A short overview about Portugal
Buying a property in Portugal offers the promise of playing golf all year in your shirtsleeves, then eating freshly caught fish at the quayside brasserie while watching the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean.
Portugal is, roughly, 600 kilometres north to south and 200 east to west yet most of the British buyers fit into the most southerly 10 kilometres – the Algarve. Those of us who venture to the north will discover attractive and mountainous countryside where villagers still enjoy a distinctly old-fashioned way of life. Up here it snows in winter and bakes in summer, although on the coasts the summer heat is made more bearable with cooling Atlantic breezes. Porto is Portugal’s second largest city and a World Heritage Site, with expensive property. Go a few miles inland and there are village properties as cheap as anywhere in Europe.
Central Portugal, although there are other smaller mountain ranges and forests of cork and oak, is famous for its gentle rolling hills and plains full of wheat. Countryside properties in this part of Portugal are a good and affordable alternative to rural France and Italy, although you may struggle to find another English speaker. The coast north of Lisbon is known as the Silver Coast, and has been slowly developing over the past 25 years as lovers of Portugal look for an alternative to the Algarve. Its most famous town is the medieval walled city of Obidos, rightly famous these days for its golf courses.
Immediately south of Lisbon is the coastal resort town of Sesimbra, centre of the up-and-coming Blue Coast. It is particularly popular with Lisbon’s well-heeled residents, being just 30 minutes away. Further south again is the Alentejo region reaches the ocean in a series of beaches that can seriously claim to be about the best in the whole of the Iberian Peninsula.
Then you’re in the Algarve. For a long time Portugal stayed slightly below the radar as British buyers headed off to explore “new” destinations like Bulgaria or Cape Verde. So it didn’t overdevelop like southern Spain and remains an authentic and affordable choice. Many Britons, especially among the retired, have taken to its friendly and laid-back vibe and now 10 per cent of the population in towns like Albufeira are British. There are some seriously high-class golf communities here, but also affordable property in the coastal villages. Even more affordable are the communities of the inland Algarve, still with warmth and golf, and easy access back and forth to Britain all year via Faro Airport.
If you would like more detail about some aspects of buying a property in Portugal, then download our free guide to buying property in Portugal, sponsored by Ideal Homes Portugal.
It covers the popular regions of Portugal, a run-down of the Portuguese property market including the types of property and things to watch. We give tips on legal, currency and tax as well as the steps involved in the buying process.
A short overview about Portugal
The most popular Portuguese properties
7 Steps To Buying:
How to buy property in Portugal
In-depth guides to regions in Portugal
Save money on currency transfers
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In this month's property selection we've handpicked an array of apartments, villas and farmhouses from all over Portugal.
In this month’s selection we’ve chosen an array of country and coastal properties from across Portugal including the Algarve, the Silver Coast, Lisbon and many more.
For Christine and Paul Fletcher an overseas retirement had long been on the cards, it was just a matter of where. After a holiday to Portugal in 2014, they decided Portugal was the country for them.
Sherry Meadows, 63, left her life in rural Wiltshire to run a holiday complex in the town of Alcantarilha in the Algarve. Here she talks to us about what attracted her to the Portuguese way of life and what plans she has in store for her property.