If you’re after a holiday home in Portugal, you’ll want to choose somewhere easy to get to that facilitates rapid relaxation on arrival. Here are some options.

 

Lagos, Western Algarve

holiday homes near Lagos, Portugal

Holiday homes near Lagos, Portugal

Why you will love it here:

Lagos gives off a vibrant, cosmopolitan feel that sets it apart from the rest of Portugal’s Algarve. It has a “small city” feel with distinct zones. These include a marina area, a long and breezy surfing zone (Meia Praia), a collection of some of the Algarve’s finest cove beaches, and an atmospheric old town. Lagos is a place where everyone can feel at home, regardless of their tastes. If you like the idea of renting out your holiday home, you won’t struggle to find eager visitors in this city.

Lagos boasts a wide range of shops and restaurants and a diverse selection of bars. There’s also an alluring and authentic daily fish market. Thankfully, these amenities are usually open year-round, as Lagos is a working city as well as a resort. It never begins to feel like a ghost town, unlike some neighbouring places.

Property: Lagos boasts a vast selection of property; Prior to the recession, there was some overdevelopment around Meia Praia beach. These properties are now being snapped up. It’s a great location, and developments typically include pools, gyms and other amenities. There are similar modern developments all around the outskirts of Lagos. Townhouses in the town centre are sought-after and no longer as easy to find. Alternatively, large idyllic detached villas dot the surrounding villages.

Annual hours of sunshine: Over 3000 – but it can get a little windy at times!

Holiday home prices: Two-bedroom apartments on modern developments start at around €130,000. City townhouses from €160,000. Detached villas on the outskirts from €350,000.

Getting here: Faro airport is about a one hour drive. Trains run from Faro too. However, it’s a hot journey in the summer, taking around 90 minutes.

Cabanas-de-Tavira, Eastern Algarve

A holiday home in Portugal, in Cabanas de Tavira?

A holiday home in Cabanas de Tavira

Why you will love it here

Many visitors to Portugal’s Algarve head west when they arrive at Faro airport. Fans of the East Algarve passionately argue that it’s better to go in the other direction! Many of them head for Cabanas, a small resort village conveniently located just a few kilometres east of the charming and authentic city of Tavira. Cabanas combines rustic and modern; The contemporary waterfront boardwalk is backed by charming fishermen’s cottages and cobbled streets.

Cabanas is small in size but not in stature. It’s a popular second-home destination for Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch families as well as Brits. The summer months deliver a non-stop flow of festivals, concerts, and parties on the stunning island beach. Off-season, Cabanas is quiet but never closed! Holiday home owners frequently enjoy warm off-season sun and fabulous food and drink with no crowds or queues.

Property: Many of those who claim to live in Cabanas actually live in Conceicão de Tavira, a kilometre or so uphill. The two villages blend into one. There are plenty of modern apartments and villas on well-appointed condominiums on the outskirts of both. Rustic village houses are sought-after and in short supply in the village itself. Alternatively, there are plenty of villas in nearby hamlets slightly inland.

Annual hours of sunshine: 3,036. This works out to over eight hours per day across the year!

Holiday home prices: Two-bedroom apartments within ten minutes of the waterfront go from €130,000. Detached villas on the outskirts are from €200,000.

Getting here: Faro airport is an easy 30-minute drive, and trains also run direct from Faro to Conceicão.

Lisbon

Why you will love it here:

A vibrant “city by the sea,” Lisbon is a place that captures hearts. It’s rapidly turning into one of Europe’s most popular city break destinations. A holiday home here is both a great bolthole and an attractive investment opportunity for short-term rentals.

Situated over seven hills, Lisbon offers considerable variety in its districts, from the sepia-tinted Alfama to the wide avenues of the Baixa and the glitzy designer stores in Chiado. Thanks to reliable and inexpensive public transport, everywhere within the city limits is easily accessible. The airport also has a stop on the metro, making quick jaunts to Lisbon from the UK realistic and painless.

Property: There’s remains plenty of choice of old and new in Lisbon; In the city centre, you’ll find converted apartments in older buildings and the occasional renovation project. Brand new developments are popular in slightly more suburban outlying areas. Modern condominium developments often include pools.

Annual hours of sunshine: 2799 – the sun shines much of the time in Lisbon!

Holiday home prices: One-bedroom apartments start from around €190,000 in the city centre. It’s possible to spend a little less if you head out of town, and you’ll still have decent public transport. Modern two-beds in the outskirts cost from €275,000. As with any major city, the sky’s the limit for luxury properties in upscale areas.

Getting here: Flights to Lisbon from the UK take around 2.5hours. On arrival, the metro delivers you into the city centre within 20 minutes.

Caldas de Rainha, Silver Coast

Why you will love it here:

Portugal’s “Silver Coast” is a popular choice for those who want a more authentic alternative to the Algarve. There’s an expat community here, but it’s all rather more “low key!” Caldas de Rainha is particularly appealing as a holiday home destination. It’s only a one-hour drive from Lisbon airport. This makes quick or impulsive weekend tips perfectly feasible.

Caldas (as the locals call it) doesn’t feel like a resort, despite offering green spaces, hot springs, and beaches just 10km down the road. Great food is inexpensive and there’s a well-stocked farmers market. This is true bolthole territory for those seeking a calm holiday home location. For a change of pace, Portugal’s frenetic capital is easy to reach too.

Property: Caldas de Rainha is a place where your holiday home will probably be a villa. There are some wonderful detached homes at prices considerably lower than you’ll find in the Algarve or Lisbon.

Annual hours of sunshine: 2799 – it’s not quite as sunny as the Algarve, but not far off.

Holiday home prices: Detached modern villas with modern facilities and three or four bedrooms start at around €250,000. Those wanting to spend less will find apartments and more traditional villas from just €100,000.

Getting here: Lisbon is the nearest airport to Caldas de Rainha. From there it’s a drive of around 60 minutes.

Moncarapacho, Inland Algarve

Why you will love it here:

If you like the thought of the Algarve’s dependable sunshine but prefer privacy and seclusion to sun and sea, all you need to do is head a few kilometers inland. Moncarapacho is a popular choice. It’s a perfect location for a holiday home, thanks to an easy 25-minute drive to Faro airport.

The town has a traditional feel, but there are modern or updated properties for those who prefer that to “rustic.” You get a lot of space for your money here, in a laid-back place that feels worlds away from the pressures of modern life. Moncarapacho’s regular Sunday market is one of the region’s most popular. It sells everything from livestock to bootleg handbags! This is a place where the restauranteurs will learn your name and you’ll quickly feel like part of the community.

Property: There’s a lot of older property here, but new developments are scattered around too. Sprawling villas with plenty of land are there for the taking if that’s what you’re after.

Annual hours of sunshine: Over 3000 – it’s as warm and sunny here as anywhere in Portugal.

Holiday home prices: Two bedroom apartments and smaller townhouses in great condition start at just €120,000. New-build modern apartments are around €180,000. Detached villas with land from €375,000.

Getting here: Moncarapacho is an easy 25-minute drive from Faro airport.

Funchal, Madeira

Cabo Girao, Madeira

Funchal, Madeira

Why you will love it here:

Madeira’s thoroughly shaken off its once-fusty image and emerged as a desirable island destination. With a climate described as “eternal spring,” owning a holiday home here is your best chance of having access to year-round sunshine.

Funchal is the island’s capital, and within easy reach of the island’s airport. The city is compact and walkable, and dotted with green spaces. Thanks to the very steep hills, this is a place where a simple walk to the shops feels like healthy living. If you add in a trip to Funchal’s incredible fresh food market, you will truly feel that you’re living “the good life!”

It’s worth noting that an influx of cruise ship passengers sometimes makes the city feel busy, but they tend to leave by mid-afternoon, returning Funchal to its usual state of sophisticated serenity.

Property: Like many places in mainland Portugal, Madeira gives you a choice of traditional homes, often already modernised inside, and contemporary new-builds. Alternatively, you can head a few kilometres out of town for detached villas.

Annual hours of sunshine: 2438 – with a consistently mild climate all year round.

Holiday home prices: Two bedroom apartments cost from around €170,000. Great villas from €350,000. There are also plenty of low-cost renovation and recovery projects for the taking.

Getting here: With a flight of around 3.5 hours, Funchal is further from the UK than mainland Europe. However, on arrival, a transfer to the city centre takes just 20 minutes.

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