Many parents have experienced the challenges of deciding where to go on their family holidays with children of any age, but if you are planning a holiday that will suit both you and your teenagers, you are probably up against the toughest decisions.
Ciutadella, the delightful seaside town in western Menorca, is one of my recommendations for family holidays with teens. There is a whole host of things to do for everyone, and no matter what your kids are into, they are bound to find something they enjoy here.
I have put together a rough itinerary of how to spend a week in Ciutadella with your teenage kids. Tweak it, adapt it, or follow it to the letter and you are in for a great week.
A Week in Ciutadella
Saturday Night Out
Spain is very well known for being family friendly, and the island of Menorca has plenty of restaurants and bars where the staff think nothing of your youngsters hanging out with you until late into the night. Even people like me with tiny toddlers are still out and about and eating and drinking late in Spain.
For your first evening out, which is probably a Saturday, Jazzbah Club (Placa de Sant Joan) and Sa Clau Jazz Club (Marina 93) are two of my favourites haunts. Kids will love the live music and adults will appreciate the cocktails. Another great place for a family night out is Sa Barreta Bar Tasca (Jose María Quadrado 22).
Sunday Night Fun
After a well-deserved lie-in and a lazy Sunday afternoon, there is no better way to spend a Sunday night than at the races. With no serious betting, just lots of fun, this a wonderful way to mix with the locals while seeing some beautiful horses do their thing. There’s always a great atmosphere at the Hippodrome, where the whole family can get involved.
Monday – Fun on Two Wheels
Renting bikes can be lots of fun, and Bike Menorca at Carrer Sant Isidre 32-24 is a professional rental shop and one I always go back to. As a keen cyclist myself, I can recommend the route from Ciutadella to Ferreries. This linear 16.5km route takes you past prehistoric settlements, such as Torretrencada, and stately homes, such as Naveta des Toudons. The elevation is minimal and the route should only take 2 hours, so no time for the ‘are we nearly there yet’ chant. Why not take a picnic and make a day of it?
Chilling on Tuesday
Teenagers will love the chance to do some relaxing and sun seeking, even if it is only to impress their friends back home, so I suggest having a lazy day on Tuesday and enjoying an al fresco picnic lunch at one of the beaches close by.
I love Cala Blanca, aptly named after the white sands that grace its shoreline. With a few facilities and some lovely little bars, you have all you need here. The water is always calm and great for swimming. Cala Degallador, a 10-minute stroll from Ciutadella centre, is smaller and narrower but flanked by an elegant promenade. People seem to miss this beach and so it is often quite quiet. My third beach choice would be Cala en Blanes. Sheltered and very close to town, the kids will love it here because it has lots more going on.
You can’t visit a place without discovering more about your local area, so midway through your holiday, once you have all settled in, why not take a stroll around the attractive Ciutadella? The charming port and majestic old quarter make for a lovely morning’s exploration, and visiting some of the Baroque and Gothic churches, such as the main cathedral in Placa de la Catedral, will get the teens’ historical brains working.
For some real local flavour, visit the Placa Libertat’s covered market or the Placa Nova for some bustling café culture.
Boating Fun on Thursday
I don’t know any teenager who doesn’t love a boat trip and a chance to top up the tan at the same time. For approximately €46, you can enjoy a full day trip exploring the coast to Son Saura. You’ll be out from 10am-5pm and can look forward to an elaborate paella, which is provided on board for lunch. The trip includes a chance to get off the boat and swim, explore hidden away caves, and walk on some of the most tranquil and picturesque beaches in the area.
Hit The Shops on Friday
Shopping is on most teenagers’ radars and, luckily, Ciutadella offers lots of opportunity for your kids to window shop or indeed to splash their cash. From stylish boutiques to souvenir shops, and shoe shops to hand made jewellery shops, there is so much choice in this city. The main shopping area is pedestrianised so you know the kids will be safe to head off on their own, but remind them that everything closes from 1-5pm for siesta. I love wandering around the shops in the evening when the temperature has dropped and the place comes alive.
During summer on Fridays there is a travelling market that stops in Placa des Born and offers leather goods, summer clothing and accessories. Why not let the kids go and explore while you take a well-earned break in one of the cafes close by?
If your kids are going through their alternative phase, as many do, send them to the handicrafts and jewellery market in the old port for some one-off bargains. This market is open from mid June to mid September, from 10pm until midnight. For other markets, see here.
How To Get to Menorca From the UK
So many airlines serve the busy island of Menorca and, as I am sure you will appreciate, several of them fall into the budget airline category. easyJet fly from London Gatwick, while Ryanair connect Menorca with London Stansted, but other carriers such as Thomson, Thomas Cook, Monarch and Jet2 also offer some great deals.
Transfers to Ciutadella from Menorca Airport take only 45 minutes, which is bound to please the kids. No matter how much they try to play it cool, they will be itching to get to their accommodation. Booking with Shuttle Direct means that you can expect a personal meeting on arrival, help with your luggage and a private transfer, should you desire, to your final destination. For only £85 for a family of four (one way, as if July 2016), Shuttle Direct offer seamless, efficient, and professional transfers to Ciutadella.
The facility to book in advance is useful too, so when you land and have everything else to think about, you’ll know that you can exhale and let someone else take care of you and your kids on the final leg of your journey.
About Shuttle Direct:
Shuttle Direct are the number one transfer company in Europe and North Africa. Let our professional team take away some of the potential worry with regards your onward airport transfer. We are here to offer a professional, reliable and competitively priced service. A personal meeting at the airport is followed by a seamless transfer to your hotel. Book in advance and worry about nothing else.