Port de maó

Isla del rey

The Isla del Rey (King’s Island also known as the Bloody Island) is a small island located in the middle of Mahon Harbour, and owes its name to the fact that it was the first Menorcan soil that King Alfonso III touched on when he came to conquer Menorca and banish the Muslims.

Mahon Harbour became important with the shipping boom in the 18th century, and was coveted by different European powers. The island was occupied several times by, among others, the British and the French.
During one such occupation, the British built a hospital on this island in the harbour, which remains there today.

The hospital was actually established in 1711, during the first British occupation, but it wasn’t until 1722 that the Isla del Rey was expropriated with the idea of building a naval hospital to tend to British sailors needing medical attention.

The hospital was used in accordance with those currently occupying Menorca, either the British, French or Spaniards. In the year 1802, it was definitively passed on the Spanish Crown, who maintained it as a hospital.
It also provided medical care to members of various armed forces acting in the Mediterranean, such as the Americans, Dutchmen and Italians. The latter were present during the Second World War.
It continued as a working hospital until 1964, when it was transferred to the city of Mahon, whereupon the building was evacuated and left abandoned.

Since 2004, the “Asociació amics de l’Illa del l’Hospital” (Friends of the Hospital Island Association), which is now the “Fundación Hospital de la Isla del Rey” (Isla del Rey Hospital Island Foundation) has safeguarded the island and its heritage.

The island houses the remains of a Paleo Christian basilica, which were discovered in 1888 and date back to the 6th century. The 1243/79 Royal Decree of 20th of April declared the Basilica as a National Historic and Archaeological Monument, of which only the remains can be found. This clearly demonstrated that the island had been inhabited since ancient times.


From 1st July 2020: Daily guided visits to the Isla del Rey.


From Monday to Saturday: Departure at 10:00 a.m. from Mahon Harbour on the Yellow Catamarans (on quay Moll de Llevant, 12). Return at 11:30 a.m. Sunday: departure at 08:45 a.m. and return at 11:30 a.m.


The cost of the return boat trip is €10 per person (adults). The visit is free, but all donations to the Foundation are appreciated.


The guided visits are conducted in several languages: German on Tuesdays, French on Wednesdays and English on Thursdays. They are conducted in Spanish every day. On Sundays, there are guided visits conducted in Spanish, English, French, German and Italian.


It is necessary to reserve the visit in advance (with at least 24 hours’ notice) by emailing: ihospital2@hotmail.es or sending a WhatsApp message to (+34) 609 16 16 62. Those who are interested should provide their name, date of visit and the amount of people.
If you are coming with a group – and with advance notice – a guided visit is possible in another language any day of the week More information http://www.islahospitalmenorca.org/

We look forward to seeing you!