The Balearic island of Menorca is renowned for its rich equestrian history, with the famous black indigenous Menorcan horse a prominent symbol of local culture and fiestas.
Visitors to the island may be familiar with the sight of the black stallions walking on their hind legs and galloping through the streets as part of local celebrations, alongside traditional music and games.
Travelling by horseback is also an exciting way to see more of the island, with various day trips and longer excursions suitable for beginners, families and experienced riders. The renovated Cami de Cavalls route that loops around Menorca is the ideal place to try out horseriding with various trips available.
Events & Shows
The most famous event including the Menorcan horses is the Gràcia Festival in the island’s capital Mahón (7-9 September). During the three-day celebrations, the residents of Mahón honour their patron, ‘Our Lady of Grace’ with a pilgrimage to the chapel followed by a series of horse processions and races in the city’s streets. Admission to the festival is free.
Another event of note is the Cala en Porter Festival (16 & 17 September), which includes a number of horse processions and dressage performances. Cala en Porter is a village on Menorca’s south coast and admission to the festival is free.
A new show combining the equestrian arts with fantasy storytelling is also available for visitors to enjoy at the Son Martorellet Horse Farm. Somni (Dream in Catalan) tells the tale of a local girl as she shares adventures with her horse, mixing legends and traditions of Menorca with the spectacle of the horses. Shows take place every Tuesday and Wednesday from May till October with tickets available from €32.50.
Trotting races are also held every weekend at the two hippodromes on the island in Ciutadella and Maó.
Guests at the Cugó Gran Estate could also enjoy special request-only horse displays during their stay, as part of their bespoke concierge service provided by the accommodation.
Excursions along the Camí de Cavalls
The Camí de Cavalls (Path of Horses) encircles the entire 185km coastline of Menorca and was restored in 2010 for use as a walking, mountain biking and horse trail. Along the way visitors will pass dozens of beaches, with the old agricultural and military footpath providing stunning views of the island’s coastline.
The whole circuit would take over a week to complete on horseback, but the route can also be enjoyed in smaller sections with 20 ‘stages’ available to explore.
Horse-riding excursions taking in sections of the Cami de Cavalls are available with various companies, including Menorca a Cavall (four hours available from €60) and Menorca Horse Riding(approx. three hours from €60).
The Torralbenc luxury accommodation also offers a special ‘Riding Menorca’ package available from €850 per room (including two nights’ accommodation, guided Cami de Cavalls excursions, transfers, picnic for two and dinner with paired wines at their restaurant).
For more information on what to see and do in the Balearic Islands, please visit www.illesbalears.travel