Retire in Portugal: The best regions and towns for retirees
Now the exciting part of choosing a region to reside in. We recommend thinking this over carefully because the process is long and laborious of buying property in a foreign country. You probably don’t want to repeat the process many times if you’re considering retiring in Portugal.
Regions of Portugal
The Alentejo: What it’s like and the best places to retire
The Alentejo region has long un-spoilt stretches of golden beaches and a rich culinary culture. The famous black pigs are farmed in Alentejo and you’ll find remote tascas here with fantastic local cuisine and seafood.
If you are looking for a beachy lifestyle with lots of quiet and calm, Alentejo might be the place for you. One thing to be noted is that it’s a more Portuguese-speaking-only region than others, and there will be less of an expat community, so if you are looking to have bustling social life with people more like yourself, Lisbon or Porto could be a better choice.
Popular towns in Alentejo
Evora is an incredibly well-preserved medieval town, which is a protected UNESCO world heritage site. Strolling through the ancient cathedrals and cloisters will take you right back to the 14th century. The university in the city keeps the demographic of the town mixed and lively.
Perched on the tip of the Sines cape, this beautiful seaside fishing village is just 150km from Lisbon. The weather in Sines is fairly mild year-round but can get windy due to its exposed position. Sines is also home to the famous Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama.
Lying right on the border with Spain, Elvas is the most fortified region of Portugal due to the historical threat of invasion. This makes Elvas a marvel to look at, and a worthwhile place to visit. There are many less tourists visiting Elvas due to its position, so far over towards Spain, and this might be a bonus point to you in your choice of a place to retire.
The Algarve: What it’s like and the best places to retire
The Algarve is the most popular choice for expats and tourists alike. It too,has some stunning beaches and coastlines, with some beautiful rock formations to marvel at.The weather is always a few degrees warmer than Lisbon which makes it a popular place for retirees. There is a busy day and nightlife with local markets, bars and restaurants in the main cities of Lagos, Albufeira and Faro.
One thing to note is that there are a huge number of tourists in Lagos and Albufeira,so you might be more inclined to look for something with a bit more local charm and authenticity if you are thinking of permanently residing in the Algarve.
Popular towns in the Algarve
Lagos is naturally a very beautiful place.There are windswept dunes, natural grottoes nestled in the cliff’s and long golden sandy beaches. However, because of this beauty thee region is very overrun with tourists,and a highly seasonal place. It should be noted that in Summer time the tourists can get rowdy downtown and the towns seasonal discos will go on all night long.
As well as long sandy beaches,Tavira has saltpans that attract wading birds like flamingos and spoonbills.Tavira also has a medieval center with a castle and beautiful views.Tavira is popular as a tourist destination but not as overrun as Lagos or Sagres.
Faro is a little more touristic than Tavira,but also has more beaches,that are accessible on foot.Many people won’t stay in Faro they will simply fly in to the airport and go elsewhere.However, it’s a very beautiful place to be in the ancient city, it has a gothic cathedral and a lovely pedestrianized shopping area.The saltwater lagoons make great birdwatching opportunities too.
Possibly the most popular town for holidaymakers in the Algarve. t is also the largest and most lively of the towns in the Algarve. If you are looking for more rustic,Albufeira is perhaps not the right place as what once was a small fishing village is now a bustling and lively beachside town.
Central Portugal: What it’s like and the best places to retire
Central Portugal would probably not be the most obvious choice for retirees.Whilst it’s not the beach,and not the city, towns like Coimbra might prove too pretty to ignore.Coimbra is home to a big university, so has a young and buzzy feel to it despite being fairly remote.
Popular towns in central Portugal
Nazaré has a large number of tourists visiting in the summer for surfing in particular, as its half-moon shaped beach has lots of natural beauty as well as a warm and mild climate.The town still has a lively tradition of fishing and the fishmongers still wear the seven skirts traditional wear
Being a university town, Leira has a great mix of the ancient architecture and modernity bought by the lively students. The castle of the town is built high above and can be seen from many different points in the city. This central Portuguese town is not number one on the tourist trail but might be a nice place to consider retiring.
Lisbon is a great choice for retirees, particularly as you have the best of both worlds in that you can be a part of a fairly busy bustling city, and also escape to the countryside and beaches in just 30 minutes.
The Greater Lisbon metropolitan has around 3 million inhabitants and reaches a total area of about 3,000 square kilometres (1158 square miles). It’s surrounded by the lovely Tagus river and has some great views from its famous seven hills. It’s also a short bus, train or boat ride to the beaches nearby to the city.
When retiring, getting a place in Lisbon might be the best option if your used to doing a lot of activities and seeing a lot of people. With all that’s going on in Lisbon, it would be hard to get bored or feel lonely in this city.
Lisbon metropolitan area can get crowded and overrun by tourists at times, but you will have the opportunity to visit Fado concerts, restaurants, bars and exhibitions as Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and offers many attractions to its inhabitants and tourists. The prices of property in Lisbon are the highest in Portugal, particularly in the central and sought-after areas.
The region of Cascais is popular amongst retirees, because it’s close enough to the city of Lisbon but feels more remote, as it’s on the beach and has more rural surroundings. There are still a whole bunch of cafés and restaurants that cater to the local and tourist populations here. Cascais prices are a little lower than Lisbon as its outside of the city.
There are lots of tourists visiting Sintra in the summertime. What used to be the escape from the summer city heat for the Portuguese royalty is now like a large museum town, where you can explore the palaces with guides or alone. The beaches and countryside surrounding Sintra are breathtaking. Prices in Sintra drop dramatically from Lisbon real estate prices, and if you like a rural lifestyle close to the city this could be the best option.
On the way to Cascais, Estoril has many luxury hotels, and a casino that inspired the James Bond 007 film Casino Royale. Estoril is a popular place to retire again as it’s a fairly quiet place, with nice beaches and a warm sunny feeling about it.
Setubal is known as the best place to eat real seafood in Portugal. Many of the oysters come from here, and the beaches and scenery here are really very beautiful. This again is a great option for retiring close to the city of Lisbon but benefitting from a more rural lifestyle and lower prices.