Ciutadella Sant Joan Fiesta
Dates, Maps, What to expect?
Dates, Maps, What to expect?
The most famous Fiesta on Menorca, Sant Joan, takes place 23-24 th of June each year and attracts many spanish visitors to this 'quiet' island.
The Menorcans love their festivals and especially the chance to show off their stunning native horses. The most eagerly awaited moments are the "Cargols", when riders circle specific points along the parade route and especially the "Jaleos", where riders bring their horse onto their rear legs.
Despite the party atmosphere and 'madness' it is a very religious and reverential affair behind the scenes following strict protocols. You should be respectfull of the horses and riders - they ARE NOT tourist entertainment!
Menorcans love to celebrate and there will be lot's of music and alcohol consumed eg Pomada ( with good humour and behaviour ) as well as events organised for residents. Ciutadella's Fiesta is the daddy of them all.
The Main Events
Parades of Horses and Riders ( 'Colcada' and 'Cargols' )
Medieveal games races and games of skill on horseback
Lot's of street parties
Last night Fireworks display and live music to early hours
It's all free of charge.
No Fiesta is complete without daytime and nightime Jaleos. This is where riders will rear up their mounts and walk on horseback through the crowds as the brave try to 'touch the heart' of the horse for good luck. To health and safety worriers this looks a nightmare but we have never seen an accident in many,many years.
Check out the videos below
Smaller children can enjoy many parts of a Fiesta but the usual common sense applies with any large boisterous crowds. Fire crackers will be set off occasionally. The last night fireworks can be very loud, but superb ( bring ear plugs for children ).
At Sant Joan there are safer viewing points for smaller and more nervous people. The parade in the old city centre are through very right passageways are not suitable for younger children.
Jaleos at Ciutadella Fiesta take place in a tight space not suitable for smaller children or less able bodied people. Jaleos will be performed in the parades at certain points - tip watch/listen to the crowds and you will soon find out these spots.
Tip Most Horses and riders rest up in the nearby side streets where children can get close to the horses. Riders welcome the attention and photos.
This year's final agenda is often on the council website ( santjoan.ajciutadella.org) ,but the basic format does not change significantly from year to year.
This is for the main spectacles with the horses and riders. See the map for locations. Other sub-events will also take place during these days.
Times should be treated as 'approximate'.
Saturday, June 15
The Vigil with the Sheep, Camí Son Salomó, 27. All night long.
Sunday, June 16 ("The day of the lamb")
21.00 Street bonfires lit around the centre of Ciutadella ( with music )
June 23 (Eve of Sant Joan Festivities)
18.00 'Caragol des Born' the Parade at Placa des Born square
June 24 (Sant Joan day)
08.00 h. Gathering of the “caixers and cavallers”
17.00 (circa :-)). Gathering of the Riders “caixers and cavallers”.
After this traditional reception in front of the Town Hall .
After the games the mounted procession leave to go back into the city centre where there is another parade “Caragols” in the city centre ( Ses Voltes and Santa Clara Church) areas
These are the main locations for parades, Jaleos and events
Pla de Sant Joan - is area behind the city end of the old harbour.
Santa Clara Church - is along Carrer del Domirdor de ses Monges .
Placa des Born - where the iconic memorial obelisk is.
Ses Voltes - The arched pedestrian route from cathedral.
Locations of the races, parades Download Sant Joan Map
Some of our favourites ...If you are a health and safety person look away now
Restaurants in Ciutadella centre stop serving food and set up street bars selling beer and pomada with party music.
Fiestas should be enjoyed for the party and the last night Fireworks. During Fiesta season there is a special "jaleo bus" to take revelers to and from the Fiestas at night ( more ) . Look out for timetables at bus stops and published in local guides and at tourist offices.
Remember you are a guest - be respectfull of religious and ceremonial elements, this is not a tourist event!
Accommodation is very sought after from visiting spaniards so book very early or further away. Partying groups maybe at your Hotel.
Close up action in Ses Voltes, front rows on Pla Sant Joan. As you can see in the photos and videos there are vantage points higher up ( eg on overlooking Pla Sant Joan along Carrer de sa Muradeta )
Visiting the Fiesta is not so difficult and you are much less restricted in coming back than if you use a holiday rep organised outing.
From the west coast holiday resorts ( cala en Bosch,Cala Blanca, Cala en Forcat, Cala en Blanes ) use buses L61,L64 and L65 or taxis are not that expensive but a rare commodity.
Note during Ciutadella Fiesta 22-25 June a special timetable and pricing operates for the west coast Download Timetable
coming soon- companies that will organise trips from your holiday resort to Ciutadella Fiesta