There are plenty of ways to enjoy leisure time in Portugal, from watching or playing golf and football, to enjoying watersports, such as windsurfing, sailing and even surfing, on the Atlantic Coast.

The nation’s obsession with football

Much like the UK and Spain, football is practically a national obsession in Portugal. The Portuguese not only avidly play and watch football, but as well as supporting both their home and national teams, it is common to enjoy watching Spanish and English football, too. In the Algarve, most football is played on hard pitches, and there is an abundance of local teams to play for and get involved with. It’s a great way to meet new people and bond over the beautiful game. In popular expat areas, there are even dedicated expat teams to play for, so if you love football and enjoy playing, this is definitely worth looking in to if you are moving to Portugal for good.

The atmosphere at football matches in Portugal is friendly, and they cost less than the high prices in the UK

The atmosphere at football matches in Portugal is friendly, and they cost less than the high prices in the UK, for example. In the Algarve, there is only one local team to watch and support – Olhanense – who are in the first division.

Golf is the other national pastime

Golf is incredibly popular in Portugal, with high quality courses in most resorts. Portugal is known for having some of the best golfing facilities in the world. It is often the reason that overseas property buyers look to buy a home here, either as a holiday home as a base from which to play golf regularly, or to enjoy retirement living in Portugal permanently, with easy access to good golf courses and facilities in popular resorts and housing areas. It’s not cheap, however, but there are off-season offers to take advantage of, popular with expats.

Coastal leisure pursuits

With coastal areas of Portugal the most popular with homeowners and holidaymakers alike, any sports and pastimes that involve the sea are available and are another part of leading an active life in Portugal. As you would expect, fishing and sailing are popular. Other watersports, such as windsurfing, water skiing, surfing and jet skiing, are also readily available on the coast.

Fitness and quality of life

Portugal is known for the quality of life the country offers, and it’s easy to stay fit here, with hiking and cycling trails galore, a wide variety of sports, and good quality, local facilities for gyms, swimming pools and fitness classes, such as yoga or dancing, all of which benefit from cheap entrance fees.

An impressive literary heritage

Part of its rich historical and cultural heritage, Portugal has a world-renowned literary legacy, for example, national authors of which the country is very proud, such José Saramago and Fernando Pessoa. High profile authors enjoy the same status as sports personalities and musicians in Portugal.

Download your free Portugal Buying Guide

The Portugal Buying Guide is designed to support you through each stage of buying property in Portugal, providing relevant, up-to-date information and tips from Portugal property experts and expats who have been through the process themselves. The guide helps you to:


  Ask the right questions
  Avoid losing money
  Avoid the legal pitfalls
  Move in successfully

Download your free guide to buying abroad

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