After an afternoon in the sun and a pina colada or two, it’s easy enough to confuse the two biggest of Spain’s Balearic Islands. Majorca and Menorca sit side by side in the western Mediterranean Sea, and each gives an equally warm welcome to Britain’s sunseekers.
Majorca is the bigger island by far, but Menorca matches it in sizzling hot summers and postcard-perfect beaches.
But just as life in London’s Camden couldn’t be more different than in Westminster, despite those boroughs being cheek-to-cheek, holidays in Menorca and Majorca are worlds apart.
When size does matter?
- Menorca is smaller and less developed than Majorca, despite having some top-notch resorts and attractions. Away from the crowds, Menorca gives you plenty of room to unwind at a serene pace. It’s also less transformed by tourist tastes than Majorca or sister-island Ibiza, so it offers a more authentic slice of life in the Balearics – and often at lower prices.
Best for: blissed-out breaks for families and couples
- Majorca comes into its own at night because its buzzing resort scene makes for a big choice in nightclubs – and more people to get the party started. Yet Majorca’s enduring popularity as a destination hasn’t diminished its ability to deliver the kind of beach and mountain beauty that makes it a millionaires’ playground – and a magnet for the likes of Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas, Claudia Schiffer and Michael Schumacher.
Best for: fun-packed party breaks and celebrity spotting
That something special
Menorca’s Camí de Cavalls is an ancient network of paths that was originally built to defend the island’s perimeter. Soldiers once patrolled it on horseback – hence the name, which means ‘path of horses’.
- It’s now been restored to provide 116 miles of coastal paths for walking, cycling or horseriding. The Camí de Cavalls is easily reached by road, and it provides access on foot to some of Menorca’s most out-of-the-way beaches.
- The trail is divided up into sections (the shortest is 3.7 miles and the longest 8.5 miles), which are classed easy, moderate or difficult.
Best for: exploring the coast at your own pace
- Majorca’s Palma: in contrast to the high-rise hotels and foam parties of Magaluf, Palma’s old city is a dignified reminder of Majorca’s long and intriguing back-story.
- Its Gothic cathedral, Arab baths and Medieval castle, all atop Palma’s ancient Roman ruins, tell of serial conquests and reinventions – and create a spellbinding setting for wandering along Palma’s leafy boulevards and winding lanes, or indulging in its sophisticated hotels and restaurants.
Best for: soaking up the atmosphere
Best of all, if you can’t decide between relaxing on Menorca or living it up on Majorca, they’re just a quick plane hop (37min) or ferry ride (60–90min) apart.
If you’re particularly partial to Majorca or Menorca, let us know which one and why!