Portugal is attracting retirees from all over the world. Why? Well, to start, the healthy Mediterranean sunshine, fresh food, and slower pace of life tend to be at the top of most people’s retirement lists. Not to mention, the great prices and reasonable cost of living. Here are 12 reasons why you should retire in Portugal:
1. Cost of Living
Portugal is a cheaper country to live in than its neighbor Spain, or nearby France and Italy. Generally speaking, house prices are decent, rent is very low, and the cost of food and bills are also very reasonable.
Research shows that Portugal scores well for its reasonable property price to income ratio. It is said that the cost of living in Portugal is around 30 percent lower than that of the UK, and the price of renting is also around 48 percent lower than in the UK. Real estate prices are low compared to other European countries and the US, and it’s relatively normal to live in a villa with a swimming pool — so if you’re looking for a change of lifestyle, Portugal is the place for you.
2. Learn the Language
If you’ve already learned a language such as French or Spanish, learning Portuguese should be substantially easier than if you’re starting without a language-background. However, saying that, many people do retiree to Portugal with little to no Portuguese. Learning a new language is also incredibly good for your health, and with your new-found time, why not give it a go? We love language-learning app DuoLingo to help you get to grips with the basics.
3. Delicious Food
Portuguese food is fresh and delicious, with an emphasis on seafood and vegetables. Food is inexpensive in Portugal, with fruit being fantastically well priced (meaning there’s no excuse to not eat healthily). Eating out is also decently priced and you can grab a coffee or a beer for under $1. While many people think of Spanish food when speaking of the Iberian peninsular, Portuguese food is a well-kept secret. Fresh figs, almonds, olives, and sweet potatoes are all grown locally and you can find delicious soft cheeses, cured hams, and locally-sourced olive oil. If it’s fish you’re after, you can pick up fresh Atlantic sea bass, oysters and mussels from supermarkets and fishmongers.
4. Welcoming Culture
The Portuguese people are kind, compassionate, and helpful. They are also very welcoming of new people and many speak a basic level of English. Crime rates are also some of the lowest in Europe, meaning Portugal is one of the safest countries to live on the continent.
5. The Weather
Hello, sunshine! Portugal is blessed with sunshine, with around 3,000 hours of it per year and over 300 days of sunshine in popular southern parts such as the Algarve. July is the hottest month, with an average temperature of 74°F. The country’s Atlantic-sea location means there are cooling breezes, keeping you refreshed even during the hottest months. While winters can be cold and rainy, they are much more short-lived than countries in the northern hemisphere.
Portugal has some of the best beaches in Europe — and these could be in your backyard if you take the plunge and move to Portugal! Some of the country’s best beaches can be found in the Algarve and Alentejo Region, where you can enjoy emerald green waters, golden sandy beaches, and private coves.
7. Vibrant Cities
Lisbon and Porto are vibrant cities packed with restaurants, cafe-culture spilling onto the streets, museums, and art. Whether you chose to live in a city, or just visit, there is so much to keep you entertained and immersed.
8. Rich History
Did you know that Portugal is one of the oldest countries in the world? Portugal has maintained its borders for almost one thousand years, making it one of the world’s earliest-forming countries. Portugal has passed through the hands of the Romans, the Moors, and many more, and is packed with interesting history. Head to the winding streets of the ancient Moorish quarter in Lisbon, and you’ll feel like you’ve taken a step back in time.
9. Diverse Place to Live
Whether you want to live in a peaceful fishing village, mountains, a vibrant city to socialize or a beach destination, there is something for everyone. The most popular destinations are:
The Algarve region is popular with English-speaking expats looking to live a life of sunshine and beaches. It’s packed with stunning coves and sandy stretches, affordable housing, and a relaxed pace of life.
Porto and Northern Portugal
If you’re looking for fresh mountain air, northern Portugal is the place for you. The area is surrounded by Douro valley vineyards, green mountains, national parks, and 62 miles of rugged coastline. Porto, Portugal’s second biggest city, is packed with culture and entertainment.
10. Sports and Leisure
Just the Algarve alone has almost 40 golf courses, alongside plenty of water sports such as fishing, sailing, water skiing, surfing, and scuba diving. You can also find plenty of facilities for sports such as tennis, squash, and bowls — the Portuguese like to keep active.
11. Health Care
Portugal has a free national health service for its residents. It handles emergency and acute conditions very well, alongside non-emergency surgical procedures. What you’ll have to pay depends on your nationality, however, there are also private practices and hospitals, where prices are relatively low. Find out more about the Portuguese Golden Visa and the requirements for gaining residency.
13. Geographic Location
Portugal boasts an excellent geographical location as it lies where Europe, Africa and America meet. There are international airports dotted around the country with regular connections to London, Paris, the US, and Latin America — meaning you can easily travel in the region, and friends and family can visit with ease.