Expat in Portugal warns about the two worst places to move to in the country as there's 'nothing there'

Expat in Portugal warns about the two worst places to move to in the country as there's 'nothing there'
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Solen Le Net

By Solen Le Net

Published: 18/04/2024

- 22:15

Updated: 18/04/2024

- 22:26

The small country is hugely popular with expats but two places are unlikely to cater to their needs

With an attractive cost of living and pleasing climate, it is no surprise Portugal beckons thousands of retirees every year.

Terry Coles moved to Portugal from the US, setting up camp in Tavira. As a contributor to the YouTube channel International Living, she shared her thoughts on the best places to live in the country and why expats should avoid Alentejo and Monsato.

The country is particularly popular with senior expats due to its attractive golden visa, which is why Portugal was voted as one of the world’s best places to retire in 2023.

“Portugal is one of the most popular destinations among retirees and for a good reason; the visa process is easy, we boast over 300 days of sunshine a year depending on where you settle in the country,” the content creator said.

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The expat recommends moving to Lisbon


“There’s a large expat network, excellent healthcare, in both the public and the private system, beautiful scenery, medieval villages and gorgeous coastline and English is widely spoken depending on where you live."


The first and most alluring city for prospective expats is Lisbon. Naturally, the city is rated by most visitors because it caters to a wide range of needs.

“Lisbon combines old-world charm with all the modern conveniences needed to feel at home, with some of the best weather in Europe,” said Terry.


The second city is Porto, one of the second most popular cities in the country, loved by many for its unparalleled charm.

Terry said: “It’s rich in culture and history and this is another part of Portugal where English is commonly spoken.”

Silver Coast:

This beautiful coastal region of Portugal stretches across the Western coastline of Portugal and is situated between Porto and Lisbon.


“A few hours south of Libson is the Algarve region, with some of the warmest weather in the country,” said Terry.

The town of Lagos has retained much of its charm with a beautifully tiled old town and a wild coastline, plus, English is spoken by "almost everyone”.


One of Tavira's strongest selling points is that visitors can hop over the Spanish border, which is located about 20 minutes away from the town.



Portugal is very popular with international retirees


“Life in Tavira is as slow as the as the Gilao River that runs through it,” said Terry. “Stroll along the old Roman bridge to admire the village."

The places to avoid in Portugal:


One place that is unlikely to tick any boxes for expats is Portugal’s Monsato, known as one of the most picturesque towns in the country.

“There’s nothing there as far as hospitals, grocery stores or expats so it’s a place you want to go visit and not live," noted Terry.


The second place unlikely to be suitable for expats is the Alentejo, a region in Portugal renowned for its beaches.

“Alentejo is very rural, there’s really not much there," said Terry. "The city of Evora receives a lot of tourists but other than that, Alentejo in itself is farmland.”

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