These range from the Sant Llorenç fiestas to the air raid tunnel used during the Civil War. We are immensely proud of our comprehensive mix of culture combined with history and tradition, making Alaior stand out for visitors in so many ways; from the stunning architecture of our most iconic buildings to the Contemporary Art Centre with one of the most important collections on the island. Our town boasts a string of renowned names contributing to opera, literature and other arts, who reinforce Alaior’s culture and roots.
Culture and fiestas
The distinctive hallmarks of Alaior
Sant Llorenç Fiestas
Our famous jaleo is the high point of August
The festivity dedicated to Sant Llorenç began at the Binixems hermitage just after 1301. It remained almost the same until 1832/1833, when it was decided to relocate the celebration to the town of Alaior. The Sant Llorenç fiestas take place the weekend after the 10th of August, with a horse as the central figure. The cualcada de caixers (group of horses and riders wearing traditional clothing) is led by the fabioler with his flute and drum as they parade through the streets, culminating in the exciting start of the jaleo horse parade.
Cala en Porter Fiestas
A jaleo by the beach
The third weekend in September is still summer in Menorca and sees the horses transported to a beach area. Cala en Porter boasts an annual celebration of our typical jaleo held during their own fiestas and also offering several other great activities. These fiestas started up in 1974 at the request of the neighbours, and it is they who continue to organise them with the support of the Alaior Town Hall. If you want to enjoy a different aspect of the beautiful beach, watch the stunning fireworks, tuck into a delicious chocolate-based breakfast and even take part in some of the sports competitions that form part of the programme.
Caixers or Sant Nicolau Fiestas
The last of the summer jaleos
The Caixers (horsemen) or Sant Nicolau fiestas are held in the last weekend of September. With the island now quieter, these fiestas reflect the end of summer, an event to be shared with close friends and family. As the Sant Llorenç fiestas are so popular during the busy month of August, it is over the Fiestas of the Caixers that the town’s elderly and children can really enjoy themselves. These festivities are actually organised by the Grup d'Amics de Sa Festa de Caixers (Friends of the Caixers Fiesta), the Town Hall and Alaior businesses and entities who all share this common commitment, and have been doing so since 1906.
Festivities in Menorca
Every year on the 17th of January, Menorca Day is celebrated to commemorate the conquest of the island by King Alfonso III’s troops. Different activities are held all over the island to pay tribute to this part of Menorca’s history. Up until a few years ago, bonfires were lit in Alaior and people told traditional stories, but now this latter event is held in our Citizens’ Activity Room.
Carnival (Mardi Gras)
The most famous and comprehensive carnival in Menorca
Carnival is a festivity that is enjoyed every year in all the island’s towns. Alaior celebrates activities throughout the weekend, starting on the Thursday with a lively party in the local school sports centre followed by a children’s parade for all the children on the Saturday afternoon/evening. Alaior stands out as the only town in Menorca who also celebrates carnival on the Monday with a festivity known as Darrer Dimarts (the Last Tuesday).
Alaior, a town of music
Alaior boasts some big names in the world of opera in Menorca. The history of music in this town is strongly linked to Festival de la Cançó Menorquina (Festival of Menorcan Music), with regular musical performances programmed by the Town Hall in venues such as the Sant Diego Convent and other public spaces..
Celebrating spring with a flourish
The arrival of spring is an important time acknowledged by Alaior with its finest flower displays. Our Flower Festival embraces both culturally and socially in the historic centre, but also extends to the urbanizations, with many houses and streets adorned with bright flowers and motifs. The Town Hall, as prime supporters of this day, also decorate public spaces with flowers and create a route that includes other activities to be enjoyed by everyone
A journey through Alaior’s history, culture and tradition
The Centro de Estudios Locales [Local Study Centre] offers free guided tours of Alaior from June to August.
- Tour of the historic centre of Alaior. Wednesdays at 18.30h, departure from the Sant Diego Convent.
- Tour of air raid tunnel from the Civil War. From Monday to Friday, from 10.30 to 13h and 18.30 to 20.30h.
- Introduction to Alaior’s artisan and industrial tradition. Visit an old baking oven, a costume jewellery workshop, a shoe factory, a blacksmith’s and a cheesemaker’s. Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 to 11h, departure from the Sant Diego Convent.
Fascinating Lô (a nickname for Alaior)
Technology at culture’s service
Lô is a different way of discovering this town’s past and present. Through videomapping techniques which light up the interior of the Convent of Sant Diego, this audio-visual production introduces Alaior’s history to visitors while also providing an appealing cultural element for the islanders. Spectators are immersed in scenes accompanied by music on all four walls of the building that depict time, civilizations and events in history.
Romantic candlelit night
Alaior replaces public lighting with candlelight to celebrate one of the most romantic nights. You see the city in a different way, with soft light glimmering and showing you streets and buildings as you wander about. Cultural activities are organised, such as music in the streets to add to the magical atmosphere.