Why move to the Algarve?

Why choose the Algarve as a place to live? The answers to this question are as diverse as the people deciding to make this move. Here are the five main reasons why our expats have packed their bags and relocated to the south of Portugal.

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine December 2017


A simpler life

Some people want to get away from the rat race and the stress. Have time to chat to the mailman. Measure the quality of their life not by the amount of appointments they’ve squeezed in a workday, but by the fun they have squeezing their home-grown oranges for breakfast. There’s a lot to love about the Algarvian laid-back lifestyle. 

Andrew Roberts & Rupert Kirby: We were ready for a calmer lifestyle and already loved the Portuguese people, climate and slower way of life, which was a big change from London. So when after 25 years of holidaying in Tavira it became harder to leave, we decided to stop saying ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if….’ and do something about it.



Sima Soltani: I was looking for a place where I could start over new and feel happy. The Algarve appealed to me because it seemed simple, pure and beautiful. Also, the Portuguese lifestyle has things in common with the Iranian lifestyle: in both countries it isn’t the end of the world if you’re a bit late for a meeting or an appointment.

Ron Isarin: The Dutch rat race wasn’t what we wanted anymore; too much stress and too little time to enjoy a coffee with friends. I had enough of eating a sandwich from a plastic bag during a rushed 30 minutes lunch break. Here, people take their time and have a warm meal in the afternoon. Life here is way more relaxed.



Patty den Boer: We decided to give living a more barefoot lifestyle a try. Initially, it was quite a challenge to leave all our stuff behind, but in one way that was exactly why we made the decision to move: a more simple life here in Portugal.

Marianne Hoesen: We wanted to leave the Netherlands because the quality of life there was not what it used to be. We were looking for a place where life was simpler. Here in the Algarve we found peace and quiet, space, more sunshine, fresh and clean air, a diverse landscape, lower cost of living, friendly locals and like-minded expats. Shortly after we arrived here, my partner’s asthma disappeared and his overall health improved. Even the dogs have a better life: instead of a quick walk around the block on a leash, they now have the freedom to run wherever they want.


Sea, surf & swell

From the wild west coast to the calmer south, the Algarve’s main body of water is the Atlantic Ocean. This means: sea, surf, swell, waves, water sports and over 100 beaches. Reasons enough to move? 

Rik Dejonghe: I’ve always wanted to live in a country close to the ocean. After driving the entire length of Portugal from north to south, my choice fell upon the Algarve. Here, it’s mostly sunny, not too hot and because there are both the south and the west coast, you can almost always find good surf.



Maré Martínez: I came here because of the sea, no doubt about it. Back in Spain, I was living in the mountains, whereas now, it only takes 25 minutes on my bike to get to the coast. In autumn the water is still warm and I lie in the sea, watching the flamingos pass overhead towards the salinas. In the busy high season, I swim to beaches that are still completely deserted, apart from some seagulls.

Julia Beckenbauer: Surfing was my inspiration; I moved here because of the waves! I actually planned to stay in the Algarve for just one year, but I soon made friends and stuck around.


Family ties

Sometimes it isn’t about the place, it’s about the people who live there. Therefore, if your loved ones already live in the south of Portugal, the choice to move here as well is a bit easier. 

Dan Birch: I didn’t really have a choice, as mum and dad used to come here for holidays in the 60’s. When they then decided to stay here for good, the whole family followed shortly after.

Andres Felipe del Rio: My inspiration was my family – because to me, family is the most important thing in life. After finishing my studies in Italy, I had to decide where to go. Since my sister was already living at the Algarve and told me about Portugal’s large international community, I moved here as well.



Lewis Moulson: I moved here with my parents when I was five years old. We had already spent many holidays here and the decision to move was made after my parents had serious holiday blues.

Paul Rees: Janet and I followed the time-honoured excuse of ‘looking after an aging parent’, namely my father Donald, who retired here in 1983 and was widowed in 2002. We had always thought we’d move from the UK one future day and then rather suddenly we were on the road to Portugal.


300 days of sunshine

The Algarvian climate boasts blue skies, hot summers, mild winters, loads of sunshine, and very little rain. Some people just had enough of the shitty weather in their native countries.

Miep & Peter Hollinga: When we lived in Holland, every year we used to go on a sunny winter holiday. Whenever we got back, usually in January or February, we were very disappointed with the weather at home, which was grey and cold. We almost felt locked inside the house, craving warmth. Knowing that there were places where people could still sit outside in the sunshine in winter, we started to long for something else.



Don McGowan: It was an easy decision to make; why stay in grey, expensive London when we could start a new life in the beautiful warm Algarve?

Elly van Hulst: I first came here in 1980 for training; in winter, it’s more convenient to train in Portugal, with temperatures of 20˚C, than in Holland, where it can be minus 2˚C. I already knew then I wanted to move away from Holland after my running career, as I’m not a cold weather person. Everything is brighter and nicer when the sun shines, so Portugal was perfect.



Why not?

You’ve got to live somewhere, so why not here? Call it coincidence, following your intuition, or the fact that certain things in life are meant to be; for some people, the Algarve just feels right. One day you wake up and decide: you’re going to move to the south of Portugal. 

Marga van Schendel & Rob Derks: Enthused by the stories of our neighbour who’d lived in the Tavira area, we came here for a visit. We’d never been in Portugal before, but after one week of holiday, we were sold and decided to move; it just felt good.



Carin Carli: I followed my heart and my intuition and just went. I never really had the wish to go to Portugal, it could have been anywhere, but it turned out to be the best choice I’d ever made.

Arthur van Amerongen: Moving here was pure coincidence. I was living in Rio de Janeiro and Paraguay with my dogs and my ex, who was from Madrid. When she wanted to move closer to her parents, I agreed, as long as it wasn’t too close. The Algarve was within range, cheap and had space for all the dogs to roam free, so we ended up here.



Jürgen Sandkühler: When visiting a friend in Salema in 1997, I already felt that the south of Portugal was a place where I could stay. The atmosphere, the country, the mentality of the people, it all appealed to me and I instantly felt at home.

Joya Derrix: I first came here on a hitchhiking trip back in 1985 and I just loved it. Freedom, space, sun, friendly people and palm trees; the Algarve seemed like a great place to live.



See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine December 2017

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