For €700,000 you can buy a private island in the middle of the Loire, about 10 kilometres from Saumur and its famous chateau.
"It is a land rarity, an environmental haven," Guillame Denniel, the estate agent handling the sale, told The Connexion.
The property is listed on the Denniel Immobilier website, an agency which specialises in older or heritage buildings.
From September to May, access to the island is possible via a ford, then by boat for the rest of the year.
Hunting lodge to restore
With over 33 hectares of land for agricultural use, the island consists of a hunting lodge and two agricultural barns.
“Exploited in the past for agriculture and vines, it became a holiday resort in the nineteenth century when a large Saumur wine family, Bouvet Ladubay, built the current hunting lodge on a hill,” explained the listing agent.
“This charming property with its neo-medieval architecture is in need of a complete restoration having been uninhabited for a century.”
The island boasts a “superb environment both natural and historical. It faces two charming villages on each bank – on one side one of the largest churches in the area and on the other hand a classed mediaeval tower.”
“Meanwhile, with immense Atlas cedars that are centuries old, nature stretches as far as the eye can see and when we went there swans were flying flush with the water.”
Although there is no connection to mains water or electricity, the island does have a well.
A sought-after department
Maine-et-Loire is on the main route heading south from the ports of Normandy and Brittany.
It is a rich, green, agricultural department, with several large rivers, including the Loire, Mayenne and Sarthe.
Part of the Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire in Loiret and Chalonnes-sur-Loire in Maine-et-Loire has been listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Tourism has become one of the region’s main industries, with good cycle routes adding to its attraction.
Nearby Saumur is a pleasant, prosperous medium-sized town – many French people still associate it with horses as in the past, it was the main training centre for cavalry regiments.