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13. Hit the Wednesday night market
Wednesday is market day in Alaior, but the stalls don’t roll in until the sun goes down. There’s very little you can’t buy, but jewellery, wooden sculptures and local produce are everywhere you look. Pick up some friendship bracelets for people at home, and then stock up on some of the different types of cheese and sausage.
14. Experience a traditional trotting race
Trotting races are a time-honoured tradition in Menorca. These horse-and-cart competitions are held on summer weekends in hippodromes in Mahon and Ciutadella. Silk-dressed jockeys ride Roman-style chariots around sandy circuits, with the aim of never letting their horses break into a full-blown gallop.
15. Escape to Cala Presili Beach
The walk from the Cala Presili’s car park down to the sands takes about 15 minutes – downhill on the way there, uphill on the way back – but the journey’s worth the effort. It’s a fairly small cove – just 200 metres long and 20 metres wide, in fact – but there’s rarely a soul on these sands. They’re washed by waves in varying shades of green and blue, and the water’s so clear, you can look down and see silver fish glinting in the sunrays.
16. Soak up the views from Monte Toro
If you’re willing to make the 45-minute drive from Punta Prima, and then brave the hairpin bends that zigzag up Menorca’s highest peak, you’re in for a nice surprise – and we don’t just mean the views. Legend has it a bull found a statue of the Virgin Mary here. There’s a striking sculpture of Christ and a Renaissance church on the spot where the bull supposedly made its discovery, together with a Franciscan convent.
17. Mingle with the locals in Alaior’s wine bars
Lots of the bars in Alaior are two-dimensonial. At first glance, they’re stylish, laid-back lounge bars with impressive tapas menus and wine lists that pay homage to a local bodega, Vi de S’illa. When it gets late, though, guests start to trickle down to the basement floors, where live bands and DJs set the tone until the early hours.
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