Shopping and Handicrafts

Handicraft itineraries (Illes Balears)

The craft and traditional activities of the Balearic Islands are
an important part of our cultural heritage. We invite you to follow our Craft Trails to discover the traditional occupations associated with our land and which form part of its history and culture.

What are craft products?
Craft products are products that are made by hand, without using modern techniques and machinery. No two craft products are ever identical. Each one is made independently and, although they follow a traditional model and are similar in size, there will always be small differences that make each one unique.

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Products from almond trees (Illes Balears)

Encouraged by the temperate Mediterranean climate, the first variety of the island's more than 7,000,000 almond trees timidly begin to bud in late January, a foretaste of the exquisite fields blanketed by white, delicate flowers that burst into bloom between late January and mid-February. Be it in a lone specimen or a riot of flowers, this surprising and omnipresent forerunner of spring is a special treat for visitors. A closer look at this man-made display of nature reveals in detail the colours of these flowers, which range from the purest white to pink. A unique and guaranteed opportunity for photography lovers to take an unforgettable memory back home with them.

The cultivation of almond trees was introduced en masse after phylloxera devastated the Islands' vineyards in the late eighteenth century, especially in Mallorca and Ibiza. Their fruit can be sampled as is, toasted or as part of the islands' typical dishes, especially pastries. Almond products from the archipelago's most important area are sold under the trusted brand name, "Ametla de Mallorca". Furthermore, beauty products made with ingredients from this singular tree can also be found in perfumeries.

Almonds from Mallorca:


Ecological Majorcan almond tree oil: Aceite Ecológico de Almendra Mallorquina-Oli d'Ametlla Mallorquina Ecològic Son Pau.


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Avarques (Menorca)

The avarca was the footwear worn by rural Menorcans, who were made up in the main of pastors (shepherds) and missatgers(labourers). The sole is made of tyre, the insole is made of open stitch leather and it has a strap that is attached to the heel.

Formerly the sole was made out of used tyres and the rest of the sandal was made out of pigs or cows hide with the fur on the outside. They were of course very rustic and only came in the original colour of the skin.

Today they are made in all colours and in different designs and, although they are usually made of cows hide, they can also be found in material, woven esparto grass or plaited raffia. There is even a seasonal fashion tendency which this year favours patterns and last year die-stamping.

The decorations that adorn these avarques (in plural) range from flowers to ladybirds among other motifs. The pyro-engraved sargantana (lizard) with the body on the left sandal and the tail on the right sandal has also been very popular.

A special sole for little ones

They are made from size 18 and the smaller sizes have a microporous sole (rubber air-cushioned) to make them lighter. There is also a hand-made eco-friendly line, using recycled tyre soles.

The popularity of this shoe has increased dramatically in the last few years. Among the loyal followers of this fashion is Queen Sofia, who usually sports avarques on her holidays in Mallorca.

The heavy demand for these shoes has made Menorcan shoemakers traditionally dedicated to more upmarket styles of shoe include this fashion in their latest designs.

This kind of sandal can be found in many shoe shops but you should be sure that they are indeed authentic Menorcan avarques. Apparently only those that come from here fit properly at the heel.

Menorcan avarques are made in Es Mercadal, Alaior, Ciutadella and Ferreries. They are sold in shoe shops all over the Balearic Islands.

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Gin Xoriguer (Menorca)

Gin Xoriguer is the Minorcan gin which originated during the times of the British rule in the 18th Century. During that period, thousands of English sailors and soldiers arrived on Minorca to garrison the island who, in their time off in the taverns, ordered the fashionable drink at that time, gin. This liquor was unknown on the island, although some artisans soon devised the way to produce it importing juniper berries and making it with water and plant-based ethyl alcohol.

An heir to this local tradition was Miquel Pons Justo, who created the famous Gin Xoriguer at the beginning of the 20th Century. Its curious bottle, with the image of the family's old windmill, has become a real symbol of the island. The distilleries are in the Port de Maó and can be visited from Monday to Saturday.

'Pellofa' and 'Pomada', two variants
The process begins in the old copper stills, into which they put the high quality wine alcohol, together with the select juniper berries from the mountains and other aromatic herbs. The result of the distillation is this gin, which is then stored in large oak barrels before being bottled.

It can be drunk neat, although it is traditionally accompanied. The most popular and most widely consumed combinations are the so-called 'pellofa', with the addition of a dash of soda and lemon peel, and the 'pomada', with lemonade. Both variants are also sold bottled.

In the Gin Xoriguer installations you can sample these products, made in the same way as those first artisans made them.

The Gin Xoriguer distilleries are in Andana de Ponent, 91. 07701 Maó.
Tel.: +(34) 971 362 197. Fax: +(34) 971 354 559.

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Menorcan honey (Menorca)

Honey is a typical ingredient in Menorcan cuisine, above all in desserts. Some of the most popular dishes are aubergines with honey, cuscussó (a typical Christmas dessert made with almonds, honey, cinnamon and semolina) and sobrassada (pork meat and paprika sausages) with honey. The ancient tradition of beekeeping propitiated the introduction of portable beehives in 1885 when this system was still unknown on the Spanish mainland.
It is harvested once a year, between late June and early July.

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Maó cheese (Menorca)

Maó cheese is made with cow's milk, unlike majorcan cheese which uses goat's milk. Its began to take off in the 18th Century, during the british occupation, thanks to the increase in cattle breeding, mainly friesian cows, and to the large production of milk which was obtained. It was held in such high esteem that an english engineer even said that 'the italians prefer menorcan cheese to their own parmesan'.

At present most of the production is industrial, although this cheese is still made the traditional way using the old methods. To do this, the milk is curdled using herbs, wrapped in a very fine white cloth and moulded into shape by hand until it becomes compact.

Maó cheese comes in several varieties depending on the maturation process, with different aromas and flavours. The maturing period of the mild cheese (queso tierno) fluctuates between 21 and 60 days. It is a yellowish colour, with an aroma which reminds one of butter and has a slightly acidic flavour.

Exquisite complement for pa amb oli (bread with olive oil)

The semi-mature variety (semi-curado) matures for two to five months. It is an orange colour, although if it is prepared the traditional way it acquires a brown colour. It is firm, easy to cut and is the most well known of all the cheeses.

If the maturing period is longer, the cheese is known as mature cheese (queso curado), much harder and with a more intense flavour. It is also made preserved in olive oil, giving rise to an exquisite product. There are several companies on the island which specialise in making cheese.
Eating pa amb oli (bread with olive oil) together with any of these varieties is a real delicacy. This is very easy to prepare: a slice of rye bread is rubbed with a clove of garlic, and then rubbed with a soft tomato, if possible de ramallet (tomatoes strung up to dry), some olive oil is dribbled over this, a little salt is added, and lastly, the cheese. The most authentic way is to accompany this dish with crushed black or green olives.

There are many establishments in Menorca where you can buy maó cheese. Some of them can be found in the Mercat d'Es Claustre (Es Claustre market) in Maó.

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NomesMoments top-quality island products (Illes Balears)

Visit our website and discover food and crafts products made from first-class raw materials from the island that endow them with unique features.

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Pearls (Illes Balears)

The first pearl factory was founded in Manacor in the late nineteenth-century and in time became an international reference point for artificial pearls. The factory was a pioneer in the industry, which was developed in the city and made the phrase 'Mallorcan pearls' synonymous with quality all over the globe.

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Glasswork Handicrafts (Illes Balears)

In addition to finding handmade pieces of all kinds, visitors can watch these glassmakers at work in the island's glass factories. The heated masses are blown or moulded right before your eyes and the colours and features artists endow upon their work appear as if by magic. A process that is a show in itself which produces beautiful and practical objects.

Gordiola glassblowing handicrafts

La Fiore glassblowing handicrafts

Menestralia glassblowing handicrafts

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Herbes and Palo (Illes Balears)

The Majorcan and Ibizan herbes (herbal liqueurs), although of different flavours, are made from a base of different herbs which in some cases, include more than 30 different kinds. Fennel, rosemary, leaves of the orange and lemon tree, camomile and lemon balm are left to macerate during several months and the resulting concentrate is mixed, in small portions, with sweet anise, in order to produce the herbes dolces (sweet), and with dry anise forherbes seques (dry), with a higher alcohol content.

Traditionally, these herbes are regarded as digestive and are drunk after eating. They can be drunk cold, with ice, or natural. They are also delicious accompanied with orange or lemonade, although this is not very common on the islands.

A remedy against malaria
Palo is an exquisite liqueur which originated in the 16th and 17th Centuries, when there was a lot of swampland in Majorca and the mosquitoes spread the terrible disease of malaria. To combat it, they used two plants, quina calisaia (cinchona) and genciana (gentian) which they conserved by putting them in alcohol to stop them from fermenting. They also added sugar to take away the bitter taste. The largest production is concentrated in Majorca, although it is also produced in Eivissa.

Over the years, the production of palo has undergone modifications, and today it is made with burnt sugar, the secret of this liqueur. According to the connoisseurs, all palos are made with the same basic ingredients, but no two taste the same.

Unlike herbespalo is drunk as an aperitif before meals. It can be drunk neat, with ice, or with soda, the most popular way on the islands.

There are several factories on Mallorca and Eivissa dedicated to the production of these liqueurs, made according to the local tradition handed down from their ancestors.

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Ensaïmada (Illes Balears)

Many visitors arrive on these islands with a very special request from their relatives and friends; to take them back one of the rich ensaimadas which are made here.

That is why, in the airports and ports, it is very common to see tourists carrying the typical boxes jealously guarding all types of this very special sweet bun, ranging from the traditionalensaimadas, to those filled with cabello de ángel (pumpkin jam) or custard cream.

Its name comes from 'saim' which means lard and is one of the ingredients. However, its origin is much disputed. Some consider that the 'fathers' of the ensaimada were the Arabs, who introduced it in the year 909 and that is why its shape is reminiscent of their turbans. Other believe that it derived from the 'bulema', a very similar roll which the Jews used to make in the past.

Filled or plain

The ingredients to make the dough for this sweet bun are flour, eggs, sugar, yeast, milk and pork lard (although the latter can be substituted for olive oil). The dough is rolled up like a coil and then wound around in a circle until it takes on its characteristic spiral shape. When it has been baked, it is dusted with icing sugar.

The traditional ensaimada is made with just the dough, without anything inside. But over the last few years it has also been filled with an assortment of variants, all equally delicious: pumpkin jam, custard cream, chocolate, cream. These filled ensaimadas are larger and are usually eaten as a dessert at get-togethers with family and friends. The small ones are made without any filling and are a delicacy for breakfast.

A few years ago, this product was granted its own Denominación de Origen or Guarantee of Origin and is controlled by a regulating Council, which guarantees the quality of the ingredients and its production.

The ensaimada is a product which can be eaten in practically all the bars and cafeterias in the Illes Balears. Many bakeries and cake shops make them in their own ovens.

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Leather Goods (Illes Balears)

Today, not only can visitors purchase these products in a variety of shops in the Balearic Islands, they can also visit the many display rooms and shops at the factories' company headquarters to discover the artisan and industrial tradition behind the Islands' world-renown brands and artfully designed, top-quality leather items.'ssec_id=93



Jaime Mascaró



Tony Mora

Mocasines Artesanos (Ibiza)

Patricia (Menorca)














Pons Quintana

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Sobrassada (Illes Balears)

Sobrassada is made with lean and fatty cuts of pork and its characteristic colour comes from the paprika used in making it, which is mixed with salt, pepper and the ground meat. Once ready, it is stuffed into natural intestinal casing to be cured and fermented as the initial humidity is lost. The curing time required is one month on average, but varies according to the size of the piece.

A second denomination of origin exists to differentiate sobrassada made from the island's black pork.

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Adlib fashion (Illes Balears)

Adlib is an artisan style of fashion that features natural fabrics, traditional embroidery and laces and continues to be in style despite vertiginous changes in the world of fashion. Created by 1971 by Yugoslavian princess Smilja Mihailovitch, it was inspired by typical Pitiusan clothing, with direct influences from the hippies.
From the 1960s onward, foreign visitors turned Ibiza into a European refuge for the hippie movement. These hippies exuded freedom and casualness in their dress and Mihailovitch thought it was the right time for everyone to be liberated from the norms that had been dictating women's fashion for many years. The Adlib fashion was born so that women could become more aware of their own bodies and dress to suit their lifestyles.
Adlib's first fashion show took place in the streets lining the port the same year it was created. The Ibiza Fashion Board was founded later and took charge of promoting and organising the fashion shows and channelling sales abroad. The Board includes approximately thirty designers and is presided over by the Island Council, which has been promoting Adlib fashion for years, with economic aid, sponsorships at fairs and the organisation of competitions.
With the slogan, 'Dress however you want to, but elegantly', Adlib fashion has survived to the present. Thus, every year in early summer, the fashion world convergences on the island for the Ibiza and Formentera Fashion Week and the presentation of the season's Adlib fashion: whites, with a detail or two in a brighter, contrasting colours and light airy volumes with natural fabrics, tulles and embroideries that accentuate movement and freedom in design.

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Christmas Markets in the Balearic Islands (Illes Balears)

Starting in late November, the villages and towns in the Balearic Islands are transformed into a charming Christmas scene, with streets full of lights, trees with little figures and garlands and the traditional Christmas markets that make its plazas warm, colourful places.

These markets are usually made up of a series of wooden stalls set up by craftsmen, artists and merchants to offer their different Christmas products and gifts: wooden toys, Christmas decorations of all kinds, roasted chestnuts, sugared almonds, home-made turrons, textiles, footwear... all enlivened with folkloric traditions, the sound of carolling and the hustle and bustle of the crowds.

There are Christmas markets in almost all the towns in Mallorca, some of the most important of which are the Christmas Fairs of the Magi in Plaza Mayor and Plaza de España in
Palma and Manacor's market, which also has attractions for children.

In Menorca, there are Christmas markets in Ciutadella, Sant Lluís, Ferreries and Mahon and an ice-skating rink is set up to accompany the latter.

In Ibiza, the market that offers its products on Paseo de Vara del Rey is complemented by Diverespai, a place with activities for the family's youngest members.

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Aloe Vera de Mallorca: Cosmetic product containing aloe vera (Illes Balears)

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Wines (Illes Balears)

Cutting-edge techniques are combined with ancestral traditions to produce top-quality wines that boast a number of protected denominations of origin and have won the highest honours at international fairs and competitions. An excellent accompaniment to sampling the island's cuisine and a unique way to take the aromas and flavours of our land away with you in bottles.
Wines and Wineries, Experience the Mediterranean (Brochure Pdf 11,4Mb)

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The Menorcan chair (Ciutadella de Menorca)

In 1905, Anglada himself founded the family factory that would produce these chairs from thereon in. Their popularity and widespread use on the island of Menorca made them the prototype for the Menorcan chair. Its artisan finish and variations such as a rocking chair made them a highly appreciated and practical piece of furniture. The Can Coca Rossa chair factory, as the family firm established in Ciutadella was called, continues to innovate on this traditional basis to manufacture tables and chairs that have become popular worldwide, thanks to their quality.

Anglada Manufacturas de la Madera, SL
C/ de Sant Isidre 24
07760 Ciutadella
Tel: +34 971 381 455
Fax: +34 971 480 121

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The All Saints' Day Fair in Ciutadella (Ciutadella de Menorca)

The Ciutadella Town Hall Fairs and Markets Department is organising the All Saints Day Fair, an agricultural market with products typical of the November 1 holiday, a day when ancestors are recalled and paid homage to by visiting cemeteries and eating sweets.

Farm women and members of a number of different municipal associations prepare and sell typical sweets such as
buñuelos (a traditional kind of light doughnut), arrop (a very concentrated, almost caramelised fruit jam), figat (a typical homemade Menorcan jam made with the season's best figs),panellets (almond marzipan sweets that can be covered with pine nuts, coconut or chocolate), sweet potatoes, pomegranates and honey, among others.

Plaza del Mercado in Ciutadella

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MENORCA?S ARTS AND CRAFTS CENTRE.  ART AND TRADITIONThis centre was created to be a reference point in Menorcan arts and crafts and defend and promote them. It is a showcase for a wide array of ancient trades that are still being practised today, such as tapestry repairers, silversmiths and beekeepers, etc.. All of their products can be purchased at the shop on the premises.
The Popular Crafts Show, a permanent exhibition, features the following elements:

- Dry Stone Wall:
Master Artisan Isaías Pons Florit.
This technique is used to built walls exclusively with stones, without any type of mortar or cement.
It has three main goals:
. To protect vegetation and crops from the island?s prevailing winds.
. To remove stones from the land and roads to make tilling the soil easier.
. To allow livestock to graze in rotation, since it divides up the countryside.
This ancestral method is still in use today and it is estimated that 70,000 kilometres of dry stone wall can be found in the Menorcan countryside.

- Stone Cattle Shelters:
Master Artisan Isaías Pons Florit.
Menorca?s farmers built these rural structures with dry stone techniques to shelter pasturing livestock from inclement weather.

- Wild Olive Tree Barriers:
Master Artisan Miquel Gomila Salom.
The Menorcan countryside abounds with wild olive trees and its hard wood was used by the island?s farmers to build barriers to close off dry stone walls. Their main function is to keep cattle from wandering off.

- Ceramics:
Master Artisan Arturo Gener Fuster.
One of the most common items in daily use in Menorcan life is fired clay. Items such as laundry tubs and water, milk or oil jugs are examples of the wide variety of popular clay pieces in use.

Recinto Ferial de Es Mercadal
C/ Metge Camps s/n
+34 971 154 436
November - April 9-14 h. Saturday 10-13.30h
May - October 10-14 h. 17-20 h. Saturday 10-13.30

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