As you’re sitting at home, staring out at grey skies and planning your summer holiday, the main thing you’re going to be after is a little bit of sunshine.
The climate of your chosen destination couldn’t be more important. Too cold and you’ll struggle to get that longed-for tan, too hot and you could be left huddling in the shade, longing to get back home to a bit of rain and fog.
One place with enviable weather is the Spanish island of Menorca. Enjoying a classic Mediterranean climate, the island gets around 300 days of sunshine a year. The hottest months are of course in the summer, but the warm Mediterranean winds ensure the island is kept nice and mild all year round.
Although predictably a lot cooler than the summer months, winter in Menorca is still relatively mild compared to Northern Europe. January temperatures vary between 7˚C and 14˚C, with an average of 3.5 hours of sunshine a day. By March the average temperature is up to around 12˚C, with a generous six hours of sunshine per day.
In winter there is a wealth of activities to keep you entertained. With the beaches empty, this is the perfect time for a bit of scuba diving. The seas around the island team with wildlife, including barracudas and stingrays, and with some of the cleanest seas in the Mediterranean, you won’t miss a thing.
During the winter months the famous tramontane wind sweeps in from the north, creating very changeable weather patterns across the island. A day of showers can easily be followed by a day of uninterrupted sunshine, so make sure you’re ready for anything.
As in most countries, winter in Menorca does bring with it its fair share of rain. This keeps the island green and fertile, as well as sustaining its plant and animal life. If you do find yourself with a rainy day, head to Mahon or Ciutadella to enjoy the local food, or relax with some retail therapy.
From March to May the average temperature increases from around 15˚C to 21˚C, and sunshine hours increase from 6 to 8.5 per day. Rainfall drops dramatically, and by the end of May, summer is well and truly on the way.
Thanks to the rainfall the island receives during winter, springtime in Menorca is awash with wildflowers and vegetation rarely seen in Spain outside of the Balearic Islands.
Created a UNESCO Biosphere reserve in 1993 thanks to its variety of flora and fauna, the island is home to wild orchids, wild asparagus, poppies, daisies and irises among many others.
This colourful spring countryside is best explored and enjoyed on foot. There are a few tour operators who run walking holidays in Menorca, and most run special trips during the spring to take advantage of the spectacular wildflower display.
Summer is, unsurprisingly, the time when most visitors come to Menorca. And with average temperatures peaking at 28˚C in August, you can see why. There is also almost no rainfall during the summer months, with an average of just five rainy days for the whole of June, July and August.
With high temperatures and around 11 hours of sunshine per day, Menorca is a sun worshipper’s paradise, and with more beaches than Ibiza and Majorca put together, you won’t be short of places to worship.
Menorca is nicknamed ‘The Windy Island’ thanks to the eight winds that blow through it for most of the year. In summer these can bring welcome relief from the heat as well as ideal conditions for water sports of all varieties. From windsurfing to sailing, this is the perfect time of year to hit the waves.
Autumn in Menorca is the wettest time of year on the island; October brings the most rainfall with an average of eight rainy days in the month. Temperatures, however, drop less quickly, with the average in September staying at around 21˚C, but by November the temperature is down to 15˚C.
The seas around the island tend to stay milder for a lot longer. Thanks to the months of summer sunshine the waters can often stay as warm as 18˚C until November. Perfect for an autumnal dip.