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Where to live in Portugal

Published: 01 Nov, 2016

Portugal is a beautiful country for work relocation, summer homes, and retirement. Discover what each region has to offer to decide where to live in Portugal.

If you're moving to Portugal, there are some great places to live in Portugal, all of which have their own unique character and attractions.  Below, you'll discover what each area in Portugal has to offer.

Chaves is a small town situated by the River Tâmega in the North of Portugal and not far from the border of Spain. It has a population of around 45,000 and many of the villages that are situated around the town are extremely poor but the people who live there are renowned for their friendliness.

Chaves is famous for its many spas and they are said to cure many ailments. The warm temperature attract people from all over the country to sample their delights. It also boasts some great architecture which dates back to Roman times and a fort which is a reminder of the war of Independence with Spain.

Porto is the second largest city in Portugal and has its own airport. It is situated in the estuary of the Douro River in Northern Portugal and is considered to be a centre of culture and entertainment which rivals the capital, Lisbon.
A few years ago its historic centre was recognised as a world heritage centre by UNESCO.

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and is situated on the Southwestern Coast. It boasts a climate that is warm in the spring and not too hot in the summer and offers something for everyone such is the diverse array of attractions.
There are plenty of wonderful places to eat and to be entertained as well as many architectural delights. The Alfama is one of the oldest parts of Lisbon and, because this area largely survived the earthquake of 1755, many of the old buildings can still be admired.

Western Algarve & Central Algarve
The Western/Central Algarve region is located between Faro and Sagres and consists of some of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal. It can also be classed as the centre of Portugal's tourist industry.

Albufeira is the main resort in the Algarve and can guarantee that you will never be short of things to do in this area. 
Plus, the weather is usually glorious throughout most of the year.

The Central Algarve has many holiday-type developments but due to its vast beaches you can always find somewhere quiet to enjoy the fabulous surroundings. There are also lots of sporting activities that you can take part in as well as many beautiful restaurants which are very family orientated.

Eastern Algarve
The Eastern Algarve is situated to the east of Faro and is very different to the rest of the Algarve as it has not yet been developed too intensely. There is a tranquil feel about the place and you will find that the tourism seems to blend in with the local activities almost effortlessly. There seems to be a relaxed way of life here and although hotel developments are starting to appear more frequently, there is ]omething very special about this place and it is considered to be a wonderful place to live if it is your intention to slow your pace of life.

Our Choice
We live in Silves, which is in the central part of the Algarve and is a very beautiful peaceful place. The best part of living here is that we have to remind ourselves regularly that we actually live here and are not just on an extended holiday!

We made the choice to travel down to the Algarve from England in a caravan bought on eBay as we weren’t sure exactly where we wanted to live. By doing it like this we could sample the different areas until we had made the right choice for us. We decided on the middle of the Algarve as it is a lot more central. It is also suited more to the younger resident, compared to an area like the East Algarve which is full of the over 50's. 

In the summer months we felt a need to be nearer to the attractions i.e. waterparks, nice beaches, local zoo and carnivals. So this location couldn't be any more perfect for our family. Even though we wanted to be in the thick of it we also wanted to experience local culture--therefore we went with Silves. It is still 15 minutes’ drive from the beach and extremely pretty.

As with any country, the more popular parts are obviously more expensive but on the whole Portugal is rather cheap even if you enjoy the luxuries in life. The Algarve is more expensive to live in than the North and West of Portugal but it is worth every single euro that you spend on it.

Samantha / Expatica

Samantha is a blogger from the U.K. who moved to Portugal in 2008 after growing fed up with the way of life in England. She writes that the Algarve still has her heart more than two years on.  She keeps a regular blog at livinginthesun.info.