The long-distance path around Menorca (GR 223) is a beautiful trail that leads along the coast around the whole Island. Its name Cami de Cavalls, or Horse Trail, stems from local defence trails from former centuries. The end of November with its still mild weather seems perfectly suited to hiking the Cami de Cavalls. But stocking up on water and provisions turned out to be quite difficult.
The woman in a “Patisserie Something” T-Shirt walking her dog chuckles when we ask whether there is an open shop or bar in the village. She is only the third person we have seen today, although it is already noon. Our snack provisions are almost empty because we couldn’t find an open shop for the last two days. And now we have almost crossed the village. We also urgently need to get some water. „Yes,“ the woman says and explains the way, delighting in our excitement. It turns out there are even three open bars next to the Hong Ye supermarket! So we eagerly treat ourselves to a coffee with milk, two bananas and chocolate cookies.
Beaches but no bars on the Cami de Cavalls
We started hiking the Cami de Cavalls in Ciutadella on the Western coast. Thus, as our first hiking days would lead us along the more touristy South coast with lots of beaches, scenic walks along the cliffs, and picturesque holiday settlements we expected to find food. We thought there would be an open corner shop at least once a day, and water outlets or bars to ask for water practically everywhere. But Hong Ye turns out to be the only supermarket we encounter until we arrive in Mao. Mao is Menorca’s administrative centre and it takes us four days of hiking to get there.
Nearly every village we pass is a ghost village. The hotels are closed, the holiday homes shuttered for winter, the toilets shut up, the beach showers turned off. (No, we wouldn’t mind drinking water from the showers). Even the information boards are wrapped in black plastic foil. Every now and then we meet an angler, a mountain biker or someone house-sitting for the in-laws because it was broken in too often. Some of the hotels are being renovated over the winter. That’s our salvation, it turns out. Namely, we quickly find out that the builders usually know whether there’s an open bar around.
Having arrived in Mao for a mid-hike break, we figured that we have to prepare even better for the second part along the North coast. From all we read, the North coast is apparently much wilder and more rugged. There are fewer villages, practically no bus connections and, presumably, no shop. And only very few houses to ask for water.
Why we loved hiking the Cami de Cavalls so far, anyway
Besides these difficulties the Southern part of the Cami de Cavalls has been absolutely stunning, with steep cliffs, turquoise water and secluded beaches. And all people we spoke to (not too many, though) confirmed that the Northern part is even better. We will let you know.
For a continuation of the story, read our travel blog post about the northern part of the Cami de Cavalls. And we have also written a day-by-day guide to hiking the Cami de Cavalls here.
NB: We were not sponsored for our travel to Menorca. We paid all expenses for hiking the Cami de Cavalls ourselves.
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