Portugal enjoys a high standard of living, yet it remains one of the least expensive countries in Western Europe.
Daily items such as food, wine and coffee are of excellent quality and very affordable. A typical lunch or “prato do dia” (plate of the day) will cost you from 7 to 10 euros per person and a single expresso coffee starting at 65 cents.
The real estate market also offers very attractive prices, with great opportunities for investment and one of Europe’s highest rental returns.
Portugal has also maintained its place on the top of the list of the best countries for a comfortable retirement abroad. In 2020 Portugal was once again chosen as the best country in the world to retire, this time by the Annual Global Retirement Index of International Living magazine.
Portuguese people may have strong opinions on politics and football, but there are subjects that everyone agrees on and food is definitely one of them!
There is a passion for food which is simple and fresh, and typically no sauces are used to disguise or enhance flavours. A lunchtime meal will begin with a plate of soup followed by the main course, which will include a meat or fishplate followed by a simple dessert and finished off with a coffee.
All regions of Portugal have their preferred dishes but as a general rule, the coastal towns will be more inclined to lighter meals especially grilled fish. As you go further into the interior there is a preference for meat, with black pork being considered a delicacy. There are traditional Portuguese dishes that are typical to the entire country, especially Bacalhau which is salted cod. It's often said that there are over 365 different recipes for preparing Bacalhau, one for each day of the year.
Portugal offers all of the commodities of modern living, but it also maintains a very simple joy for life.
That small village feeling of belonging is still very common, and life in Portugal is made of simple pleasures. From enjoying delicious food to appreciating nature, every aspect of the Portuguese lifestyle was designed for slow-living.
Village life for Portuguese families gravitates to the local coffee shop and restaurant, simply referred to as “o café”, where villagers will meet to catch up on local gossip, read the newspaper and discuss football.
The “café” is an intrinsic part of Portuguese life, so much so that it is often said: “Where there are 5 or more houses you're guaranteed to find a café.” Cafés also double up as a restaurant, often a family business with mum or gran in the kitchen cooking real home-made meals and the rest of the family taking care of the front-of-shop.
Portugal is one of the sunniest places in the world, with more than 300 days of sunshine a year!
Here you'll find a great climate with mild temperatures all seasons. The southern region of Portugal is the warmest, but even the hottest summers are cooled by the Atlantic breeze. In the winter there are plenty of sun-filled days to keep you warm and cheerful. Portugal is also renowned for its spectacular coastline and beautiful beaches. Whether you prefer lying in the sun or practising water sports, there are lots to see and do.
Portugal is also a world leader when it comes to environmental issues. Around 70 per cent of the country’s energy comes from renewable sources and the Portuguese Government is committed to a more efficient, low carbon and environmentally-friendly economy.
Portuguese art, culture and architecture are renowned worldwide for its beauty and authenticity. From traditional Fado music to beautiful monuments all across the country, Portugal offers a diverse variety of historical sites to visit. But there are also plenty of museums, festivals, concerts and international exhibitions all year round!
This amazing heritage is also present in beautiful castles, palaces and monumental medieval, gothic, and “manuelino” churches, some of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Although Portugal is a relatively small country, each region has its own identity, and even the language is different, with accents and words that are true to each place's tradition and history.
The Portuguese public National Healthcare Service is one of the best in the world.
The network of global health care institutions and services, known as the "Serviço Nacional de Saude" (SNS), is financed through taxes, through which the state safeguards the right for every resident to receive healthcare protection.
Portugal considers access to healthcare to be a constitutional right... and that makes all the difference.
Access to this network may be free of charge or require the payment of a small fee, depending on the patient’s age, health condition and nationality, among other factors.
There are also various options for private healthcare and a large variety of insurance plans are accepted.
Portugal is also one of the safest and friendliest countries in the world.
The Portuguese are a kind, friendly and peaceful nation that welcomes all nations, languages, and creeds with open arms. Portuguese also tend to be multilingual and some villages even offer free Portuguese language lessons.
It is custom for people to say “bom dia” when they walk into the café, regardless of knowing you. And do not be surprised to find a bag of lemons at your doorstep now and then!
Portugal also has a liberal approach regarding the rights of its citizens and is known for its support of the LGBT community, being one of the first countries to recognise same-sex marriages.
The Portuguese way of life is kind and generous and will win your heart time and time again!
More and more families from all over the world are moving to Portugal to enjoy the exceptional possibilities that the country offers.
Schools in Portugal are safe, the teachers and staff are attentive and all children are very well cared for, in and out of the classroom. Portuguese schools, the community and families work together to make sure each child has a happy, healthy and memorable childhood.
Public education in Portugal is universal and free from preschool to secondary school, but there are also lots of options for private schools offering international curricula. As for universities, tuition in a public university costs approximately 1000 euros per year.
Portugal is also a favourite for those who love to travel!
Three international airports and daily flights to practically everywhere in the world make travelling, visiting friends and family, or receiving guests in your dream home in Portugal fast and simple!
The country also offers a wide-spread road system and plenty of options for public transport that are extremely affordable.
Mainland Portugal is only 561 km long, regardless of where you are, you can get to anywhere in just a few hours.
If you are looking for houses, apartments or plots of land for sale in the Algarve or Silver Coast regions of Portugal, you have come to the right place!
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In this edition of "The Simple Life" magazine, we celebrate Portugal Realty's 25th anniversary, sharing some of the reasons that make Portugal such a special place and why we love sharing it with the world.
Also featured is expert advice on buying new build properties, how to furnish your home in Portugal as well as tips to make the most of your rental property.