Menorca enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate with long hot summers and short mild winters, with an average of 300 days of sunshine per year. Late spring and early summer are the best times to visit, when the temperatures are high, the chance of rainfall is low and the sunshine hours are at their highest. July and August are the busiest months of the year in Menorca, so if you are able to travel outside of the summer school holidays, it’s definitely worth it.
Menorca (or Minorca in Spanish and Catalan) is one of the three Balearic Islands which lie off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea. The other Balearics to the southwest are Majorca, Formentera and the infamous party island of Ibiza.
Menorca is the most northern of the Balearics, so it is slightly cooler and wetter than its southern counterparts. It is also in the path of no less than eight prevailing winds, leading to its nickname, The Windy Island. Menorca is home to the earliest wind farm ever built in the Balearic archipelago.
Summers in Minorca fall between early June and late September, when average temperatures range between 22°C and 25°C. Daily lows fluctuate between 18°C and 21°C, whilst daily highs fluctuate between 26°C and 29°C.
The hottest day ever recorded in Menorca is July 26th 1983, when temperatures as high as 39.6°C were registered on the island. Furthermore, the highest average temperature ever recorded in Menorca also falls within the summer period (28.9°C registered in August 2003) as well as the highest maximum average temperature (33°C, also registered in August 2003).
Minorca is exceptionally windy throughout the year, especially during the summer months. These blustery conditions create the perfect environment from water sports, as well as providing some much-needed relief from the summer heat.
Up to 13 hours of sunshine per day can be expected at the peak of the summer season, with clear skies an everyday thing for most of the months. A great way to cool off from the summer heat is to take a dip in the sea and with average sea water temperatures ranging between 21°C and 26°C in summer, there’s no reason not to hit the beach.
The peak summer months see rainfall at an absolute minimum, but the beginning and end of the season see heavy showers. In June, Menorca experiences an average rainfall of 16mm spread over five days. This drops to 7mm over three days in July, before rising up to 12mm across four days in August. The summer season closes with an average rainfall of 70mm spread between ten rainy days in September. The lowest monthly rainfall ever recorded in Menorca falls within the summer period. In September 1970 not a single drop of rain fell anywhere on the island!
Autumn in Menorca is wet and mild. It is the rainiest time of year and sees heavy showers on an average of 12/13 wet days per month. On average, November is the wettest month of the year, with an average of 88mm of precipitation falling on 13 wet days. The highest monthly rainfall ever experienced in Menorca is 251.4 l/m2, which fell in November 2001.
In autumn, the average daily temperature drops down to 19.5°C in October and down once again to 15°C in November. Daily highs and lows change in a similar fashion, falling from 23°C down to 18°C and from 16°C down to 12°C, respectively, as the autumn season progresses.
Night times can feel particularly cool and the sky is often overcast. November sees an average of seven hours of sunshine per day – this is twice the average in London at the same time of year! The sea is still just warm enough for swimming, with the average sea water temperatures ranging between 23°C and 20°C across October and November.
Winter in Menorca sees temperatures drop and rainfall increase. Between December, January and February, the average daily temperature ranges between 11°C and 12°C.This figure is made up of average highs of 14°C-15°C and average lows of 8°C-9°C. Whilst Menorca is warmer than the UK in winter, the island isn’t that warm in comparison to the other Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands.
The coldest day ever recorded in Menorca is January 9th 1985, when temperatures as low as -2.4°C were registered. Furthermore, the coldest average temperature also falls within the winter season – 7.6°C which was registered in February 2012.
Being one of the wettest seasons of the year, the average rainfall in winter is fairly high. The average precipitation starts off at 59mm spread across 13 rainy days in December, before falling down to 46mm divided between 13 rainy days in January and rising up to 61mm spread across 13 rainy days in February. Although frost and snow are quite rare in Menorca, they do occur every now and then. The highest number of snowy days ever experienced in Menorca is four, which occurred in February 2012. The wettest day ever recorded in Menorca is December 21st 1979, when 121.3 l/m2 fell within a single 24-hour period.
The Tramontana wind that sweeps across the island from the north is prominent during the winter months. This brings unpredictable, changeable weather so a rainy day could very well be followed by a day of uninterrupted sunshine, and very different weather conditions can be experienced within the same day.
Spring is considerably sunnier and drier than the autumn months. Between March and May, the average temperatures range between 12°C and 18°C. Daily highs fluctuate between 15°C and 22°C, whilst daily lows fluctuate between 9°C and 14°C as the month develops.
The rainfall continues to decrease as the season progresses, falling from 45mm spread across nine rainy days in March down to 44mm spread between 11 rainy days in April and down once again to 34mm spread between eight rainy days in May. Showers are frequent, but the sun usually comes out between them.
Sea temperatures rise from 15°C to 18°C as the season develops. Although the sea is probably a bit to cool for swimming in March or April, most visitors to the island will find it more than warm enough to take a dip by May.
Sunshine levels increase rapidly throughout the season, already pleasant at nine hours per day in March and climbing to 12 hours per day by May. Menorca is known for being particularly rich in stunning wild flowers, including orchids, and spring is when they bloom. Many species are unique to the island. With mild weather, spring is a great time to visit the island for a walking holiday.
Sea View in Menorca, Balearic Islands
When holidaying in Menorca, there are some weather hazards you should be aware of when planning your vacation.
Due to their close proximity to North Africa, the Balearic Islands suffer from dust storms, caused by the hot winds that blow across the Sahara. These tend to hit the area around late winter/early spring, usually around February and March.
Although they’re not usually severe, they can seriously restrict visibility and irritate asthma and other such respiratory problems so, if you suffer from one, make sure you carry your medication with you whilst on holiday.
Spain’s droughts are unlikely to have a direct affect on your holiday but they can exacerbate other weather conditions, which might. Bush fires in the summer are made worse by the vegetation being much drier throughout the island.
Furthermore, droughts can bring on subsequent periods of heavy rainfall, thunderstorms and hailstorms. There can be around ten hailstorms a year in Menorca and between 10-20 thunderstorms. The heavy rain can in turn lead to flash flooding.