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Arenal d'en Castell Menorca

Welcome To Menorca Home Page

Welcome To Our Guide To Arenal d'en Castell

The holiday resort of Arenal d'en Castell, along with it's nearest neighbour Son Parc, are both part of the municipal district of Es Mercadal on the rugged northern coast of Menorca, approximately 20km, or 12 miles north west of the capital Mahon and the international Aeropuerto de Menorca.

Although as the crow flies the distance from the centre of the resort to the airport, which is a little to the south of Mahon, is quite short, it has to be said that the road over to the north coast is not particularly good, and it's not unusual for the transfer to take approximately 30 to 40 minutes from the time you leave the airport grounds.

Although we recognise that most visitors to the area are on traditional package holidays, many of the tour operators now consider the transfer from the airport to your accommodation to be an optional extra, which in turn is leading more people to make their own arrangements for the journey by either pre-booked hire car, or alternatively by one of the many taxis from the ranks outside the arrivals hall.

Although taxis from the airport do operate on a fixed price basis, this "fixed price" can vary upon the number of suitcases, the time of day or night of the journey, the number of passengers carried, and finally the mood of the driver, although as a very rough guide the journey should cost around 35€ for a taxi carrying 4 passengers.

A point we cannot stress enough is that these taxis do not normally carry child seats, so very small children will have to sit on their parent's knee for the journey. If this is a cause for concern, we strongly recommend that you make arrangements for a pre-booked taxi to be waiting for you, and clearly specify at the time of booking that a child seat is needed for the journey. Pre-booked taxis are often a little more expensive, although as with all things in life, you only get what you pay for.

The journey for those who have chosen to drive is not particularly easy, especially for an inexperienced driver, and is for the most part along narrow unclassified roads.

To add further complication the local Government has in recent years also re-numbered most of the roads on Menorca, so make sure that you have an up to date map before setting out!

As with the other resorts on the island, we have put together the basic route for this journey, complete with links to maps where appropriate, and this is available from the Route Map link on the left hand frame of this page.

If however this all sounds a little daunting, you should seriously consider making the journey by either taxi or coach, and then possibly hiring a car once you are settled in the resort.

Once you are in the resort, and have settled in to your accommodation, the trip back to Mahon for either shopping or sightseeing, is then possible by public transport, but only if you plan your journey times with care. During the summer months a very limited bus service runs from Arenal d'en Castell, and on a number of occasions we've been asked for a timetable.

Experience has shown us that the term "timetable" is not necessarily the best description for the time the buses actually run, although these are published each year on the bus stop in town, and also on the pages of the local councils web site, as well as the web site of the Transportes Menorca, who are the local bus operators. However, clearly no responsibility can be accepted on our behalf as to either the content or accuracy of information provided on these external links.

On more than one occasion, the resort of Arenal d'en Castell in Menorca has been confused with the similar sounding resort of El Arenel, or s'Arenal, on the neighbouring island of Majorca. However, this is a mistake that you would only make once as the contrast between the two resorts is striking to say the least.

Whilst El Arenel on the south coast of Majorca is the German equivalent of Palma Nova/Magaluf, attracting young 18-30's Germans looking for a lively holiday, Arenal d'en Castell in Menorca, is a quiet, and very relaxed beach resort, which is especially popular with British families.

The bay at Arenal d'en Castell is a near perfect horse shoe, and is often pictured on the front covers of the major tour operators summer sun brochures. The warm shallow waters of the bay make this resort very popular with families with young children.

But as with all beaches, do watch out for the safety flags, green means safe, yellow warns you to be careful and red you mustn’t swim at all. The beach is without doubt a major attraction of this resort with fine, clean sand and a good variety of water sports and other facilities available to suit all tastes.

The cliffs that surround the bay are very picturesque and afford those with accommodation at the back of the resort spectacular views. However, for those less mobile, or families with very young children, please bear in mind that the walk down to the beach is considerably easier than the return trip at the end of the day!

There are a number of small Spar type supermarkets selling the everyday holiday essentials, along with a handful of other tourist type shops dotted around the resort, which in recognition of the high numbers of private holiday villas' and self catering apartments in the area, stock a wide selection of UK recognised branded goods, albeit at slightly higher prices than you would expect to pay back at home in the UK.

The underlying principle of consumer choice was once explained to me by a local shopkeeper as "if you don't like the price, you don't have to buy". However, the reality is that unless you have access to your own transport, and are prepared to travel out of the resort, "you do have to buy", a fact of which the shopkeepers are only too fully aware of.

The "biggest" commercial development in the town is undoubtedly the "Coves Noves Centre" which is a few minutes walk from the beach, but even here you should not expect to find the greatest selection of "designer label" shopping opportunities.

Now something that is never mentioned in the holiday brochures. At the start and end of the summer months Menorca, especially the north coast, does get very windy. If any further proof of this was needed, look at the way the trees around the resort all bend to the south. This may also explain why Menorca is effectively closed to tourists during the winter months.

The rugged northern coast of Menorca also is widely recognised by yachtsmen as being where the sea is at its roughest, and by local fishermen as where the richest fish stocks around the island are to be found.

To ensure these fish stocks survive for future generations, in June 1999 the Municipal Government of the Balearic Islands established La Reserva Marina del Norte de Menorca, (Marine Reserve of the North Coast of Menorca) and thus afforded special environmental protection to the area.

Looking now inland from the resort, the spiritual centre and highest point of the island Mount Toro, is clearly visible on most days, along with the 17th Century Sanctuary of the Mare de Déu del Toro, which is something that we will endeavour to cover in more depth on our Attractions and Amenities pages.

As with most resorts in Menorca, evening entertainment here is mainly hotel based, however, during the summer months at least, the resort does have a small number of lively bars, but certainly nothing that would ever compare to the neon jungle of the popular resorts along the south coast of Majorca.

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This website was launched on 1 May 2002

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