Alaior, cradle of Menorcan cheese
Alaior is located twelve kilometers from Mahón on the main road that crosses the island and connects the capital with Ciutadella. Its foundation dates back to 1304, when Jaime II of Mallorca acquired the Ilahor farmhouse to create a villa around the church of Santa Eulalia, erected by order of the same monarch three years before.
For its historical role as mediator between Ciutadella and Maó and for the air of an independent town that gives it its balanced economy, it can be said that it is the third “capital” of the island.
Alaior has places worth not to miss, such as the Rosario chapel, inside the church of Santa Eulalia and the Can Salort palace, now the headquarters of the University of the Balearic Islands in Menorca. Apart from Santa Eulalia, the Church of San Diego, an ancient convent of Franciscans, is of great interest, in whose architectural ensemble the cloister called “Sa Lluna” stands out due to its colonial character; the San Pedro church and the popular hermitage of San Lorenzo , located in the place called Binixems. A characteristic feature of Alaior is that in its houses -whose green shutters contrast harmoniously with the white facades- the balconies abound, a feature that shows that the English influence was not very intense in this city. The entrepreneurial character of its people has turned Alaior into an important center of industrial production on the island.
The footwear industry
Not in vain, this town is considered the cradle of Menorcan cheese, famous international projection. The production of cheese, the production of sausages, pastries and liquors, the shoe industry and tourism, which is concentrated on the beaches of its municipal area, constitute the basis of its economy.
In addition, it stands out for its preparation of sausages, pastries and liquors, as well as for the manufacture of footwear. These products can be purchased, in large part, in the factories themselves.
Through the rural roads of its surroundings we can make several interesting excursions. Stresses the visit of the town of Torre d’en Galmés; the largest archaeological site in Menorca. The most outstanding places of their environment are in Son Bou (longest beach on the island) and in Cales Coves, an idyllic cove that presents many caves from prehistoric times.