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Son Bou Menorca

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Son Bou Tourist Attractions

The long beach at Son Bou has a good selection of watersports facilities, including pedaloes, banana boats and canoes etc. But please be aware that due to strong off shore undercurrents, a warning flag system operates which must be observed at all times.

For the more active it is possible to follow the beach, past the nudist section, and walk into the nearby resort of Santo Tomas. It takes about 45 minutes each way, but to be honest Santo Tomas is little more than a mirror image of Son Bou. Also having walked between the two resorts on a number of occasions, I would strongly recommend that you take a bottle of water with you as in the heat of the summer you can very easily become de-hydrated in the sun.

Throughout the day, and well into the late evening, a mini train runs around the resort. The round trip takes approximately 45 minutes and runs past the two large Sol Hotels, around the Son Jaime complex, and finally climbs to hill to the hotels and villas towards to rear of the town.

Adjacent to the grounds of the Hotels Sol Milanos and Pinguinos is the site of the Christian basilica of Son Bou. The site was first discovered in 1952, and is believed to date from the 5th Century. Today the outline of the basilica is clearly visible formed by its three naves.

Despite what many people may think, fiestas on Menorca are not held purely for the benefit of tourists, and the origins of many can be traced way back to the 14th Century. To the local residents, the word "fiesta" automatically conjures up images of horses and their riders, dressed in mainly black and white and decorated with ribbons, embroidery and multi-coloured carnations, also the consumption of “Pomada”, the local fiesta drink, which is a combination of gin and lemon, and finally “Coca amb Xocolati”, which is a traditionally baked cake with a sweet chocolate drink to accompany it. A typical fiesta begins on the afternoon before the Saint's day with the horses and their riders meeting and parading through the streets before congregating at the church for Mass. In the evening there is often live music and traditional folk dancing, and then a magnificent firework display ends the celebrations at around midnight.

The Fiesta of Sant Llorenc takes place in nearby Alaior over first weekend after the 10th August each year, and usually begins with a procession from the hermitage of Binixems where the statue of Sant Llorenc is carried to Alaior. Along with a traditional mixture of parades through the town, sporting and musical events, that take place on the Sunday, the Monday is usually then given over to horse races through the town. Recognising that any event involving animals will always carry a degree of risk, the local council is keen that visitors to the town obey a few simple rules, which to most people are common sense anyway.
- Do be careful during the equestrian displays as they can be dangerous.
- Please respect horses and horsemen. Do not bother them or hurt them in any way.
- The reins of the horses must not be touched or pulled on.
- The adornments on horses must not be pulled or tampered with.
- Please drink in moderation.
- Do not go into crowded areas with small children.
- Avoid fights! It's a joyous occasion!

The Fiesta of Sant Llorenc is not the only event in the Alaior cultural calendar. Earlier in the year, commencing on the Thursday immediately after Ash Wednesday, through to the following Tuesday, which is also known as Carnival Tuesday, sees the Alaior Carnival. The event centres around a local man called Bernat Figuerola, who according to local legend, was a cobbler who left the town to seek his fortune in America.

The economy of Alaior is not purely reliant upon the tourist industry, and the town still has a significant income from its agriculture heritage. Certainly worth a mention is the Country Fair which is held during March. This is recognised as being one of Menorcas most important livestock fairs, although over the years it has also developed a more commercial theme. Nevertheless, there's still always exhibitions of livestock, local handicrafts, along with displays of industrial and agricultural machinery.

Although not an attraction in the truest sense of the word, and certainly something that would be of no interest to most visitors to Son Bou. However the former manor house of Can Salort in Alaior is now home to the Menorcan Faculty of the University of The Balearic Islands. Should you wish to contact them for whatever reason, their full address is:
The University of The Balearic Islands
Can Salort
Carrer Major, 14
Telephone: +34 971 379 002
Fax: +34 971 37 9 124
Web site: www.uib.es

Certainly well worth a mention, is the Menorca a Cavall riding school, which is located at Santa Rita which is between Es Mercadal and Ferreries. Although certainly not being an equestrian expert, the horses all looked to be both well fed and well treated. It's also worth noting that during the summer the attraction is very popular and advanced booking is essential. Contact details are:
Menorca a Cavall Riding School
Santa Rita
Telephone: +34 971 374 637
Web site: www.menorcaacavall.com

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This website was launched on 1 May 2002

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