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Bird watching in the Balearic Islands

13 November 2015 ( 27 September 2016 )

Are you interested in birdwatching? Special Interests Product Manager, Tremaine Moore, shares his experiences of birdwatching in Minorca.

Visit Minorca's national parks for your chance to see ospreys in the wild

Those seeking a peaceful and relaxing holiday with beautiful beaches in iconic coves, turquoise water and warm sunshine will not be disappointed visiting the Balearic Island of Minorca. 

But on a recent visit to the island, I found there were plenty of other activities worth seeking out.

This was my first visit to the island and I was instantly struck by the gentle pace of life. Nobody was in a hurry and I immediately felt relaxed and ready to stroll round the elegant capital town of Mahon. 

A boat ride around the large natural harbour is a must, particularly for anybody interested in bird watching.

Related: Witness birds in their natural habitat on a specialist birdwatching holiday.

What birds you might see

I’d only just got on board the harbour boat when I saw an Audouin’s gull. This used to be a rare sighting and it is wonderful to see that their numbers have increased. 

Along the shore and cliffs I spotted booted eagles, common kingfishers and little egrets. The island has an interesting array of resident birds but during the spring and autumn migration there are many other species to view too – whenever you go make sure you pack your binoculars.

Other activities

As well as bird watching, the relatively flat nature of the island makes Minorca an ideal destination for other activities such as walking, cycling and horse riding. 

During my trip I trekked along part of The Cami de Cavalls, which has become a firm favourite for walkers. For the very active traveller it is possible to walk right round the island encountering a diverse range of habitats including sand dunes, ravines, woods and open fields as you go.

Related: Cami de Cavalls: 185km of stunning views.

Not just birds...

I also visited a number of the natural parks on the island that provide a wealth of wildlife, and more birds were added to my list – purple swamphen, eurasian hoopoes, black redstarts, osprey and great egret, to name a few.

Even at the end of the season I found there was still plenty to see plant-wise, but for those really interested in wild flora then the Spring colour should not be missed. This is a great time to get out and explore with your camera.

After all this activity I did build up an appetite; lunch is generally enjoyed from 2pm onwards and I found it strange to still be eating way into the afternoon. There are plenty of seafood restaurants that I recommend trying!

Too soon I had to return home, but my holiday to Minorca left me entranced by its natural beauty and tranquillity, and I would love to return.

Saga offer a range of special interest holidays, including a number of birdwatching and wildlife trips.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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