Vivre en AlgarveIyna Bort Caruso
The beaches of Portugal’s Algarve region aren’t quite as well-known as some of the resorts of Spain and France. But that’s changing. International crowds are discovering that Portugal’s southern-most coastline is strikingly beautiful and delightfully authentic.
A sunny, Mediterranean climate, excellent flight connections and yacht-friendly marinas check a lot of boxes for both visitors and homebuyers. Its 100-mile stretch along the Atlantic Ocean to the border of Spain is about a two-hour drive though towns that, by turns, are chic, laidback and lively.
The airport is in the city of Faro, a central hub with a historic center surrounded
by ancient walls. To the west is Albufeira, a resort town with winding streets, a busy seaside promenade and a succession of popular beaches such as Falesia and Sao Rafael. Lagos is the spot from which navigators set off and ushered in the Portuguese Age of Discoveries. Today, people stay put for its massive sandstone cliffs, historic monuments, golden sand beaches. The spa town of Caldas de Monchique in the mountains is famous for its thermal springs dating back to Roman times.
Throughout the region, golfers have their pick of nearly four dozen championship-caliber courses, many set in protected areas, while the area’s wine-growers are starting to give Portugal’s more established wine regions a run for their money. Young vintners are modernizing production techniques. The result, say experts, is that it’s a wine region to watch.
Buyers from England and Ireland are in good company here. For them, and increasingly Americans, Germans, Dutch and Scandinavians looking to escape cold-weather climates, the Algarve is an attractive option for vacation property, investment or retirement homes. There are no restrictions on international buyers.
Whitewashed houses with rooftop terraces known as açoteias are a common site. The influx of global homebuyers is also having an influence on home styles with the rise of modern farm houses, luxury villas and estates in prestigious resort communities.