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Living in the Algarve

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Published on 11 August, 2022 • Last updated on 11 August, 2022

By Portugal Homes

Living in the Algarve


Planning to relocate to the Algarve?

The idea of living in the Algarve may seem like a dream but living in this beloved holiday destination can easily become your reality, especially when you are looking to relocate permanently to Portugal, whether you feel a need for a different pace of life or thinking about your future retirement home. 

Additionally, the Algarve region is easily accessible as it offers various types of transportation, including access to the Faro International Airport with many national and international flight connections. Portugal Homes is here to provide you with a look into life in the Algarve, the best places to live in, the best time of the year, prepare for your move, the cost of living, and a few key points that can help you ease your mind when planning to relocate to Portugal.

View on Algarve's coast.
Algarve, Portugal | Image Credit: Humphrey Muleba

Cost of Living

Portugal has a lower cost of living compared to other countries in Western Europe; you can enjoy life without being completely frugal on an average salary post-tax of €855-€1000. A couple, for example can easily share around €1,700 to €2,500 a month in expenses; this all depends as well on which area you wish to live in, as the closer you live to the ocean, the bigger the price. In all fairness, it is all about holding a balanced lifestyle, and living like a true Portuguese in the community. 


The Algarve region also offers immense peace of mind. Portugal is ranked 4th place as the world's safest country for 2021, according to the Global Peace Index. Above all, we have a great national healthcare system by the SNS - Servico Nacional da Saude which was voted 17th place in the 2021 World Index of Healthcare Innovation; where residents in the Algarve are eligible to access quality healthcare and pharmaceuticals at low costs.

Quality of Life

Portugal over the years has always been acknowledged for its great quality of life, healthy lifestyle and cuisine, and beautiful landscape that offers both scenic ocean shorelines, and serene countryside living. The country offers a multitude of perfect traits to live comfortably and happily, especially for those looking to relocate to the country. Even the Readers of Condé Nast Traveller, selected Portugal as the top country in the world for 2021 - in the top three categories followed by New Zealand and Japan. 

Healthy Agriculture & Cuisine 

Portugal in general also offers an amazing quality of life, not only for it's the safety factor but also for its wide variety of local foods and cuisine, as Portugal was revealed as the healthiest place to live in 2021. The country offers amazing agriculture, widely known for it's Tejo valley (Ribatejo) and west region closer to the sea, along with the Alentejo region with extensive cereal production, considered to have the best farmlands in Portugal. Portuguese are avid lovers of their meal times, consisting of 4 meals a day, with the heaviest meal usually at supper time. Local Algarvian foods revolve around mostly fresh fish and seafood, flame-grilled and doused in extra virgin olive oil.

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Day-to-day life in the Algarve

The Algarve offers a multitude of activities fit for all! Whether you are visiting for the holidays or have recently relocated to the Algarve region, you will see that there are many benefits to living in this area with numerous activities to indulge in.

When living in the Algarve, you can learn to live like a Portuguese local: sitting in the morning at a cafe for breakfast, grocery shopping for fresh veggies and fish at the local mercado, biking on the boardwalks by the sea. And, if your key activity is relaxation and beach mode, then the Algarve is the place to be with numerous beaches to choose from that offer sun-bed and parasol rentals, with restaurants and bars to refresh yourself on a hot day.

Trails & Hikes

For the outdoor adventurer out there, the Algarve region offers numerous hiking trails and unspoiled parks and beaches to explore. We suggest checking out the Costa Vicentina Natural Park, without a doubt one of the best ways to experience rare species of marine life, and flora that calls the Algarve home. Best to rent a car, and drive down the Algarve coastline, where you can not only witness magnificent views but be up close and personal to nature.

Coastline of Albufeira, Algarve.
Albufeira, Algarve | Image Credit: Mitchell Orr

Water-sports & Waterparks

The Algarve is also an epicenter for water sports junkies, with numerous water activities from boating tours, kayaking, paddle boarding, jet skiing, snorkeling, diving, bodyboarding, and surfing! The choices alone are endless, while you are exploring the hidden gems of the Algarve, take on one or two of these water-sport activities, or maybe try a new water-sport never attempted before. The Algarve also offers lots of waterparks, with over 6 waterparks available for a family fun activity! There is Aquashow Water Park, and Aquashow Park in Quarteira, Aqualand Algarve, and Banzai Booggan in Silves, Zoomarine in Albufeira,  Slide & Splash in Lagoa.

Water Park in the Algarve.
Water Parks in the Algarve, Portugal | Image Credit: Gerain

Resort Golfing

While visiting the Algarve, we suggest you try golfing at some of the world's most recognizable courses featuring either stunning views of the coast or within a luxurious resort lake. Avid golfers looking for the ultimate golfing trip in Portugal, the Algarve is the place to be, with over 31 golf courses to choose from! You can venture onto Monte Rei Resort, Dom Pedro Old Course, Quinta do Lago, or Vale do Lobo.

Golf Course in the Algarve, Portugal.
Golf Courses & Resorts in the Algarve, Portugal | Image Credit: Saintee

Culinary Tours

Lastly, eating your way through Portugal is always a valid activity! The Algarve region is the perfect place for a fellow seafood and fish lover, as all the Algarvian coastal fishing towns feature freshly caught fish of the day, which are a must-try! This region of Portugal is best known for two particular seafood dishes: Conquilhas à Algarvia, which consists of fried onions, garlic, sliced Portuguese sausage, and fresh clams, garnished with parsley and coriander; and Cataplana de Marisco, which is a seafood mix of shrimp, clams, mussels, squid that are cooked in herbs, white wine, and tomatoes. Two absolutely divine dishes to try, however, should seafood isn't really your cup of tea - there is always the traditional Portuguese Flame-Grilled Chicken or as the Algarve locals call it, Frango da Guia.

Cataplana de Marisco - Algarvian Dish.
Cataplana de Marisco, Algarvian Dish | Image Credit: Tamas Gabor

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Best time to relocate & travel to the Algarve

The best time to relocate for living & travel to the Algarve coast will be from April to June in the summer months, and from September to October in winter time for guaranteed comfortable temperatures, especially if you are planning to enjoy a bit of walking, hiking, and cycling around Portugal's Southern Coast. 

The Algarve region offers over 300 days of sunshine; the summer months of June to August will be the hottest months, ranging from temperatures of around 28°C (82°F) to as warm as 40°C (104°F).  Portugal's climate during fall from September to October is also a perfect time, as the weather is still warm and pleasant with temperatures that are much more manageable, especially if you are planning to do plenty of outdoor activities, such as mountain biking, or hiking as the Algarve has so much to explore!

Camilo Beach, Lagos - Algarve, Portugal | Image Credit: Claudio Schwartz

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How to get around around the Algarve

Traveling around the Algarve region is best by car, as you will ultimately have the freedom to explore different regions within the Faro district. You will be able to venture to the best that the Algarve has to offer, from amazing beach locations to hiking spots, and amazing landmarks worth sightseeing.

Should you not be able to travel by car around the Algarve at the beginning of your time adjusting to living in the area, you can always take advantage of the amazing bus systems Portugal has to offer! Bus connections that run daily,  to and from major cities to various villages and towns within the Faro district. One of the main Algarve bus companies is Frota Azul, offering numerous routes in Portimão, and there is also the Vamus Algarve bus network, and the hop-on-hop-off Eva Cliffs line with a  “Tourist Pass” with a 3-day travel pass (€35), or 7-day travel pass (€45); featuring routes in Faro, Albufeira, Lagoa, Portimao, and Lagos. One can easily begin their route in the city center of Portimão, check out the lovely village of Benagil and soak in some cave exploration, venture onto the hiking trails of the Seven Valleys, and get a sneak peek at the scenic Praia da Marinha, renowned for its unspoiled beauty in Lagoa.

Coastline of Sagres, Portugal.
Sagres Coast, Portugal | Image Credit: Geran de Klerk

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Visa Options to Relocate to the Algarve


For individuals looking to establish businesses, startups, and property investment ventures, the Portugal Golden Visa Programme can be a viable option in obtaining temporary residency, with immediate effect of visa-free travel to the Schengen countries, and also being able to have family inclusion.


The Non-Habitual Residency (NHR) Programme is also a great option for professionals employed or self-employed, who are willing to receive their income completely tax-free for 10 consecutive years. Another advantage will also be a 20% flat rate for certain Portuguese source incomes (from specific professions as well as income from self-employment), as opposed to normal Portuguese income tax rates of up to 48%.  Check out the whole list of eligible professions here.


The Temporary Visa offers up to a 1-year stay in Portugal; and is eligible for renewal for 2 year periods.  For this visa, the individual must show a minimum earning of €635 per month to prove financial ability to afford the cost of living, and accommodation in Portugal. This proof will be according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the completion of a statement of responsibility.


The Residency Visa is valid for 4 months, allowance for 2 entries; the individual must place an application for a residency permit which is valid for 2 years with SEF Immigration and Border Services.

Portugal Homes considers the most viable Visa for relocating to Portugal or retirement living to be the Non-Habitual Residency or Golden Visa, get in touch with us for detailed guidance on how to obtain the best visa according to your needs!

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Algarve Properties

The Algarve region has many types of residential properties, from apartments, townhouses, villas, and luxurious gated community housing complexes; which offer an excellent property investment opportunity as the southern part of Portugal is considered to be a highly attractive area.

Portugal Homes offers a wide variety of property in the Algarve, everything from luxury homes, villas, townhouses, and even land plots! With a land plot, you can take advantage of our in-house Project Development & Construction Department in order to build your dream home in the sunny Algarve. This is especially a key service if you are looking to refurbish older Portuguese homes in quaint Algarve villages, still keeping the homes' authentic charm with all the modern bells and whistles.

Best of all, for those who wish to purchase property in Portugal for solely investment purposes, placing your residential property in short-term rental during high tourist seasons, or even investing in commercial or touristic properties that provide maximum returns. The possibilities are endless to find your home away from home, get in touch with our Property & Investment Advisors today! 

View all our property listings in the Algarve, here.

Algarve Coast | Image Credit: Hendrik Morkel

We hope that you will enjoy this gorgeous region of Portugal, as the Algarve is a great place to visit, explore, and love! You may enjoy it so much and want to stay permanently, and Portugal Homes is here to guide you through your journey.


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Looking for the Ultimate Beach Escape?

Learn more in our Best Beaches in the Algarve, your summer escape awaits!

Click here to read article on the Best Beaches in the Algarve.

Wondering where to Stay in the Algarve?

Learn more in our Best Places to Stay & Visit in the Algarve!

Click here to read article on the Best Places in the Algarve.

Best Beaches in the Algarve Coast

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