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Portugal - Faro

The Faro district is named after the city of Faro and is the most southerly part of the country. It is home to the Algarve, which is a popular tourist destination. The district has a total of 16 municipalities. The city of Faro has over 40,000 inhabitants and is home to large numbers of expats who have bought properties in the region to make the most of the long hours of sunshine and the laid back lifestyle. The Algarve is one of the busiest areas in the country.

The climate of the region is the hottest, with average summer temperatures of between 28 and 30°C. Winter temperatures drop to around 8°C. There is very little rainfall during the summer months, although levels are higher in winter.

Many people choose Faro and the Algarve to retire to each year because of the year round sun and variety of leisure activities in the area. There are many apartment complexes in the main resorts which are aimed at those who are giving up work. The downside is that the area is busy for most of the year and property prices and the cost of living are higher than in other area, mainly due to the demand.

A tourist related business is ideal for this area of Portugal because of the high numbers of visitors that it receives each year. There are many B&Bs and small hotels in the area which do very well and many bars and restaurants are run by expats. The town of Albufeira, for example, has a number of foreign businesses such as Irish pubs which do very well. There are quieter resort towns which may offer opportunities for business growth as the numbers increase, but the main towns will attract most people. There are also retail opportunities in the Algarve and there are always established businesses up for sale.

The centre of the city of Faro is filled with narrow streets and is the main shopping area for the city. Properties in this area are mainly small houses with courtyards rather than gardens and apartments. There are large numbers of expats already living in this part of the region and apartments are a popular choice for them. If you want to buy an apartment along the coast in the Algarve you will find that the area is not as developed as you might think. It is rare that permission is given for an apartment complex to be built that is more than four storeys high and they must be a certain distance away from the nearest beach. There are many apartment complexes still in development and it is recommended to buy off plan where possible as this can save a great deal of money. Properties in the Faro area are fairly expensive when compared to other areas in Portugal and this is due to the demand.

The town and municipality of Albufeira are located within the Faro district and this is also a popular area with expats. The main industry is tourism so it is a good place to start for those who want to start or buy a tourism based business such as a hotel. Properties in the area range from narrow streets to modern, purpose-built areas. The modern complexes are usually brightly coloured, for example the apartments at Marina e Bryn are decorated in a range of pastel colours which makes them stand out. The Montechoro neighbourhood of Albufeira is a very busy area during the summer, particularly at night, so is ideal for those who are looking for a busy social life. Prices will vary but are generally on a par with the regional average.

Albufeira has a number of parishes that may be suitable for those who are looking to retire to the area. The hamlet of Ferreiras has a long history and is located just north of Albufeira. The area is fairly quiet and there are property bargains to be found in the area, particularly if you are prepared to renovate. The town of Paderne is set away from the coast and is a quiet area with agriculture as its main industry. This is better suited to those who want to experience the traditional Portuguese way of life. Properties in these areas are mostly houses and are very reasonably priced.

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