Atlantic waves crashing on sandy beaches with golden cliffs, behind which white villages rise the slopes – the Algarve is like the Mediterranean, but more exciting. The properties cater to a variety of budgets, from very affordable to luxury villas. The waves are big, the sea is good, the people are friendly, the putting greens are well maintained and everything is less than three hours from the UK – what is not to love? Oh, and a tax-friendly regime too, if you like living there full-time.
The Algarve stretches along 240 kilometres of portugal's southern coast and about 40 kilometres inland. So while it's best known for ocean views and summer fun, the hills and mountains inland offer a quieter option, but still a few minutes' drive from a dip in the Atlantic if you like.
The Algarve is divided into three sections. In the center, the section between Lagos and Faro is the most built, with holiday apartments, hotels and resorts. The town of Albufeira is here, home to Cliff Richard and Ronan Keating, among many other international owners - in fact, this ancient city has attracted international residents since before the Romans. The authorities have done a good job of keeping the buildings low, but here we pay more, including in some luxury resorts and golf communities in Vilamoura and the "Golden Triangle" in Vale do Lobo.
The port city of Lagos is ancient and beautiful too, and marks the end of the Central Algarve and the beginning of the Wild West. At this end of the Algarve, it is an hour's drive from Faro airport, which is enough to keep most tourists away. Some arrive by boat, staying in the city's excellent marinas.
Praia da Luz is a popular spot for permanent residents.
The Sota vento Algarvio is greener and has artisanal fishing villages and the elegant town of Tavira, with 300-year-old houses along its cobbled streets. This is the place to find a cheaper but still super useful property for the airport and also Andalusia if you like a trip across the border.
Wherever you shop in the Algarve – even in the most expensive areas – you can find reasonably priced properties, a nearby golf course and a community of expatriates ready to welcome you. Likewise, it is not impossible to enjoy a more immersive Portuguese experience a few kilometres inland.
Bonnie Tyler ❤️
It is known that Bonnie Tyler has a special relationship with Portugal and a house in Albufeira, but this pandemic forced her to spend the last year in our country. What's this weather been like?
My husband and I were lucky [laughs]. We came to the Algarve in March last year for a week's holiday and, because of the pandemic, we were staying. It's the first time since I was 17 that I haven't done [laughs]. I even took the opportunity to do things I've never done before, like learning to swim. It took 69 years to lose the fear of water [laughs].
For those who are used to performing around the world, it can't be easy being locked at home!
Yes. It's the first time in my life I've been a housewife [laughs]. I already miss my family, the stages, the fans and my band, but the truth is that if you were at my house in Wales, I couldn't see anyone either because it's not allowed. I can always go outside and sunbathe here. I have several properties around the world, but Portugal is undoubtedly my favorite place. I never get tired of being here. I often tell my Portuguese friends that they are blessed to be born in Portugal. It is one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
But how was this relationship with Portugal and the Algarve born?
I fell in love with the Algarve in 1977. At the time I was in the studio recording a new album and one day we decided to take a break. I rented two houses in Vale de Lobo and spent a wonderful time, me and my band. The Algarve was quite different but there are things that have never changed, such as the beaches, the climate, the food and the people. So when I realized in March last year that I was going to be in the Algarve for more than a week, because of the pandemic, I looked at my husband and said to him, 'Look what a beautiful place to confine!' [laughs]
But what's your life like around here?
Actually, I don't go out much. Every once in a while I go to the mall or the supermarket, but it's usually my husband who does the shopping.
And bonnie's already talking Portuguese?
[Laughs] No, because people, out of sympathy, always end up speaking English to me. But I confess that I have tried to Portuguese online and I am always very confused because of the feminine and masculine. It's hard.
When in 2019 he edited 'Between the Earth and the Stars' he said that record was not in his plans. The truth is, she's now releasing another one: 'The Best Is Yet To Come.' Bonnie is still far from retirement!
True, that record in 2019 was a surprise, but when I started working with David Mackay, with whom I had worked in the 1970s, things came up, even after we were 40 years away. Meanwhile, an interested label appeared and we made a deal for three albums. And I've got the songs for the next one. What I can say is that this album has given me a huge enjoyment.
Bonnie has one of the most iconic voices in history! How do you keep that voice at 69!
I have a lot of care. I have, for example, a voice personal trainer named James Windsor with which I exercise three times a week on the phone. My voice is my instrument and of course I have to preserve it. I even think she's stronger than ever
Property in the Algarve 👇