Retire To Portugal: Best Towns In The Algarve

Pink Cherry Blossom Tree in Front of White Building with Balconies

The Algarve has been a hidden gem for retirees looking for a cheap place to retire in Europe with an easy retirement visa and easy access to the many wonderful beaches. In this article we will talk about some of the places you can retire in the Algarve in southern Portugal.

Here are some of the best towns in the Algarve:

  • Tavira
  • Albufeira
  • Portimao
  • Lagos
  • Carvoeiro
  • Faro

Let’s take a closer look into these towns to see what is the best place for you to live

Is the Algarve a good place to retire?

Population: 440K
Climate: 20°C to 35°C / 68°F to 95°F
Capital city: Faro
Currency: Euro
Language: Portuguese (Native), English, Spanish, German and French (Widely Spoken)

The Algarve is one of those spots on the planet that everybody should see at least once with its many beautiful beaches and natural beauty. And if you’re considering relocating to Portugal as a retiree then the Algarve is unquestionably the best option for those that love the beach and warm weather.

The Algarve has earned numerous honors for its beautiful beachfront along the North Atlantic coast. These beaches are perfect for water sports of all kinds from jet skiing to canoeing and paddle boarding. The Algarve is a popular vacation spot for the Portuguese people and foreigners alike..

What are the best towns to live in Algarve?

There are many towns along the Algarve and picking the one that has the right mix can be a little tough.  That is why below we have given you a little more information about each one so you can make up your mind.

Is Tavira a good place to retire?

Temperature: 9°C to 26°C / 48°F to 79°F
Population: 26k

Tavira used to be a quiet little fishing village but now is more a place for people wanting a slower pace of life. Many locals still go fishing from here still but not as it was commercially done many years ago. Tavira will enchant you from the first moment you walk its narrow alleys from its leisurely stream and pretty little cottages.

The town is famous as the “Venice of the Algarve,” as it straddles both sides of the Gila River. With its boardwalks, accessible bars and eateries offering the day’s catch from the still operating small fishing boats. Tavira has classic architecture and is linked by an ancient imperial bridge.

The city is located along with the Ria Formosa Scenic Area which is a phenomenal neighborhood composed of lakes, shores, canals and islands. Because of the park’s special protection, Tavira’s beaches have remained untouched by construction. They are among the most naturally attractive in the area.

Three magnificent golden-sand beaches and pure crystal clear seas can be found on Tavira Island just offshore. It is also much less costly than some of the Algarve’s more well-known cities such as Lagos and Carvoeiro.

Tavira is a destination for people who love simple things such as a relaxing stroll in beautiful scenery, learning about the native culture’s quirks, and browsing local stores and markets.

What To Do in Tavira:

Popular Restaurants in Tavira:

LINK: Some of these websites are in  Portuguese. So use the auto translation feature in Chrome or other internet browsers to swap them to English

Is Albufeira a good place to retire?

Temperature: 16°C to 27°C / 61°F to 81°F
Population: 41k

Albufeira, which is known as a vacation hotspot midway along the coastline and a the location of many festivals, is among the Algarve’s friendliest cities. There is something for everyone from small restaurants to fancy restaurants and laidback cafés. 

Due to the city’s substantial expat population there are also English language bookshops and various exciting sights such as the Zoomarine Algarve. With a large variety of places to live you are sure to find something that fits your style.

Albufeira is the Algarve’s biggest beach resort and it offers a diverse selection of attractions as well as renowned entertainment. Albufeira is suitable for the retirement of those that like to keep bust and like to have new things to see and do all the time.

It is located on a gorgeous sandy beach with spectacular coastlines. Albufeira’s prominent shoreline is a 1.3 kilometre stretch of beach that runs along the Old Town‘s front. This coastline is protected from powerful tides and sea gusts and its large size ensures that there is enough space even during the peak summer season.

The Praia dos Pescadores (fisherman’s beach) was named after the fishing vessels that used to berth on the west end of the peninsula. The Praia dos Alemes on the beach’s eastern side is a beautiful sandy beach that is considerably quieter.

What To Do in Albufeira:

Popular Restaurants in Albufeira:

Is Portimao a good place to retire?

Temperature: 14°C to 24°C / 57°F to 75°F
Population: 56k

Portimao is the biggest town in western Algarve and used to be a major naval, herring fishing and marine industry center. Nowadays leisure, recreation and shopping have overtaken that sector leaving Portimao to be a prominent and affluent city. 

Most people come to Portimao for the enormous shopping, the large amount to do around it and the beaches of course. The town’s historical and once-bustling fishing piers have been artfully turned into a picturesque walkway that leads to the old town’s charming and tree-lined shopping areas. 

Deeper inland there are great little markets, ancient monuments and a diverse assortment of eateries, pubs and cafes serving freshly prepared fish and other seafood. With numerous tennis courts, pools and a gymnasium Portimao is an excellent spot to stay in shape. 

The Portimao indoor public pool is open from 8am to 9pm so you will have plenty of time to go down for a swim and get some laps in. There are also many excellent gardens and pedestrian pathways making this town a perfect location for exercising if you want to go somewhere peaceful to walk or run. Portimao is a fantastic location for anyone looking for an escape from urban living with plenty of stores, pubs, eateries and cafes right on your doorway. 

What To Do in Portimao:

Popular Restaurants in Portimao:

Is Lagos a good place to retire?

Temperature: 13°C to 26°C / 55°F to 79°F
Population: 31k

Lagos is a village in the Algarve area of southern Portugal. It is notable for its enclosed medieval town, cliffs, and shorelines on the Atlantic Ocean. Lagos is an easy town to walk around due to being relatively flat right down to the water. You can also travel around using uber or cabs if you are all walked out. The railway allows you to go to other parts of the Algarve and to Lisbon and the rest of Europe even.

Because hospitality is a significant industry in Lagos, you’ll have no difficulty locating a variety of Western-style dishes as well as Asian, Japanese, Vietnamese and many others. But sampling the various distinctive local dishes which are ideally washed down with the town’s local wines or beers, is part of the fun of experiencing Portugal.

What To Do in Lagos:

Popular Restaurants in Lagos:

Is Carvoeiro a good place to retire?

Temperature: 9°C to 27°C / 48°F to 81°F
Population: 2,700

Carvoeiro is a charming and rustic Portuguese vacation town located on a gorgeous stretch of shoreline with beautiful sandy beaches and a stunning outdoor landscape. Carvoeiro is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a peaceful and relaxing vacation in a picturesque smaller village.

Carvoeiro’s tranquil and pleasant atmosphere makes it a great destination for retirees especially outside of the busy season. Although the bulk of visitors come to Carvoeiro for a relaxing beach vacation there is a remarkable lot to do and see in the outlying areas out of season as well as just relaxing.

Historic cities to explore, great hiking paths, boat cruises and the excitement of the Algarve’s amusement and water parks for grandchildren are just a few examples. Carvoeiro has a lot to offer and it’s the ideal balance of Portuguese culture and modern amenities.

What To Do in Carvoeiro:

Popular Restaurants in Carvoeiro:

Is Faro a good place to retire?

Temperature: 11°C to 28°C / 52°F to 82°F
Population: 70k

Faro which is the capital of the beautiful Algarve area and Portugal’s southernmost town is another of those underappreciated beauties that tourists hurry by on their way to the towns directly on the beach. However, for those who stay and enjoy its various attractions Faro provides a more relaxed lifestyle and a less crowded destination that is more laid-back than some other Algarve destinations. 

Even in the height of summertime you’re far more likely to come across the locals rather than sun-kissed tourists as you stroll around town. This central town is services all the bigger needs of the whole Algarve and so you will find everything you need here.

Faro’s international airport and central Algarve setting make it a great base for exploring the golden-sand beachfront, towering cliffs and secret coves that characterize this area of Portugal. Even in the colder months when weather conditions hover around 52 degrees Fahrenheit you will have one of the lowest living costs in Europe whilst enjoying pleasant warmer weather.

The town is rich in culture and history as seen by the historic walls and cobble stone pathways. It is also a hotspot for shoppers with every shop you could want there as the state’s capital. Faro is also popular with seniors since it has a mix of bustling and tranquil places like serene courtyards where you can have your morning coffee while taking in the sun. 

The gorgeous Ria Formosa Park in Faro is very popular with many people flocking here for trekking in nature and a nice day outdoors.

What To Do in Faro:

Popular Restaurants in Faro:

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