Moving to another country is not something you decide overnight. Especially not to a country where people speak a foreign language, have a different culture, food habits and a typical way of living. Whether you are dreaming about it, seriously looking into it, or just being curious about what expats in Portugal can expect, these Top 5 reasons will convince every soul!
#1 – Blue Sky and Yellow Sun
This brings me back to what I used to draw when I was little: a house with a garden, tree, yellow sun, and blue sky. Isn’t this what parents teach their kids to draw? So secretly, this is the picture that everyone is painting in their heads. This painting is Portugal. Here you can live this picture with a small house, a smoking chimney, garden with flowers, a fruit tree next to your house, and the sun shining on your roof. Of course it does rain in Portugal (thankfully!!) but no Northern European country can beat the 3000 hours of sun we have per year in Portugal! Apart from the fact that it is wonderful to live in a warm climate, studies show the scientific benefits the sun has for your mental and physical health. To name just a few:
- It cheers you up, because it boosts levels of serotonin – the body’s natural happy hormone.
- It beats SAD (the winter blues)
- It increases the level of Vitamin D – this vitamin prevents diabetes, reduces heart disease, reduce risk of cancers
- It boosts your immune system
- It relieves aches and pains
#2 Property Prices
One of the reasons that Portugal is gaining in popularity over other southern European countries is the way properties are priced. You can look at the statistics of house prices in Portugal where articles state a price per square meter in the centre of Portugal of € 886,-
But if you look at the house prices on our website, we are way below this pricing. We work with real estate partners that are naturally from the central area and they know the villages and its people. Therefore, we are able to get fair sale prices. Keep in mind that properties outside a village, not very close to main facilities are not given a lot of value, but for us ‘foreigners’ it means the world. So that is why there is the opportunity to grab a bargain on a beautiful property with an amazing view to call your home.
#3 The Portuguese People
The kindness of the Portuguese still surprises me. The Portuguese themselves don’t see it, but coming from a ‘cold’ Northern country, you will feel the difference right away. The way they embrace you into their lives, it is a warmth that we don’t know. In the beginning I often thought: What do they want from me? But soon you will found out: they don’t take, they give, give, give. Especially in the small villages, you can go on for weeks exchanging fruit, vegetables and alcoholic beverages with your neighbors. If you give them a dozen of eggs, expect to have a bag full of veggies in front of your door the next morning. Several clients that bought via Home Key Portugal, came back with stories of property owners offering them a room in their house to stay while waiting to sign the deed, or offering them a place to stay while doing up the ruin they bought, introducing them to the president of the council and all other important persons that can help them with their new life in Portugal.
#4 Food Culture
Personally, I am not fond of the traditional Portuguese kitchen as I don’t like sausages (chouriço), and the peculiar dishes like ‘lampreia’ (lamprey), cozido à Portuguesa, pig ear salad (salada de orelha de porco), and the blood rice (arroz de cabidela). But I do like the food culture in Portugal. For example the lunch is an elaborated hot meal. I remember working in the Netherlands where my lunch was a quick sandwich followed by a glass of milk, and the phone always rang or a guest came in. Here, they highly value the meal, and finishing your lunch is more important than serving a client. Also, you can be sure when you visit a Portuguese, that next to your drink, they bring out all kinds of tapas: olives, cheese, chouriço, home made bread and any other thing they just finished baking and you need to taste. I never left a Portuguese house with thirst or hunger. There is always plenty and more.
#5 Nature and Wildlife
Nature lovers, adventurers, and bird watchers have a lot to see and do. The wildlife of Portugal is a mixture of European and North African types. Example of wild life in Central Portugal are: wild pigs, deer, rabbits, Iberian hares, pine martens and foxes. Bird life is rich because the peninsula lies on the winter migration route of western and central European species. The Tagus International River Natural Park is great for birds and mammals. The landscape in the different areas of Portugal is very diverse, from pine forests, mountains and rivers to flat rocky landscapes with cork trees. There are endless tracks to hike, bike and ride with a breathtaking view around every corner. For me as a horse lover, I can’t get enough of the dirt tracks with only the rhythmic sounds of the horse’s feet, combined with the sounds of signing birds and running river waters.
Come, explore and be astonished.