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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Spain > Balearic Islands > Menorca > Cala Santa Galdana beaches

About Cala Santa Galdana beaches

The most photographed resort on Menorca (Minorca), Cala Santa Galdana (known everywhere as Cala Galdana) enjoys a splendid picturesque situation on a horseshoe bay with a backdrop of steep densely wooded limestone cliffs. A river divides the resort in half, continuing inland where it flows through the beautiful Algendar Gorge. The resort itself is purpose-built, low key and (mainly) low rise. Most properties either blend into the hillside or run along the river.

Beach:

Cala Galdana’s beautiful gently shelving white sand beach is backed by shady pine trees and reached by a wooden bridge or steps which make it seem more secluded than it really is. In fact, it becomes very crowded in season but four of the island’s most idyllic sandy cove beaches, Mitjana, Turqueta, Macarella and Trébaluger, are all either within walking distance (the nearest, Cala Mitjana, is 30 minutes) or just a short boat ride away. There are a number of watersports on offer at Cala Galdana, fewer (if any) at the other beaches.

Beyond the beach:

Walking, mountain biking and sea-kayaking all make the most of Cala Galdana’s attractive natural surroundings. The immediate area has protected natural park status and is perfect for rambling outside the hot summer season. Cliff-top walks and sea kayak excursions to adjacent beaches are also popular. All these activities may be undertaken individually or organised and guided in groups. Menorca is known for its love of horses and every Wednesday and Sunday evening the Club Escola Menorquina (Carretera Cala Galdana-Ferreries) stage an equestrian show. The island also has one 18-hole golf course, at Son Parc (www.golfsonparc.com), 30km (18 miles) north of Cala Galdana.

Family fun:

Menorca is light on man-made visitor attractions. Cala Galdana has children’s waterslides and a play area including mini golf. The island’s only water park is Aquarock (www.aquarockmenorca.com), 30km (18 miles) west at Cala en Bosch. By international standards it is small, though it does have an adjoining karting track.

Exploring further:

Menorca is a small island and with a car you can see it all in a few days. The two main towns of Mahón and Ciudadela are well worth a visit. Both offer good shopping and a choice of attractive restaurants, cafés and bars. Ciudadela is the more attractive of the two with some fine Spanish architecture and characterful streets and alleyways. Any island tour should take in the highest point on the island; Monte Toro with its hilltop church. It may only be 350m (1,150ft) above sea level, but the views are excellent. Another must see is Binibeca Vell, a very photogenic, whitewashed ‘old’ fishing village. In fact it’s a fake modern re-creation, but no less pretty for that, and a nice place for a coffee or a meal as long as you avoid the times when coach tours call here. Menorca is also famous for its prehistoric standing stones, the best examples are to be found at Naveta d’es Tudons (5km/3 miles east of Ciudadela near the main road), Talatí de Dalt (Carretera Mahon-Ciudadela) and Toralba d’en Salord (3km/2 miles south east of Alaior).

Splashing out:

One of the very best restaurants in Cala Galdana is El Mirador, overlooking the beach and enjoying views worthy of its name. Order fish or lobster (the island speciality). For a really memorable night out catch a taxi to Ciudadela then dine on tapas and seafood at Café Balear (Passeig de Sant Joan). Afterwards pop into the Sa Clau jazz bar (Marina 93) at the bottom of the hill, and enjoy cool sounds in a cosy cave.