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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Es Castell

Es Castell Holidays

Es Castell's vibrant harbours showcase British military history, waterfront restaurants and shops tucked in caves. The town still has a distinctly laid-back, coastal feel, with the sea almost always in sight. Days here are filled with exploring former fortresses and strolling along the harbour in the sunshine, sampling Spanish seafood and sipping cocktails on the waterfront - the perfect way to enjoy a family holiday to Menorca.

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Scenic harbour

Es Castell has swapped its sand for two scenic harbours, Calas Fons and Calas Corb, which are lined with colourful buildings and private boats bobbing on the surface. If you want to go for a swim, there are several jumping off points dotted around the harbour where you can take a dip.

For sunbathing, take a 15-minute walk to Cala Padera, where you can stretch out on the V-shaped wooden platform and catch some rays. The nearest sandy beaches are a 20-minute drive south, at places like Binibeca and Punta Prima.

Quick Tips

  • Roman Catholic
  • Euro
  • Catalan
  • GMT + 1

British history

Formerly called 'Georgetown' after King George III, Es Castell was first built as a harbour town for the British military. Once the British left, it was renamed for its proximity to the castle of Sant Felip. Today, with historical structures scattered throughout the town, there are a number of opportunities to reconnect with the past.

Just outside the town is the 16th century Fort Marlborough coastal fortress. You can wander through its tunnels and towers and, through exhibits and artefacts, get an idea of what it might have been like to be stationed there. Or climb all the way to the top for the cannon point and views out to sea. Menorca's Museum of Military History is also stationed in Es Castell, in the town's main square.

Local flavours by the water

Es Castell's dining scene comes to life along the harbour, with authentic Spanish restaurants serving home-cooked seafood dishes all day on outdoor terraces. Most options here are local, with the occasional British touch. Many package holidays to Menorca offer the option of dining inside your hotel, while wander into town and you'll find an even wider selection of restaurants down unassuming side-streets.

Nights here involve drinks at cool cocktail bars along the coast, or soirees at music bars and nightclubs. For wilder nights, Mahon is a 35-minute walk or quick cab ride away.

Hidden shops

Shopping experiences in Es Castell are unique, to say the least. That's because, if you walk along the harbour, you'll find a number of clothing, jewellery and shoe shops tucked into caves. Along the tree-lined main street are even more fashion boutiques to choose from, where you can pick out an authentic souvenir for someone special.

Every Thursday, Es Castell sees a craft market come to town too. There, you can pick up handmade wares and browse more than 60 stalls for items like jewellery, clothing and leather goods. You might also catch live music by local performers while you're there.

Nearby watersports

From Es Castell's harbour there are opportunities to take trips on private boats or you can just sit at a restaurant and watch the boats heading back to moor at Mahon after a day on the water. Not a watersports hub, Es Castell is, however, close to a number of other towns whose beaches teem with activity.

Salgar is only a 10-minute drive away, and is home to a major diving school. They'll get you suited up and teach you how to explore the seas like a pro. You can try out your new skills at places like Cap D'en Font, whose waters have a network of caves.

The capital city of Mahon is also nearby. Getting there can be an adventure of its own, as you can take a water taxi to and from Es Castell. Once there, your watersports opportunities expand to snorkelling in the offshore reefs, jet skiing or renting a pedalo and embarking on a lazy cruise through the sea.

If the lure of Es Castell is too great to refuse, be sure to check out our fantastic selection of cheap holidays in Menorca.