Lonely Planet Writer

If you have €18 million in your back pocket, you could buy your own Spanish island

Got a cool €18 million to spare? If so, you could buy your very own Spanish island, Espalmador, near the Balearic island of Formentera, which has gone on sale for that exact sum. The 147-hectare private islet is a Mediterranean paradise, with attractions including dazzling white-sand beaches, a mud pool and freshwater springs. As part of Ses Salines Natural Park, created in 2001, it enjoys protected status: access is restricted and no construction is allowed on the island at all.

Espalmador Image by Andrés Nieto Porras / CC BY-SA 2.0

Don’t get too excited though, as Espalmador hasn’t gone on public sale just yet. Its owner, architect Norman Cinnamond, is in negotiations to sell the island to Formentera’s council. They are “very interested”, according to Cinnamond, but are struggling to stump up the full asking price – which has already been lowered from €24 million. The island is “an offer not to be missed” councillor Jaume Ferrer told El Pais. “We’re certainly interested, but the problem is how to pay for it”. Cinnamond’s grandfather originally bought Espalmador for €252 in 1932.

The Formentera authorities are due to meet the Balearic regional government next month to discuss the sale, and it is hoped they will get some financial help from both the EU and the central government in Madrid. Although Cinnamond says he hasn’t approached any other potential buyers, he has confirmed that if the island remains privately owned it will retain its protected status. “Nobody can build anything on Espalmador, so don’t worry. There isn’t going to be a ten-storey hotel there,” he says.

But if the island does go on public sale and you’re keen to snap it up, bear in mind that the €18 million price tag only applies if you pay in one lump sum. If you want to part with your cash in instalments, the asking price goes up to €20 million.