If you want to learn about driving in Menorca before you decide to rent a car you are at the best place. We’ve prepared this article just for you so you will have all the information you need.
Many people are thinking of car rentals when they visit Menorca. It’s not a huge island so it all makes a lot of sense. That way, you can cover a lot of ground and visit all the hidden gems you might otherwise miss.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about driving in Menorca. From the basic rules to the driving experience we will cover every question you might have.
Do you need a car in Menorca?
Let’s get the most burning question out of the way. Do you actually need a car to enjoy a vacation in Menorca? Not necessarily. There is an okayish bus system that will get you between the bigger towns on the island. You can definitely do an itinerary that’s mostly sightseeing and checking out the biggest attractions. Check out the bus timetable here.
However, if you want to do some exploring on your own and not be limited by a timetable, then renting a car is a must. As a small island, it has the added benefit of getting anywhere quickly. When you rent a car you can plan your days around driving in Menorca and enjoying touristy places or off-the-beaten-path experiences.
💡 TopFlightsNow Tip: First time on Menorca? On a strict budget? Plan an itinerary with 2 days of car rental. Mahon and Ciutadella can be done via public transport such as some other towns. In the middle of your vacation, you can have a car for two days and check out any lesser-known attraction that you want to see.
How long does it take to drive around Menorca?
We all know that Menorca is a small island, especially if you consider some of the bigger islands like Corfu or Crete on the Mediterranean. But how small is it exactly? Let’s find out!
Mahon(or Maó) and Ciutadella are the two biggest towns on the island and they are located on the opposite side of the island from each other. Driving through the island from Mahon to Ciutadella takes roughly 45 minutes. As you can see renting a car means getting anywhere very quickly.
As a small fun fact, the same route would take you around 3 hours on a bike. That’s pretty good, but in reality, you wouldn’t want to bike on the main road.
The basics of driving in Menorca
Driving in Menorca will be a familiar experience. You will see the familiar road signs and a pretty relaxed driving experience.
The speed limits are the following:
- 50km/h in towns
- 90km/h outside of towns
Of course, road signage always overwrites the current speed limit so there might be places where you can’t go as quick as you would expect.
Always wear a seatbelt as it’s mandatory on the island. Though generally speaking you should always wear a seatbelt any time you get into a car anywhere in the world.
You need car seats for children under 12 and they must be in the back seats. Make sure you don’t skip this requirement as police on the island will be happy to fine for this.
Drinking and driving are not permitted. Unfortunately, that means no wine for diner whenever you are going out by car.
In Menorca, they drive on the right-hand side of the road. This is not unusual for many tourists but if you fly in from a place where left-hand driving is the norm you might need a few minutes to accommodate this new way.
No talking on the phone and driving. It warrants a fine in the whole of Spain and it’s no different on the island.
You might encounter police checks around the island. It’s very uncommon for tourists to be stopped but it’s best to always comply with the rules and avoid speeding. In case you are stopped present your documents and you will be let go once everything is checked.
You will need a moment to get used to the city names on road signs. They usually use the local versions. For example, Mahon will be Maó on the signs. In most cases, you won’t have a problem figuring out which is what, but keep in mind the signs might show something different than what you are expecting.
Make sure you know where the petrol stations are. Being on a small island also means few petrol stations. Don’t run out of gas in the middle of nowhere because you couldn’t find a filling station. Prepare in advance and it’s best not to let the tank go below 1/4 capacity.
How is driving in Menorca?
Now that you know the basic rules and tips let’s get into the driving experience. Let’s see what’s everyday driving in Menorca is like.
Roads in Menorca
Menorca is a protected biosphere area. This means there aren’t actually that many roads on the island. This is especially true for main roads. Only a few of them are available. There are no highways.
The main roads are all very well maintained. The road that connects Mahon and Ciutadella (ME-1) is the biggest of them all. It’s not a highway but it has a proper shoulder for the whole length.
As you move further from the popular zones roads become smaller. They do so to an extent that can barely fit two cars next to each other. Luckily only a few of these roads exist.
The general road quality is good. There are a few dirt roads here and there but most of the time there is asphalt and it’s great quality.
Traffic on the island
Traffic is very light in Menorca. The population for the whole island is less than 100,000 people. This means it’s sparsely populated given the size. This also means that locals don’t really create traffic jams.
Regardless, traffic jams and high traffic is possible but it mainly happens in August or July due to tourists. Car rental companies are kept busy in these months and cars on the road multiply in numbers due to the flock of international travelers.
Any other time of year and the traffic is a breeze. Visit in November and you won’t see another soul on the roads. Okay, that’s a stretch but you get the idea.
Is it hard to drive in Menorca?
All things considered, driving in Menorca is not had. On the contrary, it’s a rather pleasant experience. Usually, there is little traffic and the roads are good. You can get literally anywhere on the island in less than an hour.
There are no big mountains to conquer. No hairpins to be afraid of. You will feel right at home after a few minutes of driving on the island.
There are only two places where it might get a little bit uncomfortable. It’s inside Ciutadella and Mahon. Both are ancient towns with small streets and more traffic than the rest of the island. If you take care it’s not that hard to manage them though.
Parking in Menorca
Keep in mind that when you see blue painted lines it means the parking spot is paid. Parking toll machines can be hidden or a short walk from the parking spot but don’t give up looking for the machine until you have successfully purchased a parking ticket. Otherwise, you will be fined!
A small car will come in handy at many places especially at parking lots of major attractions. You will be able to fit into small spots that an SUV might not be able to fit into.
Always remember not to park in front of gates, driveways, and other places where cars are expected to move around.
Car rentals in Menorca
There are many opportunities to rent a car in Menorca. Most companies on the island are well established and trustworthy. The majority of rental car fleets on the island are small cars but there are some luxury options.
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Tips for renting a car in Menorca
You will find most rental companies residing at the airport. There isn’t a huge price difference between renting directly at the airport or inside town so if you need a car for the whole duration, we say rent at the airport.
Instead of full-to-full fuel policies, the common thing is to give back the car with the same fuel levels as you rented. Now, this is something to keep in mind. Let’s say you’ve rented the car with an almost empty tank and the first thing you do is fill it up to full.
Now if this happens you might have a little problem. It is little because nothing wrong happens if you return with more fuel than you should have, but Menorca being a small island, it’s actually hard to empty a full tank with the economical cars of nowadays.
Make sure that the AC works before you take the car. This is extremely important for summer or you will be cooked salmon by the time you get to the beach.
Manual cars are in abundance if you need an automatic rental you will need to think about renting months in advance. This is to secure the car. Also, expect to pay a premium.
We recommend renting a small car. It will fit in nicely with the Menorcan traffic and you will have an easier time navigating around the island where the roads are small. They are more affordable as well. If you really want something flashy try to find a convertible, many rental companies keep one or two in their fleet.