Group of friends buy entire abandoned Spanish village to fulfil retirement dream

A group of friends have all chipped in their savings to buy up an entire abandoned village in Galicia to fulfil their retirement dreams.

Group of friends buy entire abandoned Spanish village to fulfil retirement dream
A group of friends bought a hamlet for their retirement. Photo: Galicia Country Homes

The group have raised €140,000 euros between them to purchase an “aldea” – a hamlet – that has stood empty for 50 years in the countryside outside Lugo in the northwestern region.

Although presently in a state of complete ruin, each investor plans to renovate an individual property within the settlement with the idea that they can all live there in their dotage.

 “We each have our own house but all together,” explained one of the members of the group, who have not been named, in a video on La Vanguardia website.

The village the group purchased is near Vilalba, just off the Camino Primitivo, one of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela, and includes one larger property, two ruined cottages, several barns that could be converted into livable spaces, a traditional bread oven and a pair of horreos, the traditional Galician granaries.

There are an estimated 3,000 abandoned villages in Spain, mainly to be found in Galicia, Castilla y León, Aragon and Asturias and although many don’t have the correct paperwork for immediate sale, there are hundreds on the market at any one time.

Mark Adkinson, a Brit originally from Manchester who married a Galician and has lived there for over 40 years and has restored his own abandoned property, set up an estate agent specialising in selling abandoned villages.

“Really the restoration of old houses is not excessively expensive,” insists Adkinson on his real estate website Galician Country Homes, which offers properties ranging from €40,000 to over €1million

“The walls are normally sound and this makes the restoration much easier”.

Such properties have piqued the interest of foreign buyers looking for rural tourism opportunities but more and more Spaniards are now interested in returning to villages once abandoned by the forebears. 


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What to do about insects and other pests in your home in Spain?

Bugs and insects can sometimes be a problem in Spanish homes, particularly during the summer months. Here's what to do if you get an infestation and how to prevent them from happening.

What to do about insects and other pests in your home in Spain?

Fruit flies buzzing around the bins, cockroaches in the kitchen and ants invading your food cupboards can be a common sight in your Spanish home, more often than not in summer.

But what can you do when insects invade your home? 

What types of pests are common in Spain?

Bugs and insects that commonly invade homes in Spain include fruit flies, ants, stink bugs, cockroaches, pantry moths, plaster bagworms and mosquitoes.

Those who have pets may also have a problem with your animals bringing fleas and ticks into the home too.

READ ALSO: Ticks are proliferating in Spain: How to avoid them and protect yourself

These can cause a nuisance, not only flying around your home and biting you (in the case of mosquitoes, fleas and ticks), but they can get into your food and lay eggs in your cupboards.

How can I get rid of bugs in my home?

One of the most important ways you can keep insects and other bugs out of your home is to eliminate food sources.

This means always doing the washing up as soon as you’ve finished eating so there are no scraps laying around, sweeping kitchens and dining rooms regularly and putting opened food items in the fridge instead of the cupboards.

You also need to make sure you regularly empty your rubbish bin and that there are no gaps between the lid and the bin that flies can get in through.

Dusting, hoovering and general regular cleaning will also keep other insects at bay such as plaster bagworms and moths that lay larvae on your walls and ceiling.

Those with pets should make sure that animals are treated with flea and tick protection and combed through with special flea combs to make sure bugs are not stuck in their fur.

Summer can of course be very hot in Spain, with temperatures regularly in the high 30°Cs or even low 40°Cs in some parts of Andalusia and other regions, meaning that windows and doors are often left open to ensure a breeze. Unfortunately, this means that your home is more accessible to insects too.

If you can, get a fly screen for your doors and windows, so you can leave them open, but no bugs can get in. These fine mesh screens can be bought from hardware or home stores such as Leroy Merlin and can simply be lifted into place when you need them.

If you can’t get screens installed, then consider planting certain plants on windowsills or balconies. Lavender, basil, lemongrass and mint are all natural insect repellents.

Electric fly swats, ant traps and sticky paper can also all help eliminate pests in your home. 

READ ALSO: What venomous species are there in Spain?


When the situation becomes worse, simple everyday cleaning won’t suffice and you may need to use insecticides to kill the infestation. There are many different brands in Spain. Both Protect Home and Compo have several different products you can use.

If you don’t want to use chemical insecticides, natural ones made from white vinegar, citrus plants, or peppermint oil can also work.

Pest control

If the situation becomes completely out of control and you find that insects are not only entering your home but that they are breeding there too, it’s time to call in the professionals. Pest control services are available across Spain.

The first step is to check your home insurance to see if they will cover this service. If they won’t, they may be able to suggest a company that can help.

Otherwise, a quick Google search for ‘Control de plagas’ (pest control) and then your area should provide you with plenty of options.

According to the home website Habitissimo, pest control services in Spain can range from €80 up to €2,000 depending on the type of infestation you have, how serious the problem is and how big your property is. On average it will cost you around €267.