Moving to Portugal: 5 reasons to settle here

Moving to Portugal is a decision that more and more expats have decided to make. For a few years now, Portugal has become an increasingly popular destination for expatriates from around the world. Like anywhere, there are advantages and disadvantages.

The most well-known drawback is the low salaries, compared to those in Western European countries, that is a fact.

However, there is an essential matter to take into consideration, and that is the quality of life. It is a notion that is difficult to quantify but essential in our daily life. Indeed, this factor will determine if we are happy, satisfied or not in our life.

So let’s find out together 5 important factors of the peaceful and smooth life in Portugal.

Also worth reading: Exploring the wonders of Lisbon

 

1) The natural beauty 

The coastline of Portugal is 850 km long and has a rich maritime history, making it a country with a strong oceanic orientation. The beaches are spectacular, alternating between small coves with scarlet cliffs and large beaches of fine sand. 

The interior of the country is just as beautiful, with its countryside, mountains, villages and small towns, many of which have retained their authenticity. For nature lovers, Portugal is a real paradise, with natural parks, mountains, rivers and lakes, home to a great biodiversity. Even in big cities like Lisbon (the capital) or Porto, life remains peaceful.

Home to cliff-backed beaches, dramatic river valleys and wildlife-filled wetlands, Portugal is packed with unique places to visit. Whether you’re after otherworldly views on the edge of Europe or a mountain wilderness full of history and natural beauty, you’ll find it by moving to Portugal.

 

Some of the natural wonders in Portugal:

  • Cabo de São Vicente, Europe’s most southwestern edge.
  • Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês, a wilderness wonderland of craggy peaks, riverside woodlands and hidden waterfalls.
  • Douro Valley, East of Porto, a Unesco World Heritage site offers dramatic views whether viewed from the water on a boat excursion or a winery estate overlooking the expansive river valley.
  • Parque Natural da Ria Formosa, a protected laggon system in the eastern Algarve (south). It’s a hot spot for birdwatchers, as it’s a key stopover on the migration between Europe and Africa.

 

2) The security of living in Portugal

Portugal is considered one of the safest countries in Europe and the world. The feeling of security is omnipresent as the crime rate is relatively low. In 2021, according to the Global Peace Index, Portugal was considered the 4th most peaceful country in the world, just behind Iceland, New Zealand and Denmark. There is no need to hold on to your phone in the metro, or to be afraid when wandering alone in the streets after midnight. 

Moreover, the Portuguese are known for their friendliness and honesty.

Overall, safety is a key aspect of the quality of life in Portugal, making it an attractive destination for those seeking a peaceful and safe place to live.

 

3) Culture, Outings/Leisure, having fun for less

 

The cultural offer is very diversified. A country with such a rich history can only offer an intense and varied cultural life. The cost of living for leisure in Portugal is relatively affordable compared to other European countries. Of course, prices vary depending on where you are in the country, but in general, prices are reasonable.

Theater, musicals, operas, shows, international exhibitions and numerous artistic interventions make this country an attractive destination. Portugal offers a variety of options for all preferences.

When dining out, it is possible to find affordable places that serve delicious food at reasonable prices. Drinks are also cheaper than in many other European countries, making evenings out more affordable.

Portugal is a country extremely rich in history and monuments. Its heritage is astonishing in its diversity and concentration. Overall, the cost of living for recreation is affordable in Portugal, making recreational activities accessible to everyone, regardless of budget.

Looking for the ideal place for a relaxing beach vacation, or a cultural and historical trip? Moving to Portugal will not disappoint you.

 

3) Sports

When it comes to outdoor sports, Portugal is surely one of the best places in the world. Between land and sea and with its sublime landscapes, this southern European country offers a vast playground.

With a coastline facing the mighty Atlantic Ocean, you will enjoy a wide range of activities and water sports such as surfing, kitesurfing, wakeboard, water ski, kayak, etc. Golfing is very pleasant here and the various regions have beautiful golf courses.

 

4) The colorful and full-flavored gastronomy

In Portugal, cooking has a very important place and know-how is passed on from generation to generation. Portuguese cuisine is family-style, tasty, made “with love” and generous. The dishes are often served in large portions. The further north you go, the fuller your plate will be. 

Even though the Portuguese love to cook, going to a restaurant is an integral part of their routine. Even in the morning, it is customary to have breakfast at the local café. This craze for restaurants can be partly explained by their very affordable prices.

Compared to the rest of Europe, Portugal is the country with the highest consumption of fish and, thanks to its climate, there is also a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables all year round. 

A gastronomy of excellence, recognized throughout the world: a Mediterranean cuisine that perfectly combines the flavors of the land and the sea.

Some typical food to try when moving to Portugal:

  • Bacalhau

Of course, ‘Bacalhau’ is often the one that comes to mind when we talk about Portuguese cuisine. According to the Portuguese, there are 365 ways of cooking cod, a variation for each day of the year. 

 

  • Cozido à Portuguesa

This stew is perfect for meat lovers. Enjoy chicken, beef, pork and sausages, all accompanied by various vegetables steamed in a traditional broth, in other words, an excellent Portuguese stew.

 

  • Caldeirada

It’s a fish stew with a choice of seafood, cod or fish, with tomatoes, enriched with herbs, is a delight not to be missed. 

 

  • Cataplana de marisco

Seafood cataplana is a Portuguese favorite. People pack all sorts of fish, shellfish, and other seafood into the bottom half of the cataplana, sometimes adding potatoes, peppers, olive oil, tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs, and white wine. Then, they close the halves and heat the cataplana to steam the ingredients into a colorful and aromatic feast.

 

5) More than 300 days of sunshine during the year

The climate is one of the friendliest in Europe. When moving to Portugal you will find a year-round climate that is neither too hot nor too cold, with natural temperature variations from north to south. With about 300 days of sunshine per year, you can enjoy beautiful winter days.

The climate is cool and humid in the north, gradually becoming warmer and sunnier as you head south; in the extreme south, the Algarve enjoys a dry and sunny microclimate.

Inland, on the border with Spain, the climate becomes slightly continental. In the north-central area, there are also mountain ranges. In the highest one, the Serra da Estrela, you can ski in winter.

Summer is sunny everywhere, because in this season Portugal is protected by the Azores anticyclone. However, sometimes the tail of an Atlantic disturbance can pass through the north of the country. For this reason, the landscape in the north is very green, and becomes progressively more arid as you go south, until you reach the Algarve which has a fairly dry climate. 

A climate that invites good humor, and beautiful encounters. The warm and generous welcome of the Portuguese people helps to make you feel good. No more dullness!

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