Es Grau Is Minorca at Its Best
Es Grau Peace and TranquilityClick thumbnail to view full-size
Es Grau Finally!
Each time we have visited our favorite Spanish destination the Balearic Island of Minorca, also called Menorca, the costal village of Es Grau has been out of reach.
Tantalizing views of Es Grau in the North East of the island are often visible as you fly into Minorca.
Visitors who hire cars can easily visit Es Grau but public transport here is limited.
During a June visit to Minorca we finally succeeded in visiting Es Grau and we more than pleasantly surprised.
It is easy to hire a car in Minorca but as non-drivers it is local transport for us. If we were younger we would maybe walk or cycle to Es Grau but not these days.
We usually visit Minorca in the months of May, September or October but in 2014 we decided to see what this lovely island has to offer at the start of Summer.
Well one thing on offer is a much better bus timetable.
If you are visiting and want to use public transport check which services will be available during your stay.
Depending on your vacation location a taxi to Es Grau may be a good option for a reasonable fare.
Our Visit To Es Grau
Es Grau is to the north of our base which is the Hotel del Almirante situated between the island's capital Mahon and Es Castell.
There are English links to that area with Es Castell formerly called Georgetown and the hotel allegedly the former home of a British Admiral called Collingwood.
For us it was a short bus trip into Mahon though we often walk to the bus station.
The weather was glorious, sunny and hot, too hot for a 25 minute walk.
The bus fare into Mahon for two is around 3.20 euros and around the same to Es Grau. Bear in mind fares will increase occasionally.
The timetable to Es Grau is limited even in June and we took the 10.35am to Es Grau from Mahon.
We planned on returning just after 1pm as the only other option was the last bus of the day and late afternoon.
Es Grau though offered a great day out and we caught that last bus back to Mahon.
To describe Es Grau in a nutshell it is a small fishing village, with a good bay, safe waters, a sweeping sandy beach, a handful of waterfront restaurants and a nature reserve.
It was however an unexpected pleasant surprise and for me the best of Minorca, unspoiled by the modern tourist invasion of Spain and its Islands.
The warm waters that lap the sweeping sandy bay of Es Grau are shallow, so shallow that you can walk out to the small boats moored in the near distance.
Consequently it is a very safe place for children could be overrun with families in high season.
However as it is not an overly commercial resort it may have a limited appeal.
It has retained a natural feel despite some development.
Es Grau Nature Reserve
Much as we loved wandering the sloping streets between the pristine white houses of Es Grau, enjoying an ice cold beer at a bar looking across the bay and dining under trees close to the beach the pièce de résistance for us was the nature reserve.
Walk a relatively short distance away from the village and you come to the nature reserve which is free to enter. There are three main set walks available with varying estimated times.
It was a hot day when we entered the reserve so one tip is have:-
- sun screen already applied or available
- some shade by way of a parasol, sun hat or loose fitting shirt
- some drinking water with you
The designated walks through the reserve begin along constructed wooden walkways but these turn into rough paths so consider what footwear to wear.
What was amazing when walking in the reserve was the tranquility, beauty and silence.
We could hear little people noise in the distance and plenty of sounds from the wild inhabitants of the reserve, such as insects and birds, but it was so peaceful.
It was strange considering we were on a Spanish Mediterranean Island.
The nature reserve has large lagoons surrounded by gentle slopes which almost give the area a mini Scotland feel to me.
Your Visit to Es Grau
There are some rules about visiting this reserve and I would encourage you to follow them and respect the area.
These rules are displayed close to the entrance.
The reserve will be an interesting place for children to visit but a word of caution. This reserve is no place for kids, or adults, to run around, play loud music or scream and shout.
You can take a sneak peek into the reserve or undertake the shortest walk which takes around 15 minutes but there are longer walks.
Perhaps it was the gloriously sunny hot day which gave Es Grau the edge for us.
One thing is certain though we will be back.
The Cats of Menorca
In common with many Mediterranean Islands animal welfare is a mixed bag in Minorca.
However we were interested and impressed to see that street cats had been rehomed in the nature park at Es Grau with locals committing to funding their feed.
However a couple of years on we were told that some of these cats had become a target yougsters hell bent on making the cats lives a misery.
- Es Grau, Menorca: Secret Seaside - Telegraph
Es Grau, in Menorca, is the latest in our series of the best unsung beach holiday resorts in Europe, including information on booking accommodation, where to eat, and transport
© 2018 Ethel Smith