One of Europe’s leading luxury property destinations, the Algarve, Portugal was named by the Moors in the 10th Century, Al Garbe, or the land in the West.This beautiful region with its hinterland of ancient cork, almond, carob and olive trees, has merged with spectacular Golden Beaches of the Atlantic Ocean and become the region of choice for the more discerning. The mild climate and 300 days of sunshine per annum makes the Algarve an ideal year round destination.
More recently the area became known as a Golfers Paradise and has over the years hosted the Portuguese Open on the various Championship Courses dotted along the Algarve. The first course was designed by Sir Henry Cotton in the 1960’s, and constructed on the site of the Penina Hotel near Portimão. This subsequently inspired and encouraged other developers to build additional courses. There are now more than 40 established along the 180 Km extent of the Algarve, from the Spanish border to the most South Westerly point in Europe, Sagres. This was the starting point for most of the 16th Century voyages of discovery by Christophe Columbus and Vasco da Gama to the New World and the spice route to India.
Visitors to the region are received with a warm, friendly welcome by locals, there are any number of fantastic traditional restaurants where you can enjoy Portuguese cuisine at its best, whether you prefer fresh fish on the beach, or wild boar on the hills, you are certain to enjoy the excellent inexpensive food and wines. If you prefer something more up market there are a number of 5 star restaurants offering the best of European fusion cuisine, the Algarve combines Old World charm with modern sophistication.
Here is a number of reasons why the Algarve qualifies as one of Europe’s top retirement havens and property investment opportunities.
Good value property market
Real Estate in Portugal is currently undervalued and among the most attractive in Europe and now that the recession is becoming more of a bad memory rather than a reality, buyers are taking advantage of the reduced prices. Furthermore, Portuguese real estate has one of the most favorable price-to-rent ratios. Additionally the tax rate on rental income has been reduced dramatically, resulting in investors achieving much better yields than in many other European countries
This region of Portugal enjoys one of the most stable climates in the world with over 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, more than anywhere else in Europe, even more than Cape Town, and similar to California.
Retirement income is not taxed
Recent legislation allows resident foreign retirees to receive pension income in the country tax-free. The law also provides for reduced taxation on wages, intellectual property, interest, dividends and capital gains.
Portugal ranks as the 17th safest country in the world and in the top 5 in Europe. Violent crime is rare, and petty crime is limited to opportunist street crime during the busy tourist season.
Portugal and the Algarve have enjoyed important infrastructure investments, specifically in the country’s highway network and airports. There is now a motorway E.22 running the extent of the Algarve from East to West, from the Spanish border at Vila Real da St Antonio to Lagos.
International-standard health care
Medical tourism is a growing industry in the region, particularly if you are interested the aesthetic, hip replacement and dental specialties, there are a number of Private Hospitals in the region, and even the National Health facilities are acceptable.
The region boasts almost 50 courses in less than a 100 mile stretch and is generally recognised as a top golfing destination in continental Europe,….. and some would say the world.
The Algarve’s 100 miles of Atlantic coastline is punctuated by spectacular rock formations, lagoons and extensive sandy beaches, many awarded coveted blue flags from the European Blue Flag Association. The water off these shores is azure and the cliff-top vistas are spectacular. Most beaches have lifeguards during the summer season. Many have top quality restaurants or beach bars some are open only seasonally but the majority open year round.
Affordable cost of living
The is among the lowest in Western Europe, on average 30 percent lower than in any other country of the region. A retired couple could live here comfortably, but modestly, on a budget of as little as €1,000 per month. With a budget of €2,000 per month or more, you can enjoy a good standard of lifestyle in the sun.
English is widely spoken
Thanks to Portugal’s strong historic and cultural links with England, English is widely spoken in the country and even more so in the Algarve, the country’s main tourist attraction. you could easily cope without learning to speak Portuguese if you wish.
Healthy living and eating
The Portuguese are the biggest fish eaters per capita in Europe, great variety of fresh fish is available in the daily fish markets, seasonal sardines a particular specialty. In addition, the abundance of sunshine in this part of the world results in a lot of fresh produce being readily available in the local markets, as well as in the modern supermarkets.
QUINTA DO LAGO
The luxury resort of Quinta do Lago is one of a handful of European resorts to have truly taken nature and the environment in to consideration throughout its development. Quinta do Lago boasts an extremely low construction density of just 8%. Villas and properties for sale in Quinta do Lago are considered to be the most luxurious on the Iberian Peninsular and with its exceptional, weather (more than 300 days of annual sunshine), location and golf and leisure facilities, it is no surprise that property prices in Quinta do Lago continue to appreciate year after year.
VALE DO LOBO
Vale do Lobo is the first purpose built luxury resort in Portugal. Luxury properties for sale include traditional and contemporary villas; high quality apartments and magnificent townhouses. Famous as one of Europe’s leading golf tourism locations, Vale do Lobo has 2, 18 hole championship golf courses: the Royal golf course and the Ocean golf course and an infrastructure developed with sports tourism in mind. Many Vale do Lobo properties have spectacular views of pine forests and the Atlantic Ocean and you will be hard pushed to find a finer lifestyle resort anywhere in Europe.
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