Holiday home ownership in Portugal is only now beginning to take off with many people deciding that Portugal rather than Spain is the preferred destination.
Portugal or the republic of Portugal to give it it’s official title sits on the crown of Europe. Portugal is bordered by Spain to the North & East and in the west by the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic Island of the Azores & Madeira also; form part of Portugal. Portugal can trace it’s history back thousands of years and it has a rich sea faring past and some superb beach resorts, wonderful towns covered with olive groves and a friendly population that you will find very welcoming. When you wander through the country side, you will still be able to see towns that look the same now as they did 700 years ago, there are beautiful castles and much evidence of the Roman occupation. Modern Portugal remains unspoilt, and you will find the country littered with UNESCO heritage sites, it is perhaps one of the last true holiday paradises in Europe, tourism is not as developed here as in neighbouring Spain. Holiday home properties can still be located quite cheaply and flights from the UK are easy to find. The lifestyle of Portugal is very traditional and simple, the Portuguese like the Spanish, love their festivals, good honest food with plenty of olive oil abounds as does wine, they are also fond lovers of good music, The local markets are full of wonderful fresh food and flowers and this simple lifestyle is very captivating.
Portugal occupies the western part of the Iberian peninsula, the country is crossed by three large rivers that that rise in Spain and flow in to the Atlantic and divide the country in to three geographical regions. Portugal is an extension of the mountainous formations of the Iberian Peninsula and it’s terrain differs whether you are South or North of the river Tagus. The sea has long played a part in Portuguese history and having settled on it’s frontiers in 1386 Portugal began a sustained program of exploration and conquest that made it within 200 years the richest merchant empire of the age. The Portuguese became great explorers and many famous sons such as Vasco da Gama were written in to the history books, during the 16th century Portuguese navigators discovered the islands of Indonesia, had visited Japan and had established relationships with the court of Peking.
Despite it’s small size Portugal has a great diversity of geographical features ranging from mountain ranges to vast plains. The total land area is some 92,389 sq km with approximately 25% of this available for arable land. The Celts were the earliest settlers in Portugal and the roman empire conquered the area in 140BC. Portugal won it’s independence from f Moorish Spain in 1143 and King John unified the country. Spain briefly invaded Portugal in the 16th century but this had the result of almost destroying Portugal’s commercial links with other country’s and during this period they lost many of their important trading positions to other countries.
More recently Portugal has had quite a turbulent history with a succession of invaders and liberators and today Portugal is a member of the European Union.
Portugal is a wonderful country to settle in, it has an excellent climate that is neither too hot or too cold. Three sets of influences are involved, Atlantic, Continental and Mediterranean. The former predominates overall putting most of the country in to the humid zone of the Iberian peninsula, in the north west, it gives a mild rainy climate. The coastal areas are where the bulk of the population live, in Porto and Lisbon, sometimes the density can reach almost 700 people per square kilometer. The population of Portugal starts to thin out from West to East and from North to South, the interior areas have very low density of population.
The cost of living in Portugal is relatively low, this includes food, travel and the cost of trade’s people etc. The infrastructure of the country is well developed and Portugal has excellent road and rail connections. The Costa Prata is becoming very popular for Holiday Home ownership, this area has a delightful landscape and is situated between Porto & Lisbon and has much to offer. Here you can sample many deserted beaches surrounded by crystal clear waters, beautiful countryside and a healthy climate. The main holiday home areas are: Alentejo, Algarve, Centro, Lisboa and Norte.
Although the rules and regulations for letting property in Portugal can be quite complex, purchasing a holiday home for yourself is relatively straight forward and follows closely the procedure in other European country’s. Portugal is easy to reach from most parts of Europe, international airports can be located at Lisboa, Porto, Faro. Porto Santo is the main airport if you are flying to Madeira and Delgada, Santa Maria & Terceira serve the Azores