Visiting the Municipality of Es Castell and the Bay of Cales Fonts, Minorca
Welcome to Es CastellClick thumbnail to view full-size
Visiting Es Castell
If you are a tourist visiting the Balearic Island of Minorca the town of Es Castell may pass you by.
Many people who visit Minorca head to hotels or villas close to beach resorts. If they take a Yellow Catamaran boat trip out of Mahon they may glimpse Es Castell and the waterfront at Cales Fonts but not actually visit.
But Es Castell and Cales Fonts are well worth visiting as savvy tourists know
When we visit Minorca we stay at a hotel that is situated about halfway between the island’s capital Mahon and Es Castell. There is no beach but it is close to the estuary which brings a range of vessels small and large into Mahon.
When we leave the hotel drive to stretch our legs we can turn right and walk into Mahon or left and pay a visit Es Castell.
So many times we have a stroll into Es Castell either by the main road in or along one of the paths which run through shrubland along the cliffs.
Both routes offer a relaxing and pretty walk into the municipality of Es Castell but the road may be busy at certain times of day. However it does have a decent cycle path for those who prefer to pedal around this lovely Balearic island.
There are buses which run between Mahon bus station and Es Castell and at 1.60 euro at time of writing the fare is very good. It is a set rate though and if you hop on the bus halfway to Es Castell, for example, a ticket will cost the same price.
Many tourists pick up a hire car as they arrive in Minorca but using public transport, cycles or just by walking you can visit much of this island.
Parking is limited but available in Es Castell.
Taxis are also competitively priced and Cales Fonts to our hotel costs around 5 euros currently.
Walking into Es Castell
We can also either walk into Es Castell by a straight route or one that takes in the town.
The straight route is along the main road, past the roundabout and on until you reach the second restored windmill before turning left. This walk will take you straight to the waterfront at Cales Fonts.
You can turn into the town a couple of times on this walk if you prefer.
You may think why bother messing about with the town walk but walking through Es Castell offers many sights and sounds.
Turn left at the Es Castell roundabout for our usual town walk.
The streets can be a little hilly and may be a problem for visitors with mobility issues plus the pavement or sidewalk is narrow and each street or road has a fairly steep up and the same down.
Having walked through Es Castell to Cales Fonts many times though we now tend to cut across the various streets and roads to avoid any uphill struggles.
Es Castell area
Walking into Es Castell from our hotel and along one of the costal pathsClick thumbnail to view full-size
The central Placa S'Esplanada Es Castell
Es Castell, or Villacarlos to call it by its Spanish name dates back to the early 18th century. However the town was also called Georgetown during its British colonial days. That name was in honour of King George III of Great Britain.
If you are lucky enough to visit Minorca and Es Castell in early June you may come across some 18th century themed events commemorating the birth of this town.
We visited Minorca early June a couple of years ago and encountered a colonial time reenactment in Es Castell with those taking part dressed in old English military uniforms.
The event was held in the central Placa S'Esplanada, Es Castell's main square, where a Military Museum and a large police station are situated.
It was a few years before we visited the military museum, waiting for an early autumn rainy day, and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit.
The entrance fee was not bad and we got a reduced rate for seniors. The museum is housed over a few floors and we passed a couple of interesting and enjoyable hours.
This central Placa S'Esplanada plays host to many outdoor events from a regular market to a free rock festival to craft fairs and to just a place for local families to enjoy at the weekend and in the evenings.
Es Castell central Placa S'EsplanadaClick thumbnail to view full-size
Along from the square are various options which lead to the water’s edge or side street cafes and bars..
Also of offer there is -
- Cales Corb which is a pretty bay that comes alive at night Minorcan style
- A couple of small supermarkets, shops, banks, cash-points, a pharmacy, cafes, bars, restaurants, a couple of churches, hotels, holiday apartments, fresh produce shops, a bakery and more
We love simply walking through Es Castell and looking at the oh so Spanish houses and apartments while listening to the sounds of locals at home.
If you walk in Es Castell you may end up at a dead end near the water. Simply retrace your steps and try again. We soon found our feet in Es Castell but it may be worth taking water with you until you can find your way around.
Minorcans still take an afternoon siesta and shops close accordingly.
Your walk through Es Castell should lead you to the main prize beautiful Cales Fonts, its harbour, its views and its dine by the water’s edge offerings.
Late afternoon footage from Cales Fonts looking across the bay and then toward Mahon June 2014
Along the waterfront
Follow the waterfront of Cales Fonts around you get sensational views of the estuary and small islands such as King’s Island.
Small bars and restaurants can be found here carved into the rock.
At night musicians entertain here and along the waterfront in Cales Fonts.
- La Lola for an evening meal in Cales Fonts close to the water’s edge. Opt for a set menu of three courses which includes wine and is a good price.
- Bar Espana in Es Castell which offers classy indoor dining
- Visit Chespir for jazz music with snacks, soft drinks or alcohol on offer. They also serve great cocktails. Little wonder this place is nicknamed Jazz Bar. The seating outside if so often packed but take a peek inside. This bar is carved into the rocks.
As Minorca is pretty much closed to tourists from the end of October until May 1 some cafes and restaurants may be under new management or even closed on a return visit.
Check out gift and clothes shops at Cales Fonts but bear in mind you may find goods on offer cheaper if you shop around.
You can hop on a water-taxi in Cales Fonts and visit La Mola or Lazaretto Island, where ships were obliged to stop so crew and passengers could be checked for any contagious diseases though an afternoon lazing in the sunshine watching the fishing boats go about their business as you enjoy a cold beer may do it for you.
Enjoy the photo trip around Es Castell which follows.
Around Es Castell and Cales FontsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Flash-mob Cales Fonts 2010
How does Es Castell grab you?
© 2018 Ethel Smith