7 nights starting from
Beautiful unspoilt scenery
An abundance of local wildlife
Botanise through pine woods, over sand dunes, around lagoons, through gorges and along the coast
Guided by professional ornithologist and naturalist Javier Méndez, co-founder of Menorca Ornithologist Society and a member of Menorca Research Institute
Menorca is rich in wild flowers with over 1400 species of plants recorded. On the island the orchid family is represented by around 30 species, most of which flower in late March to early May. 25 different species of butterfly have also been recorded. In the spring many bird species can also be seen as the island lies on their migration route with a good number of passage migrants resting on the island as they travel enroute to more temperate climes. The Menorcan habitat is unique, hardly surprising then that the birdlife here is unique and abundant. Winters here are wet – so shallow wetlands dot the island – perfect habitats for wading birds and birds of prey.
Our tour is designed with the focus on the wonderful spring nature of the island but, at the same time, offers some insight into the historical highlights too.
Our Guide - Javier Méndez
Your guide for this tour is a professional ornithologist and naturalist. Javier is a co-founder of Menorca Ornithologist Society and a member of Menorca Research Institute. He was born and bred in Menorca and knows the island intimately. He has been a keen birdwatcher and nature lover all his life and he has done many studies about Menorcan birds population and wildlife. Javier speaks good English and has a natural and infectious enthusiasm for birds and the unique wildlife of Menorca. He has been guiding groups of birdwatchers, walkers and nature enthusiasts on the island since 2001. Javier also has an excellent knowledge of the Menorcan wild flowers having also led many botanical tours.
|11 - April - 2020||£ 1225.00||Travel Info Book Now||booking-journey/#/start/MEN/11 April 2020/|
Departing: 11th April 2020 at 15:40
Returning: 18th April 2020 at 19:45
Day 1: Fly from London Gatwick to Mahón (regional flights may be available - these are on request and subject to a supplement.) On arrival transfer to the Port Mahón Hotel. Welcome drink followed by dinner.
Day 2: Es Grau Albufera, Favaritx and Arenal de Morella. A wonderful day of botanic exploration starting with the Es Grau Albufera, a large freshwater lagoon where we will make use of several hides to watch the abundant water birds as well as botanise along the fringe of the lagoon. After a break for lunch we will drive to the spectacular lighthouse of Favaritx and walk in this very specialised xerophytic habitat. Birds are usually in abundance here, especially shearwaters.
Day 3: Cami de Cavalls, Son Saura, Ferreries and Barranco de Algendar. Today’s visits focus on the south-west of the island, Son Saura, where we will botanise along the Cami de Cavalls, the ‘Horse Road’ that circumnavigates the whole island. We hope to see some special endemic plants, listen to nightingales and perhaps catch a colony of Spotless Starlings. We will also botanise at the spectacular Barranco de Algendar and watch for the many interesting birds that inhabit this gorge.
Day 4: El Pilar and Cuitadella. We will botanise along a delightful path through pine woods and sand dunes looking for endemic plants and listening out for nightingales and hoping that the bee eaters have returned to their nesting site. Our lunch break will be in the lovely town of Cuitadella where there will be time to explore. Leaving Cuitadella behind, we visit Naveta des Tudons a megalithic boat shaped tomb with further opportunities for botanising.
Day 5: Today is a free day offering the opportunity to explore further or simply to relax. It may be possible to join a glass bottom boat trip to the mouth of the harbour. The town of Mahon also offers many possibilities such as the Museum of Menorca, and the Santa Maria Church where the organ donated by Admiral Collingwood which is still played every morning for visitors.
Day 6: Son Bou, Es Migjorn, Torralba d’en Salord. Son Bou has the longest sandy beach in Menorca backed by a large marshy area and remains of rice paddies. We will take a walk along the Cami des Cavalls to Santo Tomas, skirting the marshes and wetlands to botanise and watch birds and other wildlife that inhabit this very interesting area. We may see Squaco herons, egrets, and many ducks. In the afternoon we will visit Torralba d’ en Salord, one of the larger Talayotic villages on the island.
Day 7: Cap de Cavalleria, Fornells Bay, Monte Toro Monastery and a Menorcan picnic. Our final day takes us to the most northerly point of Menorca, Cap de Cavalleria. On our way we will stop at the Lluriac marshes to observe birds on the wetlands. At the headland we will botanise, the plants here reflect the xerophytic conditions of the very exposed north coast. We will also visit the lovely port of Fornells with its Martello Tower built during the British occupation in the 18th century. We will enjoy a typical Menorcan picnic at La Conceptió salt pans, a lovely tranquil place at the head of Fornells Bay, which our guide, Javier, will prepare with local produce. After lunch there will be time to explore the plants and birds of the salt pans before driving to the highest point of the island to enjoy spectacular views of the whole island. From here it should be possible to see many of the places visited during the tour.
Day 8: Transfer to Mahón Airport for the return flight to London Gatwick.
NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 20 passengers.
Please note: The itinerary will include some walking, occasionally rough, of up to 3 to 4 hours each day in sometimes 'wild' and rough countryside in order to fully experience a representative range of plants, so reasonable fitness and decent footwear are essential. Please note nothing too strenuous will be undertaken however, walking shoes with ankle support and sturdy soles are highly recommended and ski-sticks/walking poles can also be very useful in some terrains.
What to bring:
We suggest binoculars or monocular scopes, cameras, walking poles, sun hats and walking attire suitable for rough and thorny terrain. The weather may vary from cool and wet to hot and sunny so be prepared for both.
Port Mahón Hotel
The Port Mahón Hotel occupies a magnificent position overlooking the Port of Mahón. We have chosen this hotel for its close proximity to the town and the many restaurants along the water’s edge reached either by a few ‘Spanish Steps’ or the convenience of a public lift. The hotel is a classic Anglo-Menorcan building painted in the traditional dark red Menorcan style of all important buildings on the island, and offers a buffet and à la carte restaurant, piano bar, cafe, pool, and a splendid terrace-sun deck with exclusive views over the Port. Rooms include en-suite bathrooms, telephone, air-conditioning, TV, mini bar, rental safety deposit box, Wi-Fi and hairdryer. It is possible to upgrade your room to include a balcony or a balcony and sea view - prices on request.
Port Mahón Hotel Website
The base for this tour is Mahón (known as Mao in Catalan). A picturesque and historical city, Mahón became the capital of the island in 1721 when the British moved the capital from Cuitadella to Mahón. This was done predominantly because of the size and depth of the town’s natural harbour, which meant the entire British Mediterranean fleet could be housed here. Today the town remains an attractive place with lots of elegant 18th-century mansions dotted between the many churches and the town’s Gothic cathedral. It is a place best explored on foot especially the narrow and atmospheric pedestrianised streets with their shady squares and choice of outdoor cafes and restaurants.
Outstanding was the local guide (Xavier), who was truly excellent. The tour manager (Sandra) did not appear to do so much, but we had every confidence in her ability and willingness to cope, had any problem arisen. The flight timings could have been better, though we appreciate that there is not much choice to Menorca, and the 2 hour delay on the return flight (again, outside your control) was an added irritation. Overall we were very satisfied with the tour.
Review by Mulhall who travelled 13-April-2019
It was a most enjoyable tour .Our 'expert 'guide Xavier was brilliant and his knowledge of plants and birds greatly enhanced the outings..
Review by Kenny who travelled 14-April-2018
Review by who travelled 14-April-2018
This was a brilliant tour. I had come to the conclusion that there is much more wildlife potential in Menorca than can be explored in one week. I discussed this with our wildlife guide (Javier Mendez) and found that he had come to the same conclusion. He confirmed that there are many more sites and that an additional tour would be easy to arrange. Should there me such an excursion (to different sites and perhaps at a different time of year) then it would be a definite must for us.
Review by Sims who travelled 14-April-2018
A very good visit with an amazingly knowledgeable and capable guide. The only criticism is that progress on most of the walks was painfully slow due to the large size of the group for this type of activity and very detailed observations of plants. As a result the walks were mostly very tiring and too late finishing.
Review by Janes who travelled 14-April-2018
Excellent trip. Well planned, organised and managed. The local expert Xavier was very informative and found us plenty of flowers and birds.
Review by Vaigncourt-Strallen who travelled 14-April-2018
Your guide Javi Mendez of Menorca Walking Birds was authoritative, entertaining and communicative. Sadly, your manager Serge Bertini seemed uncomfortable, remote and unable to relate to his clients. In future your tours of Menorcan wildlife should do much more to recognise the crucial role played by the island's fascinating geology, and include a visit to http://www.geologiamenorca.org/Contingut.aspx?&IdPub=8378. Also, http://www.lithica.es/ is an essential part of Menorca's offering but is inexplicably absent from your current itinerary. We visited both the Geologic Centre and Lithica on our free day (at Javi Mendez' suggestion) and found them cheap and excellent value. Hope this helps.
Review by Jones who travelled 14-April-2018
Would certainly recommend this tour to any one who is interested in wildlife and is fit enough to do the walking involved. Our local expert, Javier, was extremely knowledgeable and articulate, and our tour manager, Serge, was calm and well-informed about the tour and world events in general.
Review by Britton who travelled 14-April-2018
Our local botanist was an expert in plants, wildlife and conducting persons. Menorcan residents, Lyn and Roger played an essential part in familiarizing the group with the many joys of the island. The number in the group was perfect.
Review by Mrs Jennifer Pratt who travelled 28-April-2017
The tour met its objectives on flowers and wildlife. The local tour guide was patient and good-natured. Although the itinerary was based on flowers,his superb knowledge of birds enabled him to identify them as soon as they appeared.
Review by Mr P Tanfield who travelled 21-April-2017
Review by Mr Clive Perrin who travelled 28-April-2017
The local guide was brilliant, very knowledgeable and very friendly and he covered occasionally points that might have been also expected from the tour manager.
Review by Mrs Ann Marie Kaukonen who travelled 28-April-2017
A little more pre trip advice would have been useful eg whether a telescope would be needed or just binoculars, any books to read before the trip, appropriate clothing etc
Review by Mr John Newton who travelled 28-April-2017
1.The guide for this tour - Xavier - was truly excellent & very knowledgeable 2. Menorca is a good holiday destination because it is off the beaten track for mass tourism. 3. I would be interested in a similar kind of tour to a place like Menorca.
Review by Mrs Donald Manhire who travelled 21-April-2017
Sandra tour guide and Xvia specialist guide both excellent
Review by Mrs Anne Newbery who travelled 21-April-2017
A wonderful week! Xavier is phenomenal with his knowledge and enthusiasm, Sandra was very efficient and helpful. Lyn Bishop's contribution ewas also considerable.
Review by Mr Cedric Evans who travelled 21-April-2017
Really enjoyed the trip, and saw a wide variety of habitats, and flowers. The Spanish guide was excellent, and full of enthusiasm, and Sandra looked after us very well too. It might be worth giving the tour manager information about the ages of tour participants - some of our older members found the going a bit rough, and alternatives could be planned.
Review by Mr Kenneth Thomson who travelled 22-April-2016
Brochure 'not strenuous' was a bit misleading. Also not enough places open for refreshments/comfort stops.
Review by Mr Kevin Flynn who travelled 22-April-2016
Review by who travelled 22-April-2016
Review by Mr Colin Giles who travelled 22-April-2016
An excellent holiday. Some of days walking really needed boots and walking poles for added support as parts of tracks rough and with loose stones.
Review by Mr John Harmer who travelled 22-April-2016
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