Summertime in Menorca is all about the fiesta. All across the island throughout the summer, you will find fiestas and celebrations just about every weekend in one town or another. While you’re on the fiesta trail, take the time to experience some of the local sights of the town you’re visiting and see some of Menorca at its finest.
In addition to the fiestas, there are festivals; exhibitions and gastronomic events taking place throughout the summer that give you the chance to experience some of the best that the island has to offer.
The fiesta that everyone across Menorca and around the world wants to experience is the famous Fiesta de San Juan. By far the biggest fiesta on the island, it’s a spectacular event that sees people from all over Europe and beyond flock to the town of Ciutadella to see the horse riders, or Junta de Caixers, parade through the town on their powerful and elegant Menorquin horses.
The highlight of the fiesta is the Jaleo, or “pandemonium,” where the riders make their horses rear up on two legs to ride through the town performing the “bot” for as long as possible through a thronging crowd. While the crowd cheers them on, and some brave souls try to touch the horse’s heart for good luck for the coming year while they’re carrying out their two-legged procession, fiesta music and pounding drums fill the air along with the cheers and shouts of the crowd.
Throughout the weekend of the fiesta – from 23-25 June – all the town’s bars and restaurants will be open but very little else. For the locals, this is the biggest holiday of the year and everyone takes to the streets to party.
Throughout July and August, the town of Mahon holds an internationally renowned music festival that brings acclaimed classical musicians from around the world to play at the Mahon Teatro Principal – Spain’s oldest opera house.
In addition to the large concerts in the opera house you will find lots of music across the town throughout the two months of the festival. On the Patio del Mercat des Claustre, there are regular sunset concerts where you can listen to the sounds of small chamber groups while enjoying a drink and a bite to eat.
In the centre of town you will also find Es Freginal Park, where there are regular jazz concerts amongst the pretty gardens and a play area for the children.
Throughout the summer, many of the towns have food festivals that bring typical Spanish and Menorcan cuisine to the tables of visitors to the island. There are several tapas festivals that allow you to sample many different dishes for as little as €2 per plate.
In early September, the third Menorcan Cookery Fair takes place in 32 restaurants and 12 towns across the island. Giving the opportunity to try delicious food cooked featuring locally sourced ingredients; restaurants use the opportunity to cook the best of traditional Menorcan food alongside new and innovative dishes to tempt diners.
Smoked sardine with Mahon cheese – one of the wonderful dishes you could try at one of the food festivals across the island
Participating restaurants will prepare a show menu or menu mostra, where a starter, main course and dessert will cost just €15. Those wishing to try something extra special can enjoy a gourmet menu, costing up to €50 per head.
With music, food and fiestas, there is plenty to keep you entertained on Menorca throughout the summer of 2013. Party with the locals, enjoy some of the best music the world has to offer and sample some fine food made with the wonderful produce from the island, cooked by some of the best chefs in Spain.