Mahon

The charming harbour town of Mahon is the capital of Menorca, possibly the most laidback island in the Balearics.

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Historic stone buildings sit above a sheltered bay in a town centre that oozes character, making an unusually charming gateway to the rest of the island.

Arriving at Mahon Airport

Menorca Airport (MAH), also known as Mahon Airport, is your gateway to the island of Menorca. The airport is located at the eastern end of the island, about 10 minutes’ drive from the town centre in Mahon and about 45 minutes’ drive from Ciutadella de Menorca. As you fly in, see if you can spot Mallorca out to the west of the island. In the distance, at the far end of the Balearics, you might spot Ibiza and Formentera.

The airport itself is pleasingly compact, with one main terminal and quick access out of the airport to your next destination. Book your car hire in advance and you can pick up a car at the airport to get straight on the road. Hiring a car can be very useful if you’re planning to travel outside the capital of Mahon.

Alternatively, you can catch a reasonably priced taxi into town or take one of the buses that run to Mahon’s central bus terminal. From here you can connect to buses that take you to all the other major destinations on the island.

Flights from London City to Mahon run throughout summer, so seize the moment while the weather is nice and the route is open.

Essential sights

Museum of Menorca

Menorca’s rich history goes all the way back to the Bronze Age, when its first residents erected mysterious stone monuments. Learn about the many layers of the island’s history in this engaging museum, which features sculptures, paintings, ancient artefacts and more.

Fortaleza de la Mola

La Mola Fortress, also known as the Fortress of Isabel II, sits at the entrance to Mahon Harbour and was a crucial tactical location during the different occupations of Menorca. Take your time to explore this 18th- and 19th-century fortification, which covers a square kilometre opposite Mahon’s centre.

Church of Santa Maria

The imposing Gothic façade of Mahon’s 18th-century church hides an elegant, peaceful interior. Step inside to discover its tranquil nave and awe-inspiring organ, which consists of over 3,000 pipes. It’s still a place of worship, but the church is also used as a concert venue, so this impressive instrument can still be heard.

Ca n’Oliver

Wander the halls of a magnificent mansion from the early 19th century and learn about Menorca’s history as you go. The historic home of the Oliver family has been transformed into an interactive, multimedia museum with a collection that spans three centuries. Head to the top of the mansion for panoramic views of Mahon’s historic centre.

Mahon port

To capture the spirit of Mahon, wander the waterfront of its port area. Boats leave for mainland Spain and the other Balearics, yachts bob in the water and traditional houses tumble down the bluffs. The island's Xoriguer gin distillery is also here.

Excursions

Menorca may be smaller than Mallorca, but its coastline comfortably rivals its neighbour for the beauty and diversity of its beaches. From a base in Mahon you can make easy day trips to nearby coves and beaches.

Punta Prima

This perennially popular spot is greeted by hundreds of visitors throughout the year, welcoming people of all ages to its spacious stretch of sand.

Cala Mesquida

Cala Mesquida, just a short journey north of Mahon’s natural harbour, faces a sheltered bay area and is a lot less developed. Come here to relax by the calm waters of a sheltered bay; only stray past the rocks on the beach if you want to join the friendly nudists who occupy the other half of the beach.

Es Grau

This small resort town, about a 20-minute drive north of Mahon, is famed for its perfectly clear waters and natural beauty. It’s on the edge of a protected and biodiverse parkland and the shallow water is ideal for children.