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What’s Good and Bad About Living in Portugal?

Portugal is one of the most popular overseas locations with Britons considering moving abroad for a better lifestyle whether before or after retirement, but interestingly enough, it is not such a popular choice after people have done their research and looked into the realities of living in Portugal.  We think this may be because large numbers of people are put off by the thought of learning an almost impossible language!

So, what’s good and bad about living in Portugal, and should it be a more popular choice with Britons?  In this article we look at the pros and cons of relocating to soak up the Portuguese sunshine.

The Pros of Living in Portugal

Portugal is arguably home to the best golf courses in Europe and if you are passionate about your golf, you have a fair amount of money put by to afford your annual fees and you are committed to spending your retirement on the greens perhaps, then maybe Portugal should be your number one choice!  But as stated, you will need a fair amount of money to afford to live the golfing life in Portugal.

The weather is certainly something in the nation’s favour – the further south you head the hotter the summers and more temperate the winters, and if you like it s1eriously hot, head away from the Atlantic coastline and into the beautiful interior of the country and you’ll find the summers are baking!

The price of property in Portugal away from the resorts and the coast is affordable.  You can bag bargains in some stunning inland towns and villages and still only be a short drive from major urban areas and the beach.  You will be looking at buying more traditional property rather than developed resort style homes, but you can certainly find affordable property if you hunt for it in Portugal.

The coastline in Portugal is beautiful – as the nation lies on the Atlantic and is lashed by dramatic storms sometimes in the winter, this has led to stunning rock and cliff formations on the coast.  In the summertime the beautiful beaches all the way up the western edge of the nation are to be explored and enjoyed.
Away from the coast Portugal is home to mountains and plains, national parks, lakes, olive groves and rivers – it is a geographically diverse and fabulous nation.

The pace of life in Portugal is laid back – initially for those coming from fast paced and stressed out countries like the UK this can seem like a dream but feel like a nightmare because it can take just so long to do anything!  Queues in banks can stretch for miles as the staff chat about anything and everything with their customers, and customers chat amongst themselves.  Once one gets into the pace of life however, it is a dream come true.  It is such a healthier way to live!

The healthcare system in the country is so much more sophisticated in some ways…for example, more medicines can be bought over the counter from a pharmacist who is able to ‘diagnose’ and assist people with what medicines they should have and this makes it easier to get treatment for minor illnesses.

The Cons of Living in Portugal

The worst thing about Portugal is the language – it really is a very complicated and difficult language to learn and many people struggle to get much further than the basics and every day pleasantries.  It isn’t even a case of persevering for many people – it is just so hard!  However, for those who will be living in the more urban and populous areas where there are lots of expats, international citizens and professional Portuguese, you will find English quite widely spoken…

The bureaucracy in Portugal is quite something else!  There are reams of paperwork and hours of queue standing just to achieve the most basic of tasks and this can really grate.  However, if you prepare yourself for this fact before you attempt to do anything – from taxing your car to getting a new bank account for example – you will be alright!  Just don’t attempt to rush and don’t stress when things take time.  Embrace the Portuguese system and go with the flow otherwise you will drive yourself crazy.

Property prices in the most popular parts of the nation are extortionate.  They really have risen sharply and dramatically and make it hard for people to get a place to live in the most in-demand locations.

The Atlantic is not the Mediterranean!  Okay, this sounds like a very obvious statement to make – but the Atlantic can be rough even in the summer months making it unpleasant to swim in and not as warm or as much fun as the Mediterranean for those who like messing about in the water for leisure and relaxation time.

Other than that, we think Portugal is a fantastic nation to consider – it really does offer a fantastic quality of life and is well worth closer inspection.

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