The cost of living in the Algarve is low by European standards, and it’s a very welcoming country with friendly people and favorable tax and residency systems that provide incentives for families, pensioners and those looking for new adventures to set up home.
Faro airport provides easy international access, and the modern road and toll highway network serving the thriving tourist trade makes life a lot easier for residents too. It’s just 2 hours by car from Faro to Lisbon, and only 6 hours to Madrid.
Buses tend to have signs in English and Portuguese, which is helpful, and there is a good intercity bus network connecting the towns and resorts. The train network is pretty good, with regional and local services, and Uber has also arrived on the Algarve.
The excellent Portuguese health system is ranked just outside the World Health Organisation’s top 10, and the main towns in the Algarve all have hospitals. A range of private cover is also available.
A choice of state and private schools serves the children of the Algarve, and international options are available for studying the British, German and French systems.
Interestingly, Portuguese private schools offer smaller class sizes and can be tough to get into, but public school teachers are often paid more, so it’s a good idea to investigate the level of teaching experience at the school you have in mind.
• Head inside Xorino Cave in Albufeira where Moors took refuge from Christian conquerers
• Take in the views from the Ponta da Piedade headland south of Lagos
• Enjoy the spooky sunset light at Praia de Falésia
• Climb Pico de Joia, the Algarve’s tallest mountain
• Take a boat trip to the 11km Blue Flag beaches of Tavira Island
• Get wet with added fun at the huge Slide & Splash waterpark
• Explore the sandstone castle and Moorish influences of medieval Silves
• Be inspired at the FIESA summer sand sculpture festival in Lagos
• Go back in time at the Roman Cerro da Vila ruins
• Take a tour of a family winery
• Spot dolphins on a boat trip with a marine biologist
• Stand on Cape St Vincent, Europe’s south westernmost point
• Drop in on the 35m waterslide at Aquashow Park
• Go Baroque in the church of Sã Lourenço, Loulé
• Surf the Costa Vicentina
• Party like a pirate on the Leãozinho historic pirate ship tour
• Experience the scenery from a quadbike
• Get echoing at the Bengali sea cave