A tiny Balearic island that lies between Ibiza and Formentera and boasts two houses, a chapel and a watchtower has been sold to a private bidder for €18m (£16m).
S’Espalmador, which occupies 137 hectares and can be reached on foot from Formentera at low tide, has been snapped up by a family from Luxembourg despite efforts to sell it to the Formentera government.
A representative for the island’s previous owners, the Catalan architect Norman Cinnamond and his sister Rosy, confirmed s’Espalmador had been sold after nearly three years on the market.
The spokesperson told Spain’s Efe news agency the new owners had bought it for their own use and were fully aware of regulations that protect it as part of the Ses Salines natural park.
The island was bought by the Cinnamonds’ grandfather for the equivalent of €252 in 1932. Although the family dropped the asking price from €24m to €18m, it proved too expensive for the Formentera authorities.
“Like most people on Formentera, we would have preferred the local government to have reached an agreement to buy it using state funds,” Silvia Tur, a local politician, told Efe.
She also stressed that s’Espalmador was subject to strict protection laws that would have to be observed.
The island, which is under two miles (3km) long and half a mile (800 metres) wide, is a popular mooring place for yachts. In summer, many boats stop off so people can explore s’Espalmador and take one of its famous natural mud baths. It remains to be seen what attitude the new owners will take to the thousands of annual visitors.
The island was listed with an estate agent specialising in private islands. Its advertisement noted that s’Espalmador has a “remarkable location that few other private islands of this calibre” can match.
“It’s easy to enjoy the best of Ibiza from s’Espalmador, for example the happening beach clubs on Ibiza’s Ses Salines beach, a short boat ride away, or the nightclubs of Ibiza town,” the blurb said.
“And after the buzz of Ibiza, s’Espalmador is the perfect sanctuary to retreat to, somewhere to get away from it all and unwind in beautiful surroundings, with zero stress.”
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