The Algarve : Portugal

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What it's Like to Retire in The Algarve

The Algarve is the beautiful and popular coastline of southern Portugal, made up of 16 different municipalities, miles of stunning beaches, rugged cliffs and hidden coves.  It covers an area of over 1,900 square miles and has a population of approximatelly 450,000 permanent residents.  The region includes several areas each with their own unique characteristics, from fishing villages and historical towns, to resorts and lively beach towns.  The Algarve has become the most popular tourist destination in Portugal, and one of the most popular in all of Europe.  The population more than doubles during the peak season and nearly 10 million visitors are drawn to the region annually.  Forbes Magazine described the Algarve as the "Most Affordable option in Europe for retirees", and U.S. News and World Report Money named it as one of the most Affordable Places to Retire Overseas in 2014, as the cost of living is among the lowest in Western Europe and over 100,000 expats have made it their home.  Picture of the Portuguese Beach Algarve courtesy of Wikipedia and Ricardiz; picture of the Cliff Residences of Ferrgudo courtesy of Wikipedia and Francisco Santos; picture of The Lighthouse of Carioeiro courtesy of Wikipedia and Bert Kaufmann.


Where to Retire in The Algarve and Home Prices

Because the Algarve area is so large and includes several inland and coastal municipalities, solid numbers are hard to come by for a median home price.  The cost of living in Portugal is among the lowest in Western Europe, and depending on lifestyle choices, a retired couple could live here on a budget for as little as $1,500 a month.  Due to an increase in popularity, the Algarve home prices have been on the rise.


What is special about The Algarve

The Algarve offers beautiful beaches, sunny weather, great seafood, wine, and local cusine throughout the region.   The area is made up of several towns that offer historical sites, fishing villages,  and resorts for the many tourists. it is also known as one of the best in golf tourism and is home to many beautiful courses along the coast. 


What is not special about The Algarve

It's hard to find something that is not special about this region, but with so many visitors each year, some of the more popular resort towns can get crowded during the peak season.


Who will like retirement in The Algarve

The Agarve is a popular retirement spot with expats mainly from Northern Europe, but is becoming increasingly popular with Americans.  Those looking for beautiful weather, a slower pace of life, great dining and many sightseeing choices with several areas to explore, would enjoy the Algarve region very much. 


Local economy is driven by

Since ancient times, fishing has always been important to the economy of the Algarve.  Agriculture and food processing are important as well, as the region produces oranges, figs, beans, and almonds.  As the Algarve has become both a popular tourist and retirement destination, the region has been experiencing growth with the construction of better infrastructures including roads, power grids, and hospitals, which helps to make cement and construction main industries. But tourism and related activities are most important to Algarve's summer economy, as millions of foreign visitors are drawn to the Mediterranean climate with its beaches, golf courses, and cusine.


Climate and Physical Environment

The Algarve enjoys a Mediterranean climate and its moderate weather is influenced by both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.  The sun shines about 300 days a year. January's average temperature is about 59 degrees and July's average temperature is 80 degrees. The region receives about 18 inches of rain annually, with March being the wettest month.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The Algarve is dotted with scenic and historic towns that date back to the 8th century with medieval ruins, castles and shrines.  The many towns vary from the small traditional villages of Faro and Tavira, to the more developed and tourist towns of Portimao and Lagos.  Silves is the former capital and has a historical past dating back to the Moors in the 8th century. It is home to the most preserved castle in the Algarve and sits on a hilltop above the town, as it was once the residence of the lord of the city.  Lagoa, is one of the most popular tourist areas due to its beautiful beaches, many golf courses, cultural events and modern accommodations.  Festivals and religious celebrations occur throughout the region, with craft fairs and events more popular during the tourist season.  The region is also known for its wines, seafood, and the many restaurants that serve local cusine



The Crime rate in the Algarve region is low and mainly involves petty theft.


Medical facilities

There are hospitals and medical facilities throughout the Algarve.



The only international airport in the Algarve region is located in the town of Faro. Buses and trains service some areas along the coast, but the service is considered sparse and infrequent.


Valuable Links

Algarve Tourist


What people are saying about The Algarve

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Facts about THE ALGARVE
  • State: Portugal
  • Environment: Coastal,
  • City Population: 100,001+
  • Median age of Population: 25-44
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 41-60
  • Avg July Temperature: 60-80
  • Median HH Income: 20,001-40,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $100,000-$200,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: NA
  • Total Crime Index: 81-90 (low)
  • Cost of Living Index: 91-100 (slightly below average)
  • Culture Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide:

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