Secret Balearic Islands: an insider’s guide to lesser-known Menorca and Formentera
Menorca, the archipelago’s easternmost island, was declared a Unesco Biosphere Reserve back in 1993. More than 100 beaches are sprinkled along its glittering 200km coastline, many only accessible on foot; wild, rust-red strands hug the northern shoreline, while the south has pine-fringed, white-sand coves. Inland, sun-bleached farmhouses, stone-built walls and mysterious Talayotic monuments dot the rural landscapes.
Then there’s salt-kissed, sand-dusted, barefoot-loving Formentera, one of Spain’s loveliest corners, off southeast Ibiza. The only way to get here is by ferry from Ibiza (30 to 60 minutes) and, in a bid to protect natural spaces, there are restrictions on summer vehicle numbers (something Menorca is also considering). Formentera’s heavenly beaches are feather-soft, salt-white sweeps washed by turquoise water that gets its translucent sparkle from the oxygen-producing posidonia seagrass. Timber boat shelters, ancient windmills and glinting salt flats await along dusty paths.