Leaving Mallorca, we motored the first bit in pretty calm water and then even managed a bit of a sail as we neared Menorca, the most easterly of the Balearics. It’s a lot smaller than Mallorca being only 26 miles long and 11 miles wide.
The south coast of Menorca is one cala after another. We played pin the tail on the donkey and headed for the double cala of Cala Macarella and Cala Macarelleta. Unfortunately, being early afternoon on a Saturday, there were lots of other participants and no room to swing a cat (haha).
After that, we headed East and engaged in a bit of Cala hopping, going a half mile or so each time from Cala to Cala checking them all out. As we got to Cala Trebalujer, a couple of boats pulled anchor and left so we were able to slot nicely into their spot. And here we stayed for a couple of nights. It was simply stunning, surrounded by high limestone cliffs with what we imagined to be pirate caves from the days of Barbarossa, the famous Turkish pirate of the 15th century that frequented these parts.
As well as the usual swimming, sunbaking and paddleboarding, I also took the paddle board up a small freshwater river that flowed a mile upstream with heaps of fish and bird life. We also took the dingy exploring and checked out the caves and a few of the other calas.
Our next stop (read cala) was Cala Santa Galdana. We left about 10am so we could catch the gap in the traffic when everybody left their anchorage but had yet to drop anchor at their new one. That strategy seemed to work pretty well.
Whereas the previous cala was pure wilderness, this cala had a couple of whopping big hotels just back from the beach, together with shops and restaurants. Despite this, it was still a very pretty anchorage and we enjoyed our stay there. We ran into a Pom who had been coming to the same hotel here for the last 16 years for 2-3 weeks a year. He even left a small inflatable here to go fishing on.
After our days of Cala’ing we decided it was time to hit the big smoke and check out one of the two major towns on the island. So west we went towards Ciudadela, which used to be the old capital until the British moved it to Mahon, when they occupied the island for most of the 18th century.
In order to see Ciudadela, we needed a parking spot and we checked out a few, none of which were all that ideal, if you don’t want to pay up and stay in the town’s marina.
In the end we decided we would park in Cala Santandria, and by park I mean drop anchor in the middle of the narrow cala and then dingy a rope to shore to keep us swinging onto the boats either side of us, that had done likewise. Sort of Med mooring – without the use of a boarding ladder.
Cas had done a great job picking an anchoring spot, because when i snorkelled over to check the anchor, there was a nasty looking bit of metal/rope right next to the anchor, which would have snagged it big time if we had dropped the anchor there. Time to buy a trip line, given all the junk that is on the bottom of the med.
The Dingy was soon down and it was off into town. We decided a walk was in order and 40 minutes later we were there. The town was quite picturesque with narrow walkways and impressive buildings, with lots of shops to browse in – some built into caves in the rock walls – now that was cool.
The waterfront was particularly impressive and we enjoyed a great seafood lunch. It was getting pretty hot by that stage, so we worked out the local bus system and caught one back to the boat.
Our final two days on Menorca were spent in Cala Macarella, the one that was full when we first got there. The water was once again clear but the beach was sea-weedy with a lot of rubbish washed up and not cleared away. So the boat was definitely the place to be.
The beaches in most of the popular calas had yellow buoys denoting the swimming/no boating zone and I managed to get myself told off by the local life guard for stand up paddleboarding in the no boating area. Well there you go.
With our time running out, it was time to say goodbye to Menorca and head back towards Palma de Mallorca to be closer to the airport for crew handover. We hardly scratched the surface of this island, some say the north coast is the best and we never even made it anywhere near there.
Definitely needs some more time on the way out of the Med.
For photos of Menorca see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4932339959227.1073741861.1620379103&type=1&l=261ce680b6