I didn’t even know that Bloody Island existed when we arrived in Menorca. But then we saw an advert for the Yellow Catamaran boat company and that they visited the island a few times a week so it seemed like the perfect way to spend our last morning on the island. The boat leaves from Mahon at 10.30, with tickets on sale from the kiosk where you board (recommend you do it ahead of time in case they sell out). Helpfully there is also a snack bar on board so you can buy ice creams and drinks during the trip. The tour lasts a few hours and includes a tour of the harbour with a commentary in several languages to explain the main points.
Once on Bloody Island (or Isla del Rey) it is easy to see why it was given this nickname. Once upon a time it was a British Military Hospital before being abandoned in 1964 and left to fall into disrepair
Illa del Rei or as it has subsequently been called, Hospital Island is home to one of the oldest Royal Naval hospital in the world. It has been saved from dereliction by a group of volunteers who are not just British, in fact half are Menorcans led by a former Chief of staff of the Spanish Army, General Luis Alexandre”.
Everybody arriving on to the Island came up this hill. Either staggering if they weren’t too badly injured, or on a stretcher. It is a sobering experience to do it now as a tourist and hard to imagine just what life for the patients must have been like on the island.
Volunteers are now helping to restore the buildings, with many rooms now displaying equipment and instruments that were used at the time.
The building’s roof had collapsed in many places so it is astonishing to see just what has been achieved by their restoration now.
A worthwhile trip, we really enjoyed our morning here, getting a feel for how Menorca was before it became a great place for a holiday. Though having been out in the sun all morning all we wanted to do in the afternoon was head back to our villa for a splash in the pool and a barbecue as the sun set! Of course if we had been staying with James Villas in Mahon it would have only been a stroll back to one of their villas. As it was we were just a twenty minute drive away, plenty of time to make use of the air conditioning in the car whilst working out who would be in charge of the sausages.