Cova des Coloms is one of the most incredible yet undiscovered Menorca attractions. Indeed, exploring the immense cave is one of those things you just have to do during your time on the island. Accessing the cave is possible by walking from either Sant Tomas or Es Migjorn Gran – two of Menorca’s well-known towns on the south coast. In this guide, we’re going to focus on the trail that starts from Sant Tomas. By following this route, you’ll initially walk along the stunning Platja Binigaus. You’ll then head inland, eventually reaching Cova Polida – another worthwhile cave to visit. Nearby, you’ll reach the stunning Cova des Coloms.
Other than just telling you about the Cova des Coloms hike from Sant Tomas, we’ll cover other important information. We’ll discuss things you need to know before you go and how to get there. We’ll also briefly detail the alternate trail option starting in Es Migjorn Gran. Finally, we’ll talk about the town of Sant Tomas itself, gear essentials and bonus tips about visiting Menorca.
To find out more about the best walks in Menorca, read our Pont d’en Gil to Punta Nati, Cala Morell to Cala Algaiarens and Cala n Bosch to Cala Turqeta hiking guides. Otherwise, you can read our Menorca hiking guide, where we talk about eight great day hikes on the island.
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Cova des Coloms Hike
The Cova des Coloms hike from Sant Tomas is one of the most underrated routes in Menorca. When we were planning our Menorca itinerary, we hadn’t come across any recommendations or information about the cave. So, we hadn’t planned on visiting it. It was only by chance that a photo of it flashed up on my Instagram feed when we were already on the island. Given its beauty, Beck and I decided it was worth seeing.
Upon reviewing our Menorca itinerary, we figured we had some time to visit the cave in the afternoon after doing the Binimel·là to Cala Pilar coastal walk. Now, that coastal walk was approx. 21km and took around six hours to complete. We visited Menorca in November. So, the days were quite short. Essentially, we had a small window to visit the cave before sunset. That’s exactly what we did and we were thrilled with our decision. Certainly, Cova des Coloms is one of the most beautiful natural places on the island. Let us describe the trail that leads to the cave from Sant Tomas in Menorca.
FYI – there’s also a Cova des Coloms in Mallorca, which is near Necrópolis de Son Real. Personally, we haven’t visited this cave on the neighbouring island. But, we’ve done a lot of great hikes in Mallorca. If coastal walks tickle your interest, we recommend hiking from Cala Romantica to Cala Varques in Mallorca.
Cova des Coloms Hike Details and Map
- Type: Out & Back
- Distance: 7.35km
- Time: 2 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 90m
- Difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead: Sant Thomas Car Park
- Map: Wikiloc
Cova des Coloms Trail Description
Platja Binigaus Cliff Path
Once you’ve parked at the Sant Tomas Car Park, you’ll begin your journey to one of Menorca’s best kept secrets. Initially, you’ll join a coastal path at Platja Binigaus. Also known as the cliff path, you’ll follow alongside the beach in a westerly direction. This trail is part of the 184km Camí de Cavalls multi-day island loop. The trail provides stellar views of Platja Binigaus. On top of that, the path is positioned next to and on top of a strip of short orange-coloured cliff walls. The orange rock contrasts brilliantly with the white sand and blue seas of Platja Binigaus. Given its serenity, Platja Binigaus is one of the most popular beaches in Menorca.
Eventually, you’ll depart the Camí de Cavalls trail, turning right to follow a dirt path inland. As you walk away from Platja Binigaus, the trail meanders through the forest, leading you closer to Cova Polida.
Cova Polida is the first cave you’ll reach on the trail leading from Sant Tomas in Menorca. Admittedly, we only briefly explored Cova Polida. Compared with Cova des Coloms, Cova Polida is a far less impressive cave. It’s possible to enter the small cave. But, we didn’t bother on this occasion. As mentioned, we arrived late in the afternoon. So, we were in a bit of a race against the clock to visit Cova des Coloms and return to Platja Binigaus before nightfall. Indeed, the plan was to enjoy sunset at Platja Binigaus after exploring Cova des Coloms. So, we briefly admired the outer cliff walls of Cova Polida, but then continued to the main cave.
Cova des Coloms
Following along the dirt path in the gully of Binigaus, you’ll soon arrive at an intersection. You’ll need to turn right to find the cave. A narrow tree-lined path leads you to the roughly 14 metre wide entrance of Cova des Coloms. It’s truly a spectacular cave that’s around 24 metres high and 100 metres deep. Given its shape and size, the cave has been nicknamed ‘the Cathedral‘.
The main part of the cave is easy to explore. The large vacant space is naturally lit by daylight. This section of the cave is around 50 metres deep. As you wander further into the cave, you’ll find a darkened narrow corridor, which leads another 50 metres or so. You’ll need a head torch to explore beyond this point. As mentioned, daylight was nearing an end. So, Beck and I didn’t explore this corridor section. Indeed, most people just hang around the main part of the cave. This is where you’ll get some outstanding Menorca photos, shooting in the direction of the entrance.
After exploring and then exiting the cave, Beck and I made our way back past Cova Polida, returning to Platja Binigaus for sunset. To make it in time for sunset, Beck and I needed to speed hike.
What’s speed hiking? It’s useful when you need to get to a destination quickly for sunrise or sunset. Find out more about speed hiking here.
Certainly, Platja Binigaus is a popular spot to watch the sunset in Menorca as the beach is conveniently located next to Sant Tomas. Expect many people along the beach watching the sun bid farewell to the day. Beck and I agreed that it was the perfect end to a stellar short hike to Cova Polida and Cova des Coloms.
Cova des Coloms Video
You’ll find footage of Cova des Coloms and the hike itself in our Menorca hiking production.
Things to Know Before You Go
The most important things to know before heading to Cova des Coloms relate to parking, access and trail preference. You’ll find most sources online talk about getting to Cova des Coloms from Es Migjorn Gran. Indeed, Es Migojrn Gran is closer to the cave than Sant Tomas. This means you’ll have a much shorter walk to the cave from Es Migjorn Gran. But, this is assuming you’ll find parking. There are limited places to park in Es Migjorn Gran. So, there’s a risk you’ll rock up and there’ll be no place to park. That’s the benefit of starting in Sant Tomas in Menorca. There’s a huge car park next to Platja Binigaus, so you’re more or less guaranteed a spot.
Also, the trail leading to Cova des Coloms from Sant Tomas is much more scenic and natural. You’ll enjoy the beach, cliffs and forest by following this trail. In comparison, the trail from Es Migjorn Gran follows an unpaved road, passing buildings and residential dwellings. Eventually, you’ll reach a natural dirt path meandering through the forest. But, you’d have missed out on seeing the beach and cliffs at Platja Binigaus. Of course, you could always head to Platja Binigaus after visiting Cova des Coloms from Es Migjorn Gran. But, this seems like an unnecessarily long route to take. You may as well just start at Sant Tomas, where you’ll enjoy the beach before and after visiting Cova Polida and Cova des Coloms.
How to Get to Cova des Coloms
Although we recommend visiting Cova des Coloms from Sant Tomas, we understand that you may want to do the shorter walk from Es Migjorn Gran. To cover both options, we’re going to talk about how to get to each location. It’s possible to get to both Sant Tomas and Es Migjorn Gran using public transport. Let’s review these bus options below.
Getting to Sant Tomas:
- Line 71 – Maó to Sant Tomas: there’s a 40 minutes bus from Maó Estació to Victoria Playa in Sant Tomas, near Platja Binigaus. The cost is €3.45 ($3.45USD) per person one-way. Check here for the latest timetable.
- Line 72 – Ciutadella to Sant Tomas: there’s a 55 minute bus from Estació d’autobusos de Ciutadella de Menorca to Victoria Playa. The cost is €5.20 ($5.20USD) per person one-way. Check here for the latest timetable.
Getting to Es Migjorn Gran:
- Line 54 – Es Migjorn Gran to Ferreries: there’s a 15 minute bus from this bus stop in Ferreries to this bus stop in Es Migjorn Gran. The cost is €2.45 ($2.45USD) per person one-way. Check here for the latest timetable.
- Line 73 – Maó to Alaior to Es Migjorn Gran: there’s a 25 minute bus from Maó Estació to this bus stop in Es Migjorn Gran. The cost is €2.95 ($2.95USD) per person one-way. Check here for the latest timetable.
Keep in mind that these buses run more regularly during peak season from June to mid-September. Outside of peak season, these buses may not run or have a very limited service.
If you plan on visiting Cova de Coloms during the non-peak season, we highly recommend driving there yourself because public transport will be limited. We hired an automatic car using Rentalcars.com from Menorca Airport for only €13/day ($13USD). Booking a car with Rentalcars.com was quick and easy.
Of course, if you drive yourself, you’ll want to know where to park. If you’re starting the hike in Sant Tomas, the logical choice is the big car park next to Platja Binigaus. If you’re starting the hike in Es Migjorn Gran, the best parking is at Cementeri de Es Migjorn Gran. But, there are only around seven spots there. If this parking is full, consider parking here or here. Parking at these alternate spots will make the walk longer to Cova des Coloms.
The best parking at Sant Tomas is found here.
Whilst, the best parking at Es Migjorn Gran is found here.
Trail Alternative: Starting in Es Migjorn Gran
The walk to Cova des Coloms from Es Migjorn Gran is an alternate trail option. This is a good option if you’re staying in Es Migjorn Gran or are wanting a shorter walk.
- Type: Out & Back
- Distance: 3.5km
- Time: 1.5 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 70m
- Difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead: Cementeri de Es Migjorn Gran
- Map: Wikiloc
Sant Tomas Menorca
Sant Tomas is a popular place to stay and visit in Menorca. Also known as Santo Tomas in Spanish, this coastal town is perfectly situated on the stunning Platja Binigaus. Indeed, Sant Tomas is one of the most beautiful towns on the south coast of Menorca. Tourists flock to this part of Menorca to enjoy the beach and chilled coastal vibes. Staying around here will make it super easy to visit Cova des Coloms too.
These are our five hiking gear essentials for this coastal walk.
- Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots: these hiking boots are super comfortable and lightweight.
- The North Face Venture Jacket: a fantastic windproof/waterproof jacket.
- Osprey Skarab 30L Day Backpack: a great backpack for hiking, which has plenty of space to store your gear.
- The North Face TKA Glacier Fleece Jacket: an excellent warmth:weight ratio fleece jacket that’ll help keep you warm.
- Columbia Convertible Trousers: a value for money pair of water-resistant convertible trousers.
You should also take water, snacks, lunch, sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat. If you’re going for a swim at Platja Binigaus, you’ll want to pack a towel and swimmers. For a more thorough gear list, check out our 66 Travel Items You Must Travel With. For a general summary of things you’d need for a trip to Menorca, read our Packing Checklist.
- Explore the island by foot and boat: there are so many places of beauty in Menorca. To experience all that Menorca has to offer in terms of natural attractions, make sure to explore the coast by boat as well as on foot.
- What to prioritise if you only have 36 hours in Menorca: is it just a long weekend that you have in Menorca? Well, definitely do at least one coastal walk along the Camí de Cavalls, a boat tour and have a chill session at a beach.
- Other great hiking in Menorca: there are many excellent coastal walks in Menorca. We recommend doing Cala Mitjana to Cala Turqeta, Es Grau to Favaritx Cape and Arenal d’en Castell to Cala Pudent.
Which do you prefer out of these Balearic islands: Menorca, Mallorca or Ibiza? Let us know in the comments below.