Menorca is a byword nature. After the summer, when the yellow and ochre colours of the countryside are turned to green once more by the first rains, the island becomes a paradise for hikers and ramblers. If working up a sweat is your thing, start off the best season for it by booking to enjoy a few days to unwind!
If you have already visited Menorca before, I’m sure you’ll have heard the name Camí de Cavalls (and if not, make a note of it as a must-see in your holiday itinerary). As its name suggests, this trail was originally traversed on horseback, back in the 14th century. It was one of the most common ways of keeping a watch out for attacks from pirates and colonisers arriving by sea. It also served as a communication road between the different private lands of the large landowners, who restricted access to their land by strangers. It wasn’t until 2010 that the Camí de Cavalls came into public ownership, and everyone was allowed to enjoy it. It is also included in the network of European Long-Distance paths, with the reference GR 223.
What you need to know before you set off
Although it may seem like Menorca is quite a flat island, its geography is somewhat deceptive. The Camí de Cavalls is divided into 20 stages, and they do not all have the same difficulty level. So prepare for hikes going up and down rocky terrain, take pleasant strolls along dirt tracks, and in some sections, enjoy the shade of the pine woods. Variety is the spice of life!
The big advantage of booking your nature holiday with Carema Hotels is that our establishments are very close to this historical trail. Carema Club Resort and the Carema Garden Village apartments, both situated on the Playa de Fornells, give you direct access to the northern part of the trail. To the east, you can try out the section from Cala Tirant to Arenal d’en Castell, an easy stage from which you will be able to see the Concepción and Fornells salt mines. If you decide to head west, via the section between Cala Tirant and Binimel·là, you will pass by the famous Cavalleria cape and lighthouse, and the Roman port of Sa Nitja. This stretch is considered to be medium difficulty, since there are more ascents and descents than the previous one. If you are staying at Carema Beach Menorca, just in front of the Calan Bosch beach, you can choose between two fairly easy and very different routes. On the one hand, the Ciudadela-Cap d’Artrutx section will give you an idea of the shape of the coastline in this area, with views of Mallorca on a clear day. On the other hand, you can get away from civilisation by following the stretch from Cap d’Artrutx to Cala en Turqueta. Son Saura, Es Talaier and Cala en Turqueta itself are the most well-known coves that you will find along this stretch, with white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Our staff will be able to give you advice and information about the routes you wish to follow.
But to give you an idea, there are some basics that you will need no matter what. Like on any hike, make sure you have a good flask of water (like the one we give you for going to the beach), walking shoes or trainers, and a hat. The entire trail is signposted every few metres, so it is quite difficult to stray from the correct path. An unwritten rule, that the locals of the island will thank you for following, is to close any gate you come across on your way. Many animals roam free across the lands adjoining the Camí de Cavalls, and leaving a gate open could cause problems.
On foot, bicycle or horseback?
Being a nature trail, the Camí de Cavalls can be traversed on foot, bicycle or on horseback, as it was originally used. Walking along the trail is easy enough. Simply choose the route that catches your fancy, find out what difficulty level it is, and fill your backpack with a good sandwich, water and sun cream. If you fancy pedalling, be aware that the terrain is diverse. A handy tip: choose a light mountain bike, because on some sections you will have to carry it over your shoulder. For the romantics among you, riding a horse along the trail is a great option. There are several companies that organise trips along various sections of the trail.
And if you like a challenge, sign up to one of the sports competitions that take place along the Camí de Cavalls, such as the Trail Menorca, which usually takes place in May; the Extreme Man triathlon, which takes place in the near to Fornells in the middle of September; or the next round of the Menorca BTT mountain biking event, from the 11 th to the 13 th October. There’s still time to sign up!
If you are already familiar with the Camí de Cavalls, which route would you recommend to a beginner, and which is your favourite section?