News

You can buy a whole Spanish village for less than the price of an average UK home

If you’ve ever dreamed of being mayor or a property magnate, then you may be in luck.

An entire abandoned village is up for sale in Salto de Castro, north-western Spain, for the bargain price of just €260,000 (£227,000).

That is around £70,000 less than the price of the average home in the UK.

For that price you get 44 homes, a hotel, a church, a school, a municipal swimming pool and a barracks building that used to house the civil guard.

The village sits on the Portuguese border in the province of Zamora and is a three-hour drive from Madrid.

One of the things it lacks however, are inhabitants, having been abandoned for more than 30 years.

Plans to revamp the ghost town were tabled in the early 2000s after it was bought, but they never got off the ground, the BBC reports.

“The owner had the dream of having a hotel here but it was all put on hold,” Ronnie Rodríguez, of Royal Invest, the company representing the owner, told the media outlet. “He would still like the project to come true.”

On Idealista, where it is listed for sale, the owner wrote: “I am selling because I am an urbanite and I cannot take care of the inheritance or donation.”

Salto de Castro was built by the electricity generation company Iberduero to house workers who built the reservoir nearby in the 1950s, but it became deserted after the project was completed.

It was previously put up for sale, but vandalism to the buildings and a €6.5million price tag clearly put buyers off.

Idealista predicts that it would cost around €2million to bring it up to scratch.

Salto de Castro is not the only Spanish town to be abandoned because of a reservoir.

The beautiful 9th century town of Granadilla lies completely empty nearly 60 years after it was vacated by mistake.

The town is located in Extremadura in the centre-west of the country and during the Middle Ages Granadilla boomed, becoming the main town in an area which included 17 other towns and villages.

In 1950, more than a millennium after it was first founded, a thousand people lived in Granadilla, many of them farmers working the land outside its walls.

Just 14 years later, every single one of them had left.

The reason they all upped sticks was because of Fransisco Franco, the dictator of Spain at the time who decided to build the Gabriel y Galán reservoir, writes the Piggy Traveller.

Granadilla was declared a ‘flood zone’ and five years later government officials arrived in the town and told locals that it now belonged to the state – rendering those who lived their squatters.

While many left straight away, those who stayed were forced to rent the homes they used to own.

As the reservoir – which was the largest of a series designed to boost Spain’s economy during a period of forced international isolation – filled up, roads to the town began to be cut off.

When the water level reached its highest point Granadilla became a peninsular, cut off aside from one route.

However, the town itself was never flooded, in no small part due to the fact that Granadilla is higher than the dam itself.

Despite the fact that it very much wasn’t underwater as had been said by the government, locals were not allowed to return to their homes.