View in PC version

Living in the Algarve - What you need to know?

The warm climate in the Algarve

The Algarve in Portugal is known as an international holiday resort. The Algarve continues to have the & nbsp; hotels and homes crowded to 100% during the summer months and weekends, week throughout the year, and Faro airport receives flights loaded with hundreds of European tourists who are completely enamored when they realize that in the colder months the year, the sun continues to shine, and a simple shirt is enough to get comfortable dress ...

The Algarve is responsible for most of the income of leisure tourism in Portugal. Among the main reasons why tourists choose the Algarve:

Sun shines an average of over 300 days per year, creating wonderful contrasts with the predominant colors in this region, Blue sea, blue sky and green fields and and dark yellow, the barriers along the beaches ...

Why Portugal?

January in the Algarve in Portugal
Photograph taken in January 2013 at the city of Lagos, Algarve-Portugal

Can so many people be wrong? Sun, beaches, port wine, golf, soccer, all these images are typically Portuguese icons and of course there is more, much more ... . Portugal to mention a conversation instantly triggers in people memories of hot days and well spent in the company of family and friends Portugal is a destination increasingly popular holiday - The vast majority of visitors come from the UK (about 2 million per year), Germany and Spain, and a constant influx of Countries outside the European community and the U.S., Canada and Brazil.

Prices in general are cheaper than in other European countries, the beaches are numerous and travel the country from north to south, the wonderful wines and tasty food are diverse and incomparably cheaper than in most European countries. These factors among others, make year after year, thousands of people choose Portugal as the location of choice for the purchase of second homes or just vacation home, many also choose as a permanent residence, either for retirement or just by a need to change to bring more quality life.

The Portuguese are traditional people, and staunch exponents of family values and the extended family network. Have a quiet life style and a relaxed way of looking at life, is characterized by being an extremely welcoming and genuinely friendly people.

The Portuguese language

What most people do not know is that the Portuguese language is also one of the most important in the world. It is a wonderfully rich and diverse language spoken in four continents about 200 million native speakers. Portuguese is actually the third most spoken language of Europe in the world, behind English and Spanish. It is the language of Brazil, African countries. Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde and Sao Tome and Principe and East Timor, and has been in times not far from the main language of Macau.

Why choose Portugal for a living?

walk in the sunset in the Algarve
Mother and Son walking on the beach at sunset in the Algarve ... just because they live in the Algarve!

Portugal's Algarve in general and, in particular, has been the constant choice & nbsp; for millions of tourists who visit us every year.

If you are planning to buy a property abroad Portugal is certainly an option you should consider. Compared with other European countries, there are major advantages that the country offers, ranging from the low cost of living the relaxed lifestyle. This is a cozy and with a specially opened for families country people. The climate and a more relaxed approach to life are some of the main factors that convince every year thousands of people choose to Portugal as the country of choice.

Advantages of living in Portugal

As mentioned, there are many advantages to life in Portugal. Beyond those already addressed, leave the following other key points witnessed by & nbsp; some people who have already made the change:

  • Climate
  • Lower prices when buying
  • Loved the place and the people are very friendly and helpful
  • Winter sun
  • Good starting point for car rentals in other European countries
  • Remains a relatively safe place
  • Good place to raise a family
  • Many things to do
  • The amount of people who speak English in several areas
  • Cheap Flights to Algarve
  • Lifestyle allows time to be with family
  • House prices
  • Access to countless golf courses
  • Resident foreign community
  • Beaches and deserted islands

The Algarve is a safe bet for most people, both for having been the host at some point during the holiday, such as already there have created friendships. The comfort of an established foreign community can be beneficial for some, especially in the first months of settling. For those seeking a more courageous and full integration into English life will reward as fantastic areas of natural beauty, prices more Cheap, and especially so special flavor of what is truly real. If instead you want to get away from it all, you can easily find tranquility just a few miles away from the tourist areas.

We believe that here you will find your dream property and be able to live the life you always wanted.

Have you seen the various regions of Portugal?

Costa Verde

Here it produces much of the popular "green wine", red and white. It is also here that we find the greatest, Boulder Geres National Park. The north is rich in traditions, and is very religious and hardworking. To the east, the Minho is flanked by mountains of Tras-os-Montes. Your people are fiercely proud of their heritage. The main industrial area is north of the Douro, and & nbsp; è along the banks of this river that are secular industrial wineries that produce the most famous Portuguese wine, port wine. & nbsp;

About 1.3 million people live in and around the Port, participating in many of the commercial activities of the area, in addition to winemaking, also includes the production of ceramics, footwear, clothing, canned and some agriculture.

Silver Coast

The central provinces include the three borders:

Beira Alta,

Beira Baixa

Beira Litoral.

Beira is home to a large number of cities of great historical interest, including the beautiful city of Coimbra well known for its university, founded in the 13th century. Monasteries, convents, castles, churches and museums are living proof of its precious historical and artistic heritage of universally recognized value. The interior of the region is predominantly constructed in granite, with some incredibly resilient landscapes.


Terrace in the Praça do Comércio in Lisbon, also known as Terreiro do Paço

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. It is a city with a thousand years of history, rich in monuments and traditional neighborhoods that offers much to see and do. The Tagus River and the Sun make the Portuguese capital into a mirror of color in the beauty and unique architecture are evident. Lisbon is definitely trendy. The Lisbon Region focuses quarter of its population, gravitating entire region around the city of Lisbon. It is also the richest and most dense region of Portugal which attracts many people not only from all regions of Portugal and around the world, which becomes a global city.

In recent times, the Lisbon region has been the scene of major events and international conferences as well as major investments aimed at returning to this city a prominent position in the European context.

  • Extremadura

Extremadura area covers the land around Lisbon, with breathtaking scenery as are the picturesque towns of Obidos and Sintra and the popular resorts of Estoril and Cascais, the summer destinations in some of the European aristocracy. In addition, the west stands Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Europe, the province of Ribatejo extends along the valley of the Tagus, a very fertile land. This area has a population of 3,025,632 inhabitants in an area of 2,802 km ².

  • Upper and Lower Alentejo

Upper and Lower Alentejo plains are composed of cork and olive trees, and vast expanses of open land are sparsely populated but this is where the cork is grown to provide most of the demands of the world, it is also here that produces some of the best wines Portugal. The city of Évora was declared a World Heritage Site and deserves a long visit, as well as the largest artificial lake in Europe (Alqueva), the beautiful beaches and unspoiled villages, which lie along the coast and down to the Algarve are well worth a visit.

Algarve is not so wholly given to tourism as the mention of his name everywhere suggests. The holiday resorts dominate the shore by a thin strip extending through approximately 4/5 of the region. The interior and some coastal zone remain largely untouched and are areas of great beauty, with important natural reserves. The western Algarve coast, in particular, is a wild Atlantic, ideal for sightseeing areas. The houses are mostly large & nbsp; Most white, and there are traces of Roman and Moorish occupation, both in architecture and irrigation canals as in some citrus fruits and almonds. these links with the past are also in the names of places as is the case for example, Albufeira, Algarve and Alcoutim.

Most of the people are employed in the field of tourism and entertainment. The main factors that lead people to choose this as your main holiday destination are the high number of hours of sunshine, beautiful, clean, safe beaches, spectacular cliffs, wide variety of golf courses and direct and easy access to several points from Europe to the international airport of Faro.

Industry and Economics in the Algarve:

  • tourism
  • ceramics,
  • weave,
  • will
  • wine
  • cork production,
  • fishing and small scale farming.

Things to see and do: forests in Monchique, beaches, islands and natural reserves, Sagres and Cape St. Vincent, the Moorish Castle at Silves, Loulé market and & racecourse.
Predominant types of properties in the Algarve: modern luxury villas, Apartments, holiday resorts, some older, quaint cottages and golf resorts.

Madeira and Azores

Built on volcanic eruptions, these two groups of islands are autonomous regions of Portugal. Madeira is a popular tourist destination for those who appreciate its splendor and calm. Is especially beautiful in the spring, due to the huge colorful flowers on the island. Here are some of the best and most elegant hotels like the Reids world renowned. Wood produces the famous dessert wine, banana and exquisite hand made embroidery.

The Azores, attract visitors less conventional, more wild in nature, offers a unique experience of local life. The whale watching tours are a hit while some cities were considered UNESCO World Heritage Site, Angra do Heroismo is one such example.

Industry and Economics in the islands of the Azores and wood:

  • tourism
  • wine
  • banana,
  • flowers
  • fishing,
  • rents,
  • embroidery and wicker
  • leather goods.

Where are foreigners living in Portugal?

The vast majority of foreign visitors chose Algarve for living or holiday. Currently there are already several communities of British, Irish, Dutch and Germans fully engaged in the Algarve community. There are radios and newspapers to own any of these nationalities as well as a series of activities aimed at English in order to make them feel at home.

What are the most sought after properties in Portugal?

Tourist resorts and golf projects are developed mostly for short stays. There are however many people who decide to buy one of these complex and make frequent visits and stays have medium and long term. The advantages are clear, security, reception and support from the owner, maintenance of pools and gardens and in some cases, the possibility of renting and cleaning. Usually these ventures offer from townhouses and apartments to detached villas with private pools. All this in closed condominiums not very cramped conditions of golf courses and beaches. Targeting the most demanding and Portuguese foreigners residing in other regions of the country with greater financial capacity.

In the Algarve there are several developments and luxury properties being the pinnacle of the golden triangle area where lies the resort of Quinta do LagoExclusively composed of closed condominiums and luxury private properties dream, surrounded by 5 spectacular golf courses of 18 holes and the Ria Formosa National Park.

If your idea is to buy to reside the whole year might be a good idea to stop and think about how it would be the kind of place and property that would make you happy. Keep an open mind and prepare a checklist with their personal desires and vital points. Ask lots of questions and do not settle for dubious answers. If you do not feel fully satisfied, look elsewhere. Talk to potential neighbors and others who live or work around that area. Do not buy until you are sure you have found the right place. Make sure there are no hidden so you can make realistic comparisons between agencies, have as much information about each property and project costs. Once you've done so, there is no reason to believe that the process will not advance to the final, and happy conclusion, as it has been for many thousands of people before you.

Real estate agencies offer a wide range of services to cover sales, purchase or rental of goods, as well as leasing and management. Some of the most experienced agents can also offer advice and contacts to the financial side of the process, and conveyancing services. The commissions for the agent are paid by the seller only on average about 5% of the sale price plus VAT (VAT).

All estate agents must be legally registered in Portugal (either abroad or Portuguese) and it must have an AMI (Association of Real Estate Brokers) evidencing number.

Always ask to check the official license of each real estate agency.

There is a clear advantage for those who use the services of real estate agents as they will accompany you and help you in every phase of the process, & nbsp; knowledgeable about each property that market, the advantages and disadvantages of each area of ??the Algarve.
Agents can and should be an asset in your search for the ideal property and should make the purchase in an easy, fully transparent and nothing complicated process.

International Schools

Vilamoura international school
Aerial view of Vilamoura international school, Algarve-Portugal

There is a growing number of international schools in Portugal, reflecting the increasing number of foreign residents. & Nbsp; Some of them follow a British or American curriculum, but there are other schools that use a new English-Portuguese system. & Nbsp; Most of the times these schools there is an interesting mix of nationalities & nbsp; and better facilities for students, as are the cases of the British School of Porto Santo Domingo in Lisbon or the Algarve International School in Porches and the International College of Vilamoura. Are established schools long ago and good reputation. & Nbsp;'s important to carefully check each establishment, asking your brochure School, details of the curriculum, their teachers and facilities. & Nbsp; Make sure that when you visit any potential school can talk to other parents.


  • Surf / windsurf - Very popular among the young, Portugal is well positioned in international competitions & nbsp; Good places to surf are the beaches in the south of Sagres and along Lisbon - Guincho and Praia das Macas..
  • Sailing - Sport shared by numerous clubs. • Diving & nbsp; • Biking • Horseback riding • Hunting and fishing. & Nbsp; Fishing trips are abundant in the Algarve. & Nbsp; You can also go on trips to the local dolphins, or just to have enjoy wonderful landscapes.
  • Football. The best known teams are Benfica and Sporting (both Lisbon), and FC Porto. & Nbsp; 2004 saw Portugal host the Euro competition, and in preparation, five new stadiums were built and five renovated. • Tennis, basquetball, volleyball, handball, skating, hockey, WaterSki and Golf.

Gold Visa - permanent residence permit

With the aim of spreading Portugal, a special residence permit for foreign tourists who wish to invest in Portugal more than 500,000 Euros values ??was created. This permit is a permanent Visa & nbsp; known as Golden Visa


Even if you are fluent in the Portuguese language, there is no harm in delivering the process to those who are used to dealing with some of the Portuguese bureaucracy, someone you can trust to oversee the entire process for you. If you will buy from a country abroad, you need to give your "Power of Attorney lawyer" for your lawyer is able to move on your behalf. Even now reside in Portugal the process deliver to your attorney simply gives you peace of mind, and minimizes the risk of complications.

  • Ask contact a good lawyer to some friend who has already bought here.
  • Please check with the real estate agent should have a list of them.
  • Do not use the same lawyer as the seller.

Tax labor

Although not required to have a complete survey of the state of the property you are purchasing is convenient and advisable to do a sort of inspection the property for your own peace of mind, even if it is new. Only 10 or 20 years properties can now be subjected to some serious defects, such as some that were built during the last decade in which materials and methods of construction were used less. You can, of course, do their own careful inspection, if you know where and what to look at. Evaluation and research can be done by real estate agents, or they may be able to recommend someone who does.

Banks and financial institutions

As there are different ways of obtaining financing to buy your property in Portugal, you may be dealing with:

  • your own bank manager and your country of origin
  • an account manager of a bank in Portugal
  • a thirst for a bank operating in Portugal based abroad
  • a financial advisor for offshore companies.

In general, all banks assign a person to be your account manager. Still, the people who now works in banking institutions in the Algarve speak English and are well trained and efficient, and should be able to refer you to the relevant bodies, if they themselves can not help you. The Portuguese banking system in general is much more efficient than you can imagine.

Projects and plan Purchase

In Portugal it is normal even when the construction work is not fully completed, will be with the sales team in the same development or real estate agent you will have to deal. However, in most small businesses is possible that if requested, can come to know the owners. Always worth consulting other work by the same owners or builders, to get an idea of its quality. Ask your real estate agent for details of other constructions that have done.

The HOA and the management

The condo is a community of owners and management team. If you are buying a building or within an enterprise will need to form a committee of residents, to oversee the running of all services and proper use of funds delivered monthly by apartment owners. The community of owners generally have their own directors elected by the owners, and sometimes a person or outside agency. They work to ensure that all owners pay their development fees due for municipal services such as swimming pool and garden, cleaning and maintenance, roads and building maintenance and repair of common areas. Rules and regulations governing the condominium are agreed by most owners and registered so as to be practiced by all. Owners must attend annual meetings, though in practice this is not always practical so you can always request the presence of his lawyer.

The process of property purchase

Here is an overview of the buying process:

  1. Find property or land and negotiate the price
  2. Conduct inspections and surveys
  3. Instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf
  4. Lawyer negotiates the sale contract
  5. pay deposit and agree a payment method
  6. Subscribe Promissory Contract
  7. Require Tax number / card
  8. Open bank account
  9. Lawyer gets certificates of registration of property
  10. Pay property tax
  11. Sign up property in the land register and pay local rates

The overall process can be simple if all goes as planned, the documentation is in order, and signed on time, if there is a negotiation of the purchase and sale contract fair to both parties (That's why it's so important to have legal representation, and not go alone), and the money ready to be transferred,

The complete process of home buying in Portugal may take only a 2-3 weeks.

Here's the full article on Property for Sale in Portugal

The real estate rental market is very strong in the Algarve

Unless you have your property in tourist areas, you will find it very difficult to sell a property for rental. & Nbsp; Away from the coast is much more dependent on frequent advertising.

period leading vacation rentals is from April to October, during which the owner can earn enough to cover your expenses for the entire year money. & nbsp; Most financial experts agree that if you rent your property for about eight months, including the peak summer months, July and August, is likely to get a return on your investment between 5 and 8%, depending on the size and location & nbsp; Property & nbsp; these numbers will have great influence.:

  • Location
  • Property size - number of rooms
  • quality and standard of finish
  • swimming pool
  • accessibility to the airport / access
  • proximity to beaches and entertainment
  • The furniture - for short term rental a certain amount of furniture and accessories should be included
  • Additional services, such as cleaning.

Upon the factors described above, the return of the owners is likely to be quite fast, most people looking to rent for short periods of leave between 2-3 weeks. & Nbsp; This means that you need to organize a "switch-over" at the time when the house is vacant, you have to clean and replace all bedding and towels before new customers arrive. & nbsp; Depending on the time of year you can have different types of clients, families will choose predominantly the summer months, while in spring and autumn will be more frequent rental properties by older couples


For non-residents, a loan is usually done for a maximum of only 15 years, and normally do not exceed the retirement age of 65 years. Normally, the borrowed amount goes up about 75% of the property value.

Annual Costs

Set your budget in detail and be honest with yourself about what you can and can not afford. Let yourself be guided by experienced professionals.

  1. IMI is an annual cost to each municipality charges. Varies depending on several factors such as the area in which the property is located, the age and type of property.
  2. Condo or administration fees: depends on the type and size of the property and what services are offered Make sure you know in advance the values ??that will be charged.
  3. Maintenance of private gardens and pool: it will not be hard to find someone local to handle it by yourself and much cheaper.
  4. light, water and gas.

Clash of cultures

Portugal is not as markedly different as some countries, you could have chosen. As an active member and full EU is a democratic, tolerant, open and free country that gives a warm welcome to its visitors frequent. over the years has benefited from subsidies, and as a result can clearly see in all the new highways and roads, hospitals and infrastructure improvements have been made.'s economy was stable for a long time, although it is now going through a difficult time of crisis.

On the other hand, is still (thankfully) a country with its traditions, many of them linked to religious beliefs, a country where the family is still important, and where people are still prepared to help each other only by the satisfaction of being a good citizen. This is particularly evident in rural areas.

Tax Issues

Any person residing in Portugal will pay taxes to the Portuguese authorities. & Nbsp; If you live in Portugal for more than 183 days per calendar year, or if you have a permanent hither housing, you are considered a resident of Portugal & nbsp;. Otherwise , you continue to pay taxes in your country. & nbsp; There is an agreement to avoid people pay double taxation, but you need to determine in which country you want cash. & nbsp; If you are paying in Portugal, you need a number tax (number of contributors). & nbsp; If you have already bought property in Portugal then you already have one of these numbers.

Taxpayers must submit their own tax returns in Portugal:

  • (A) between February 1 and March 15 to employees for others and / or pensions.
  • (B) Between March 16 and April 30, all other income.

Tax rates vary from 14-40%, and there is a whole list of possible deductions you can do, including payments for health and education. However, as the financial regulations often change, you need to make sure your information is the latest, before filling out the forms. . You can get the support of local tax offices or an accounting firm & nbsp; site of the Portuguese tax system has information in English on:

Religion & Festivities

Portugal is a predominantly Catholic country, 97% of the population professes this faith. However, the power of the church and its appeal to the masses has certainly declined in recent years. North was always the stronghold of the church, and today is still a force of union, although weaker. Southern never had the same covenant with the church, although there is religious festivals, and people go to church. Most people, as in many countries, participates for all special occasions such as weddings, Christmas and Easter, but not much more.
Each region has its own calendar of festivals and local events, resulting in a national list of hundreds if not thousands of local festivities.