Camí de Cavalls is a hiking route around the island of Menorca with a length of 185 kilometres. The trail was built in the 14th century to help troops patrol the island’s coastline and has been restored in recent years for tourist use.
In this article you’ll learn everything you need to know about the route, from how to get there to what to take with you – get ready for an unforgettable adventure!
History of the Camí de Cavalls
The history of the Camí de Cavalls dates back to the 14th century, when Turkish invaders were constantly attacking the island of Menorca. The Camí de Cavalls was used as a way of patrolling the coast and protecting the island from invaders in the time of James II of Mallorca. Over time, the Camí de Cavalls fell into disuse and became a popular hiking route. In 2010, a restoration project was launched to make the route safer and more accessible to tourists.
Planning the route
Before starting the Camí de Cavalls, it is important to plan your route. The complete route is 185 km long and is divided into 20 stages. You can choose how many stages you wish to complete depending on your skill level and time available.
It is important to research the weather and the season to make sure you are prepared for the journey. You should also take with you everything you need for the route, such as water, food, sunscreen and a map.
The Camí de Cavalls allows you to pass through rocky outcrops, torrents, ravines, valleys, farmland and wetlands, all of which connect with ancient watchtowers or lookout towers, trenches and lighthouses, and lead you to the beaches of the island of Menorca.
This is a place where you can discover the natural wealth and heritage of the island of Menorca.
The Camí de Cavalls stages are as follows:
- Es Grau
- Cabo de Favàritx
- Arenal d’en Castell
- Cala Tirant
- Els Alocs
- Playas de Algaiarens
- Cala Morell
- Punta Natí
- Cala Turqueta
- Cala Galdana
- Sant Tomas
- Son Bou
- Cala en Porter
- Punta Prima
- Cala Sant Esteve
Officially there are 20 stages offered by the Camí Cavalls, however, the route can be done as the person prefers. There are people who do the route in 3 days, while others do it in 2 stages, this per day, half the time.
There are also people who do the route in 1 stage, then do another stage and then gradually walk around the whole place. The route is not easy, as there are parts that are quite complicated; however, you can find parts that are simpler. There are much longer routes and others that tend to be much shorter. There are different accesses that you can choose from to start your adventure.
Cami de Cavalls walking
If you want to walk around the Camí de Cavalls in just 7 days, it is essential that you are in good shape, because you must maintain a pace of 4 km/hour and walk the 185 km of the trail.
The route starts in Maó and must begin on the north coast of Menorca, which is much harder than the south coast and has longer stretches.
Bear in mind that if you are going to walk the Camí de Cavalls route:
- You should drink a minimum amount of water.
- You must not sleep on the beach (this is not allowed in Menorca).
- Calculate the times without stops (add the time foreseen for your rest) and the time to visit museums, beaches and more.
- Do not carry too much weight in your backpack
Avoid summer weather (not recommended for this type of route).
Camí de Cavalls Trail
You can do the Cami de Cavalls Trail running (Easy-Medium). Depending on the stages for a runner, Camí de Cavalls Trail can be done in its entirety around the island. It is a challenge that covers 185 kilometres around Menorca along the coastline.
You pass through all types of terrain, the participant is oriented by a map showing the Camí de Cavalls, during the route you will connect with watchtowers, watchtowers, trenches and lighthouses and you will also be able to see the island’s coves.
There is a Camí de Cavalls Trail race, one of the longest races in Europe, 185 km with a little more than 3000 metres of positive height gain, where you go around the island of Menorca, it is one of the most beautiful challenges that exist in Menorca.
It is an adventure that leaves no one indifferent, those who participate become a legend, along the entire route there is a bus service that is responsible for picking up all those who have decided to withdraw. You should know that Menorca is an island that is completely flat; however, you cannot let its altimetry fool you, as the Camí de Cavalls tends to punish those who underestimate it.
Camí de Cavalls on horseback
As we have mentioned throughout this article, the Camí de Cavalls is an ancient path. Nowadays, you can follow the Camí de Cavalls on horseback, routes along the beach with mares and horses of the Menorcan breed.
You can do the route with a purebred Menorcan horse, most of which are robust and calm. You can go along the beaches, paths and ravines and the best thing is that you can feel the salty breeze of the beautiful Mediterranean, a rich aroma of pine and holm oak and if you go along the Cami de Cavalls in March you will feel the sun caressing your skin.
This is a unique opportunity for you to get to know the culture and cult of the horse on the island of Menorca, a legacy of the island’s Arab past. This tour allows you to reconnect with the natural environment of the island and also allows you to recover the peace, harmony and balance that usually define the Menorcan way of life and its honest relationship with the environment.
Camí de Cavalls by bike
The Camí de Cavalls is undoubtedly one of the best places to do an infinite number of things, including cycling. It is pure hiking and mountain biking. The Camí de Cavalls is a perfect route for the bikepacking style, this with an excellent width of wheels and with double suspension.
When cycling the route it is necessary to follow what is called a modified route, this avoids those areas that are more uneven.
It is recommended to do this route in at least 4 stages if your fitness allows it, but if there is enough time you can do it in 5 or 6 stages.
Camí de Cavalls cycling route in 4 stages
To do this you need to comply with the following:
- Stage 1: from Maó – Ses Salines de Fornells about 44 kilometres
- Stage 2: from Ses Salines – Ciutadella at 61 kilometres
- Stage 3: from Ciutadella – Son Bou at 45 kilometres
- Stage 4: from Son Bou – Maó at 46 kilometres.
As mentioned above you can do it in 5-stage routes and 6-stage routes.
Route of Camí de Cavalls by bicycle in 5 stages
- Stage 1: Maó – Arenal d’en Castell in 35 kilometres
- Stage 2: Arenal d’en Castell – Ferreries 32 kilometres
- Stage 3: Ferreries – Ciutadella 36 kilometres
- Stage 4: Ciutadella – Son Bou in 45 kilometres
- Stage 5: Son Bou – Maó 48 kilometres
Route of Camí de Cavalls by bicycle in 6 stages
- Stage 1: Maó – Arenal d’en Castell, this at 35 kilometres
- Stage 2: Arenal d’en Castell – Ferreries at 32 kilometres
- Stage 3: Ferreries – Ciutadella in 36 kilometres
- Stage 4: Ciutadella – Cala Galdana in 31 kilometres
- Stage 5: Cala Galdana – Cala en Porter in 28 kilometres
- Stage 6: Cala en Porter – Maó at 32 kilometres
It is important to mention that the above routes are not recommended for children.
Camí de Cavalls on your own
This is a different and beautiful way to visit Menorca, through the Camí de Cavalls, also called the Camí de Caballos, you can go around the whole island, this along the 185 km, it is a path that has a great route.
It is important to mention that the path is perfectly signposted, that is to say, you will find wooden posts and white and red signs, recognised as an approved trail of Gran Recorrido (GR-223).
It is recommended to visit the Camí de Cavalls all year round, however, to enjoy the coves and a good swim it is best to visit this marvellous place in the months of May and September.
There are 3 stages on the northern route, this is the one from Fornells to Cala de Blanes, here there are no options to get or buy water or food, it is difficult to find coverage for mobile phones. You should plan the route and know what to take with you, to enjoy a good trip.
Best times of the year to do the route
The best time to hike the route is from May to October, when the weather is warm and dry. However, it is important to note that in July and August the island can be very crowded due to the high season and the weather can be excessively hot.
If you prefer to avoid the crowds, it’s best to do the route in May or June or in September and October. In these months, the weather is ideal and there are fewer tourists.
Highlights of the route
The Camí de Cavalls is full of breathtaking places you can’t miss. Below are some of the highlights of the route:
- Cala Pilar: a remote beach surrounded by rocky cliffs.
- Cala en Turqueta: a beautiful beach with crystal clear water and white sand.
- Cova d’en Xoroi: a natural cave in a cliff that has been converted into a bar and discotheque.
- Faro de Favàritx: an iconic lighthouse perched on a cliff with breathtaking views.
- Monte Toro: the highest mountain on the island with panoramic views of Menorca.
Difficulty of the route
The Camí de Cavalls is a moderate hiking route with some more difficult sections. The paths can be rocky and steep in places, which can be a challenge for those with little hiking experience.
It is important to have a good level of fitness and be prepared to walk long distances. In addition, you should carry comfortable footwear suitable for walking over uneven terrain.
You may need to carry hiking poles to help you up and down steep slopes. It is also important to carry enough water and food to keep you hydrated and energised during the hike.
There are many places to stay along the Camí de Cavalls route. There are accommodation options ranging from luxury hotels to campsites and hostels. There are also rural houses and cottages that are rented out to tourists.
It is important to book your accommodation in advance, especially in the high season, to make sure you have somewhere to stay.
It is important to bear in mind some safety tips before starting to walk along the Camí de Cavalls. Here are some important tips:
- Make sure you carry a map and a mobile phone to stay connected.
- Keep a steady pace and avoid walking in extreme heat.
- Use sunscreen and wear a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
- Carry enough water and food to keep you hydrated and energised.
- Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking on uneven terrain.
Frequently asked questions about Camí de Cavalls
Can I do the Camí de Cavalls by bicycle?
Yes, it is possible to do the route by bicycle, but you should bear in mind that some sections can be difficult and rocky.
Do I need to be a hiking expert to do the Camí de Cavalls?
You don’t need to be a hiking expert, but it is important to have a good level of fitness and be prepared to walk long distances.
Can I do the route in one day?
The complete route is 185 km long and is divided into 20 stages. You can choose how many stages you wish to complete depending on your level of ability and time available.
What is the best time of day to do the Camí de Cavalls?
It is best to walk in the morning or in the afternoon, avoiding the hours of extreme heat.
Is the Camí de Cavalls a circular route?
Yes, the complete route of the Camí de Cavalls is circular and starts and ends in the same place.
Is it necessary to hire a guide to do the Camí de Cavalls?
It is not necessary to hire a guide, as the route is well signposted and easy to follow. However, if you prefer to have a guide, there are local companies that offer guide services.
Can I take my dog on the route?
Yes, you can take your dog on the route, but you must keep it on a lead at all times and pick up after it. You should also make sure your dog is well hydrated and bring enough water for him.