole of the southern coast of the island is now owned by the Menorca government, to ensure that it is preserved from development. However, the land on either side of the path is owned by individual farmers who graze animals there to ensure that the trees and shrubs do not become too dense.

The cliffs above Cala Macarella, Menorca Heatheronhertravels.com

The cliffs above Cala Macarella, Menorca

As I walked, I breathed in the scent of pine needles crushed underfoot and noticed the splash of pink flowers on the cistus and the vibrant green clumps of pine seedlings, pushing up beside the rocks covered with yellow lichen.

The cliffs above Cala Macarella, Menorca Heatheronhertravels.com

The cliffs above Cala Macarella, Menorca

From the broad path, there were other paths that took us to viewpoints on the cliff where only the twisted olive wood fences protected us from a sheer drop down to the sea below. A white speedboat passed below us and I imagined myself to be the girl at the wheel, wind in my hair, speeding to one of the secluded coves along this coast.

On the cliffs, walking on southern Menorca Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

On the cliffs, walking on southern Menorca

We reached a boardwalk which took us down to Macarella beach, with broad wooden steps leading down through the pine trees. The beach is a very popular one, although due to all the ravines that run down to the coast, it can’t be easily reached by car, which is one of its charms for walkers. The normal bridle path continued alongside although it was so steep that I wouldn’t have fancied riding a horse down it.

Walking down to Cala Macarella, Menorca Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Walking down to Cala Macarella, Menorca

Although the Cami de Cavalls encircles the whole island, there are some sections that are better for walkers, others that are more flat and open for horse-riding. Many farms have stables near the trail and offer horse-riding which my friend Zoe tried while we were doing the walk – read her article about horse-riding on the Cami de Cavalls.

Walking down to Cala Macarella, Menorca Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Walking down to Cala Macarella, Menorca

Macarella beach is broad and sandy, with some shady pine trees offering shade at the back and sides of the beach. This would be a lovely place to spend an afternoon with the family and despite having no public road access, there was a large cafe at the back of the beach serving drinks and meals.

Cala Macarella, Menorca Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Cala Macarella, Menorca

While some of our group stopped to relax at the cafe, I decided to walk a little further round the headland to the smaller Macarelletta beach (the name means little Macarella). Set into the cliff face beside the steep path were some caves, probably used in the past as an ancient burial site by Menorca’s Talayotic culture.

Walking down to Cala Macarelleta, Menorca Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Walking down to Cala Macarelleta, Menorca

The walk around to Macarelleta was idyllic, the sea coloured intense turquoise with patches of deep blue. The path led down through the dunes and over the rocks with a few sunbathing spots on the rocky ledges. As I came down, I realised that this is a nudist beach although in May most people seemed to be keeping their swimsuits on, still I had to be a bit careful where to point my camera.

Walking down to Cala Macarelleta, Menorca Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Walking down to Cala Macarelleta, Menorca

At the back of the beach were sand dunes and a covering of pine trees, with a rattan fence to protect the dunes. Once again this idyllic spot is only accessible by walking, with the nearest car park being at Cala en Turqueta, which is the next beach if you continue along the coastal path.

Cala Macarelleta, Menorca Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Cala Macarelleta, Menorca

As for us, it was time to return by the same route, clambering up the path through the dunes and around the headland to Macarella, then along the broad path back to Cala Galdana. It’s an easy and popular walk, and all the nicer because the lack of car access means the beaches are natural and unspoiled. In the spring and summer I’d walk on to Cala en Turqueta and perhaps some of the pretty beaches and coves beyond, while in the heat of summer it would be perfect to stop at Cala Macarella under the shade of a pine and laze the afternoon away.

Hotel Artiem Audax at Cala Galdana, Menorca Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Hotel Artiem Audax at Cala Galdana, Menorca

Where to stay in Menorca

I stayed in Hotel Artiem Audax in Cala Galdana overlooking the marina, which was right opposite the start of the coastal walk I’ve described. The hotel is Adults Only with bright, modern decor and delicious food with breakfast and dinner served buffet style. The hotel is part of the Artiem Hotel group which has many excellent hotels around the island including the Hotel Artiem Capri in Mahon where I also enjoyed staying.

Hotel Artiem Audax, Urbanización Serpentona, 07750 Cala Galdana, Menorca

Compare prices and book hotels in Menorca on my Hotels Booking page powered by Hotels Combined.

Have you done any walking in Menorca? What was your favourite part of the Cami de Cavalls?

More articles about Menorca

How to spend a perfect day in Mahon, Menorca
Where and what to eat and drink in Menorca (Travel with Kat)
Traditionally Menorca (Mallory on Travel)

Visitor Information for Menorca

To plan your holiday in Menorca visit the Menorca Tourism website or follow them on social media: Twitter @TurismMenorca | Facebook | Instagram

For holidays in other parts of Spain you can find more information at www.Spain.info or follow them on social media: Twitter @Spain_inUK | Facebook | Instagram

If you need a guide to show you the sites of Mahon and Menorca, I can highly recommend Luis Amella of Menorca Guides

Thanks to Menorca Tourism for hosting my stay in Menorca, in a project in partnership with Spain Tourism, Menorca Tourism and Travelator Media

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This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read the original article here

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Gary Bembridge
    July 18, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    The beaches you described sound like it’s worth doing the walk for. They sound and look gorgeous
    Gary Bembridge´s last blog post ..CroisiEurope Loire River Cruise Live!

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      July 28, 2016 at 10:53 am

      @Gary – yes even in summer I think this would be a great choice for a walk with such a beach at the end

  • Reply
    Ruth
    July 22, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Love those beaches! What a great hike!

  • Reply
    Zoë Dawes
    July 26, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Lovely to see your Lovely photos from your walks on Menorca. I must do that stretch next time I’m on the island – it looks beautiful 🙂
    Zoë Dawes´s last blog post ..Top tips for ‘off-season’ in Menorca

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      July 28, 2016 at 10:51 am

      @Zoe It was a lovely walk, helped of course by the sun shining

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