Beautiful Islands For Sale Nobody Wants To Buy Or Live On

islands for sale

So you’ve won the lottery and want to get away from it all. You want privacy, sunshine, private beaches, and blue seas. Why not just buy a private island? There are plenty of islands for sale and one of them offers a free residentship!

© Wikimedia Commons / Christopher Michel

It seems like the first thing the super-rich do. But, believe it or not, you don’t have to be ultra-wealthy to afford one. Here are some truly beautiful private islands almost anyone can afford, but strangely enough, nobody has snapped them up!

10. Poveglia

It is one of the most attractive islands for sale in the Mediterranean, just off the coast of Italy and only a gondolas ride from the heart of the picturesque city of Venice.

Split into three parts, its 72,000 square metres contains the ruins of a church, a hospital, an asylum and a 12th-century bell tower that once belonged to the church of San Vitale demolished in 1806. It sure seems like a picturesque, albeit run-down, paradise, but there is a downside. It’s also known as one of the most haunted places on earth.

© Game Blog

Its history tells a grim tale. In the Middle Ages, it was used to house victims of the plague that swept through Europe. It became the last destination of thousands of infected people. Their bodies were dumped into mass graves.

© internazionale and © Thorvaldsens Museum

During the 1920s, it housed a mental institution where, due to its isolation, abusive and inhumane medical procedures went on. The doctor responsible took his own life by throwing himself off the Bell Tower. The hospital closed in 1968 when the island was abandoned.

Since then, it’s been bought and sold three times. The first two owners soon gave up on the place due to many mysterious and frightening occurrences they witnessed.

© noticias

In 2014, it was bought by a businessman for around half a million dollars, who hoped to develop the islands as a holiday destination. However, due to local pressure, the sale received the “non-congruous” label. The Italian authorities rejected the deal – due to stringent development rules of the authorities. Now, do you still fancy making an offer?

9. Getters Island

If you don’t want to get away from it all and fancy an island nearer to civilisation, how about Getters Island? It is a pleasantly wooded island situated in the Delaware River just a hundred yards from the town of Easton.

© Morning Call

It seems to be a bargain for only $150,000, but there’s a catch.

The ghost of one Charles Getter haunts the island.  He brutally murdered Margaret Lawall – his pregnant wife – just outside Easton in 1833. After a quick trial where the jury took a whole ten minutes to find him guilty, he was sentenced to death by hanging. Such was the publicity surrounding his crime that this island was chosen to stage his execution so the crowd of 20,000 could witness the hanging from the riverbank at Easton.

© Need Pix

Unfortunately, it didn’t go to plan. During the first attempt, the rope snapped and Getter fell to the floor and had to wait twenty minutes before the scaffold was made ready. He expired at the second attempt. A bit of an extreme way to get an island named after you. Fancy buying it now?

8. Little Rocky Island

How about a Canadian island residence just off the coast of Nova Scotia for only 98,000 Canadian dollars? It’s eight acres of beautiful mature pine forest, has a white sandy beach that runs right. around it, and it’s in a sheltered location.


Protected from inclement weather, its warmest month is August with an average temperature of 16 degrees Centigrade. The coldest is February when it drops to minus 8 degrees C. Although there’s no existing property on the island, it is ready for development.

However, if you’re wanting to by yourself an island there’s just one slight problem, despite its name, Little Rock Island is only an island at high tide. When the tide goes out a strip of land connects it to the mainland.

© eosense

Perhaps the reasonable price tag reflects that Little Rock is only a part-time island. Still, if you think about it, it could be a selling point as you could get to land easily which would come in useful if your boat gets a hole in it.

7. Fort Carroll

Fort Carroll is an abandoned fort, built in the middle of the Patapsco River during the American Civil War to protect the approach to Baltimore.

© Flickr / Cristina

By 1921, it was abandoned and stayed that way until 1958 when it was sold to a private developer who saw a business opportunity by turning it into a tourist attraction complete with a casino, hotel and restaurants. Unfortunately for the developer, a judge ruled that the island was in Baltimore County, where gambling wasn’t legal.

Since then many developers have considered the site but as a casino owner said when he recently rejected the property:

6. Half Island

Loking for islands for sale in Canada? Half Island is in Canada. Its stunning natural beauty is less than a mile from the mainland and located close to Walkerville, a small community in Cape Breton and is 16 kilometres from Port Hawkesbury.

© Private Islands Online

Hawkesbury is the place where you’ll find all the requirements that today’s civilisation offers; restaurants, hotels, a Walmart, car dealerships, schools, a public pool, hockey arena, fitness centres and the Nova Scotia Community College.

If you’re into fishing, watching wildlife, and the great outdoors in general, this place is for you. The area is famous for all manner of sailing activities, from yachting to paddling your own canoe. The fishing is good with plenty of cod, sea trout, silver perch, Atlantic salmon and shellfish just waiting to jump on your line.

© The Globe and Mail / Darren Calabrese

The woods are alive with deer and bald eagles soar overhead. You might even get to see the passing whale or two. However, if you’re looking for luxury, forget it. It’s $59,000 sale price includes the islands only habitation, an air-stream camper shell left by a previous owner.

I suppose its isolation in a cold climate is what’s putting buyers off this one.

5. Motu Matatahi

French Polynesia is one of the most spectacular and beautiful parts of the world. It’s often called a paradise, comprising over a hundred islands scattered over 2,000 kilometres of the Pacific Ocean – ranging from high, lushly vegetated, tree-filled islands to white-sand surrounded atolls and blue lagoons. Isn’t it excitng to know that there are islands for sale in that paradise?

© Private Islands Online

Like many other islands in French Polynesia, Motu Matatahi is up for sale for just over $260,000. White beaches and a blue lagoon surround it, and it’s everyone’s dream island.

Just a couple of slight problems. Like most of the islands in this part of the world, it suffers from major environmental issues. There’s pollution – specifically, the danger of radiation. So as long as you’re okay with growing a third ear and turning green, it’s all cool.

© Wikimedia Common / Nils Ally

From 1960 to 1996, France carried out 193 nuclear tests in French Polynesia in the South Pacific. Despite them claiming that the controlled explosions were clean, scientists have discovered high levels of thyroid cancers and leukemia throughout Polynesia.

© Flickr / Archives New Zealand

Then, there’s the ever-present danger of rising sea levels and extreme weather events, including cyclones, storms, and tsunamis that create floods, landslides, erosion, and reef damage.

© Videoblocks

The islands also suffer from droughts and many are totally dependent on rainfall as a source of fresh water. Hey ho, perhaps it’s not the bargain it first seems.

4. Daksa Island

How about a stunning Adriatic location? Daksa Island is on the market for just 2 million euros. In sight of Dubrovnik, it comes complete with woodland, private beaches and its very own Franciscan monastery.

© Wikimedia Commons / Timur V. Voronkov

Unfortunately, its grizzly past may explain why the island has been on sale for over three years. At the end of World War II, Yugoslav Partisans entered Dubrovnik and rounded up over three hundred people they accused of being German collaborators. Some were brought to Daksa Island where they were executed without trial. Their bodies remained there unburied for decades.

© Wikimedia Commons / Mario Modesto Mata

They received a respectful burial in 2010. Out of all the bodies, the authority could identify only 18, leaving the identity of the others a mystery. Today, the locals claim that the ghosts of the dead haunt the island demanding justice, which is probably why there are no buyers or tourists lurking about the place.

3. Snake Island

Even if you had the cash, you couldn’t buy this picturesque island just off the Brazilian Coast. Also known as ‘llha da Queimada Grande’, Snake Island is so dangerous that the Brazilian Government has banned all human visitors.

Why? Well, it’s the home of one the most venomous snakes in the world. The Golden Lancehead is a type of pit viper that can grow up to eighteen inches long and is so poisonous that one bite will kill a person within an hour. Sounds horrific!

© Wikimedia Commons / Geoff Gallice

You’d be seriously unlucky to stumble across this snake, but not on snake island. It’s estimated that the island is home to around 4000 of them. That’s equivalent to one snake every square foot.

© Faktxeber

I wonder who got the job of counting them?

2. Isola La Gaiola

How about islands for sale in the Mediterranean – in the stunning bay of Naples? Isola La Gaiolais a beautiful, picture postcard island, with ruins dating back to ancient Rome, a rustic villa, clear seas and so close to the shore that you could swim there.

© Wikimedia Commons / Peppe Guida

So how come today it’s a deserted, Romanesque ruin that no one wants to buy? Could it be something to do with the rumours that the island is cursed? Whether you’re superstitious or not, the facts around the unfortunate fate of its past owners are screaming of a curse.

In the 1920s, its owner was found murdered, his corpse hidden in a rolled-up carpet. Soon afterwards, his wife drowned in an accident. The next owner died of a heart attack. The one after went insane and committed suicide, as did the next owner, an heir to the Fiat Company. The island then passed to his nephew, who died of an extremely rare type of cancer.

© Twitter / Travelmail

The bad luck doesn’t end there. Another owner bankrupted himself, and after he had purchased the island, J. Paul Getty’s grandson was kidnapped.

Finally, its last owner went to jail for bad business practices. Can this all be blamed on the island? Who knows, but it’s no great surprise that no one’s rushing to buy it.

1. Pitcairn Island

Even if you can’t afford to buy your own Pacific Island, the next best thing is to just live on one for free, and although it sounds too good to be true, such an offer does exist!

Pitcairn Island is in the Pacific, and authorities are BEGGING you to live there. The mutineers of HMS Bounty were the first inhabitants. Despite being only two square miles, the land is plentiful and the weather is always good with the temperature remaining above 17 degrees Celsius all year round.


© Flickr / Polyrus and © Wikimedia Commons / Peter Fitzgerald, Andrew J.Kurbiko, Hansbaer, OpenStreetMap

The Government even provides settlers with a free plot of land to build on. Yet no one wants to go there and its population has now shrunk to less than fifty.

Perhaps one reason could be the 2004 child abuse scandal that became headline news around the world and led to 6 of its inhabitants being imprisoned.

© Max Pixel

Perhaps another is that there are no jobs, only one general store, and you have to place food orders three months in advance. Supplies come from New Zealand, more than 3,000 miles away. It also costs 5,000 New Zealand dollars – which is about 3,383 US dollars – and 3 days each way to get yourself there in the first place. Apart from that, the environmental problems across the Pacific region is another issue.

© Flickr / USFWS – Pacific Region

Either way, On the upside, it does have electricity and the internet. So, would you buy any of these islands despite the drawbacks? Maybe you’re not put off by the small print or their history? Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below.

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