Portugal is a very popular country for retirees. It has a low cost of living and an ideal climate year-round. You probably wonder what the best place to retire in Portugal is. I’ll tell you all about it in this complete guide.
The best place to retire in Portugal is Tavira. A village half an hour drive from the city Faro in Portugal’s most southern region, the Algarve, which has an ideal climate year-round. Tavira is still an undiscovered place, with a low cost of living, around $ 1500 a month, including renting a fully equipped two-bedroom apartment.
For years I’ve been traveling several times a year to Portugal to visit my family, who spent their retirement in Portugal. In this guide, I’ll tell you what to expect when you’re retiring to Tavira, the best place to retire in Portugal. You learn more about the culture, climate, and cost of living. Also, I’ll tell you more about the Algarve region, a famous area for retirees. Ready to learn more? Let’s dig in!
What is Tavira, Portugal Like?
Tavira in the Algarve is the best place to retire in Portugal. Tavira is like walking back in time because of its historical 18th-century architecture. It’s the perfect place to spent your retirement with a combination of modern-day facilities, a warm climate, and cultural history.
The Gilão River flows slowly through the center of Tavira, directly into the Atlantic Ocean. In the middle of the city center, you’ll find the ancient bridge, Ponto Romano, where you can cross the river and walk to another part of the town. This bridge is typical of the cultural heritage Tavira is known for.
When you walk around Tavira’s city center, you’ll notice the historical architecture. Beautiful 18th-century buildings. It’s what makes Tavira a lovely town to walk through. This cultural heritage also dictates Tariva’s vibe. It’s not a vibrant city like Lisbon or Faro. It’s more relaxed, easy-going. The perfect vibe for a retiree to enjoy a slow day with beautiful weather. The cultural markets, which you can visit almost daily, and the local residents give Tavira its extra authentic touch.
When you talk with retirees about moving to Portugal for retirement, most of them mention the Algarve region as the place to be. However, cities like Albufeira, Faro, and even Lagos are among the most popular sites in this region. These cities are still great places to retire to. Still, because of its popularity, the cost of living rises, and some places even lose their authenticity.
Tavira, located in the most southern region of Portugal, is still undiscovered. Tavira is unknown among mass tourism, making it one of the most unique places in the Algarve region.
Cost Of Living In Tavira, Algarve Portugal
On average, you’ll need $ 1500 a month to cover all the living costs when you decide to stay in Tavira, in the Algarve region in Portugal. You can live cheaper, for around $ 1000 or make it more expensive. In the end, the total cost of living depends on your personal wishes.
In general, the Algarve region is the cheapest region to live for retirees in Portugal. However, popular places like Albufeira and Lagos are more expensive to live in because of their popularity.
Next to the climate, the monthly costs are one of the most important reasons you choose to retire to a different place abroad. We already know that the climate in Portugal is perfect for retirees. Especially the southern region, Algarve, where Tavira is located, is known for its warm climate. Hot and dry summers and mild winters with minimum rainfall.
In the next part, I’ll explain more about the different living costs you can expect when living in the Algarve. It’s good to know the in Europe you’ll pay with the Euro. The exchange rate of this currency is on average 0,80 EURO to 1 USD. Of course, the exchange rate varies all the time, so the cost of living I present to you is based on averages. I recommend calculating the total costs for yourself, so you get a more specific overview of what you’ll pay monthly.
Let me tell you more about the general cost of living in Tavira, so you’ll have a better idea of what to expect.
Cost of Renting A House In Tavira
Housing costs vary throughout the season and also depend on amenities, luxury, and location. You can find different housing options on Idealista. It’s the website I used to research the cost of renting a place in Tavira. Renting prices on this website are most of the time including electricity and service costs. But it is always important to ask what’s included in the rental price.
According to Idealista, you’ll find a fully furnished 2-bedroom apartment in the center of Tavira for just € 400 a month, which is around 477 USD. If you’re looking for a fully furnished apartment with air conditioning, prices start at € 650 (775 USD) a month.
When looking for more luxury, if you want to have the availability of a swimming pool, for example, you’ll pay somewhere between € 850 (1014 USD) and € 1400 (1671 USD) a month.
As you can see, renting prices vary depending on your needs. Tavira is still an affordable option in the Algarve region. When you rent a place in Albufeira, of the most famous places in the Algarve region, the prices for an apartment with a swimming pool are on average € 1500 (1790 USD) a month.
You can find the latest offers and availability on the website of Idealista.
Cost of Groceries, Internet, and Entertainment
So we covered the rental costs, but when you make a monthly budget, you need to take other costs into account as well. Grocery shopping doesn’t have to be expensive in Portugal.
Tavira is known for its many local fresh markets, where you can buy farmer’s products for a lower price. There are three large supermarkets located in Tavira; Continente, Pingo Doce, and Lidl.
Continente is Portugal’s largest supermarket, similar to Walmart. It’s more like a department store that offers many different products, from food to non-food. Continente is also the most expensive on this list.
Lidl and Pingo Doce don’t vary much from each other. However, Lidl is a supermarket concern throughout Europe known for its budget prices and quality products. We always go to the Lidl for our grocery shopping, so it’s something I can recommend if you want to save money.
You can easily do your weekly grocery shopping at Lidl for € 50 (60 USD), including beer or wine. We shop at Lidl once a week, buying fresh vegetables and other products for a family of three, and we don’t spend more than € 60 a week. And that’s in The Netherlands, Portugal is even cheaper!
Let’s say you want to go to a restaurant once a week for a nice dinner. On average, you’ll pay € 25 a person, often including a three-course meal and drinks.
When internet access isn’t included in your housing rental, or you want to have 4G data access when you want to buy or rent a data sim card on the road. There are many options available, but the most affordable option I found is via Portugal Internet. Where you can rent a sim card for € 1 day, with unlimited 4G data. This will cost you € 31 a month. You can also add a portable WiFi Hotspot device to your order for an extra euro a day, which allows you to connect to different devices.
These data sim cards don’t allow you to make phone calls or send SMS messages.
The easiest way to get around Tavira and Algarve region is by car. When you stay for a longer period in Portugal, you want to buy a car which is the most affordable option. You can find good used cars for around € 3000 or higher, depending on the age and mileage.
If you want to buy a car as a foreigner in Portugal, there are some rules you need to be aware of;
- You need to have proof that you’re staying in Portugal (for example, your rental agreement)
- You need to have a Portuguese Tax Number (find out how to apply for a Portuguese Tax Number on this website of Get Golden Visa)
- Your passport, driver’s license, or other Identity Document.
Gasoline prices vary but are around € 1,60 (1,90 USD) a liter.
Portugal also has toll roads. Prices vary per road you use. It’s recommended to get an automatic transponder that takes the money from your bank account every time you cross a toll road. You can get one at Via Verde. The toll isn’t expensive in Portugal. For the A22, the highway in Algarve, you pay € 9 (10,75 USD) to complete the entire highway.
Regions To Consider For Retirement In Portugal
When you’re looking for something different than a warm climate year-round, Portugal is still a great country to retire to. Many people decide to Portugal’s southern region, the Algarve, other popular cities like Lisbon and Porto are often overlooked.
Lisbon is a great vibrant city, with a beautiful history and much to discover. The weather in Lisbon is great during spring and summer. Even during the winter months, the weather is mild, but there are more rainy and cold days than in the Algarve region.
The cost of living is much more expensive in the metropolitan region of Lisbon. This is because of its popularity among expats, Portuguese citizens, and other Europeans moving to Lisbon.
A two-bedroom apartment with air conditioning starts at around € 950 ($ 1130) a month, which is currently the lowest price available at the listings on Idealista.
When you’re more of a nature lover, you should consider retiring in the more northern part of Portugal. The area around Porto will be a great fit. The northern part of Portugal is much greener, but this also means there’s more rainfall. The weather is great during the summer months, but between September and March, it can be cold, with a lot of rain. Sometimes it even snows in this region!
Of course, you can always decide to stay in different parts of the country throughout the year. As a retiree, you have all the freedom you want!
The cost of living in the northern part of Portugal is a bit cheaper because the renting prices for completely furnished apartments are lower. You can find a furnished 2-bedroom apartment with air conditioning for around € 550 ($ 655) a month.
Is Portugal A Nice Place To Retire?
In general, Portugal is a nice place to retire. The cost of living is the lowest of all Western European countries. Portugal has a warm and mild climate year-round. Portugal has favorable tax rules for retirees and foreign residents. The Non-Habitual Resident program in Portugal offers reduced taxes and sometimes event tax exemption on different income sources. This can be beneficial for retirees. You can learn more about this program on The Non-Habitual Resident official website.
The country has a lot to offer. You’ll find mountainous and green areas in the North, close to Porto. Vibrant city life in the metropolitan region of Lisbon. A year-round summer climate with perfect beaches, and the best retirement lifestyle settings in the Algarve, the most southern part of Portugal.
There’s also a lot of history to find in Portugal. The country was once one of the largest marine countries in the world. Between the 15th and 17th century Portugal was known for its trade routes and explorations around the globe. For example, Cape Verde Islands were discovered by Portuguese explorers.
Suppose you truly want to have the best time as a retiree when living in Portugal. In that case, I recommend learning the Portuguese language. It’s great to get involved in the local community, have conversations and make new friendships with the Portuguese locals. Portuguese are very friendly and welcoming people. Portuguese isn’t very hard to learn. The language has lots of similarities with Spanish. An easy way to learn Portuguese is by using the smartphone application Busuu. This app, which is awarded as the best language learning application, offers several programs and helps you become fluent in any language you want.
I specifically like the fact that you’ll connect with native speakers when using the Busuu application. Find out more about Busuu here.