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Portugal - Portalegre

The district of Portalegre is named after the city of the same name. It is made up of 15 municipalities and is located in the south of Portugal. The city of Portalegre has nearly 16,000 inhabitants and a few of these are expats from other countries. Most people moving to the area do so to retire although a few have moved for work reasons. The lifestyle in the city and the district is much more laid back than in busier areas.

The climate in the area is similar to that of the Algarve. Winter temperatures are around 8°C while the rainfall is quite high. Summer temperatures can peak above 30°C and rainfall is almost non-existent during the summer. The good climate is another reason why people move to the area.

The city of Portalegre is much smaller than many other district capital cities, which makes it an attractive prospect for those who are looking to give up work. There is a low cost of living in the area and the relaxed lifestyle is something that a lot of people look for when they retire. The area is very tranquil and there are just enough leisure amenities to keep people busy.

The small size of the city means that it may not be the best prospect for a small business, unless you really do discover a gap in the market. The location means that there are a certain amount of tourists visiting the area but not in great numbers so a tourist based business is a risk. The surrounding district is also very tranquil and it may be that the best type of business in this area is one that offers a specialised service, such as car repair, hairdressing or a trade such as a builder.

There are several towns in the Portalegre district which will be of interest to expats. The town of Marvao is completely enclosed by the ancient walls and is very close to the Spanish border. Amenities close by include a golf course and good shopping facilities. There are few modern properties in the town but it is possible to purchase an older property either in need of renovation or one that has had work carried out already. Prices vary little across the town and are a little lower than the regional average, mainly due to the lack of new developments.

Castelo de Vide is also located on the border and is made up of a series of narrow streets. As with Marvao, the properties are mainly older period properties and are ideal for those who are looking to experience traditional Portuguese life.

As with all cities, Portalegre has a variety of property to offer, from apartments to houses. There are older properties and modern developments and it is possible to buy property at a very reasonable price, especially if you are prepared to do some renovation work. The houses in the centre of the town are generally smaller, set on narrow streets and rarely have garden space.

Other areas that could be considered by expats, either for those who wish to retire or start a small business. Renovation properties in other towns such as Castelo de Vide and Nisa can be bought at a very low price. Houses in the towns will have courtyards rather than gardens, although it is possible to buy land very cheaply that has planning permission for building, or an existing building that can be converted. It is worth noting that many parcels of land have existing orchards or olive groves on them, which can be useful for those who want to start an agricultural-based business.

Buying a property that has already been renovated will cost around four times as much as a property that is in need of work. In the countryside there are many farmhouses which have already been renovated. These usually have a minimum of four bedrooms and are set in large parcels of land and similar properties can be found close to the towns.

For those who are looking for a business opportunity there are several properties in the region which have more than one home on the land, so there are opportunities for renting out the second building either for a holiday let or long term rental.

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