You can buy an 80-acre Irish island for the same cost as a median-priced home in San Francisco


Why get caught up in the rocky real estate market of San Francisco when you can get lost in the crags of your own personal 80-acre Irish island?

With the median house cost in the city now floating just south of $1.4 million, you might instead consider buying this bucolic property two miles off the coast of Galway that’s listed with a comparable asking price.

Like many other pastoral portions of the European nation, High Island (or Ardoilean) is home to rolling grass, two fresh water lakes and an “abundance of birdlife.” Also, like the mainland, it’s teeming with historical artifacts.

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Some ruins may date back to 300 BC, when some say it served as an Iron Age settlement, but it is slightly better documented to have hosted several dozen inhabitants in the seventh century, when early Christians built a monastery there. (Many believe that Saint Féichín himself — associated with supernatural healing abilities — was responsible for the founding of the church, but scholars say it’s hard to verify such claims.)


Remnants of the monastery, an old water mill that may have been the first of its kind in Ireland, and interestingly, a “beehive hut,” still exist on the island, making it a living historic destination and one researched by scholars for decades. It’s also, as the Guardian points out, just 200 miles north of the Skellig Islands, which “Star Wars” fans may recognize as the backdrop of Luke Skywalker’s lush, secluded holy Jedi hideaway.


  • 50981 920x920 You can buy an 80 acre Irish island for the same cost as a median priced home in San Francisco

    High Island sits two miles off the coast of Galway, pictured here.

    Scroll ahead to see Travel + Leisure’s best places to travel in 2019

    High Island sits two miles off the coast of Galway, pictured here.

    Scroll ahead to see Travel + Leisure’s best places to travel in 2019


    Photo: Neil Setchfield / Getty Images

  •  You can buy an 80 acre Irish island for the same cost as a median priced home in San Francisco

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High Island sits two miles off the coast of Galway, pictured here.

Scroll ahead to see Travel + Leisure’s best places to travel in 2019

High Island sits two miles off the coast of Galway, pictured here.

Scroll ahead to see Travel + Leisure’s best places to travel in 2019



Photo: Neil Setchfield / Getty Images


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Now here’s the bad news: Whoever buys the island won’t own the monastery or the artifacts — those belong to the government — and they’ll likely have to build their own home if they plan on living there. The ad notes that there is a 970-square-foot modern structure (with a septic tank), but any other future building plans will need to go through the local planning department.

Buyers are warned to “please note we have not tested any apparatus, fixtures, fittings or services. Interested parties must undertake their own investigation into the working order of these items.”

As for who will end up with the property, the realtor, Luke Spencer of Spencer Auctioneers, has a few ideas. It might be a wealthy European, or it might be some famed Bay Area tech CEO, as he told the Guardian: “someone from Google, or [Mark] Zuckerberg.”


Alyssa Pereira is an SFGATE staff writer. Email her at apereira@sfchronicle.com or find her on Twitter at @alyspereira.

Article source: https://www.sfgate.com/travel/article/irish-high-island-sf-median-home-price-ardoilean-13635190.php

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