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I live in Portugal - AMA

33 replies

m00rfarm · 05/04/2020 16:37

Lived here full time for 4 years now (in the Algarve region) - working as a real estate agent for sales and rentals. I also have several properties of my own which are a mix of holidays ( and long term (minimum 12 months) rentals.

If you want to know what it is like in the Algarve during the current crisis, what is going to happen to your holiday home or holidays in Portugal in the near future - anything really - feel free to chat :)

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Muchtoomuchtodo · 05/04/2020 16:43

Thank you.
I have an elderly friend out in the Algarve atm.
He caught one of the last flights out there, knowing full well that the pandemic is in full swing.
What will he be able to do in the way of getting out for a walk, shopping etc?
How long are your current restrictions due to be in place for?

m00rfarm · 05/04/2020 16:49

At the moment, in the Algarve we are doing pretty well - we have under 200 confirmed cases so far. In terms of getting around, we are able to walk and drive, but most beaches are now out of bounds (although I think this is more to do with safety from drowning and rockfalls than other restrictions). Supermarkets are well stocked with plenty f hand gel and gloves available, and in the more expensive ones, the trolleys and baskets are wiped down after each use.

One of them closes on a Sunday which I think helps eradicate any lingering virus.

Our DIY shops are mostly open, and restaurants are allowed to do take aways. All bars and cafes and normal shops are closed. Our restrictions are renewed every two weeks at the moment. Councils are working on a rota so some work in the office and can take pre booked appointments, whilst the other staff work from home.

People are allowed to go to work if they cannot work from home and they are reasonably essential (i.e. house maintenance as well as the usual medical staff).

Over easter, everyone has been told they HAVE to remain in their council area (for me I am in Lagoa council, so that includes Carvoeiro, Ferragudo, Porches, Estombar for example). If we go out of our council area then we will be stopped and fined. After Easter, not sure what will happen.

We have (I think) 3 drive through testing stations in the Algarve now.

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Muchtoomuchtodo · 05/04/2020 16:51

It sounds as if he’ll be able to enjoy most of the things that he usually does.

CottonSock · 05/04/2020 16:52

I wish I was there then. Some 9f my best holidays ever in Portugal. Including this Feb half term in Lisbon. Probably the best holiday ever with kids. Not sure of my question. Do you want to swap?

m00rfarm · 05/04/2020 16:55

Lol CottonSock! Lisbon is a fabulous city and Porto has to be one of my favourite places in Europe. However, they are suffering really badly with the virus right now, and it is the people from these cities that are comig to the algarve at the moment because they see it as being safer - and dragging the virus with them.

Definitely don't want to swap - and hopefully we will see you here in the not to distant future. If you go back to Lisbon, make sure you visit Sintra which is not too far from the City - not just the palace, but go to a place called Quinta da Regaleira - fabulous house and gardens to visit and I find so much more interesting than the Palace!

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KaronAVyrus · 05/04/2020 16:56

Should have been flying out today for a 2 week holiday 😞
Anyway, absolutely love Portugal and I’ve had some amazing holidays there and will try to rebook when we all have a better idea as to what is happening.

How well prepared is your health system at the moment?

m00rfarm · 05/04/2020 17:03

KaronAVyrus - sorry to hear you have missed your holiday - maybe later in the year with luck.

I am not too sure how well prepared we are. We have so few cases here that the hospitals have not really been tested in the Algarve. When we have more people infected I think we will be better able to tell. One of the reasons we don't want the northern Portuguese coming down here, becoming ill and we have to take care of them as well as our usual residents.

New equipment has arrived today, and in the Golden Triangle area of the ALgarve, house owners have donated over 360k to purchase more equipment.

The Algarve business will find it extremely tough if we don't get tourists this year, but currently everyone is being very stoical and making the best of the situation.

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CottonSock · 05/04/2020 17:07

Ah, yes we did a whole day at Quinta da Regaleira and loved it
Also saw Belem, the aquarium, Lisbon zoo, botanic gardens, cable car, parks, food market, the castle. Also two days at martinhal Cascais (a MN favourite I could never normally afford). They were celebrating a 10 year anniversary so it was party time.

We had been as a couple ten years ago so knew what we wanted to see as a priority . Funny enough we only booked the day before as storms cancelled original plans to canaries.

We have had previously had lovely holidays on Algarve near Alte and close to Faro. Had been thinking of another trip in October.

Portugal is so easy with children.
Stay healthy and enjoy a lovely spring. I will be sure to visit Porto as soon as is safe

KaronAVyrus · 05/04/2020 17:09

Hopefully we’ll be back in October.
Ive got my fingers crossed that the Algarve will stay lucky and not have too many cases. Flowers

m00rfarm · 05/04/2020 17:13

CottonSock - that is brilliant - so many people miss some of the nice places. We went to Sintra last year and actually stayed right int he middle of town so we could walk to many places (the hills nearly killed me though ...) Do come back in October - the weather then can be lovely and even the unheated pools have relatively warm water.

The Pantheon in Lisbon is also worth a visit; I really enjoyed when I went there. And remember, Seville is only 2 hours or so from the Algarve by car and is a wonderful place to visit as well (and Spain is going to need all the tourists it can get when the current situation is over).

I hope that you stay safe and we will see you soon in Portugal!

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m00rfarm · 05/04/2020 17:14

@KaronAVyrus - thank you - we are (nearly!) all trying our best to follow the rules and hope that we will remain lucky. Best wishes and hope to see you in Portugal later this year.

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Seventyone72seventy3 · 05/04/2020 17:15

I have only ever been to Lisbon and Coimbra (both for work). I would love to visit Portugal with my kids (teen/tweens) when this is over - where would you suggest I start? I want to start planning a holiday to take my mind off this!

MatchsticksForMyEyesReturns · 05/04/2020 17:24

We are due to go to the Algarve in 2nd August. Balance of the holiday is due next month. We aren't sure what to do.

m00rfarm · 05/04/2020 17:34

@Seventyone72seventy3 - if you are looking for a beach holiday, then the Algarve is best - I would think somewhere like Carvoeiro which is safe for the teens and tweens in the evenings to go to the town square for the music events - full of restaurants and bars but family atmosphere. Lots of apartments and villas to rent but try to be near the town as there is a hill which can be a little onerous in the evenings! Lagos is another option if you want to be a bit less beachy. Praia da Luz is great and has some excellent restaurants as well - another of my favourite areas.

If you want a city break, then Lisbon or Porto would be my choice with Porto winning by a short head I think. As it is only 2.5 hours from Lisbon to the Algarve by car you could do a week in Lisbon and a week in the Algarve (or go to the beach resorts near Lisbon). The Algarve has such a great atmosphere though that I tend to prefer it for the beach holidays.

If you are into exploring, then a trip driving through the Alentejo region (Monsaraz, Evora, Beja, Mertola, Alcoutim and back into the Algarve) is interesting. We did that one easter and really enjoyed visiting the towns, the old castles and lots of history. Probably not the ideal trip with kids though. In Evora (which has fabulous architecture and history) just outside the town is a set of monolithic stones (think Stone Henge but older and smaller). You can have direct access to all of that area - sitting in the middle of the stones watching the sun go down and the moon is a beautiful moment.

On the west coast, it is more rugged and is where the Portuguese holiday - Vila Nova Milfontes for example is fabulous. Also a little town called Odeceixe has a beautiful beach and some nice restaurants in an unusual area.

Oh- there are just soooo many places to visit for holidays - let me know what sort of thing you want to do and I am sure Portugal can deliver it for you!

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m00rfarm · 05/04/2020 17:39

@MatchsticksForMyEyesReturns - It is difficult. I have holidays starting from 1st July in my villa and so far no one has cancelled. It is mainly through but I have a few direct bookings as well (some Portuguese, so these would be more likely to come than from the UK).

We are all just waiting and seeing what is going to happen. If there is any chance at all that we can have tourists safely in the Algarve, then I promise you it will happen!

If you cancel the holiday, then you lose everything I assume. You probably need to check your terms and conditions and see what they say. Maybe call the company you are booking through? With, the owners generally only get paid a week after the guests have left - if they cancel 30 days before, we get nothing. So it really depends on who you have booked with and method of payment.

I really hope things are ok by then - we all have to keep our fingers crossed that the virus will be eradicated as quickly as it has arrived. The difference, in my mind, is that 2020 travel is significantly more than any other time we have had viruses, and therefore spread much more quickly. however, this also means (I hope) that it will be rbought under control more quickly rather than moving slowly across the globe so one region is safe, then is reinfected because another region is several months behind the original infection stage.

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Sarahlou63 · 05/04/2020 17:41

Waves from Tomar where it is pissing down!! Grin

m00rfarm · 05/04/2020 17:44

Ola @Sarahlou63 - it has been pretty horrid here today as well (definitely no reason to leave the house) but lovely weather set to resume next week :)

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m00rfarm · 05/04/2020 17:49

a few gratuitous pics of where I live showing the normal winter weather!

I live in Portugal - AMA
I live in Portugal - AMA
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KaronAVyrus · 05/04/2020 18:18

I know the world is in chaos as the moment but you are blessed to live somewhere so beautiful.
I know how stressed you must be. DH has his own business and it’s scary thinking about the implications of all of this but we’ll all get back on our feet somehow. We’ve no choice.

MatchsticksForMyEyesReturns · 05/04/2020 19:31

We booked with Tui. Will contact them next month I expect. If we cancel, we lose the deposits. But we are concerned if Tui were to go into administration we would have a wait to get the full balance money back. Conscious that travel companies are vulnerable to collapse.

OlafLovesAnna · 05/04/2020 19:34

Hi from Cascais 😘😘

All is calm here too, no shortages of anything and people are following the quarentine rules.

Love to the Algarve!

Seventyone72seventy3 · 05/04/2020 19:49

@m00rfarm Thank you! I like a mixture of beach and sightseeing so I'm going to distract myself by looking at the places you mentioned.


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Muchtoomuchtodo · 05/04/2020 21:51

If that’s Senhora de Rocha my friend is about 200m up the road from the church!

m00rfarm · 06/04/2020 13:37

@OlafLovesAnna - best wishes to Cascais and stay safe over the Easter period!

@Seventyone72seventy3 - if you want to have any more info on anything, please let me know. We hve travelled around Portugal extensively and I would be very happy to give you more info :)

@Muchtoomuchtodo -yes - it is the iconic Senhora da Rocha chapel - what a lovely place for your friend to be. Definitely one of the most picturesque areas of the Algarve.

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fairybaby · 09/01/2022 18:14

@m00rfarm, sort to resurrect this thread, but we plan to move to Portugal this summer. I have some questions about Cascais, can I contact you?

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