When the Summer Olympics roll around every four years, you know it. Flags come out, cheering pours from pubs and there’s a whole lot of gold, silver and bronze flashing about. It’s an event that impacts the entire globe, and this year in Rio is no different. Around the world, Olympic Fever has arrived.
With 42 Olympic sports and more than 300 events taking to the courts, tracks, fields and pools at this year’s games, there’s no excuse not to watch. Yes, even if you’re on holiday, especially if that holiday destination is Menorca. This little Balearic island comes ready for Olympic Fever with sports bars, international cuisine and real life ways for you to suit up in the very same sports your favourite Olympians are competing in.
So viva the Olympics! And go Team GB – if you’re headed to Menorca this summer, here are some ways you can satiate your appetite for the games.
Cheer on Team GB from a sports bar
When superstar swimmer Adam Peaty scores his latest gold metal, you’ll want to be there to cheer him on – and know what everyone’s talking about once it’s time to head back to the office. And because the Olympic Games apply to, um, practically everybody in the universe, they’ll be playing across countless televisions no matter where you go.
Sports bars are undoubtedly the best public atmospheres to watch an Olympic match in, as beer plus high stakes matches equals a whole lot of shouting and excitement. The larger the resort, the more likely it is to feature live matches on television, so in Menorca, Olympic junkies are best off staying close to big cities like Mahon – Menorca’s capital, Cala’n Bosch and Ciutadella.
Detailed schedules of what matches are on when can be found easily online, so you always know when your favourite competitors are gearing up for the big game. If you want to stick close to home, you’re less likely to find televisions in your hotel room in Menorca, but will almost always find one downstairs in your hotel’s lounge or bar. Just ask the bartender to switch on the Olympics, and let the games begin.
It’s next to impossible to watch the Olympics and not feel inspired by the athletes’ almost super human achievements. Horseback riding becomes a work of art and swimmers become aquatic freight trains.
The good news is you don’t have to be an Olympic champion to partake in the very same sports raging on in Rio, and you can even do them on holiday. Being an island and all, Menorca is a top spot for all things swimming, only in this case, instead of doing the 200-metre butterfly race alongside Michael Phelps, you’re splashing around the warm waters of the Mediterranean. You can also rent a kayak and coast through the waves or hop aboard a boat cruise and practice your low dive before setting off on a snorkelling adventure.
Wrapping along the entirety of Menorca is the Cami de Cavalls, a 186-kilometre coastal pathway that translates to ‘Way of the Horses’. Scattered along the island are a number of horse centres where you can get saddled up before embarking on a horseback riding excursion beside the sea just like the famous four-legged Olympians. If you don’t graduate to becoming a full blown horse dancer, we won’t tell anyone.
Up your adrenaline
Celebrating the Olympics is all about getting in the spirit of the game, and, with the incredible rush spectators and Olympians alike feel just as the gun goes off, that means all adrenaline, all the time. Well, maybe not all the time – that might get a little exhausting – but you get the picture.
Though Menorca is generally relaxation-central, there are still plenty of ways to up your adrenaline. Take the island’s five waterparks, for example – more, if you count all the mini splash parks found at hotels. Each comes equipped with its own set of sky high waterslides, wave pools and water chutes that scream chills and thrills. Just try to face one without feeling even the teensiest rush of adrenaline – we dare you.
Nosh on worldly cuisine
We know how tempting it is to gravitate towards the familiar when on holiday – and goodness knows there’s ample friendly British and Irish pubs to choose from in the Balearics – but sampling international cuisine is one of the best ways to get in touch with your inner Olympian. The Olympics are all about celebrating and embracing different cultures, even if that means doing so with your stomach.
It’s only natural, then, that when in Menorca, you should dine as the Menorcans do. Menorcans pride themselves on their local fare, which largely includes home grown fruits and vegetables, as well as seafood. Tapas – small plates that are best eaten in bulk or shared – are a favourite on the island, as is the locally made Mahon cheese. Menorcans are also famous for their production of gin and wine, both of which can be sampled across island restaurants. It may not be the breakfast of champions, exactly, but it’ll do just fine.