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Blacktower’s Guide to the Lisbon and the Algarve

It is no secret that Portugal is quickly becoming one of the most popular destinations for US citizens, whether they are relocating or vacationing. To those who are lucky enough to live there already, it is no surprise that so many are making the move overseas; the combination of beautiful scenery, fantastic culture and a ‘Goldilocks climate’ (neither too hot nor too cold) makes it an undeniably attractive location. To understand more about what two of Portugal’s most popular areas, Lisbon and the Algarve, have to offer, we have spoken to our regional managers who live and work in these regions.

Lisbon – Antonio de Andrade Rosa

Associate Director, Antonio de Andrade Rosa, is the manager of the Blacktower office in Lisbon. He has had an extensive career in the financial services industry, working for over 20 years in the UK financial centre before making the move overseas. After living in Portugal for 25 years, Antonio is now almost as familiar with Lisbon as he is with his profession, and has shared with us some of things he likes most about the area.

History and Culture

Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in Europe and is a tapestry of beautiful landscape laid over 8 hills, with a glaring hue displaying multiple architectural heritage, of Gothic, Baroque and Moorish. Aside from the visual beauty of Lisbon and the eclectic mix of architectural styles, the history of Lisbon makes for equally fascinating exploration; known as a ‘city of spies’, exiled internationals were welcomed in nearby Estoril. Lisbon’s espionage connection is believed to have inspired writer Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond stories, during his time there while working as a British Naval Intelligence Officer. Lisbon has such a rich and interesting history that I still find myself learning more about the city on a daily basis.

Attractions and Entertainment

There is no shortage of activities and entertainment available in Lisbon; with a particularly popular establishment being the Equestrian Centre in Quinta da Marinha, located in Cascais. It is one of the largest and most well equipped in the entire Iberian Peninsula, and is the proud home of some 300 horses. Here you can partake in group or solo riding tours along the Atlantic coast, complete with some impressive views. Another fantastic attraction is the Lisbon Oceanarium, which houses the largest indoor tank in Europe. This is to name only a few of the many activities on offer within Lisbon and the immediate area, and a quick glance over any guide will make it apparent that there is truly something for everyone in this wonderful city.

Sports and Activities

For the adrenaline junkies and thrillseekers among us, Lisbon offers a host of exciting activities to partake in; just north of Lisbon you will encounter the waves of Nazaré, which in winter average about 15 metres (50 feet) high. However, it is also known to be home to the biggest waves in the world which tower at around 24 metres (80 feet) on occasion. On October 29, 2020,  Portuguese surfer António Laureano made history by surfing a 101.4 foot wave.

For those who prefer a slower pace of life, Lisbon has no shortage of quality golf courses, boasting 54 in just Lisbon and the Algarve alone. These courses are one of Portugal’s most enticing features, with  golfers flying in for tournaments and holidays from all over the world every year. 

The Algarve – Manuela Robinson

Originally from South Africa, our Associate Director and Regional Manager in the Algarve, Manuela Robinson, moved to Portugal after she finished her degree in Business Economics and has now spent most of her life there. Manuela has been in the financial services industry for over 30 years and is very involved in her local community, often contributing to and running charity work and community initiatives. There are many things that Manuela loves about the Algarve and that lead her to make the area her home; listed below are some of the most influential factors.

Walking and Hiking in the Algarve

There are many established and well-maintained hiking paths that enable you to be immersed in the beauty of the Algarve, both along the coast and in-land. The three main routes are The “Via Algarviana”, the “Eco Via”, and the coastal “Rota Vicentina”, and each provide a different insight into Portugal’s varied and alluring landscape. The walking trails in the Algarve truly cater to everyone as there is a range of paths that vary in length, difficulty and accessibility. There is enough to explore that, even after living here for many years, I am yet to get tired of exploring this area and the many trails it has to offer. Aside from walking, the Algarve also offers plenty of opportunities for surfing and water sports.

The Algarve’s Culinary Offering

Those visiting the Algarve will be spoilt for choice when looking for somewhere to eat; with a host of local delicacies and dishes to try, many restaurants in the Algarve serve fresh, seasonal and authentic Portuguese food which should not be missed – the seafood in particular is always sure to impress. The culinary experiences in the Algarve are often made even better by the agreeable climate which facilitates al fresco dining and the range of craft beers available that are produced locally.

Faro: The Capital of the Algarve

If visiting the Algarve, be sure to pay a visit to the Algarve’s capital of Faro; the Old City is particularly quaint with its cobbled streets and mediaeval-walled surroundings. As well as a host of charming cafes and interesting cultural and historical attractions, there is also a fantastic beach nearby. This beach, along with others along the coast, are some of the best in Europe, and are accompanied by some equally fantastic golf courses. The entire stretch of coastline is consistently picturesque, offering amazing views, luxury accommodation and a range of things to do and see.

If you would like to discuss how we can assist you in moving to Portugal, contact us using the link below.

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