Maó (Mahón)

Maó (in Castillian: Mahón; in official documents the bilingual version is being used), has been Menorca's capital since the British governor Richard Kane moved it from Ciutadella in 1721.

It is situated at the eastern end of the island.

View Larger Map


Mahón's population is about 29,000 people.

Buy at
Woman Climbs Steps in the Old Section...
Buy From
The harbour

The harbour is 5 kilometers long and 1 kilometer at its widest point. It is 15 to 30 metres deep and the second deepest natural harbour in the world.

There are guided boat roundtrips with explanations of the remains of the castles and sites on the way, such as the Castle of Sant Felip and the well-conserved fort of La Mola.

Historical buildings

The Town Hall is a typically Menorcan building, erected in 1631 and restored in the 1780s.

The gothic Church of Santa Maria (rebuilt between 1748 and 1772)) is home to a great organ with over 3,000 pipes!

In 1287, King Alfonso III conquered Menorca from the Moslems.

In memory of that event, there is a statue in the centre of the Plaza de la Conquista.

At the same square, you can find the public library known as the Casa de Cultura. This building is a 18th century mansion.

The Claustre del Carme used to be a convent and now houses the town's market. It was built in 1751.
There is a supermarket in the basement.

You will notice the pattern of British architecture in many places in Mahón. These buildings tend to be painted wine-red with corresponding white window and door frames.

Visting Recommendation

1. First visit the harbour.

2. Then stroll through the urban centre.

You may also wish to visit the museum that presents the human occupation of Menorca.

It is open from Tuesday to Saturday between 10.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. and from 5.00 p.m. till 8.00 p.m. On Sundays from 10.00 a.m. till 2.00 p.m.

Spelling controversy

Once in a while, one can read in the local papers that a referendum is being considered about the correct spelling of the town's name.

Actually, it was officially changed from Mahón to Maó in 2010, others want it to read Mahó, while most of the locals just say .

A walk a day to spice up your holiday:

Distance: approximately 2 kilometers.

What could be better than a leisurly walk along the quay side at Mahón's natural harbour?

You will be able to admire all sorts of boats and ships, from small fishing vessels to cruise ships.

Your stroll is further enhanced by the magnificient scenery and the historic landmarks all around you.

The other side ("altra banda" of the port is lined with numerous bars, restaurants and little shops.