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27, jul 22 | Reading: 9 min.

Is the Algarve no Longer Just About Summer? | Casas do Barlavento

image of a woman with her back turned in winter clothes on a beach in the Algarve.

Photo by Francisco Moreno – Unsplash


It's mid-August when tourists travel to the Algarve in pursuit of sun, sand, and, most of all, a few days away from routine. This has been the scenario since the 1960s, when foreigners and Portuguese started to holiday more frequently in the Algarve. The change in the region happened thanks to the beaches close to the houses, the simple but tasty gastronomy and the people who, although did not yet know how to welcome visitors, were friendly and needed a new industry to escape the exhausting fishing and farming activity.


  • In the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century, the Algarve's economy was based on the primary sector, i.e., agriculture and fishing. The export of dried fruits (fig, almond and carob flour), the production of citrus fruits (oranges and lemons), salt manufacture and the fishing of tuna, sardines and corvina were the most prominent activities. The last activity flourished, and due to the demand for canned food during the two world wars, the fish canning industry grew in the first half of the 20th century.


photograph of an orange tree laden with fruit.

Photo by Philippe Gauthier – Unsplash




The years of experience in tourism led to something good in a region that lived exclusively on industry and fishing. It brought more movement, new developments and new investors to the region. Resorts, hotels, and recently, local accommodation have become the main activities in the Algarve. These new developments in the market brought other challenges, perhaps solved by the COVID-19 pandemic. Seasonality was a hot topic for which there seemed to be no answer, leaving many workers unemployed in the off-season months.


  • In the first three months of 2022, unemployment in the Algarve region fell by 3.2 percentage points compared to the first quarter of 2021.


image of a typewriter with the words "job application" on a sheet of paper.

Photo by Markus Winkler – Unsplash



In the 2020 lockdowns, many were looking to real estate agents to find a quiet place, far from the hustle and bustle of the big cities, that would offer them quality of life, above all else! The Algarve was the answer for Portuguese and foreigners alike. The opportunity to move to a safer city or country, in a smaller environment, without the need to use public transport or their car, avoiding social contact and unnecessary expenses on fuel, was found here. This change was only possible because of the new forms of work, which consist of flexible working hours, mobility and, above all, freedom outside the office.


  • In the beginning of 2022, the percentage of workers performing their tasks from home through remote working using information and communication technologies in Portugal was 10.4, affecting 510,200 people.


woman working on a computer outside her house.

Photo by Anete Lusina – Unsplash



This revolution in the employment world had a positive impact on many sectors, including real estate in the Algarve, bringing new investors to the region and making it clear that the Algarve is no longer just about summer. These changes have led to an increase in demand for a second home to spend longer periods of time in the region, rather than just a few weeks during the holidays. After 2020, a large percentage of those looking for a second home also wanted to earn an income through temporary or long-term rentals.


  • Leases, whether temporary or long-term, require maintenance and management of the property. Therefore, the presence of a trustworthy person is always useful to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Casas do Barlavento offers two management services, which are responsible for the maintenance, check-in and check-out of guests, payment of bills and a marketing plan to promote the property. These property management services (property management for temporary lease) and condominium management services (managing condominiums for non-resident owners) proved to be an advantage during the pandemic and have proven to be a continuing trend. These services aim to help homeowners who are abroad, and do not live in their second home.


Find out about the benefits of investing in a second home and creating a source of income by adding the property to Local Accommodation.


image of a second home with contemporary lines, a swimming pool and a small lawn area.

Photo by Marvin Meyer – Unsplash



Workers being able to work away from their companies has left room for them to look for the first and even the second homes. Many people opted to spend their funds in a home in the Algarve as their primary property, giving the region a new value. Many Portuguese left the big cities in the centre and north of Portugal to live full-time in the Algarve, and foreigners also ventured into Portuguese territory. Demand has been strong not only for coastal locations, but also for rural places such as the mountains and municipalities in the Algarve's interior. These areas are away from the busy cities, but only a few kilometres from the beaches and urban centres, and offer the tranquillity that these investors were looking.

Find out what rural life in the Algarve is like in this article.


A woman walks in a rural area.

Photo by Emma Simpson – Unsplash


Telework or remote work is on the rise because it offers workers quality of life and the freedom to choose their workplace. Some countries have accelerated the recognition of a special visa for digital nomads, inviting them to stay for a limited time but with benefits.


  • On June 15, 2022, a proposal for a law was approved in Portugal in order to speed up the mobility of foreign workers. Included in this proposal is the application for three visas: the granting of a 120-day temporary stay visa for those who decide to seek employment in Portugal; a visa for college students; a residence visa for the exercise of dependent or independent professional activity, for professionals who exercise their functions remotely. In other words, this new legislative proposal aims to encourage the entry of more digital nomads by granting a limited stay to those who prefer to work in places with good internet access and in privileged locations with a low cost of living. Many digital nomads practise skilled professions that allow several sectors in Portugal to return.



  • The D7 visa is another one that allows you to stay in Portugal. Although it was introduced before the Golden Visa, it has never been as popular. This visa entitles you to stay and only requires proof of a reasonable and consistent income and proof of owning or renting a home. To learn more about the D7 visa, read the article "Living in Portugal: What you need to know".


Image of a world map in the background and a hand holding a passport in the foreground.

Photo by Global Residence – Unsplash



The journey since the 1960s has brought challenges that the region has overcome. With the new wind, it is to be hoped that the Algarve will no longer remain just a beach region that only works in summer, and that seasonality will be another overcome obstacle. The new dynamic promises to show outsiders a fresh Algarve that has a lot to offer in the low season.


In autumn and winter, everything is quieter, and the weather is kind to us, so we can enjoy every moment on the coast or inland. If you are planning to live in the Algarve, whether through the latest digital nomad visa or any other residence visa, you should know that the Algarve is much more than sun and beach.



  • Low cost of living - this is one of the aspects that attracts foreigners the most. On a European level, Portugal is one of the countries with a low cost of living. High-quality food is not as expensive when compared to other countries, and living in privileged locations still has an interesting value. Read the article "Living in Portugal - Cost of Living".


  • Culture - a network of museums, theatres and cultural associations guarantees the cultural sector to the inhabitants of the Algarve. This network is spread over several towns, and its distribution is wide enough to reach everyone. Between visual arts exhibitions, cinema, music and museum spaces, culture in the Algarve is regularly presented. See the region's museum guide.


  • Places to visit - from the lively coastal towns to the tranquil villages of the Barrocal and mountains, there are unmissable places to visit. The Algarve is an ancient land full of stories linked to the sea and sailing. These memories have been preserved in the architecture of some towns and villages and are well worth a visit. See in this article the 12 most beautiful places to visit in the Algarve.


  • Gastronomy - may not seem like a topic that fits winter activities, even though we should eat daily and not just at one time of the year. In this case, we would like to highlight the experience of enjoying typical Algarve dishes in a restaurant in complete tranquillity. The staff's attention to customers is doubled, and some ingredients only appear on the menu in winter, showing that gastronomy is seasonal and sustainable. Visit the region's restaurants in search of the best delicacies, if you need tips, read this article.


A man plays on a dimly lit stage.

Photo by Mostafa Meraji – Unsplash



The Algarve is no longer just about summer! We are seeing more and more new residents working here, from different places, both from Portugal and abroad. This rediscovery of the region is bringing new opportunities, leaving behind the seasonality of work and giving new hope to this land, that has much more to offer than beaches and sun.


In the Algarve, you will find the peace you need to work. Find properties for sale, and holiday rentals in Casas do Barlavento portfolio.