Now eight months since our arrival in Portugal.
Were feeling very blessed to have found the home that we are now renting, so much so that we are extending for another year here. Our original plan was to initially find a place to land here while we explore our options to rent or buy in other areas of Portugal. A few things have changed since that plan was made.
We absolutely love where we are. As we look around and explore other options it becomes clear to us that our home, our village/neighbors, and our location has and will continue to provide the comfort and convenience we are seeking. Were in a small rural village that is made up of mostly Portuguese residents with a sprinkling of folks living here full or part time from other areas of Europe. It really feels like we're living in Portugal with that mix of residents but were also minutes away from the highly touristic areas should we need a bigger dose of visitors. We joke that living in our Village vs. most other areas close to the beach, we stand a better chance of adopting a Portuguese accent than if we lived in the more touristy areas our accent would most likely be british :-).
The availability of quality full time rentals has declined dramatically due to the influx of people wanting to live here and the lack of available units. This is also impacting available units to purchase, home prices have skyrocketed in prime areas and new development has not kept up with the demand. The good news is there are plenty of new units in the works along with refurbishment of existing homes/apartments both for sale and for rent. Officials are projecting a decline in Real Estate prices later this year due to shifting demand and improved supply. One other impact is the number of units that have been purchased and turned into short term rentals, especially in the high demand areas of the Algarve, Lisbon, and Porto. Officials have recently stopped issuing any new short term licenses in Lisbon and Porto and are changing the rules on Golden Visas to restrict all three of these areas from qualifying purchases.
Meanwhile here we are enjoying our little slice of the Algarve. Plans change and were perfectly happy to adapt.
The first half of January brought more, much needed rain to Portugal, It's good to see reservoirs across the country finally being replenished from the drought like conditions of the past few years. The last half of the month brought us cold overnight temperatures at times dropping down to freezing, but daytime brough beautiful clear sunny skies in the mid 60´s to at times low 70´s. Portugal's only ski resort opened in the far northern mountains.
We'll see what the rest of winter has in store for us.
Portugal's economy continues to expand with inflation declining slowly and economic growth continuing to outpace most of the rest of Europe. It's remarkable to be here and watch this country rebound from near bankruptcy only a few years ago to its ever improving condition today. There is a long way to go for sure but progress is being made.
On the farm... Not much happening right now, Teresa´s fava beans have flowers on them, and onions are coming along. They have recently planted radish, carrots, and potatoes and are pruning back some of the fruit bearing trees. The winter crop of oranges and mandarins continue to provide us with abundant fruit for juice and snacks.
A slow month in general but we were able to get out and enjoy a few things in the local area. Our appointment to finalize Mary's residency is coming up in March so were diligently planning travel outside Portugal for the upcoming months.
Hike on the Cliffs above Praia do Vau near us
Hike above Carvoeiro about 30 minutes east of us
On our never ending quest to find authentic Thai food, The Thai Bistro in Almancil has our vote for the best in the Algarve...so far. Deep fried John Dory with Panang Curry, Seabass with spicy red curry.
Lady in Red Art Gallery - Unique setting that shares space with a local wine cooperative. Vast open space that attracts your attention to the physical structure while allowing you to also focus on the art and exhibits.
Local spot in Portimao, Taberna da Mare. Very traditional dish of fried small salmonete (Red Mullet) with "Bread Salad" (more like thanksgiving stuffing)
Pizzeria DÁlvino in Alvor. Margherita pizza with mushrooms and the ever popular and tasty Bolognese Pizza!
Our second favorite Thai restaurant so far - Thai Beach Club located on Praia da Falesia beach in Vilamoura. The food is good, a bit pricey for Portuguese standards but the view is spectacular. Mixed starter, Pad Thai, Tiger Prawn Salad
Visit to Faro with our American friends Scott and Sarah
We hope everyone is doing well, healthy, happy, and thriving. We miss you and love you all...A lot!