Should you rent a car in Menorca? My answer is definitely a yes.
Here you’ll find all my tips for driving in Menorca, including:
- Is driving difficult? Safe?
- Rules of the road and road signs,
- Road conditions and safety tips,
- Parking information,
- Advice on car rental,
- The most beautiful roads not to be missed,
Don’t worry, it’s easy enough!
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Driving in Menorca: What you need to know
What you need to know before driving in Menorca
If you don’t want to read the whole article, here are the essential points to know about driving in Menorca:
- Minimum age 18
- Driving on the right-hand side of the road
- Roads are generally in very good condition
- It is forbidden to wear flip-flops when driving (as in many countries, but more strictly).
- Locals can be impatient, so don’t forget to check your mirrors for passing locals.
- In case of accident – emergency number: 112 (or 061 for medical emergencies)
Where I rent my cars
My favorite platform, since I discovered it, is Discovercars.com.
As soon as I plan a trip, I immediately compare the cars available and the offers on them.
I like its simplicity of use, the filters to narrow down the options with my criteria and their insurance which works very well (and, yes, I’ve had to use it…).
But above all, I’ve often found very good deals.
Or read my tips for renting a car.
Getting around Menorca – do you need a car?
How is driving in Menorca? Is it difficult? Is it safe?
Driving in Menorca is generally easy and safe.
Most roads are wide and in good condition. And visibility is generally very good except on small roads with many curves.
Some roads are narrower and surrounded by low dry-stone walls, so take care and drive slowly, especially if you lack visibility and light.
There are also some unpaved roads for a few hundred meters to reach certain places, but these are quite rare, even if the island is still unspoilt and wild.
And then there are also paths that require 4×4s, like the road to Algendar Canyon, but that’s another matter.
Do I need to rent a car in Menorca?
- No, if you want to stay in your hotel and at the beach next door when there is one.
- Yes, if you want to enjoy the variety of landscapes Minorca has to offer.
- Yes, if you want to find secluded beaches or swim in coves.
- Yes, if you want to enjoy hidden gems off the beaten track.
Overall, I find that renting a car is the best way to explore the island and see all the best things to do.
It will also allow you to see the most beautiful landscapes Minorca has to offer.
Need to rent a car in Menorca?
- Compare prices on my favorite platform: Discovercars.com – one of the best rated comparison sites!
- Don’t choose a car too large, since some roads are very narrow
- Consider their full coverage option – it for peace of mind!
- Book early to have a large choice of vehicles!
Getting around Menorca without a car
It’s possible to get around Menorca without a car, to see some of the sights, but it’s not at all flexible.
- Bus – There are buses between the main towns, but the frequency is not intense.
- Organized excursions – There are excursions to see the island’s most famous sights departing from the main resorts (Port Mahon, Ciutadella, Cala Galdana…) – see options
Map with driving times – Minorca by car
Here’s a map of driving times you can expect in Menorca.
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Tips 1 to 6 – Rules for driving in Menorca
Let’s start with the general rules and regulations you need to know:
1 – Licence requirements / Age – Do I need an International Driving Permit?
To drive in Menorca / the Balearics / Spain, you need a valid driver’s license from your country.
If you have a valid driver’s license, which includes:
- a license number,
- a photo,
- a validity date
- and is written in Latin letters,
- then you don’t need an international permit.
If not, you need it.
You must be 18 years of age (although many rental companies may have other age requirements).
You must also carry your vehicle registration documents and a valid form of identification, such as your passport, at all times.
2 – Road side
In Menorca, driving is on the right-hand side of the road.
This means that traffic circles are taken counter-clockwise.
3 – General rules of conduct
- Seat belts are compulsory for all
- No cell phones at the wheel
- Headphones are illegal
- Children under 12 are not allowed to sit in the front of the car.
- Don’t wear flip-flops when driving
4 – Alcohol and driving
The legal blood alcohol limit here is 0.05%. Driving under the influence is considered a serious offence.
I always recommend not drinking at all if you’re driving.
5 – Mandatory equipment to have in your car
In Menorca, the following equipment must be available in the car:
- 2 warning triangles
- Reflective vest or jacket
- Spare wheel and tools for changing it
- First-aid kit (recommended, not mandatory)
- Flashlight (recommended, not mandatory)
- Children weighing less than 18 kg must be placed in child seats.
- Children under 135 cm tall must be seated on a booster seat in the rear seats.
6 – Compulsory insurance
The only compulsory insurance in Menorca is unlimited liability insurance – it’s automatically included in the price of all car rentals.
If you’re bringing your own car, don’t forget to bring proof of insurance.
Tips 7 to 15 – Safety: Road conditions and signs in Menorca
7 – Driving on fast roads
Minorca doesn’t have a freeway, but it does have a main road that crosses the whole island from east to west, the Me-1 road.
The maximum speed limit sign I saw was 80km/H.
This road is in excellent condition.
8 – Driving on secondary roads: mountains and countryside
Once off the main Me-1 road axis, the roads vary.
Nearly all have at least one lane in each direction with a center line.
I didn’t find any roads particularly difficult.
Even in the mountains, the roads are still in excellent condition, with barriers or protective walls. No stress.
When you get off the beaten track, you can ride on smaller and especially narrower roads with low dry-stone walls (typical of Menorca) – so a car that’s not too big is more suitable. These can have holes and bumps, but also much less traffic. So take your time, it’s easy if you don’t drive fast.
And if locals arrive, slow down and give way.
There isn’t really a more dangerous road in Menorca, but on the whole I’d advise you to drive slowly. There are rarely traffic jams, but lots of traffic circles and bends, so there’s no need to speed up – you’ll have to slow down regularly.
9 – Driving on unpaved roads
For some attractions/beaches, the last few hundred meters may be unpaved. But the roads aren’t very long, and if you don’t drive very fast, it’s easy to get through.
On the other hand, it’s possible to take a more adventurous route along dirt or sand roads, such as the Algendar Canyon. But then you’ll need a 4×4. Take a good look at the comments on the access roads before you set off.
10 – Driving in towns and villages
Again, there are no major difficulties for driving in towns.
If a village has narrow lanes, it’s often pedestrianized.
On the whole, streets are wide and there’s not much traffic.
Even in the capital Port Mahon, I found traffic very easy, with wide roads and plenty of parking.
11 – Speed limits and signs
- Speed limits are indicated on circular signs with a red border and a number.
- Speed limits are expressed in kilometers per hour.
- National speed limits are: 20km/h in residential areas, up to 80km/h on main roads.
12 – Other road signs and tolls in Menorca
Road signs are classic Latin letters, nothing specific to know.
There are plenty of signs to indicate directions.
Points of interest are indicated on brown signs.
There are no toll roads.
13 – Learn about the potential hazards on Minorca’s roads
Apart from driving too fast, the main dangers on Menorca’s roads are :
- The scenery – The main danger is getting distracted by the magnificent landscape. The island is still unspoilt and wild, on the road you’ll sometimes see the beauty of nature and want to look at it better, but there’s nowhere to stop. That’s when you become dangerous.
- Locals – Because you want to look at the scenery, locals on their way to work can be impatient. They can be a bit crazy when overtaking. Therefore, always look in your mirrors, especially when turning left (towards your accommodation, for example) in the middle of a long straight road or when you’re on narrow roads with bends.
- Cyclists – During weekends and vacation periods, cyclists invade the roads. Be extra careful when overtaking.
- Narrow roads – Many roads are really very very narrow with sometimes room for only one car, so avoid driving fast especially when the light is low. The many twists and turns increase the risk of accidents.
- The traffic in seaside resorts – Many roads are really very very narrow with sometimes room for only one car, so avoid driving fast especially when the light is poor. The many twists and turns increase the risk of accidents.
14 – What to do in the event of an accident
If people are injured or there is a conflict, the emergency number is 112 (with operators who speak European languages) and 061 for a medical emergency:
The best order of action is:
- contact the emergency services
- contact the police
- contact your rental supplier
Where to stay in Menorca?
I recommend staying either close to one of the 2 main towns, Ciutadella or Port Mahon, or in one of the charming little villages all over the island. You’ll enjoy good restaurants, typical markets and their picturesque atmosphere. For example, you could opt for:
- Hotel Gran Melia Villa Le Blanc Hotel in Santo Tomas – View photos & availability
- Hotel Catalonia Mirador des Port, overlooking the natural harbour of Mahon – View photos & availabilities
- Hotel Smoix Hotel, in the old town of Ciutadella – View photos and availability
Tips 15 to 18 – Parking in Menorca
15 – Parking in cities
Generally speaking, the parking spaces are quite large, which is nice.
I didn’t have too much trouble parking, even in high season except at :
- Ciutadella and Port Mahon in the city center,
- Cala Galdana in the evening in the residential area (no more parking spaces at my hotel)
If you’re staying in one of these places, don’t forget to check whether the accommodation includes a parking space or not.
17 – Parking at attractions
Most attractions have free parking.
Main attractions have tarmac parking lots, while off-the-beaten-track areas may be unpaved, but this is very rare in Menorca. Drive slowly on the latter.
16 to 17 – Gas station
16 – Fuels
- Fuel is considered cheap compared to the rest of Europe
- The service station in Spanish is ” estación de servicio ” and in Catalan ” estacio de servei “.
- Gasoline is found on the green pump – called ” gasolina ” and if it’s unleaded ” gasolina sin plomo “.
- The diesel is on the black pump called ” Gazoil”.
- There aren’t many electric charging stations yet, but you can find a few on the island.
17 – Service station management
- There are stations just about everywhere, so don’t worry.
- Some have petrol station attendants, which we love. In others, you fill up the tank yourself.
- At night, you may have to pay in advance before you can refuel.
18 – Minorca’s most beautiful roads
The island is not that big.
You can drive almost any road and admire the different facets of Menorca.
There are a few roads I like in Menorca:
- In the mountains towards Monte Toro, with a breathtaking view of the green surroundings
- Heading for Alaior inland amidst vineyards
- On the west coast between Cala Blanca and Pont d’En Gil.
My favourite activity in Menorca
I highly recommend the Binibeca: guided transparent kayak tour.
In just 2 hours, you’ll experience an unforgettable moment: a glimpse of the turquoise waters without diving, in the magical coves, caves and beach of Binibeca.
19 to 22 – Rent a car in Menorca
Here’s an overview of the main things you need to know.
You can find out more about my article about renting a car in Menorca.
19 – Type of car to rent
- Most cars have manual transmissions, book early for automatics
- I’d recommend a medium-sized car, especially if you’re going on narrow roads (and easier to park).
- You can find different car sizes
- So far, few electric cars
20 – Where to rent
Car rental in Menorca is available at the airport, on site or at a nearby agency with a shuttle service – see offers.
21 – General tips for a carefree experience
- There’s nothing special about renting a car in Menorca – no insurance and no special rules.
- As everywhere, I recommend a thorough examination of the car before taking it (and take dated photos and videos).
- Book early for the best prices and choice of cars
22 – Changing islands – ferry with rental car
Most companies won’t let you change islands in the Balearics with your car. And you’ll be in big trouble if you go there and have a technical problem or an accident.
So it’s best to make a comparison:
- Cost of ferry for the whole group + car with a company that allows it
- Versus – Cost of ferry berth without car for whole group + rental in Menorca
Plan your trip to Menorca:
- 35 best things to do in Menorca
- Menorca’s most beautiful landscapes
- Menorca’s most beautiful villages and towns
- Best beaches in Menorca
- Menorca hidden gems
- Best museums in Menorca
- Best caves
- Best calas
- Markets in Menorca
- Best restaurants
- Where to stay in Menorca
- Best luxury hotels in Menorca
- Best family hotels in Menorca
- Best boutique hotels
- Tips for driving in Menorca
- Renting a car in Menorca
- My itineraries in Menorca – coming soon
- Road trip in Menorca – coming soon
All my advice in this article was put into words with the help of Myriam.