Why you should seriously consider joining the many expats choosing to live, work and retire in Portugal!
Should I move to the Algarve, Lisbon or elsewhere in Portugal? This is the question Brits are asking themselves as they search for a sunnier, more stable future. A survey from A Place in the Sun found that British people are looking to buy Portugal with Brexit not putting them off buying in the EU.
It’s hardly surprising that many people find moving to Portugal from the UK a very attractive proposition.
With some of Europe’s most breathtakingly beautiful landscapes and glorious weather, it might be easy to dismiss Portugal as another popular holiday-hotspot but not consider it as a possible home.
Many people fail to realise just how sophisticated and culturally fine this special country is. Those that do are often people who have been thinking of moving to Portugal for some time and already know what a stunning place it is…so don’t miss out on your chance. If you’re thinking of retiring abroad or emigrating from the UK, consider Portugal as a very real option and the Algarve beaches are just the start of it!
Portugal was once a colonial empire and at its height called no less than 53 countries its own. It was one of the world’s first notable maritime powers and was home to many of our most famous explorers.
The climate is considered to be the best in Europe with hot summers and wet winters offering relief to residents as well as some excellent growing conditions for the beautiful plants and flowers which thrive even in coastal areas.
For would-be expats looking for an ideal location to move to, Portugal has it all. It’s likely though that you’ve got a lot of questions to ask before you begin making plans to migrate to Portugal from the UK so check out our top ten reasons to move to Portugal, Lisbon and the Algarve below! They’ll put a lot of your concerns on the backburner!
Our Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Live in Lisbon, the Algarve, or other Locations in Portugal
1: The best climate in Europe
Not many people would disagree with this one! As mentioned above, the climate in Portugal is ideal. Hot summers and mild winters ensure that residents are comfortable and that the flora is varied and beautiful.
July is the hottest month in the Algarve with an average temperature of 24°C (74°F) and the most daily sunny hours are recorded as 12 in August.
December is a particularly wet month for much of Portugal, but comes as welcome relief and helps keep the beautiful countryside green!
2: The outstanding quality of life
Portugal is much admired for its relaxed pace of life…and for good reason! This is an outstandingly warm and friendly country and has regularly been listed in the top 5 countries for happiness in surveys for expats.
An example is the International Expat Insider Survey ranking Portugal 4th out of 52 countries for quality of life in 2022. Portugal also ranks high for leisure options, safety and security as well as the environment and climate. Many expats comment on the peaceful life in Portugal and the beauty of the country.
3: Beautiful, affordable & spacious properties
This is an important one isn’t it? Everyone wants a lovely place to call home and Portuguese housing is everything you’d expect it to be and more. Many older and charming properties are available and there’s a growing trend toward heritage style apartments for the retired.
You can choose a typical seaside holiday villa or why not join the growing trend for Portuguese small holdings and renovation projects such as those offered by Pure Portugal?
4: Portugal’s beaches and coasts are the most stunning in Europe
In fact, many would argue that they’re among the most beautiful in the world. The Algarve, Portugal’s famed southern-most region, is particularly popular but the entire country is surrounded by a beautiful coastline.
Some of the most popular include Praia De Marinha in the Algarve which boasts soft golden sand, clear water and sheer limestone cliffs in addition to some alluring caves. Then there’s Praia De Falesia, a wide 6km beach with shallow waters and breathtaking clifftop walks.
Other notables include Praia De Carvalho, Praia Da Ursa and Praia De Mirimar, though there are of course many, many more than these!
5: The cost of living is undeniably low
From groceries to rent, it’s widely known that people move here to save big…especially in retirement.
A pleasant apartment in a popular part of a larger city comes in at under €1,110 at the time of writing in 2022. This is fantastic news for anyone on a fixed income with enough to spare for bills and living costs. You might expect to pay a premium to live in such a country but instead, Portugal is one of the best value locations in Europe.
6: Tasty, fresh local produce at affordable prices
Anyone who has ever visited Portugal knows that the locals take their food pretty seriously. And it’s good…very, very good.
The Portuguese tend to cook only with seasonal ingredients which of course means that things are as fresh as possible. Lots of olive oil and simple preparation make the menu very healthy.
Grilled, fresh seafood and meat teamed with lots of fresh salad and vegetables mean that the life expectancy here is better than in many other countries. Restaurants are more affordable too which of course means that for expats eating out is a far more regular occurrence.
7: One of the most family-friendly countries in Europe
Go anywhere in Portugal with children or babies and you’ll soon see how valued they are. People love to see children enjoying themselves and culturally children are included in far more events than they might be in England.
Eating out, attending concerts or just spending time with your neighbours…all include children. This contributes to the warm and welcoming feeling of the country.
8: Amazing, one-of-a-kind culture
With a long and impressive history, Portugal takes its art seriously and family is placed at the heart of everything.
Music is a vital part of this country’s day-to-day life and you will hear traditional and modern music everywhere you go, including the beautiful and haunting tradition of Fado (translated loosely as fate) music which in 2011 was granted World Heritage status by UNESCO who recognised Fado as a valuable and important genre of music symbolic of Lisbon and Portugal in general.
9: The Algarve and Portugal generally is the perfect place to retire
If you’ve long dreamed of retiring somewhere hot, affordable and beautiful, then retirement in Portugal is probably going to fit the bill.
For many expats, the proximity to the UK is a big draw as is the presence of many expats who have already made the move. A community of fellow native English speakers is sometimes just the thing for a nervous newly retired expat.
There are plenty of clubs and associations for the newly arrived to join and so access the friendship and advice of veteran expats in Portugal. Medical care is good and communities are safe and friendly. Housing is affordable and solidly built, groceries are cheap and the warm weather will be like summer all year round.
10: The perfect base for digital nomads
All these attractions have made Portugal one of the world’s go to destinations for young digital nomads.
If you’ve ever dreamed of living life as a digital nomad, free from all ties, then Portugal could offer you all you want. With cheap accommodation, good internet access, an abundance of co-working spaces and a thriving digital community, it’s no wonder it’s the expat destination of choice for millennials.
The only problem would be getting any work done at all with so many nice beaches and other distractions!
Here are some other benefits and advantages of living in Portugal!
Every year thousands of British people are choosing to move to the Algarve and other areas of Portugal. Not only are there so many good reasons to move but the practical side of moving is easy too – especially if you leave it to PSS!
If you’re moving your household goods and furniture, visit our removals to Portugal page and try our online cost calculator.
11: English is widely spoken
You can’t underestimate the comfort that comes from being able to communicate properly in your new home country. Because English is so widely spoken, you won’t find settling in difficult at all.
There will also be a fair number of English expats for you to chat to! At the last count there were no fewer than 46,000 British expats settled in the country!
We still recommend you learn Portuguese but at least you’ll still be able to get by whilst you get to grips with the language.
12: Alfresco dining
There’s something magical about eating outdoors isn’t there? And due to the marvellously clement weather, eating outside is pretty much the norm in Portugal.
Whether you’re in your own garden or at a restaurant or café, outdoor dining is well catered for. Enjoy the warm sunshine, the views and the sounds of the sea as you eat.
13: A complex and fascinating history
During the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal was a leading European power, ranked alongside England, France and Spain. The country is riddled with varying styles of architecture which harks back to these days and earlier.
Castles are to be found in all corners of Portugal in addition to beautiful cathedrals and ancient Roman buildings.
14: Surfing to rival any
Portugal is a well-known surfers’ paradise and, due to its unique geographical position, picks up North, West, and South swells which means there’s consistent surf for a good portion of the year.
Swells can generally reach around 6 feet during winter but can get to around 15 feet or even more. The surf culture in Portugal is friendly and inclusive which means even beginners will feel comfortable and welcome.
15: It’s really close to the UK
It’s under 3 hours from Manchester to Faro on the Algarve…that’s faster than driving to London! Such a convenient distance that your friends and family will find it easy to come for holidays and you can book your Christmas shopping trips well in advance – no matter where you live in the UK!
Flights are so cheap that many expats love to pop back and forth to visit friends and family or spend special occasions with loved ones. You won’t feel as though you’ve lost your connections because it’s so easy to stay connected.
16: All the advantages of living in beautiful Lisbon
The capital city of Portugal is a captivating place; historical cobblestone streets, memorable eateries, captivating views from the hilly landscape, ancient ruins, amazing shopping and breathtaking cathedrals all come together in this sophisticated, one-of-a-kind city.
You’ll not forget Lisbon in a hurry!
17: Popular with those seeking to escape the rat race for sustainable living
Portugal has also become an attractive location for those looking for green and environmentally friendly living. With the perfect climate and cheap cost of living, there are many opportunities for those looking for an alternative life style.
It has become so popular that Pure Portugal is an estate agent that specialises in alternative property for smallholding, self-sufficiency, permaculture, off-grid living, or just to live “The Good Life”: the popular BBC 1970’s sitcom showed Tom and Barbara turning their Surbiton home into a small holding – in 2022 the trend is for people to sell and move to Portugal!
18: Charming Portuguese villages to die for
Loaded with atmosphere and beautiful scenery, some of the oldest villages in Portugal are so picturesque it’s like stepping back in time.
Unspoilt and full of history as far back as Medieval times, it’s in the lesser-known villages that you will make real memories. Some notables include Sortelha, Marialva, Belmonte and Castelo Rodrigo.
19: Festivals and Carnivals throughout the year
Truly a country of festivals, there always seems to be something special on! Doesn’t matter what time of year, the Portuguese love a festival. It’s a chance to experience the culture in all senses.
Some of the not-to-be-missed include, Carnival which has roots going back many hundreds of years and are celebrated in February across the country. It’s a huge festival of street parties, music, food and dancing.
Then there’s the Festival Marisco or Seafood Festival which takes place in Olhão, Algarve and is a big draw for locals and visitors alike!
20: The Slide and Splash Water Park Lagoa
Fun for all the family on the Algarve!
This water park is well-known for its high-quality equipment and affordable prices. With animal shows throughout the day, it’s a great place to spend a day – or get a season ticket if you’re local!
21: High rate of expat satisfaction
According to a recent report by Expat Insider, Portugal ranks in the top 4 for ‘best places for expats in 2022’. The weather and climate are a reason for the satisfaction with 94% of people saying they enjoy the climate and weather. Expats also find that the relaxed way of living and the friendliness of the Portuguese people as factors for their happiness in Portugal.
Those who move to Portugal often look for a better quality of life and lower cost of living and are not left disappointed when they make the move.
22: Azores – Europe’s best kept secret
Azores is an archipelago consisting of 9 major volcanic islands, each with their own attractions and points of interest. Described as a Garden of Eden, they are the perfect haven for nature lovers, adventure sports enthusiasts, and those looking for an oasis of sustainability.
The islands are each distinct in terms of culture and even dialect, traditions and cuisine because they were settled very slowly over a long period of time, but each boasts panoramic views and one-of-a-kind nature experiences.
23: Madeira, a one-of-a-kind place
Not just about the famous cake, of course, Madeira is a Portuguese island right in the middle of the Atlantic where two-thirds of the land is protected thanks to its unique beauty and pristine flora and fauna.
With emerald green vegetation and deep blue ocean views, Madeira is a magical and peaceful place.
24: Lots of short and medium-term accommodation
If you’re thinking of buying or renting in Portugal, you will be pleased at the easy-to-use services as well as the many options on offer here.
No matter whether you’re looking for a modern apartment in Lisbon, rooms in an old style house in Porto or something close to the beach, you’ll be spoilt for choice and surprised at the value on offer.
25: Portuguese wine
Portuguese wine has been gaining more and more attention in recent years and for good reason!
Portugal’s wine industry developed in a unique fashion, unaffected by other producers and there are multiple grape varieties which do not grow in other parts of the world.
26: Big on football
If you’re a footie fan then you certainly won’t miss out by moving to Portugal. The big three teams – Benfica, Porto and Sporting CP, often play European football and their national team produces talented footballers who often play in the Portuguese league.
27: Portugal encourages foreign investment and property ownership
If you’re worried about living in Portugal post–Brexit, then relax! Portugal actively encourages property buyers from outside the EU.
As Britain’s oldest ally, people have been moving to Portugal from the UK for hundreds of years, and this isn’t going to stop post-Brexit!
And with all the above reasons to move to Portugal, it will not come as a surprise to anyone!
28: An altogether Instagramable lifestyle
Instagram may or may not be your thing, but the country and lifestyle are so picturesque that you’ll feel like you’re living a dream life and you’ll never be short of daily Instagramable photo opportunities!
Will you be moving to Portugal?
Portugal may be a small country (only around the size of Ireland) but it certainly packs a lot within its borders! Amazing unspoilt scenery and historical buildings, time-honoured traditions and culture…it really does appear to have it all.
With so many expats currently enjoying its charms, it could soon be time to snap up your own piece of Portuguese paradise.
If you’d like more advice or a quote on moving to Portugal then check out the international removals to Portugal guide.