Camí de Cavalls – Everything You Should Know

cami de cavalls on a bike
By Bike along the Camí de Cavalls, Son Xoriguer area

History

The Camí de Cavalls of Menorca is considered a historical heritage of the island and declared of cultural interest by the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands (CAIB). It is a famous 185 km road that surrounds the entire island very close to the coast.

Although the origin of the Camí de Cavalls cannot be accurately established, it is known that during the eighteenth century it was used for military defense purposes, as it allowed the military authority to watch the coast. It was also used by pagesos (farmers) and its access was free for everyone.

Throughout the twentieth century the Camí de Cavalls suffered a noticeable deterioration, mainly due to its lack of maintenance and disuse of some of its sections. In 2000 a law was enacted to recover the utility of this road. Its main objective was to establish a public passage on the original layout of the Camí de Cavalls, to allow its general use for free.

Today It is possible to go through the entire Camí de Cavalls

Thanks to this law now the Camí de Cavalls is a place frequented by hikers and tourists on foot, on horseback or by bike,who enjoy the magnificent views and the fauna and flora of Menorca.

If you are interested in going through this road, you would better inform yourself in advance about the difficulty of the layout.

There are some stretches that can be done by bike,but there are others quite impracticable unless you go on foot. However, if you’re skilled with your mountain bike, chances are you’ll venture through most of the sections of the Camí.

It is assumed that since April 2010, you can go through all the Camí de Cavalls. This means that it is possible to travel all its sections. From now on, the improvement works on the sections of the road will be focused on making it walkable at all times of the year and placing rest areas.

Links to the 20 Sections of the Official Guide

The official online guide of the Camí de Cavalls provides detailed information on each section.

You can check the information following the links below.

  1. Stage 1 – Maò > Es Grau
  2. Stage 2 – Es Grau > Favàritx
  3. Stage 3 – Favàritx > Arenal d’en Castell
  4. Stage 4 – Arenal d’en Castell > Cala Tirant
  5. Stage 5 – Cala Tirant > Binimel-là
  6. Stage 6 – Binimel-là > Els Alocs
  7. Stage 7 – Els Alocs > Algaiarens
  8. Stage 8 – Algaiarens > Cala Morell
  9. Stage 9 – Cala Morell > Punta Nati
  10. Stage 10 – Punta Nati> Ciutadella
  11. Stage 11 – Ciutadella > Cap d’Artrutx
  12. Stage 13 – Cap d’Artrutx > Cala en Turqueta
  13. Stage 14 – Cala en Turqueta > Cala Galdana
  14. Stage 15 – Cala Galdana > Santo Tomás
  15. Stage 16 – Santo Tomás > Son Bou
  16. Stage 17 – Son Bou > Cala en Porter
  17. Stage 17 – Cala en Porter > Binisafúller
  18. Stage 18 – Binisafúller > Punta Prima
  19. Stage 19 – Punta Prima > Cala de Sant Esteve
  20. Section 20 – Cala de Sant Esteve – Maò

Where to Sleep in the Camí de Cavalls

If you want to know which hostels, hotels or apartments to stay while touring Camí de Cavalls, you should consult the guide of Cami de Cavalls on foot in 7 days.

Official Website of Camí de Cavalls – Info by Stages

If you want to have the exact information of each section and some information about the slope, you can consult the official website of the Camí de Cavalls:

Trail Camí de Cavalls

If you like extreme cross-country, I recommend you to take a look at the Trail Menorcawebsite. You can sign up for one of the ultra-trail races through the Camí de Cavalls, held in May every year. The different options are:

  • Trail Camí de Cavalls: 185 km,only for the “bravest”
  • Trail Costa Nord: 100km.
  • Trail Costa Sud: 85 km
  • Trekking Nord: 39 km
  • Trekking Sud: 55 km

Books about the Camí de Cavalls

In addition to the Guide of the Camí de Cavalls,there is another guide of the Alpine publishing house with hiking and MTB trails through the Camí de Cavalls (Gr-223). This guide has been on sale since February 2011 and it has been very successful in the Balearic Islands and Catalunya. The guide is written by Jaume Tort and can be purchased in Catalan or in its trilingual version (Spanish, German, English).

You can buy the guide using these links:

You can also buy the MenorcaDifferent Guide in PDF,which contains quite convenient summary information to visit the island. You can take it on your mobile or tablet,

Maps of the Camí de Cavalls

If you are sure that you want to do some excursion in the Camí de Cavalls, I recommend you check the maps below. It is also advisable to visit a nearby tourist information point to know the state of the Camí, as it may vary from year to year.

In case you want to find out about the routes and their difficulty, you better buy the Guide of Camí de Cavalls published in 2009.

Full Map of Camí de Cavalls - Consell Insular de Menorca
Full Map of Camí de Cavalls – Consell Insular de Menorca (Click to Download PDF)

 

Camí de Cavalls itineraries
Map of Camí de Cavalls itineraries

 

Map of sections and accesses of the Camí de Cavalls (click to enlarge)
Map of sections and accesses of the Camí de Cavalls (click to enlarge)

Beware of Fines!

According to the law of the year 2000, the alteration of the signs of the Camí de Cavalls is considered a very serious infringement, punishable with fines of 30,000 to 150,000 EUR. So beware with the wooden poles that sign the way, don’t break one!

Sections of the Camí de Cavalls according to the Official Guide

If you want to tour the Camí de Cavalls by bike or on foot, here you have an index of the official sections of the Camí de Cavalls guide. The difficulty refers only to walking, since all stages are of high difficulty if you want to go on mountain bike.

  1. Sa Mesquida < > Es Grau (4.21 km, medium difficulty)
  2. Es Grau < > Favàritx (8.53 km, medium difficulty)
  3. Favàritx < > Port d’Addaia (7.74 km, medium difficulty)
  4. Son Saura < > Ses Salines de Fornells (4.88 km, low difficulty)
  5. Cala Tirant < > Binimel·là (8.43 km, medium difficulty)
  6. Binimel-là< > Cala del Pilar(8.90 km, high difficulty)
  7. Cala del Pilar< > Algaiarens (8.22 km, medium difficulty, 2h30)
  8. Algaiarens < > Cala Morell (3.97 km, medium difficulty, 2h30)
  9. Cala Morell < > Punta Nati (6.84 km, easy difficulty)
  10. Punta Nati < > Calespiques (5.17 km, easy difficulty)
  11. Cala Blanca < > Cap d’Artrutx (4.10 km, easy difficulty)
  12. Son Xoriguer < > Cala en Turqueta (8.89 km, medium difficulty)
  13. Cala enTurqueta < > Cala Galdana (4.39 km easy difficulty)
  14. Cala Galdana < > Santo Tomás (9.97 km, medium difficulty)
  15. Santo Tomás< > Son Bou (2.93 km, easy difficulty)
  16. Son Bou < > Cala en Porter(7.80 km, medium difficulty)
  17. Cala en Porter < > Es Canutells (4.75 km, easy difficulty)
  18. Es Canutells < > Cap den Font (3.73 km, easy difficulty)
  19. Punta Prima < > Alcalfar (2.26 km, easy difficulty)
  20. Alcalfar < > Cala de Sant Esteve (4.17 km, easy difficulty)

Detailed Maps of the stretches (CIME)

A few years ago, the Consell Insular de Menorca (CIME) published maps with 26 sections of the Camí de Cavalls in great detail. Below you will find these maps of the sections, which are no updated since the release of the Official Guide of the Camí de Cavalls at the end of 2009. Despite it is not updated,they help me quite a lot when planning excursions, as it is very detailed..

Camí de Cavalls Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to cycle through the CdC on MTB-BTT?

Yes, but there are very complicated stretches and others that are simply impossible. If your plan is to cycle it all along (which is possible), you have to be in a very good shape as there will be many sections in which you will have to shoulder the bike.

My father (+50) made the entire tour of Camí de Cavalls by bike in 5 days (with some logistical support by road), so it is possible to do so.

Is the Camí de Cavalls well signposted?

Yes, the Camí de Cavalls is extremely well signposted. There are wooden “mojones/wooden poles” every 50 or 100 meters,so it’s hard to get lost.

If at some point you get lost, go back until you find the last”mojón/wooden pole” signaling the CdC.

Can you sleep/do bivouac on the beaches of Menorca?

No, it is forbidden, but a lot of people do so If you plan to do so it is essential to avoid the most touristic areas.

Bivouac or free camping: You can do bivouac outside the areas known as Natural Areas of Special Interest (ANEI). The problem is that these areas represent almost 40 of the island and include the entire coast.

  • I’ve done bivouac and I know a lot of people who do.
  • But keep in mind not doing bivouac on urban beaches and always look for a discreet site.
  • Once I was fined by a policeman in Macarelleta for doing bivouac (within an ANEI, it is forbidden – the fine is justified).

Are dogs allowed in the beaches that pass through the CdC?

Short answer, you can not take dog to the beach from May to October.

There are a few exceptions in Es Migjorn, and in 2013 there were some actions to request that owners could go with their dogs.

Is it possible to do the CdC in July-August or is it very hot?

In July and August it is very hot, but it is possible to make it if you can stand the high temperatures. You should carry little weight. A good advise is to avoid the sunniest hours.

I have done almost every stretch in August and you have to bring a lot of water. But it is without doubt the two worst months to make the CdC.

Where can I find accommodation in the CdC?

The hardest thing to tour the Camí de Cavalls is to find accommodation near it, especially on the North Coast.

You can check our article where we recommend affordable accommodation near Camí de Cavalls.

Where can I buy food and water along the CdC?

On the south coast it is easy to find supermarkets in each town and urbanization which you pass through.

On the north coast, you should bear in mind that from Cala Tirant to Cala Morell there is NO place to buy except the beach bar of Binimel-là Beach and the beach bar opened in 2018 in Cala Cavalleria.

  • Please note that depending on the time of the year they may also be closed!

Are there water points or fountains in the CdC?

There are no fountains, there are bars and supermarkets in the urbanizations where you can buy water.

From November to April it is much harder to find water at these points, as some of them may be closed.

  • Be very careful from Cala Tirant to Cala Morell, where you can only buy water at the beach bar of Binimel-là Beach and the beach bar opened in 2018 in Cala Cavalleria. Out of season (May-October) they may be closed!

What stages of the CdC can I do with Children?

In my opinion you could do all the stages in the south, but it depends on the age of the children and their physical shape.

Which stages of the CdC are best on foot?

A difficult question, as all of them have strengths and weaknesses.

I recommend the southern ones to see forested parts, and those of the north to see a wilder and a deserted landscape.

My favorites are:

Which stages of the CdC are the best in MTB?

Unless you are very good at Mountain Bike, I recommend these alternatives by bike.

  • I’ve done CdC stages by bike and ended up taking longer than on foot because every time you shoulder the bike you waste a lot of time.

How can I combine stages by bike and on foot?

If you do not have support on the island (friends, family, acquaintances), it is best to hire the services of the companies that are dedicated to this.

Are there barbecues or cooking points in the CdC?

No, there is only one Barbecue area in Cala en Blanes.

  • Be very careful to make fire, since Menorca is a Biosphere Reserve and it is forbidden to make fire in almost the entire coast.

Sources

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