Christmas in Menorca: fill your stocking with sunshine

Christmas in Menorca: fill your stocking with sunshine

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Put a fresh spin on the festive season with a trip to Menorca for Christmas

Some people dream of a white Christmas, but why not go for something completely different? For sunshine and clear blue skies, it's hard to beat a Christmas holiday in Menorca. Discover the magic of Balearic Christmas cuisine, meet the Three Kings in the annual parade and enjoy a totally different festive season. Leave your hat and scarf at home and spend your Christmas morning hiking one of the island's beautiful trails or exploring a secluded beach.

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Planning your Christmas holiday in Menorca

Why should I choose Christmas in Menorca?

If you're tired of the cold, drizzly weather of British Christmas time, Menorca makes an excellent alternative. Yes, it's winter, but this Mediterranean paradise still gets plenty of sunshine for you to enjoy. It's also a great time of year to explore the island. With the tourist crowds long gone, you'll be able to follow hiking trails like the Camí de Cavalls or take day trips to secluded coves. If you can't bear to leave Fido at home, this is the perfect time to take your dog to Menorca. In the low season, your canine companion can frolic freely on the beaches.

What are the top events during the festive season in Menorca?

The festive season in Menorca usually starts on the first Sunday of December, when the Christmas lights are switched on in Mahón. This is a spectacular performance, with local acrobats playing the role of the "Llumets", magical light-bringing elves. Expect music, aerial stunts, and a great atmosphere for a family holiday in Menorca. The week before Christmas, there's a large carol concert in Ciutadella, which is an extremely popular event. Next comes Christmas itself, which is traditionally celebrated at home, with a large meal on Christmas Eve. The festivities don't stop until the 6th of January, Three Kings' Day. On the evening of the 5th, the kings come to the island in a huge, family-friendly parade, throwing sweets at the kids who line the streets.

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FAQs: Christmas in Menorca

What's the weather like during Christmas time in Menorca?

The average daytime temperature in Menorca in December is 12°C. The days are still usually sunny, with clear skies, but nights are chilly. You'll need a jacket, but heavy coats, scarves and hats aren't common. On the 26th of December, people traditionally go swimming in the port of Mahón, but don't be fooled - the water is very cold! However, the winter wind makes it the best time of year to go surfing. Head to Punta Prima or Cala Tirant and you'll see wetsuit-clad surfers and windsurfers riding the waves.

Will shops and restaurants in Menorca be closed over the Christmas period?

In general, you can expect almost everything to be closed on the 25th and 26th, as well as the 1st of January. Small convenience stores are usually still open on public holidays, but they don't have a large selection of food and drink. Restaurants often close on the 24th and 31st, too, but there are always a few things open. It's wise to check in advance and make a reservation, to avoid dining on instant noodles!

What type of food is traditional for Christmas in Menorca?

Some local delicacies, such as lobster stew, are available all year round in Menorca. However, when Christmas draws near, there are also seasonal delights to try. Cannelloni is particularly popular over the festive season, with the tubes of pasta usually filled with meat and coated in a rich bechamel sauce. Cuscussó, a soft version of nougat studded with colourful candied fruit, is the classic Christmas dessert. If you fancy a tipple, try pomada, a gin-based cocktail that is sold at all the island's Christmas markets.

Where can I celebrate New Year's Eve in Menorca?

New Year's Eve in Menorca is a chilled-out affair, and is usually more laid-back than the celebrations in Mallorca or Ibiza. The most popular activity? Hitting the beach, of course! Menorcans traditionally dress in all white to celebrate the New Year and head down to one of the island's many beaches. As the clock strikes midnight, they join in with the common Spanish tradition of eating twelve grapes for good luck. If you want to dance your way into the new year, you'll need to keep the Spanish timetable in mind. Most people don't hit the clubs until well after midnight. The island's clubs will start selling tickets for New Year's parties in Menorca at least a month in advance. You'll usually be able to get in on the door if you don't have a ticket, but expect to pay a premium.

What are the best Christmas destinations in Menorca?

Over Christmas, you might prefer to look for holiday lettings in Menorca in Mahón or Ciutadella. These are the two largest towns on the island, and they're where most of the Christmas magic happens. You'll find the biggest Christmas markets here, as well as restaurants, street food vans and more. In Mahón, an ice skating rink is set up in mid-December. There's another rink in the smaller, inland town of Alaior, which is a good choice if you want more peace and quiet during your Balearic Christmas.

Holiday destinations nearby for Christmas

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