Jaleo Menorca


Menorca and its vibrant horse fiesta, popularly known as Jaleo, are inextricably entwined with the cultural creativity of the island. Stretching as far back as the 14th-century, Jaleo is a heady mix of ancient rituals and traditional music, bonfires and fireworks, drinking and dancing, colour and excitement, all playing out under the high summer sunshine in a series of unique and thrilling events.

Every year, the beginning of Jaleo marks the summer solstice, and working west to east, from June to September, the island’s towns host a week of saints’ celebrations, starting with Sant Joan in Cuitadella celebrating the arrival of the Knights of Malta to Menorca and ending in the capital, Mahón (known locally as Maó), with Verge de Gràcia.

The roots of Jaleo lie within the worker’s guilds and their support of the church as a means to celebrate and honour the local patron saints while also raising funds for the parish.

What is Jaleo?


The Jaleo announces itself with the steady beating of drums followed by the dancing clip-clop of gleaming hooves as a cavalcade of magnificent pure-bred horses and their smartly-attired riders wind their way through narrow streets thronged by thousands of entranced onlookers. Emboldened by local pomada (Xoriguer gin and lemonade) some will touch the horses’ hearts for luck as the animals rear up on their hind legs.

The festivities go on late into the night, drawing crowds from across the island as well as visitors from Catalonia (where they also celebrate Sant Joan) and from further afield.
As well as the high-octane horse procession, most towns host horse races in the bull ring and a “baile encantado” or enchanted dance, while the youngest to the oldest feast and make merry.


Jaleo Menorca


When to see Jaleo


To experience the Jaleo first-hand, book a stay at Vestige Son Vell or Vestige Santa Ana between June and September. For more information, contact our friendly and knowledgeable Bookings Team on info@vestigecollection.com.