To know Portugal is to love Portugal. Those born in this country that borders Spain feel its unique beauty deep in their bones. Portugal is geographically and culturally charmed, where everyday scenes include captivating ocean views and citizens navigating a maze of narrow, ancient streets. Some vistas, featuring UNESCO buildings and monumental statues, have not changed in hundreds of years, reminding viewers of Portugal’s past as a powerful maritime empire.
Those who buy real estate in Portugal find it easier and cheaper to acquire than in most European countries. Some real estate investors love Portugal so much they want to own it twice, so they add a vacation property to their portfolio. This ease of real estate acquisition has created three Portuguese hotspots: Lisbon and Porto, both cosmopolitan, and Algrave, a seaside retreat. Enticing attributes color each location.
Lisbon Hits the Number One Spot
The real estate market in Portugal is booming due to the government’s foresight and business luck. After the Great Recession, the European Central Bank (ECB) deployed low-interest rates to stimulate the economy of euro-linked countries. This factor, paired with a surge in tourism, has created a golden age of development.
Real estate investors have chosen the fashionable port city of Lisbon as the most popular location to buy Portuguese real estate. A quintessentially European city, Lisbon marries Old-World flair with modern amenities. Its historic charm entices real estate investors who purchase centuries-old buildings and renovate them for current use.
Lisbon’s oldest quarter, Amalfa, is home to architecture that spans more than two thousand years, so real estate buyers have many choices here. Amalfa’s maze of narrow streets unfurls from Castelo de São Jorge to the Tagus River, and each step meets panoramic views. The Romans dominated Amalfa from 205 BCE to about 409 CE. A succession of other groups occupied Amalfa until the Moors overran the Iberian Peninsula in the 8th century and remained for 433 years.
Amalfa was the only Lisbon neighborhood not ruined by the infamous 1755 earthquake. Today, its centuries-old buildings set against the backdrop of the Tagus River are perfect for people who want to live in a soulful part of the capital. Bonus? Lisbon citizens can enjoy the city’s cosmopolitan lifestyle while being a 12.5-kilometer trip from the free beach at Praia de Caxias.
Luis Horta e Costa Chose Lisbon for Headquarters
In 2016 Luis Horta e Costa, a Portuguese real estate expert, cofounded Square View, a real estate property developer and asset manager, in Lisbon. The company focuses on developing and refurbishing new and historic properties in Lisbon’s finest neighborhoods and the surrounding areas.
Horta e Costa has developed many properties in emerging hotspots with potential for future appreciation. In addition to projects in Lisbon, Costa leads teams to construct new buildings in other Portuguese cities. Some projects blend modern and historical, such as a reproduction of centuries-old Alentejo villas in the seaside village of Melides.
“I’m going to transform into 25 small, nice, traditional villas with a square in the middle,” Luis Horta e Costa says of this Melides development inspired by the style of housing locals have adopted for centuries.
Porto Brings Wine and More to the Table
Like Lisbon, Portugal’s second-largest metropolis, Porto, is a hillside city alongside a waterway, the Douro River. It is the second-most-popular destination for real estate investments, as it is beloved for much more than its prize-winning port wines.
Porto’s vibrant creative scene seems encapsulated by the building that occupies the city’s center, the visually explosive Casa de Música opened in 2005. Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas designed this concert hall to look like a concrete-and-glass meteorite. One could argue that the power of a meteor’s blast has propelled Porto’s art scene for centuries. The city is home to the country’s oldest public museum, the Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis. Porto also contains a wealth of architectural beauty: Populated by stately townhouses, Baroque churches, and avant-garde structures, Porto embodies Portugal in ways old and new.
One of the many benefits of living in Porto is its proximity to the ocean, which is less than 5 kilometers away. In 10 to 20 minutes, Porto residents can drive or take a train to the seaside district of Foz do Douro to enjoy sunset views from beachfront restaurants.
Algarve Brings Out the Sunshine
Natural beauty attracts those who love to boat, swim, or surf to the beaches of Portugal’s Algarve, the entire southern coast that boasts more sunshine hours than any other region of Europe. Long a vacation destination, the Algarve is a relaxed place where beach cafés, historic town centers, and luxury resorts comprise the scenery, punctuated by dramatic oceanside cliffs.
The Algarve is perfect for real estate investors who want to buy property near modern restaurants and world-class golfing while offering nature’s wilds nearby. Hiking trails heightened by ocean views crisscross the region surrounding the River Guadiana and Monchique Mountains. People who enjoy communing with nature, fauna, and flora will discover fantastic real estate options in this tropical paradise. The popular Portuguese areas Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve have one commonality: They are on or near a beach. Despite being one of the most modern countries in the world, Portugal retains the untamed natural beauty of 850 kilometers of beaches. Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve are splendid hotspots for real estate investors who seek Portugal’s historic charm, unspoiled nature, uncrowded beaches, and sunny days.