Guide to buying property in The Algarve

  • 12 years ago
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Planning to buy property in The Algarve? Read our handy guide for prospective buyers first…

The Algarve: The Essentials


The climate of the Algarve is as lovely as it gets. Portimao’s coast offers
a peaceful stretch of sea for sailers, while Lagos’ blend of perfect
beaches and polished sunshine sees the temperature hitting highs of 48°C
in the summer. Even in the winter, days below 0°C are rare. With over
3,000 hours of sun each year, it’s safe to expect little rain; the
Algarve is the most popular tourist destination in Portugal – there’s a reason why.


Watersports, hiking, horse riding, tennis… You name it, the Algarve has it. The region’s laidback lifestyle offers owners of real estate in The Algarve
everything from sun-bathing on the beach to climbing over waterfalls
and strolling past old churches. For food, the fishing in Alvor is only
rivalled by the al fresco restaurants that dish it up, while the bay’s
curvaceous backdrop is a dream for golfers looking to drop their jaws as
well as their handicap.


impossible to describe the Algarve without referring to the metres of
sandy coastline: 155,000 metres to be exact. Stray to the West and you
can find the grand hills and steep cliffs to match them, with the ocean
lashing into endless coves and bays. But the varied landscape means that
mountains are never far from all the coastal cities, with 1km of
extinct volcanoes amid the Monchique mountain range a mere 30km from


Fishing and agriculture are
key ingredients in the Algarve’s lifestyle and play an equally important
role in its economy. Seafood, wine and construction form the backbone
of the commercial industries, but tourism provides the area’s principal
income. Portugal’s financial outlook may be varied, but guaranteed
visitors year-in, year-out make Algarve property one of the most reliable places to invest.


Key attractions

Loulé Market

North of Faro lies Loulé, an old Portuguese town loved by locals and
tourists alike for its fully stocked markets. Saturdays see people
queuing up at the famous gipsy stalls to buy handmade ceramics and
wicker craftwork, but the marketplace has a range of goods on offer
every day of the week. Fruit and vegetables are fresh each morning,
accompanied by other local produce and sweet treats. The only time the
market isn’t the focus of attention is February, when Loulé celebrates
Shrove Tuesday with a three-day street festival.

Silves Castle

former Moorish capital of the region, Silves is steeped in history,
from the three-metre tall Cross of Portugal to the narrow cobbled
streets. Front and centre of the local legacy is Castelo de Silves,
towering over the town at the top of a hill with 11 turrets and
extensive battlements. Next to it stands the Cathedral, which proudly
displays its collection of gothic monuments and ancient tombs. Together,
these spectacular buildings offer a beautiful view of the surrounding
landscape and an insightful look back at the country’s history.

Praia de Marinha

in between Armação de Pêra and Carvoeiro, the Praia de Marinha is the
country’s most stunning beach. Snorkellers, cave explorers and
sun-bathers alike are all drawn to its natural beauty and picturesque
coves, while the clarity of the ocean water won Portugal’s prestigious
Golden Beach award in 1998. Ranked by Michelin as one of the top 10
coastlines in the world, the Praia de Marinha is the prized possession
of Portugal’s Algarve. Hop up to the top of its curvaceous cliffs and
you’ll understand why.

How to Get There


Algarve’s main airport is Faro. The airport can handle up to six
million passengers per year but is already at full capacity, with plans
now underway to expand the terminal so it can deal with eight million.
Flights to Faro are operated by all major airlines, with the most
popular routes coming from the UK’s London, Dublin and Manchester


The Algarve’s two main
cities, Faro and Lagos, each have train stations, with rail services
running to and from Lisbon, Porto, Braga and others. Trains are run by
CP, who power Portugal’s national rail network. Fast options include the
Pendolino engine, Alfa Pendular, and high-speed passenger trains,
Intercidades, as well as international connections.


Algarve has one main motorway, the A22. The road runs parallel to the
coast, making it easy to cross the region by car. A toll was introduced
at the end of 2011, with credits available from most post offices. To
avoid tolls, you can take the N125, but be prepared for a bumpy ride:
the road is known as the “Highway of Death” because of its high accident


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