Living in the Algarve: A Complete Guide to Costs and Lifestyle

Coast & Country Homes, Lda

The Algarve is a famous region in the south of Portugal, known for its beautiful beaches, pleasant climate, quality of life and history. Many foreigners, including expats and retirees from the UK, US and other countries, choose the Algarve as their second home. If you’re planning to move to the Algarve, this complete cost and lifestyle guide is for you.

Where is the Algarve?

The Algarve is the historic province in the south of Portugal. The region is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and by the Guadiana River to the east. The Algarve is located approximately 280 km south of Lisbon, and the journey between the two regions takes around three to four hours, depending on the mode of transport.

Cost of living in the Algarve

Although it is known as a tourist destination, the Algarve is also a great place to live. One of the main reasons is the affordable cost of living. The cost of living in the Algarve is 30% lower than in any other Western European country. With just €1,250 a month, a couple can live modestly in the region. If you prefer a more luxurious lifestyle, €1,800 will suffice.

Health Care

The National Health Service (SNS), or Portugal’s national health system, follows the international standard of care. Residents of the Algarve have access to quality health services at low prices. Furthermore, in recent years, the region has seen remarkable growth in medical tourism. It’s a great place for retirees looking for surgeries like hip replacements, cosmetic and dental services.

Properties and Real Estate Brokers

If you prefer to buy a property, you will have many options in the Algarve. From luxurious villas to affordable town homes, the real estate options here are endless. We recommend that you speak with a real estate agent to filter properties based on your needs and budget. Click here to speak with us!

Where to live in the Algarve

The Algarve has many attractive areas to live. If you’re looking for city life, Portimão and Faro are the two biggest cities in the Algarve. Loulé is the largest municipality with a population of 62,300, followed by Faro (41,355), which is home to an international airport, Portimão (44,818), where you’ll find Praia de Rocha, a stunning beach backed by ocher-colored cliffs, and Albufeira ( 37,244), a former fishing village with a busy marina and active nightlife.

For those who prefer to live away from the city, the interior of the Algarve has stunning landscapes and historic villages. Some of the best places to live outside the city are Silves, Monchique and São Brás de Alportel.

Food and Drink

Food and drink in the Algarve is excellent and affordable. It is possible for a couple to live in the Algarve with €200 per month on food and drinks. Fish is a specialty in the region, and you can find fresh seafood in almost every market and restaurant. The wine is also affordable and of high quality.


Public transport in the Algarve is limited, but there are many accessible private transport options. Uber and taxis are widely available in busier areas, and car rental companies are a popular option for those looking to get around the area.


The climate in the Algarve is one of the best in Europe. The region enjoys over 300 days of sunshine a year, and temperatures rarely drop below 10°C in winter. Summers are hot and dry, with temperatures that can reach 35ºC or more.


The Algarve offers many activities for all ages. With 100 miles of Atlantic coastline, the Algarve is a beach lover’s paradise. In addition, the region offers many golf courses, tennis courts, boating, horseback riding, hiking and biking trails, as well as many other outdoor activities.


The Algarve has many excellent malls for shopping. MAR shopping is one of the largest commercial complexes, with around 86 stores, an IKEA, 25 restaurants and a leisure area spread over 8,000 square meters. There are also local markets where you can find fresh food and produce.


The Algarve is a great place to live and visit. With affordable living costs, great weather, affordable real estate, stunning scenery, excellent food and drink and loads of activities, it’s easy to see why so many expats and retirees choose this region as their second home. If you are looking for a place to live, the Algarve is a great option.

Contact us and let’s talk about it.


Our website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using the website, you confirm that you accept the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.   Learn More