Once a fishing village, Cala Santandria is now a secluded Menorca holiday spot ideal for couples or friends who want to have some quiet time. The name of the game here is to chill out on the beach, take picturesque walks and trip to the nearby resorts at your leisure.
Cala Santandria’s deep, leafy cove has an decent-sized beach with gently sloping white sands, ideal if you’re planning a family holiday to Menorca with little ones, and has been award the Blue Flag for its quality. The beach has an exquisite outlook onto low rocky edges covered in foliage with just a few little white buildings dotted about.
The nearby beach of Cala Blanca can be reached on foot in 15 minutes and has some great facilities including waterslides and a separate saltwater lido. Wherever you are on this part of the west coast, you can experience some amazing sunsets and see across to the mountainous coastline of Majorca on a clear day.
There are top conditions in Cala Santandria for snorkelling alongside the rocks or you can visit the Poseidon Dive Centre – just below the Hotel Bahia – where they’ll get you suited up and ready to dive in with the fish.
To see the coastline from out in the water and explore caves unreachable from the shore, Menorca en Kayak hires kayaks from the beach at the entrance to Hotel Aquamarina. Or why not go to the Sa Nacra Cova Cave Museum on foot and ‘ooh!’ and ‘aah!’ over its huge underground caves and rock formations.
The seafood is so good in Cala Santandria that it’s said Spain’s King Juan Carlos visits to eat caldereta de llagosta – the local lobster stew. While you probably won’t see him on your holiday you can dine like royalty at one of the village’s waterfront seafood restaurants.
A distinctive choice is Cova Sa Nacra – a restaurant and bar that is cut in to the rocks and decorated with shells and carved figures. You can dine on paella or Menorcan shrimp on the terrace hanging over the cove and the atmosphere ramps up further after dark when they light candles and play chilled music.
Nights in Cala Santandria are pretty laid-back – drinking the local gin and lemon drink, pomada, in a beach bar, for example. Some bars will host live music or karaoke but the majority of the evening entertainment is laid on by the small and welcoming hotels.
There’s a little disco at the northern end of the road to Cala Blanca, but for somewhere to dance all night on cheap holidays in Menorca, take the trip to Ciutadella which has both chill out and dance clubs in the harbour area.
For provisions, beach supplies and souvenirs – like pottery and embroidered linens – you need look no further than Cala Santandria. However, if you want to browse clothing boutiques and high-end gift and jewellery stores, shopping in Ciutadella’s Ses Voltes arcade is for you. The city also has Friday and Saturday morning markets by the harbour selling handmade crafts, traditional ornaments and artwork.
Being so close to two other resorts has big advantages. In 15 minutes you can be in either Cala Blanca with its good selection of beach facilities and bars or head to Sa Caleta for indoor bowling and pool tables.
A short bus ride to the former capital city of Ciutadella will reward you with expansive dining options and pavement cafes. There’s also a picturesque old quarter complete with former Spanish palaces and baroque buildings. From Ciutadella you can set off by bus to see the rest of the island, so a trip to the big waterpark near Cala’n Bosch might be in order.