Walking the Camí de Cavalls is an enchanting way of understanding the ecosystems of this very special island, which was officially made a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1993.
A Path Out of History
The Camí de Cavalls, literally the ‘Way of Horses’, was originally built in the Middle Ages to connect the defensive forts and watchtowers around the coast of Menorca, at which point it was patrolled by soldiers on horseback. For centuries it was used both for defence and for communication between the towns on the island, until eventually it became superseded by more established roads and fell into disrepair.
In the 1990s, a campaign was started by a group of residents in an effort to restore and protect the trail. It was opened to the public in 2010 and now allows visitors to walk the entire 185-kilometre coastline of the island in 20 different stages.
Woodland, Wetland, Cliff Tops and Coves
The beauty of the Camí de Cavalls is that it takes you on a journey that displays the magnificent diversity that Menorca has to offer. Each stage amazes you with a different vista; at the start of each one there is a map that notes the length, altitude and features of the landscape, which means that you can easily pick and choose which stages you’d like to walk. Wherever your villa is located on the island, there will be a prime stretch of path within easy reach.
Stage 3, for example, is a five-hour walk across the north coast on the island, meandering through verdant farmland and olive groves as well as the secluded beach of Mongofre. Stage 10, in contrast, takes you through the dry, flat and rocky landscape to the south, while the ravines and woods of stage 14 will bear you past the magnificent Cave of Doves.
Not a Keen Walker?
If you would love the chance to experience the awe-inspiring biodiversity of the island but don’t want to bring your hiking boots, there are other ways to traverse the Camí de Cavalls. It’s an excellent route to complete by bicycle, which cost around €10 a day to hire in most of the beach resorts. There is also the possibility of experiencing the trail on horseback; this is a great opportunity to get to know the native breed of Menorquin horses.
Whether you want a scenic picnic lunch or a full week of walking, the Camí de Cavalls will provide a route around the island’s outstandingly beautiful coastline.