There are approximately 30,000 Britons living in Portugal, and this friendly bunch loves nothing more than sharing tips about life here. This means there’s a wealth of information out there to refer to when planning your own move.
Here’s a quick rundown of the best books, blogs and forums to help you make a smooth transition.
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The British Expats Forum
There are lots of online forums about life in Portugal, but British Expats is perhaps the most popular. It’s a great place to ask questions on the specific Portugal discussion board about life in the country. As I glance at it today, recent topics include everything from finding a builder to importing a 1976 Land Rover. You can guarantee most of the information you receive will be useful and relevant, because it will be from people who have been there before. Registration is fast, simple and free.
British Expats is perhaps the most popular forum
Julie Dawn Fox
Julie, a long-term resident of central Portugal, runs a popular blog with a mixture of travel information and practical content for people who want to discover the real Portugal. It’s a good source of inspiration if you want to learn more about the country, because unlike many similar blogs it’s not just about the Algarve.
Moving to Portugal
Including this is something of a shameless plug, as my wife and I wrote the book. Moving to Portugal tells the story of our own move to the eastern Algarve and discusses the rough as well as the smooth. It also provides a lot of practical information for anyone looking to follow in our footsteps.
Emma’s House in Portugal
Although Emma’s blog isn’t regularly updated anymore because she currently spends her time between Portugal and Australia, it’s still a wonderful read with some timeless advice. It will be of particular interest to anyone consider getting stuck into a renovation project over here. Emma started her blog when she purchased a “fixer upper” property in Portugal. It’s not only full of practical advice but also beautifully written with plenty of humour.
Buying Property in Portugal
Now in its third edition, Gabrielle Collison’s book Buying Property in Portugal is something of a bible for anyone contemplating a new life in the Portuguese sun. It’s a weighty tome, with lots of practical information, supported by case studies and warnings of common pitfalls.
Gabrielle Collison’s book Buying Property in Portugal is something of a bible for anyone contemplating a new life in the Portuguese sun.
The Algarve blog is written by an artist called Aly Sheldrake who lives in Ferragudo in the western Algarve. As well as giving an insight into local events and culture, it includes detailed posts about practical subjects, such as a recent post about how Aly and her husband acquired their 10-year residency paperwork.
Anything and Everything Algarve
With over ten thousand members, the Anything and Everything Algarve Facebook group is an active forum and a great place to ask questions and meet people. It’s an Algarve-centric group, but you’ll find groups for other areas with a quick search. Debate can get pretty lively at times, but it’s a good way to dip your toes into the local expat community before you arrive.
Be cautious of advice provided about legal and financial matters on any online forum or blog. There’s always a risk of misinformation, so get clarification on such matters from the experts.