King’s Island

The bloody island

The King’s Island (or Illa del Rei) is, as its name suggests, a small islet located inside the port of Mahón, which can only be reached by boat.

The island, also called The Bloody Island (known as such because of the activity of its hospital during the British domination), is located in the center of the port, between Mahón and Es Castell.

It is a place that can be very enriching because a visit to it will allow you to learn more about the history of Menorca and its evolution over the centuries.

On the island, at the architectural level, two constructions stand out: on the one hand, the early Christian basilica and, on the other, a former hospital (which was first British and then converted into a Spanish military hospital).

For those who wish to visit this small historic redoubt, there is a floating pontoon on the west side for boats arriving to the island and, bordering the north shore, we come across the Predio de San Antonio (or l’escull de Sant Antoni), formed by outcropping rocks that can be dangerous if the shallowness of the places where they are found is not taken into account.


The history of Isla del Rey

The name of the islet was given in honor of King Alfonso II of Catalonia (and III of Aragon), who landed here during his campaign of reconquest of Menorca in the 13th century (at that time, the island was under Muslim rule).

Located on the highest point of the islet, we find the hospital that was built during British rule and later converted into a Spanish military hospital (a function it retained until the twentieth century).

As for the remains of the basilica that we can visit in its eastern area, it has many similarities with Es Fornàs de Torelló so, although it is not known exactly, it is thought that both basilicas coincide in their chronology and must have been built between the V and VI centuries AD.

The paved mosaic that was in the basilica was moved and, at present, it is possible to find it exposed in the Museum of Menorca.

As a curiosity, the San Antonio Estate (also called The Golden Farm), which can be found along the northern shore, is an old farm well known for being the place of residence of many important figures in history, including Admiral Nelson who established his residence there in the early nineteenth century, and was said to be used to receive visits from his mistress Lady Hamilton.


Name: King’s Island (or Illa del Rei)

Location: Mahón Area (39º53.136N 4º17.248’E)

Distance from Mahón:
0’8 MN ; 4’7 km

Time from Mahón: 10 min by boat (average speed: 15 knots) ; 11 min by car (and the sea trip to the island)

Type of beach: Port

Anchoring: To dock. Good wind protection (except for E)

Danger: Medium. There are shallow rocky areas in the surroundings, so it is advisable to keep a considerable distance from the area.

Posidonia: Yes

Nearest gas station for boats: 0’8 MN ; Mahón






Discover the secret corners and beaches of Menorca!


Explore the seabed with the Scubajet thruster. Expand your possibilities of use by motorizing your paddle surf.

Isla del Rey in Menorca, how to get there?

Since it is an island, it is only accessible by boat (the port of Mahón is the closest place you can approach before taking a boat to Isla del Rey).

In this sense you have 2 options: you can sign up for one of the excursions and guided tours that are organized every week to get to know the island (and the organizers themselves will provide the means to access it).

Or you can rent a boat (with or without skipper) to reach the island by yourself.

Services near Isla del Rey


There are no services on the island itself, but if we come from Mahón we will have all its amenities: sports equipment and boat rentals, restaurants and accommodation options.

What we do have available for the island is a Water Taxi service that makes transfers to the island so that it can be visited.

*We consider them “close” if they are within a radius of 250-300 m approx.

Water Taxi Menorca 616 428 891

What can we do on King’s Island?

Of course, if we visit the island it is to make a small excursion and visit the historical redoubts that remain. That is, the Paleo-Christian basilica and the old military hospital are obligatory stops, since there are no services available on the small island (except for the organization of guided tours to see these historical remains).

However, since it is essential to access it by boat, and it is located inside the port of Mahón, we can always make a visit to the island and then dock at the port to enjoy all the possibilities that Mahón has to offer.

How to get to King’s Island by boat?

To get there by boat we must leave the port of Mahón leaving it to starboard, we will head in a SE direction to the Isla del Rey, which we will approach from the port side and enter through its S side.

Do you want to go to Isla del Rey by boat?