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Menorca in Autumn

Tour Code: ESP40

An 8-day holiday on the Mediterranean island of Menorca to enjoy the thousands of migrant birds which arrive each autumn, as well as the island's history.

8 days from £1395(inc flights) Land Only Price: £1275 SRS: £160

Menorca is the second largest of the Balearic Islands and is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Our holiday is timed to coincide with peak autumn bird migration and thousands of species will either be resting on the island en route south, or arriving to spend the winter. We will be based for the week in a beautifully restored 18th century Menorcan farmhouse set in 10 hectares of countryside. From here we will explore the island’s stretches of coast, woodland and wetlands by gentle daily walks in search of Menorca’s special birds, flowers and culture.
  • Europe’s only sedentary population of Egyptian Vulture (40 breeding pairs)
  • Eleonora’s & Red-footed Falcons plus small resident Osprey population
  • Resident birds include Audouin’s Gull, Booted Eagle & Purple Swamphen
  • Purple, Night & Squacco Herons among a wealth of wetland birds
  • Robin, Song Thrush, Black Redstart & Chiffchaff among most common migrant birds
  • Prehistoric human sites & relics
  • Pleasant weather & absence of tourists!
  • Led by expert naturalist guide


All included in the price of the tour.


A comfortable, renovated Menorcan farmhouse, set in open countryside. All rooms have ensuite facilities and there is an outdoor swimming pool.

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Fly Mahon; transfer Matchani Gran.

Day 2/7 Daily birdwatching excursions all over Menorca from our base near Mahon.

Day 8 Return UK

Situated in the western Mediterranean Sea, just over 200 kilometres as the crow flies from Barcelona, Menorca is the second largest of the Balearic Islands. Lying to the north-east of both Mallorca and Ibiza, Menorca has managed to evade the widespread tourist development that has taken place on these neighbouring islands, and this is due in part to Menorca’s status as a UNESCO Biosphere reserve. Menorca is relatively flat — Monte Toro is its highest peak at 358 metres — and enjoys a mild climate year-round with hot dry summers and cool moist winters; spring and autumn are particularly pleasant. The north of the island is more exposed to the ‘tramuntana’ wind as well as sea breezes, and has a higher rainfall than the south, where sheltered coves and ravines provide ideal potential shelter for migrants. Fringing the island are delightful rocky bays known as ‘calas’ enclosing turquoise-coloured sea, and mile upon mile of sandy beaches backed by tall pines. Mahon is the capital of the island and boasts the second largest natural harbour in the world; it also offers the keen birdwatcher a variety of interesting species to look out for including Audouin’s Gull, Kingfisher and Booted Eagle. Menorca’s splendid harbour, together with the island’s strategically important position in the western Mediterranean, has attracted foreign powers and invaders since ancient times. The Phoenicians, Romans, Moors, Carthaginians, Spanish and British have all left their mark — and the island contains many cultural and historic sites of interest.

Our accommodation for the week is a splendid, and lovingly restored, 18th century farmhouse. Set in 10 acres of unspoilt countryside this is a most relaxed setting. From this delightful base it will be possible to explore many of the most exciting areas of the island, using our minibus to access the best sites which we will then explore on foot. Our holiday is timed to coincide with peak autumn bird migration, and thousands of migratory species will either be resting on the island en route south, or arriving to spend the winter. Robin, Song Thrush, Black Redstart and Chiffchaff are among the most common species we can expect to see, but it pays to be vigilant as avian surprises are very possible! As well as migrants, we can expect to see Menorcan residents such as Audouin’s Gull, Hoopoe, Purple Swamphen, Peregrine, Booted Eagle, Ferruginous Duck and Red-crested Pochard. In addition, the island is home to Europe’s only sedentary population of Egyptian Vulture; the species is thriving here and now has a breeding population of about 60 pairs.

During this holiday we will visit a variety of key sites in wetland and marshy areas. These hold large numbers of wildfowl and grebes which overwinter on the island, as well as many herons and egrets, and the island’s small population of Ospreys. We will visit the rugged cliffs of the rocky north coast, home to Peregrine and Blue Rock Thrush; and, if conditions are right for a fall of migrants, the low, scrubby vegetation here can come alive with recently arrived birds. This coast is also rich in plant-life, including several rare and endemic species, although very few will be in flower at this time of the year.

As a complete contrast, we will enjoy walking in the shady wooded areas of the sheltered gorges on the island’s south coast which might harbour some recently arrived migrants. We will visit El Toro, from which there are spectacular views over much of the island, and we’ll keep a keen look-out for raptors here, too. There is a small religious community in the old buildings at the summit, and also a café from which we may see Firecrests in the pine trees. If conditions allow, we will be able to take a boat trip out to Isla d’el Aire, a small islet just off the south-eastern coast of Menorca. In spring and autumn there is a bird-ringing station here, and the islet is also home to an unusual subspecies of Lilford’s Wall Lizard. Menorca has a large number of prehistoric sites scattered across the island, including rock mounds, caves and huge megalithic stones unique to Menorca; we will include a visit to at least one of these sites during our stay.

By October the roads are relatively trafficfree and the majority of holidaymakers have departed, which gives us a chance to explore the island in comparative peace. After a leisurely week exploring Menorca’s birdlife and other natural history as well as some of its culture, all in a gentle autumn climate, it will be time to return home.

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Wed 17th October 2018 - Wed 24th October 2018



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Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £1275 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: Menorca

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