Es Migjorn Gran is the perfect destination for peace, tranquillity and gorgeous Menorcan beaches. This sleepy, rural town is set in beautiful countryside, which you can explore along one of the many fantastic hiking routes. The town is set 3 miles inland from the coast, but you’ll find some wonderful, quiet and unspoilt beaches just a short drive away. These include the picturesque beaches in the small resorts of Santo Tomás and Son Bou, plus a string of charming coves. Es Migjorn Gran is only a half hour drive from the current Menorcan capital of Mahon (Maó in Mallorquí) on the east of the island, and the charming historic capital of Ciutadella on the west.
If you want a taste of authentic Menorcan life, then head to the tranquil town of Es Migjorn Gran. A small whitewashed town with a clutch of local shops, cafés and restaurants, it’s geared towards locals rather than tourists – which is exactly why discerning visitors often choose it. It makes a great base for exploring the beautiful island of Menorca, with most of the top sights found within a short drive. There is a string of beautiful beaches just 5 minutes away by car, so you can soak up the sun or take a dip in the azure waters of the Mediterranean. If you fancy some bright lights, the island’s two biggest cities – vibrant Mahon and enchanting Ciutadella – are each only a half-hour drive away.
Es Migjorn Gran and the little villages of the area have a clutch of cafés, bars and restaurants, which largely cater to a local clientele. These range from atmospheric spit-and-sawdust places, which offer good value food, to fancier restaurants that are worth a splurge for a special meal. You’ll find all sorts of delicious Menorcan specialities on the menus, whether you want to tuck into the legendary caldereta de llagosta (a fishermen’s stew made with spiny lobster) or tumbet, a sort of Menorcan ratatouille made with potatoes, peppers and aubergine. There’s lots of lovely fresh seafood, and the famous local cheeses and embutits (cured sausages) are perfect for picnics.
If you’re looking for a relaxed family holiday in rural surroundings with some fantastic beaches right on the doorstep, then Es Migjorn Gran delivers in spades. Your kids will enjoy messing about in the hotel pool, kicking a football around with the local kids, or heading out on bikes on one of the wonderful walking routes in the area. The beach at Santo Tomás is ideal for families, with soft sand and shallow, pristine waters. It also has useful amenities such as sunbed and parasol rental, and a handful of family-friendly restaurants and cafés. There’s a small zoo in nearby Son Bou, or you could head to the water parks in Ciutadella and Mahon for a fun day out on the water slides.
Menorca is renowned for its beautiful, unspoilt countryside, and Es Migjorn Gran is a fantastic base if you love hiking and mountain-biking. There are scores of fantastic trails around the town, and you’ll find more along the coast – including the famous Camí dels Cavalls, a medieval bridle path that has been restored and is now a long distance walking path that loops around the entire island. You can swim and snorkel on the nearby beaches, which are located on a protected stretch of coastline and are quiet and undeveloped. Diving fans won’t want to miss out on a diving trip to the marine reserve on the northern coast, a short drive away, which is considered one of the best dives in the Mediterranean.
The nearest beach to Es Migjorn Gran is in the little resort of Santo Tomás, which has a lovely, sandy beach backed by Mediterreanean pines. It has a few useful amenities, including sunbed rental and parasols, as well as a handful of places to eat and drink within a short stroll of the beach. There are some spectacular virgin beaches in the area, most of which are accessed by foot along the coastal footpath. The nearest to Santo Tomás is the Platja de Binicodrell (‘platja’ means ‘beach’ in Mallorquí), which has little fishing boats pulled up on the golden sand, and beyond it the Platja de Binigaus, which has a beautiful backdrop of ochre cliffs and fine sand. Neither has any facilities, so bring a parasol, plenty of water and a picnic.
The little country town of Es Migjorn Gran doesn’t really offer nightlife in the traditional sense: you won’t find big bars or clubs in the area, but you will find a handful of neighbourhood bars and cafés, where you can relax with the locals. Many have outdoor terraces so you can watch the world go by over a cold beer. There are also a few more bars and cafés in nearby Santo Tomás, if you want some sea views to go with your drinks. If you are looking for a wider range of nightlife, the vibrant cities of Mahon and Ciutadella are both just a 30-minute drive (there are also regular bus services) and offer a fantastic selection of bars and clubs to suit all tastes.
If you’re the kind of couple that loves beautiful scenery and the great outdoors, then Es Migjorn Gran is perfect for a relaxed, romantic holiday. This appealing, traditional Menorcan town is set in rolling hills, which are full of wonderful hiking and biking trails, and delightful little picnic spots. A short drive will bring you to a pristine stretch of coast, which is blissfully unspoilt and blessed with some of the most beautiful and secluded beaches on the island. If you fancy some bright lights, you could visit Mahon, the vibrant capital of Menorca, or Ciutadella, the island’s charming historic capital, both of which are only 30 minutes away by car.
Es Migjorn Gran puts on a great show for its annual festival, which is dedicated to its patron saint (Saint Christopher) takes place around the end of July or early August. There are parades with horses, lots of music and dancing, and street parties. For museums and other cultural activities, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Mahon, the capital, which has a host of historic buildings including the Fort Malborough, built when the island was under British control, and an excellent history museum in a splendid palace. At the other end of the island, the former capital of Ciutadella preserves a beautiful medieval quarter and a fine Gothic cathedral, plus a host of interesting galleries and art museums.