A few of the best cities to live in the Algarve
With quant little villages, miles of unspoiled shorelines, and un-rivalled natural beauty, living in Algarve is a top choice for most people who relocate to Portugal.
Every city in this southern part of the country has a unique character to lure you in – whether you want to live in an ultra-modern resort town, a laidback village, or a charming historical city, you’ll find a place that suits your needs.
Here is a list of the best places in the Algarve to live.
Albufeira – Great NightLife
Set in the heart of the Algarve coast, Albufeira is one of the best beach towns in the country.
In addition to being an unbeatable summer destination, the city is also pretty lively for most of the year and there’s always something interesting happening.
Even during the off-season when most cities in Algarve get dead quiet, Albufeira offers plenty of activities to indulge in.
Although it’s pretty popular with tourists it’s still possible to buy a nice place on the outskirts of Albufeira and still be close enough to most essential amenities.
Lagos – Great Expat Community
Lagos is another great alternative for someone who’d love to live in a city that boasts an abundance of natural beauty, deep-steeped history, and a bustling nightlife scene.
Although Lagos isn’t a big place, the city is complete with a charming old town, picturesque beaches, and most importantly, amazing infrastructure that makes day-to-day life hassle-free.
Plus, Lagos is well-connected to Faro as well as Lisbon and you’ll find an awesome ex-pat community that calls this beautiful place home after buying a property in Lagos.
Faro – The Capital
Faro has constantly been voted as one of the best cities in Portugal. In 2019, the city was placed first as the best place in Algarve to conduct business and in 2021, it also topped the list as one of the best cities to live in.
Faro is the administrative capital of the Algarve and it’s very well served as far as infrastructure goes.
You’ll find amazing schools including a great university, hospitals, and the region’s international airport is found here.
Despite its popularity, Faro has a perfect balance between tranquillity and a lively ambience. Whether you delight in seclusion or you’d rather be in the heart of all the action, you’ll find buying a property in Faro has all the options open.
Silves – The Castle Town
Found in the central part of the Algarve, Silves is a historical gem with charming cobblestone streets, colourful buildings, and old beautiful countryside.
The city is built around a medieval castle which can be seen from almost any point in the surrounding area. If you are thinking of buying a property in Silves you have chosen a great historical location.
Due to its inland location, Silves is an incredible choice if you want to live in a quiet non-touristy town. It gets quiet during the winter but not to a point of being a ghost town.
And, since it’s not exactly a coastal town, it’s not really a bucket list destination for most tourists.
That also means, it’s the best place to stay because it’s more authentically Portuguese, especially when compared to the nearby cities.
That said, you won’t be missing out on the beautiful beaches – Praia da Marinha is approximately 8 miles away and the popular Praia da Benagil is located approximately 11 miles from the city centre.
Loule – Great Market Town
About 20 mins north and inland from some of the best beaches in the Algarve lies the market town of Loule. Being away from the more desirable areas of the Algarve’s Golden Triangle, the house prices in Loule are much more affordable and of course, you get much more for your money.
Loule itself is a typical Portuguese-style busy town, attracting many day visitors to its historic centre “The Cidade Velha”. Complete with the castle and with many of the original walls still standing it is steeped in history. There are several museums and tours to interest historians and markets to attract souvenir buyers.
The main focal point is an Arabian-inspired covered market which is open daily. However, the weekend brings far more visitors with a further two markets available to peruse. With the famous gipsy market being held just outside the town near the church on the hill.
Being in such a central position to the nearby beaches of Vale do Lobo, Quinta do Lago and Vilamoura it gives residents the best of both worlds. With many villas for sale just outside the centre of Loule, where prices are much less and the land more abundant it really is a great choice to settle.
Google Local Guide for the Algarve. Been living in the Algarve for over 20 years and loving the experience. Now writing about and photographing the Algarve experience to share with others. Contributor to all that is Algarve on Wikipedia