Mark Adkinson, a Briton who lives in Spain, runs a real estate agency selling abandoned villages and other historic properties. Here Adkinson stands amid buildings for sale in the abandoned village of O Penso.
Mark Adkinson in the abandoned Galician village of O Penso

AN average flat in Madrid, one of Europe’s priciest markets, costs around €5,000… per square metre.

But in the Galician countryside, that figure can buy you an entire house.

And if you’ve got a bit more to spend — say, €200,000 — you can buy the whole village.

British-born estate agent Mark Adkinson brings the glad tidings, and he would know as he makes a living finding dirt-cheap countryside properties and matching them with foreign buyers.

According to Adkinson, many homes and villages in Spain’s northwest have sat abandoned for decades after residents migrated to cities in search of work.

The abandoned village of O Penso, in northwest Spain, is for sale for about $230,000. The last resident died a decade ago. The village includes 100 acres with half a dozen houses, two sprawling farms with room for 70 cattle and a stand-alone bread-making kitchen.
The abandoned Galician village of O Penso, which retails for under €200,000

Adkinson markets the properties to foreigners, including British retirees, and also worked with an Indian entrepreneur wanting to transform a deserted hamlet into a yoga retreat.

If the investment from a foreign market breathes some life into these once-vibrant ghost towns, we can all say ‘namaste’ to that.


  1. The very best that could be created from these workless ghost towns would be Pensioner Ghettos, but even they could not survive without support infrastructure. Shops, doctors, etc. The idea is hopeless.
    Mr. Adkinson is having a laugh.

  2. Fred,
    spot on. There is no work, no facilities, an awful climate and you are surrounded or lost inside the eucalyptus forests that cloak Galicia with the depressing grey/green colour – I know I lived there.

    It was once an incredibly beautiful place but Franco’s command to plant Eucalyptus totally destroyed that and I well remember a Galician newspaper reprinting front pages from the 1950s’ showing the exodus of a huge percentage of the population embarking for Argentina/Venezuala/US and so on to escape starvation.

    The northern rias are a great place for a vacation in summer and show how abysmal the Med coast is in comparison – the rest of the year – depressing.

  3. This article should be renamed to “Spain: Where you can waste €200,000 on property where no one with a brain wants to live”. I expect a load of marketing spiel tells unsuspecting buyers about how great it is to live there, you know classic estate agent phrases like “live with nature” (you would die and no one would know for ten years), “would suit DIY enthusiast” (total rebuild needed), “characterful property” (dilapidated), “In need of modernisation” (ditto), and “original features” (septic water supply and termites included). lol indeed.

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