A family holiday in Menorca

A family holiday in Menorca

A family holiday in Menorca

 

SYNOPSIS:

  • Cal’an Bosch, Menorca is a compact resort, ideal for families with young kids or people with walking difficulties. I’d recommend a visit to Ciutadella (can take the local bus there in about 15 mins)

  • It provides excellent accommodation for families with kids with a fantastic central location, free wifi and unlimited waterpark access when you stay there. It helps make for an easy holiday.
  • On Menorca, resorts are small and overall it is a low-key island. Not suitable if you are looking for nightlife choices.

When you disembark the aircraft steps at 6:30pm and you are met by a wave of heat. A friendly holiday rep to take you to your coach, it's always a good start to your holiday!

 

We’re just back from a brilliant week long family holiday to the island of Menorca. We travelled from Dublin airport on a Sunway holiday package and it was a lovely, hassle-free break from start to finish.

 

GETTING THERE

Menorca is just a 2h30m flight from Dublin. It’s in the same group of islands as Majorca and Ibiza but is smaller, quieter and more low-key than its neighbours. One could say completely different from the islands neighbours. Our home for the week was the beautiful Roc Lago Park apartments in the resort of Cala’n Bosch.

 

The transfer from the airport took us just 50 minutes. Good roads led us through the beautiful Menorcan countryside. En route, I was struck by the pastoral scenes passing by the bus windows.

 

The countryside in Menorca was very green and with dry stone walls, bales of hay, and cattle and sheep. It reminded me of Ireland on a (very, very) good summer’s day! The journey took us past several little towns and our holiday rep, Joy, told us about them as we went along.

 

Alaior (famous for its cheese), Es Mercadal (famous for its biscuits) and Ferreries (famous for Pretty Ballerina and Mascaró shoes). These were just a couple of the picturesque towns we passed through.

 

 

ROC LAGO PARK

We stayed in the Roc Lago Park apartments. The complex was split into two blocks and separated by a quiet road. The apartment was a bright and quite spacious, 55m2 two-bedroom apartment in block one. It had a well-equipped kitchenette with a kettle, toaster, microwave, fridge and hob. 

 

 

It was spotlessly clean and there was a daily cleaning service and towel change. There was no charge for air-conditioning, but there was a deposit payable for the TV remote control, and a daily charge for Wi-Fi in the apartment. Wi-Fi was free at the reception area and in the snack bar.

 

 

The apartments are set in gardens which extend your outside space and made a great place for the kids to play. All of the two-bedroom apartments are on the ground level and have a terrace. The one-bedroom apartments are on the first floor and have a balcony.

 

 

Each block has its own pool with a separate children’s section and there are sun loungers and umbrellas around each pool. There is a daily animation programme which is free of charge: daytime activities range from darts to water polo to quizzes and more. At night there is a kids disco and games for the grown-ups. 

 

 

On-site facilities include a small playground, a mini club for kids (during peak season only), table-tennis and a pool table. An excellent restaurant serving breakfast and dinner and a snack bar serving drinks and light lunches are also on site.

 

 

AQUAROCK WATERPARK

As part of your stay in Roc Lago Park, Sunway give you free unlimited access into the Aquarock Waterpark. This really is the icing on the cake if you’re travelling with kids! Simply get a wristband from reception at Roc Lago Park to show at the waterpark entrance and then in you go for a fun-filled day!  

 

 

It's open from 10:30am-6pm every day (except Saturdays in May, June and September) and the normal admission is €20 per adult and €11 per child. It turned out to be a great saving having free entry.

 

The waterpark is barely a 2 minute walk from the apartments and it’s excellent for kids of all ages. With slides of different sizes, a splash pool for toddlers, a large pool of varying depths, a whirlpool and a wave pool, all ages are thought of!

 

 

Sunbeds, which come with an umbrella, can be rented for a very reasonable €3.50 each. There is a restaurant on site which serves the all-important drinks and ice-cream; important holiday fuel! Next door, there is a go-kart racing track which is great for older kids and adults.

 

There is a charge for this (€16 per adult and €11 per child for 8 minutes), but my husband proclaimed it was worth it!

 

CALA’N BOSCH:

It’s hard to overstate just how well located the Roc Lago Park apartments are. Not only are they a stone's throw from the waterpark, but they are also right in the heart of the resort of Cala’n Bosch. The resort is home to a bustling marina which is lined with shops and bars. Meanwhile, there are enough restaurants to eat in a different one for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day.

 

 

The restaurants were very well-priced; 3-course meals were for between €13-15 per person. Main courses ranged from about €6 up for adults and €4 for kids. They all catered for a looked after the kids exceptionally well.

 

The staff engaged with them, some places gave a free novelty item with their meal, and some even had an indoor play area. This allowed Mum and Dad enjoy their post-dinner drink in peace!

 

Indeed, our favourite restaurant was La Fontana – the food was excellent, the staff were friendly and it was an altogether satisfying venue. And, to top it off, the Wi-Fi was fast (crucial for tablet-playing!). There was live music each evening and the venue also had a big screen so the boys could keep up to date with some important football matches that were on while we were there.

 

 

Beaches in Cala'n Bosh

About a 5 minute walk from Roc Lago park and just behind the marina, is the main beach of Cala’n Bosch. It is a gently shelving affair with gorgeous turquoise water and fine white sand. Two sunbeds and an umbrella cost €15 to rent for the day. There are pedalos for hire and there is also a bar/restaurant which sells the all-important drinks and ice-cream. 

 

There is a another beach nearby at Son Xoriguer and the tourist road train (which stops outside Roc Lago Park) goes there if you don’t fancy the 1.5km walk. This beach is the one to go to if it’s water sports you’re after. Both beaches have a Blue Flag. The 2 photos are different views of Cala'n Bosch beach.

 

 

OUTSIDE OF THE RESORT:

Some lovely walkways are present around Cala’n Bosch. You can take an easy amble past the seafront with its gloriously cooling breeze up to the lighthouse at Cap d'Artrutx. It is a peaceful and tranquil part of the island. Pictures do not do it justice.

 

 

Just past Cala’n Bosch beach, you can find a short section of the Camí de Cavalls, a public walkway which stretches right around the 186km coastline of Menorca. With this in mind, it struck me that a walking holiday around Menorca would be a lovely way to see the island and discover its hidden beaches.

 

The Camí is split into 20 clearly signposted stages which vary in duration from 2h30 to 5 hours and in difficulty from easy to medium to difficult. It appears quite manageable, though definitely not with kids in tow!

 

Plenty to see and explore

In the resort centre, there are numerous car hire companies and we hired a car from Minurka car rental for €41 for the day including 2 booster seats. It gave us great freedom to explore the island. First of all we visited the charming little town of Es Castell, which is just outside Mahón, the island’s capital.

 

Our reason for going there was because certain members of our party wanted to visit the Military Museum, while others simply wished to amble around this charming seaside town eating ice-cream…

 

For all of its small size and unassuming exterior, I was informed that the museum was fascinating with a particularly well-curated display of military paraphernalia and firearms.

 

Following a picnic in the town square, we made our way to the beautiful beach of Son Bou which is the longest on the island. As evening fell, we drove to Ciutadella, which is an absolutely gorgeous town. I was only about 10km from Cala’n Bosch.

 

There is a regular bus service from Cala'n Bosch to Ciutadella if you don’t fancy hiring a car. Its narrow, cobbled streets and beautiful historic buildings and walls make for a lovely diversion from the pool and beach.

 

Finally, if shopping is your thing then you are in luck with plenty of lovely little shops scattered around the town. Plenty of restaurants and bars also populate the town. It is definitely worth the visit.

 

 

On a side note, weather-wise we were expecting temperatures in the low 20s which is the average for May. However, it was around 28C each day. Hot, hot, hot! These are the average temperatures in Menorca:

 

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max Average  15°C 16°C 17°C 18°C 21°C 26°C 29°C 29°C 27°C 23°C 19°C 16°C

 

Final thoughts

Demographically speaking, in our experience, tourists tended to be either families with kids, or middle-aged to older adults. The resorts are small and if it's nightlife you're after, it would not make a good choice.

 

However, we thoroughly enjoyed our family week in Menorca. It is an extremely family-friendly destination and is a beautiful island, retaining its original charm while still catering superbly for tourists. An all in all great holiday!

 

RESOURCES:

Map of the island

Brochures about the island

 

Written by Samantha Gavigan.

 

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