Cruises to Mahon allow you to explore Menorca (or Minorca), meaning “smaller island”.
Its name derives from its size, contrasting it with nearby Majorca, which is visited on Cruises to Palma. Menorca is popular with holidaymakers for its sandy beaches and slow pace of life.
Cruise ships will dock in the port of Mahon, the walled capital of the island, which is the second deepest natural harbour in the world, protected by two fortresses. The sail in/out is not to be missed along the 5km journey through this natural harbour.
Watch out for the traditional mussel farms in the inland waters as you glide into the harbour.
Places to visit on cruises to Mahon
The port of Mahon itself is easy to walk around as your ship will dock right alongside the town.
The historical buildings within the town vary in style from traditional Menorcan buildings such as the Town Hall to the city’s biggest square, Place Esplanada, where cafés and restaurants find their home in 18th-century houses.
If staying in Mahon the Church of Santa Maria is worth a visit as it houses an organ with over 3000 pipes!
On our last visit, we took an organised tour which is really the only way to get an overview of Menorca on a short visit. Most cruise lines will arrange tours to the main sites of interest in the island which includes Monte Toro, the highest peak on the island with spectacular views.
This is also home to the island’s spiritual centre – the Sanctuary of the Virgin of El Toro (Santuario de la Virgen del Toro).
The imposing statue of ‘Jesus of the Sacred Heart’, with his arms outstretched to bless the Menorcans, can be seen in front of the Sanctuary.
There is also the old fishing village of Fornells – a favourite haunt of the King of Spain. Buildings here date back to the 17th century and consist mainly of whitewashed houses.
Our final stop was Binibeca, on the south coast, a recreation of a typical Moorish village – have your cameras ready for this one.
If you want to step further back in time, Minorca is home to several thousand unusual megalithic monuments and the largest number of sites of archaeological interest of any Mediterranean Island. You will pass several of these monuments as your travel around the island and most trips will include a stop for you to get a close up view.