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Portugal - Porto

The Porto district of Portugal is named after the city of the same name and is situated in the north west of the country on the coast. The district is comprised of 18 municipalities and its immediate neighbours are the Aveiro and Viseau districts in the south, Vila Real to the east and Braga in the north. There is a total population of over 1.75 million people. The city of Porto has over 200,000 inhabitants and also lends its name to the fortified wine for which the country is famous.

The climate of the area is affected by the Atlantic and the winter months can see a great deal of rain and low temperatures of around 8°C. The summer months are much drier, with temperatures averaging at around 28°C. Unlike other areas, the summer season can actually be quite short and may only last for around three months instead of the six enjoyed by other districts.

The city and district of Porto are very popular with tourists, making this a busy area. Those who want to retire for a quiet life will find that they are best served in one of the small towns outside the main city. The area has much to offer in the way of leisure facilities, with several golf courses and plenty of shopping areas. The cost of living is a little higher in this area, due to the demand.

There are many opportunities for someone to have their own business in Porto or the surrounding areas. Tourist businesses do very well, such as hotels, bars and restaurants. The size of the city means that there are more organisations which are able to offer advice for those who want to start a business and there are Chamber of Commerce-style organisations that can be contacted.

As one of the largest urban areas in Portugal, Porto has a variety of properties to offer both those who are thinking of retiring or those who are starting a business. There are several towns which offer different lifestyles for those who prefer not to live in a city, such as Espinho which is a beach resort, a fishing village such as Povoa de Varzim or even a small town that is home to a number of mansions such as Amarante. The inland areas of Porto have numerous golf courses which is ideal for those who want to retire to a life of leisure.

Properties in the city of Porto range from apartments to detached family homes. Homes in the city centre are mainly apartments and townhouses, though very few have outdoor space. This area is popular with those who like to have a busy social life as there are many bars, clubs and restaurants. Further away from the centre the houses are larger and have more outdoor space. Homes in the historic quarter of the city – Ribeira – are set in narrow streets and are colourful. Prices in the city of Porto are considerably higher than in some neighbouring districts, mainly due to the amount of commercialisation and demand for properties.

The city has many new developments and many of these are being snapped up by locals. The older properties with character are being bought up by expats. The city is also a good place to buy property to rent out to others, so offering a good business opportunity for newcomers to the area.

The town of Vila do Conde is becoming a very popular beach resort. There have been several new developments along the coast and these apartments have been marketed strongly towards expats and those who wish to own a second home in the area. A growing number of retired expats have chosen to make their home in the area. Parts of the town are also residential with commercial and industrial areas developing. This may also be a good town for those who are looking to start their own business in the area. Further away from the beach in the residential areas there are larger houses available, often with good sized gardens. Property prices are lower than they are in the city of Porto, although due to growing demand, these are expected to increase.

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