Is The Algarve One Of The Best Places To Live As An Expat part 1 – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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The Algarve is one of the most popular expat destinations in Europe. The region enjoys year-round sunshine, making it an obvious place for foreigners to reside. We will look at the attractions of moving to this part of Portugal and why you should think about settling there yourself.
Then we’ll detail what you need to do if you hope to leave your homeland for the Algarve. The weather is an obvious draw of Portugal, but other points could sway your decision. The region has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, so finding a job will not be too much trouble should you need to earn some money while you find yourself a home.
And property prices in the Algarve are far lower than in many other European countries. The cost of living is low too, so you should be able to live comfortably for less than in much of Western Europe. All these factors taken together mean life in the Algarve is good value for expats on an international salary.
Overview of Living in Portugal
And Portugal has several other benefits over your home country, including universal health care. Your package of rights and entitlements as an expat will include access to the state healthcare system, something that’s not always accessible in your new host country without taking out private insurance.
Your children can receive a free education here whether they choose to study at a state or private school. The standard of education in Portugal is high, with a good range of both state and private schools.
Or, if you want to set up your own business from the Algarve, it’s easy to do under favorable conditions. There are incentives for setting up a new company here which allow you access to funding if needed. And once you have settled, there are also plenty of networking opportunities to help your business grow.
It is estimated that more than one million Americans have direct descent from Portugal, most of them living in California, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. The name of Portugal is the result of an evolution that has lasted over two thousand years. The first to use this designation was Julius Caesar, who called it Portus Cale or simply Cale.
It was not until the end of the Iberian Peninsula’s occupation by the Suebi and Visigoths that this name was used again, namely in 585 by an anonymous author. The name stuck and was later used to designate the Kingdom of Portugal. Without further ado, below are the pros and cons of moving to Portugal as an expat.
Moving to Portugal will mean getting out of your comfort zone. It is a crossroads in your life where things are always changing; new people, new places, and lots of new adventures! You’ll never be bored because there will always be something different happening.
1. A New Adventure
This is how I decided what to do on my daily commute. Heading out each day to explore will keep you busy for a lifetime! Lisbon is an exciting city that can be explored in many different ways.
You’ll find something new every day, whether it’s a new restaurant, street art, or Lisbon sites. The beauty of Lisbon is that there are so many amazing things to do you’ll never run out of options.
2. Portuguese Hospitality
The people in Portugal are some of the friendliest I’ve ever met! I was really surprised by how quickly they made me feel at home and how easy it was to make friends here. Lisbon is also one of the cleanest cities I’ve been in, and it’s a very safe place to live. It doesn’t have the high crime rates of other cities around Europe, so you can rest assured that you will be safe here.
3. Food & Drink
Portugal is a haven for foodies! The food is excellent here, from traditional Portuguese cuisine to seafood dishes. There is such a variety of great restaurants here, and most of them are very affordable too! I love wine, so I was excited to discover the huge range in Portugal. There are some incredible wines that you can’t find anywhere else.
4. Lisbon Architecture
Lisbon is filled with amazing architecture and old buildings from Roman times. It is full of history, which you can see in the Lisbon streets and neighborhoods. The city has blended different styles over time to give it a unique character that I’ve found nowhere else! Some of my favorite spots are Alfama Old Town, Castelo de São Jorge, and many more.
5. Football Fans
This is my favorite part of living in Lisbon and Portugal. You can see football (soccer) culture everywhere. There are huge parades on match days with passion and energy that are hard to find anywhere else. The fans cheer for their favorite teams and sing songs all day long; it’s an infectious atmosphere that I enjoy every time I want to catch a game.
Cultures and Traditions to Except In the Algarve
The Algarve, a land of contrasts and different cultures, has been allowed to escape from generations who have been occupied throughout its history with agriculture and fishing. In this atmosphere, they grew up among the traditions that still live in all their purity in some areas of this region.
In addition to the traditional gastronomy, which includes typical dishes such as the “cataplana,” a typical dish of clams with rice, which is made in copper pots, regularly used in the Algarve, there are also some very interesting traditions that deserve to be accepted.
For example, it has been said that when a man marries in the Algarve, he must bring his wife a dowry intended for the purchase of furniture and also a wardrobe with his family history. This wardrobe is called “armário das virtudes” (in English: The wardrobe of virtues).
An unusual tradition precedes the wedding ceremony, the “banho de Rosas” (in English: Rose bath), referred to the day before the wedding when the bride and groom are immersed in a tub full of roses.
In some areas, there is also another curious tradition which consists of making dolls by placing two eggs on top of each other and putting them in a dish with water, after that this water is changed every night for 40 days until a beautiful girl or boy appears.
In certain celebrations or events taking place for many years in the Algarve, it is common to see people dressed as other characters from past centuries, representing their ancestors. In these costumes, they dance and sing traditional songs while going to places where there are open-air festivities.
Why the Algarve Remains the Best Place for Expat
The Algarve is situated in the southwest of Portugal, bordering Spain to the east. It has long been a favorite place for expats looking for a new life in Europe. Although many have moved on to places like the Dominican Republic and Thailand after they got bored of the Algarvian sun, sand, and seafood, more and more people are moving here because of the Algarve’s unique benefits.
- Excellent international schools
- A moderate climate with ample sunshine hours
- A great place to raise a family
- Great property rental market
- Safe, clean communities with low crime rates
- Portugal Is A Great Place for Expats
- A Great Place to Retire
The international schools in the Algarve are world-class. The American/International school of the Algarve is one of the top 10 international schools worldwide. They have a rigorous curriculum, and the school is known for its IB programs.
If you have a child in elementary or middle school and would like to obtain an international degree, this is the best option. The Portuguese schools are also very good, and there are several bilingual schools in the Algarve region.
A Moderate Climate with Ample Sunshine Hours
The Algarve has some of the best weather in the world. There are no seasons, and the temperatures are mild year-round.
This makes it an excellent place to raise a family. The rain is very light, even during Portugal’s winter months (November-March). During these times, rainfall amounts average under 150mm per month. Sunshine hours are also very good. Portugal is ranked as the fourth sunniest country worldwide, with an annual average of 3350 sunshine hours. That’s 90% possible sunshine.
A Great Place to Raise a Family
If you have kids or plan on having them in the future, I would highly recommend raising them in the Algarve. The weather allows you to be outdoors all year round. There are tons of activities for your children and numerous summer camps that they can participate in during school vacation time.
The people here are very friendly and family-oriented. Here, life is about taking it easy, spending time with your loved ones, and unwinding.
The Property Rental Market
In Portugal, it is very easy to rent or buy a property. It’s not as saturated as other European countries, which gives expats an advantage because they don’t have to compete with native Portuguese people for housing. There is a real estate shortage in the Algarve. That’s great news for renters and buyers alike.
The average price of a 3 bedroom house is €200k-300k, but if you want to live in the city center or on the coast, it will be more expensive. This gives expats an advantage because they can find beautiful homes for less money than living elsewhere.
Safe, Clean Communities with Low Crime Rates
Portugal is a relatively safe country. The crime rate in Portugal is about 25% that of the United States, and there are less than 10 murders per year per 100,000 people. It’s an excellent place to raise children because you don’t have to worry about exposing them to drugs or violent crimes. So if you are an expat looking to relocate with your family, Portugal is a great option.
Portugal Is A Great Place for Expats
Portugal has done an excellent job of creating business-friendly policies. They have lowered the cost of starting a business, making it very affordable to open one here. The people are very welcoming, and often entrepreneurs find that hiring locals is easier to do than other countries in Europe due to lower labor costs.
A Great Place to Retire
Portugal is a great place for retirees, mainly because of its affordability. While your money goes further in Portugal than in many other countries, you also get excellent amenities such as healthcare and education. The life expectancy is also higher than average: 82.5 for men and 85.1 years for women.