Travel Guide to Mahon, Balearic Islands
You are going to be spending some time in the ports you embark and disembark from. These aren’t just logistical points; they’re opportunities for further enrichment. Take an extra day to discover what’s beyond the harbour. It’s not merely about filling time; it’s about making the entire journey worthwhile.
What to Do in Mahon
Mahon can stir the soul of any sailor with its rich naval past. The port was a major British Naval base during the Napoleonic wars. Fans of naval fiction might recognise the setting from Patrick O’Brien’s series featuring Captain Jack Aubrey. The Museum of Menorca offers an expansive view of the island’s history, making it a must-visit.
Culturally, Mahon is a medley of Menorcan and foreign influences, with a dose of British legacy. The opera house, Teatre Principal, is one of the oldest in Spain and hosts various performances year-round. Traditional Menorcan festivals like the Festes de la Mare de Déu de Gràcia add colour and vibrancy to the town.
Sites of Interest to a Sailor
The port is a natural harbour, among the largest in the world. Away from the mainstream, there are hidden bays and spectacular headlands like Punta Prima and Cala Fonts offering tranquillity and natural beauty. Don’t miss the lighthouses like Far de Favaritx, which have guided many a sailor through tumultuous waters.
The town may not pulsate to a late-night beat, but it has an array of intimate bars, and music venues where you can enjoy everything from jazz to traditional Menorcan tunes.
Mahon offers a variety of dining options that celebrate its maritime setting. Don’t miss out on sampling the local cheese, which bears the town’s name, or a bowl of Caldereta de Langosta, a rich lobster stew. Restaurants like Ses Forquilles and Passió Mediterrània offer some of the best local dishes.
While the sea might be your main draw, Mahon also offers beautiful landscapes and hiking trails that lead you to spots like El Toro, the island’s highest peak, and the lush Parc Natural de s’Albufera des Grau.
Mahon is more than just a port town; it’s an amalgamation of history, culture and natural beauty. What sets it apart is its intimate scale, which allows for a deeply personal experience whether you’re navigating its historic sites or savouring its culinary delights.
For a comfortable stay, consider the elegant Jardí de ses Bruixes Boutique Hotel or the stylish Hotel Hevresac. Both offer an authentic Menorcan experience with modern comforts.
Official Tourist Website
The best official resource for additional information is the Mahon Tourist Office website.
How to Get There
Several airlines operate direct flights to Mahon from major UK cities.
Mahon is well-connected by air to other European cities. Additionally, ferries operate from mainland Spain.
Indirect flights are available from North America, typically connecting through major European hubs.
No direct flights are available from Australia, but multiple airlines offer routes with a layover in Asia or Europe.
Sea and Beyond: A Responsible Mariner’s Guide
Since you’re already investing in a unique sailing adventure, why not extend that spirit to your travel choices? Opt for more sustainable methods of transport where possible like trains, coaches or sharing a car. If you fly, and we realise this may well be the case, you could research some ways to offset the carbon created by the flight.
If you have a special interest that you would like to find out about for this port or to tell us about, we would love to hear from you.