Increasing numbers of UK residents are considering making their home in Portugal. The country’s three international airports are between two and a half and three hours from the UK and the cost of living is one of the lowest in Europe. Add to that 1,000 miles of coastline, a rich and colourful cultural heritage, outstanding cuisine, world class wines and in the south at least, year-round sunshine and it’s not hard to understand the attraction.
Most tourists to the country head for the Algarve, but there’s an awful lot more to discover of this richly diverse country. Whether you are looking for a beachside location or simply a slower pace of life, you really are spoilt for choice, so take your time and do your research carefully before deciding where to settle. There’s a huge range of houses available and the more remote that you are prepared to go, the cheaper the prices.
Property prices have been booming in recent years, but Lisbon is still one of the most affordable European capitals in which to live. With its own international airport and within easy reach of the glorious beaches of the Algarve, this hilly coastal capital is ideally located. Lisbon offers all the attractions that one might reasonably expect from a capital city: outstanding cuisine, world class shopping, plenty of nightlife and of course a multitude of outstanding architecture and fine museums.
In contrast, Chaves is situated in the remote northern region of Portugal only ten kilometres from Spain. This historic spa town on the banks of the river Tamega has a glorious ancient centre and is famous for its traditionally cured presunto hams. You’ll find cheap property a plenty but do not expect the range of facilities and attractions that you’ll get in a large city.
High up on Portugal’s Atlantic coast, the beautiful city of Porto has its own international airport, making it the most accessible of Portugal’s major cities, from the UK. Famed for its port wine and stunning bridges, this coastal city is the most popular expat destination after Lisbon and the Algarve.
Northeast of Porto, this traditional pilgrimage destination is one of Portugal’s oldest cities. With grand squares, churches, palaces and museums, the city’s Minho University and large numbers of students also ensures that there’s a lively café scene and plenty of nightlife.
Sometimes referred to as the Venice of Portugal, Aveiro is a delightful city, set on the lagoon Ria de Aveiro. Colourful boats, known as moliceiros, ply its canals which are flanked by Art Nouveau houses in pastel colours and luscious parks which stretch down to the water’s edge. The city is just a short hop from the sandy beaches of Costa Nova, with its great seafood and colourful weatherboard cottages.
This riverfront city in central Portugal was the country’s former capital and has a wonderfully preserved medieval old town. Its ancient university and student population mean that alongside the attraction of spacious parks, museums and ancient religious buildings, there’s vibrant nightlife and plenty of opportunities for shopping.