Mahon Shopping – Shop till you drop
Shopaholics love Mahon, which is as much of a retail paradise as any other self-respecting capital. While things here are a little more low-key than in a big city, you’ll still find all sorts of reasons to reach for your Euros. Thanks to its warm Mediterranean climate, a lot of your shopping in Mahon will be spent outdoors. Whether you’re keen to spend a whole morning at the shops, or planning a quick trip to a souvenir shop before you head home, you’ll have plenty of options here.
A unique shopping experience in Mahon
Mahon, as the capital of the island, offers the best choice when it comes to shopping, as you might expect. From vibrant markets to elegant independent boutiques and souvenir shops, you’ll find everything you need in Menorca.
Unlike the big resorts of mainland Spain, where you’ll find many familiar international brands, Mahon shopping is completely different. You’ll notice many of the shops here are small, independent boutiques which sell things you’re unlikely to find anywhere else, whether it’s Menorca’s famous gin, or avarcas sandals. That’s just a part of the charm of shopping here, you’ll never quite know what you’ll bump into next.
Markets in Mahon
You can’t go shopping in Mahon without wandering through its markets, which are the heart and soul of the city. Like markets across the Mediterranean, much of the produce in Menorca is made just hours before it’s put on sale, so you’ll know you’ll be buying fresh, local ingredients. If you’re staying in self-catering accommodation and you’re keen to do a bit of cooking during your holiday, don’t miss the chance to do some food shopping in Mahon. Legend has it that Mahon is also the birthplace of mayonnaise, hence the name.
The fish market on the Plaza de España
For a lively atmosphere, don’t miss the fish market (Mercat de Pescados) on Plaza de España. Alongside the fishmongers selling the latest catch are stalls where you can buy freshly cooked fish tapas and drinks. Treat yourself to some delicious fresh food, go for a coffee, or indulge in a traditional Menorcan lunch such as the lobster stew known as ‘caldereta de llagosta’.
This fish market has been held since the 1920s, and also has a courtyard with indoor and outdoor seating so you can take a quick break. There’s often a live band playing here too, which only adds to the lively atmosphere.
The Plaza Claustre del Carme market
While the Plaza de España market is an excellent Mahon shopping choice for foodies and those who just love a good bite to eat, you’ll find you’ll have a much wider selection of local produce at the covered market on Plaza Claustre del Carme. This includes everything from Menorcan cheeses to sausages, local fruits and vegetables. This market takes place in the old cloisters of the Carmen church, a beautiful Neo-Classical landmark.
Whether you fancy buying some seafood with fresh Menorcan herbs, or a tasty salad with Menorca’s delicious paprika-infused Sobrassada cured pork, you can find it all right here.
The Plaza de S’Esplanada market
You can also find plenty of high-quality crafts on sale at the Tuesday and Saturday market on Plaza de S’Esplanada (the main square), where you can buy many more great souvenir gifts to take home with you.
The Mercat Ambulant del Parc Rochina
This is the place to be if you’re looking for some great-value clothing and leather goods. In summer, the Mercat Ambulant del Parc Rochina also has a traditional Menorcan dance show when cruise ships arrive in Mahon, which is well worth seeing.
Souvenir shopping in Mahon
Over in the harbour area you’ll find gift shops, chic boutiques, and glossy shopping centres, as well as Mahon’s famous Xoriguer gin distillery. Sadly, you can’t tour the factory, but you can sample as many of the gins as you like in the shop to help you decide which to buy while shopping in Mahon.
The distillery has been producing Menorca’s renowned gin since the 18th century, when British soldiers began distilling their own gin after importing juniper berries. Noted for its fruity flavours, Mahon Gin Xoriguer has a protected status, which means it can only be distilled in Menorca. So if you’re considering an authentic Menorca souvenir for a friend or relative, you’ll know what to get them!
Buy some avarcas sandals
Look out for a pair of traditional avarcas sandals worn on the island. Hard-wearing, they are perfect for the beach and walking along the port, and also have a special status which means they can only be manufactured in Menorca.
Incidentally, shoe-making has been one of Menorca’s main industries for centuries, which, like gin, has its origins in the 18th century. In fact, this industry has provided a livelihood for many families on the island for years.
General food shopping in Mahon
Mahon is home to the discount supermarkets Mercadona and Dia, and two large supermarkets, which sell a wide range of local and imported UK products, which may be more expensive than back home.