French invaders are welcomed by the taxman



More than 2,200 French national bought house in Portugal last year and 20,000 will live in the country by the end of 2015.

This is the estimate from the Franco-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce & Industry , French retirees are moving to Portugal attracted by the golden retirement package offered by the Portuguese tax man, “there are many migrants who live eight or nine months in Portugal and the rest of the time in France. They already can benefit from new laws and not pay taxes on retirement income or on capital gains or dividends.”

The status of non-habitual resident in Portugal, in force since January 2013, allows any retired EU citizen tax exemption for ten years, provided he or she has not been a tax resident in Portugal in the last five. The laws also cover professionals pursuing a high added value job, which may benefit from an income tax reduction to an attractive 20%, somewhat more attractive than France’s top rate of 75%.

In the first Real Estate and Portuguese Tourism fair, between 70% and 75% of visitors were French, mostly retired, but the tax benefits can also be taken full advantage of by Portuguese immigrants who want to return to the country.


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Holiday pound stretches furthest in Bali and the Algarve


Swings in the pound and local price changes makes Bali the cheapest destination with the Algarve best value in Europe.

Bali has emerged as the best value holiday destination for British travellers this year, as a strengthening pound helps budgets stretch further in most resorts and cities.

Holiday costs for Britons were down in 70pc of the 44 destinations surveyed in the Post Office Travel Money report, with prices falling by up to 30pc.

Bali is the cheapest holiday destination overall, with a typical basket of holiday goods costing £31.48 compared with £115.06 in New Zealand, the most expensive destination surveyed.

The Portuguese Algarve came out as the cheapest destination in Europe, with a basket of items costing £35.37.

The survey showed that although the pound was slightly weaker against the euro compared to last year (-1.9pc), prices have fallen 18pc in the Algarve. Conversely, Spain was the only country to record a significant price increase, with meal costs rising 22pc on the Costa del Sol. This pushed Spain’s basket of goods to £39.14, pushing Spain into sixth place.

Paul Havenhand, head of travel at Post Office, said: “We urge cost-conscious holidaymakers to include a comparison of exchange rates for all the destinations they are considering before coming to a final decision. This is likely to make a positive difference to the overall cost of a holiday.”

He added: “At the moment sterling is stronger against three quarters of the top Post Office holiday currencies.”

Resorts are cheaper in Cyprus, Greece and Italy, the survey found, although Italy remains the most expensive destination in Europe with a basket costing around £81, twice as much as Portugal.

The basket includes items like an evening meal for two, a cup of coffee and sun cream.

Popular destinations this year are likely to include South Africa, Vietnam, Burma and Qatar, the Post Office said.

Post Office Travel Money Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer:

Story from: The Telegraphy

Best European countries: Portugal wins Readers’ Choice vote



Portugal Tops With Readers

USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice contest for ‘Best European Country,’ voting was heaviest for one nominee in particular.  Portugal has apparently stolen the hearts of our readers as it secured the lion’s share of votes.

Portugal is less iconic than other well-known countries, but it offers a wealth of opportunities to travelers: charming villages, great food, fascinating regional music, cultural opportunities, a beautiful coastline and even world-class surfing.

Italy and Austria landed solid in second and third, while a mere 47 votes separated 4th place finisher Germany from Spain in 6th place.  The (very large) United Kingdom, with no language barriers for Americans and a wealth of well-known landmarks, took 5th place.

The biggest surprise? Iceland, which trumped Greece, Norway, and several other more exotic countries, to land in the top 10.

The full list of winners in the ‘Best European Country’ contest category for 10Best Readers’ Choice is as follows:

  2. Italy
  3. Austria
  4. Germany
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Spain
  7. Ireland
  8. France
  9. Iceland
  10. Switzerland

Congratulations to all the winners.  Wondering where to take your next trip?  This list makes a fabulous overseas bucket list.

All nominees were chosen by experts in the Travel Industry. Thus, the other 10 nominees also deserve some consideration. They were  Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Turkey.

Story from : USA TODAY 2014

Dutch squad prepares World Cup in Lagos



The Algarve is once again elected by the Dutch national football team for conducting an internship destination before a big international event, revealed the newspaper “Algemeen Dagblad”. According to the publication, the Oranje team will be in the region from the 20-27 of May, before the start of the World Cup football in Brazil.

The Algarve has many municipal and private practice fields and some of them are within hotels and resorts and provide great conditions for any sport throughout the whole year this fact makes the Algarve an usual destination stages of major European football teams during low season.

The Cascade Resort in Lagos has been chosen to host the Dutch national football team for a week-long training period before this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

The runners-up of the last edition in South Africa will be fine-tuning their tactics for the competition between May 20 and 27. And Coach Louis van Gaal will feel very much at home in the Algarve as he owns a property in Vale do Lobo.

The Netherlands will face Spain in the first game of the ‘ Worldcup 2014 ‘ on 13 June. The choice of Algarve was due, according to the newspaper”Algemeen Dagblad”, similar climate to that expected in Brazil.

It was already known that the Netherlands national team had chosen the Algarve, but only now was it announced that the Cascade’s Performance Football Academy will be its host.

Algarve tourism chief Desidério Silva had already praised the decision back in December, deeming it “excellent news” for the Algarve.

The resort is delighted, stating that “with this prestigious football team, the Cascade Resort and Performance Football Academy is closing a very successful football season.”

Since its opening in 2011, the resort has received top-class squads from all around the world, such as Zenit St. Petersburg, Bayer Leverkusen and Spartak Moscow.

It will be the second time the Dutch squad practises for a major competition in the Algarve, after having chosen the region to prepare for the Euro 2004 held in Portugal.








Date of Issue: 28th Feburary 2012

Infinito Real sees high demand but warns potential buyers on the reality of finance

 November and December saw a surge of interest in Algarve property with Infinito Real, a Portugal based agent, reporting year on year booked viewing figures tripling in demand. Whilst this marked increase of interest in Portuguese real estate is welcomed, Stephen Anderson, Managing Director, has found many ‘would-be’ buyers have little knowledge of current property prices or associated finance requirements and is advising potential investors to seek expert advice before making a trip.

Economic uncertainty has inadvertently led many investors to believe that banks in countries such as Portugal will welcome lending opportunities and that securing a mortgage as a non-resident is much the same as it is in the UK.  However, non-residents applications for mortgages in Portugal are not looked upon in the same way as residents. Stephen says “More often than not, we have to manage clients’ expectations which can be quite unrealistic. We have found that many clients coming over on viewings have very little finance to put down and arrive under the premise they will be able to secure a high loan-to-value mortgage, which are in fact typically constrained to borrowers that have, and can prove, a high income. Others, arrive with some €100,000 but have way over-estimated what they will be able to purchase, expecting to find sea-front apartment for that amount.”

According to Infinito Real, compared to three years ago, property prices have reduced by approximately 40-50%, but banks have become much more stringent with their criteria. Mortgages are still available up to 80% of the purchase price, “However, the interest rate on such a high loan to value mortgage would be approximately  6.5% so this is not an easy option and in my opinion, is generally not worth considering” says Stephen.

He continues “Clients should certainly be looking to put down at least 30% to have some options here, and be able to demonstrate an income of at least £5,000 per month to be able to qualify for a 70% loan. There are a lot of factors the banks take into account now, so there is no straight forward calculation that says, if you make X then you qualify for Y.

Rates are still available at around 4% for qualifying buyers, and these are competitive rates for non-resident mortgages. Stephen advises buyers to bear in mind the majority of the rate is fixed for the entire term of the loan, making it a secure and easily predictable mortgage option.

Anderson continues: “In the cases of many of the clients who have visited us over the last couple of months looking to purchase properties either as holiday homes or buy to let investments, there are options which will enable them to make a purchase. However, some would have been in a more proceedable position if they had spoken to an expert on their finances beforehand. Regardless of how high a customer’s income, small changes such as ensuring your bank account is in the plus and has not been over drawn for the last three months can help banks look more favourable on a mortgage application. This is especially pertinent for those who are self-employed but specialist assistance can advise on the best way to appeal to the banks and avoid applications being rejected.”



Forum Algarve
Forum Algarve

Faro’s largest shopping centre, Forum Algarve, is to expand by another 56 shops by the spring of 2014. According to Multi Development, the Dutch real estate firm in charge of the complex, new brand names will include FNAC, Primark and H&M.

The plan, which will increase Forum to 175 shops and 55.000 square metres, represents an investment of 53 million euros, and should get underway during the second half of the year. The overall objective is to attract around 9 million visitors annually.



Portugal once again did well at the World Travel Awards (WTA) achieving the Best Boutique Resort and the leading airline to Africa and South America.

Vila Joya has been named the World´s Best Boutiques Resort 2011 for the the sixth consecutive year beating ocations such as Jamaica, Thailand and Fiji.

National carrier TAP Portugal received two awardws for the world´s leading airline to Africa and also South America.

Plus many national awards picked up by resorts such as The Hilton Hotel in Vilamoua, Hotel Quinta Do Lago and Sheraton Algarve Pine Cliffs Resort and nominated in many catagories.


The Algarve has been voted as having the best value for money as a golf destination in Europe, ahead of Turkey and the Costa Brava in Spain, according to readers of the British magazine ‘Today’s Golfer’.

The region received 32 percent of 3,276 readers’ votes for the Today’s Golfer Travel Awards, according to the publication.

Aside from this accolade, the region also won in the categories of ‘Best Golf Course in Portugal’ and ‘Best Hotel/Resort in Portugal’ with the Oceânico Old Course in Vilamoura and the Dona Filipa Hotel & San Lorenzo Golf Resort in Vale do Lobo in first place, with 31.31 percent and 15.44 percent of the votes respectively.

“We are very proud to receive the news that the Algarve was once again chosen for the quality of its golf product, especially as it is an award attributed by a publication in the UK, which continues to be our main tourist market,” said the President of the Regional Tourism Board, António Pina.

“I applaud the companies in the golf sector for the excellent service they have developed,” he added.

Today’s Golfer is one of the most sold specialist magazines in the UK, reaching over 200,000 golfers each month. Since 2010, the publication has been approved by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators.


Algarve Golf Services voted Best Golf Tourism Supplier of the Year

Golf Course

Portugal Algarve Golf Services (PAGS) was named the Best Golf Tourism Supplier of the Year at the IAGTO Annual Awards ceremony, the “Oscars” of the Golf Tourism Industry, held on the last night of the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM)

The award was voted for by IAGTO’s Outbound Tour Operator members. IAGTO has 406 Tour Operators from over 50 different countries. This new IAGTO award is for outstanding performance and service by a Golf Supplier and the competition was certainly strong with over 800+ suppliers eligible to be considered for the award.

Portugal Algarve Golf Services (PAGS) is a premier Golf Destination Management Company (DMC) for Portugal and the Costa de la Luz. Launched in 1995 the company quickly established itself in the Portuguese golf marketplace through its specialist knowledge, professionalism and high quality service.

PAGS work only through the Golf Tour Operator Market via its unique on-line web service. This service features Mainland Portugal, Madeira, the Açores and the Costa De La Luz. PAGS currently work with over 45 Golf Tour Operators from 15 different countries.

Director/Owners Sue and Andy Georges said “We are extremely proud and pleased to receive this marvellous award. It is recognition for the huge efforts all the PAGS staff have made, to provide the highest quality service possible to the Golf Tour Operator industry.”

“In a difficult trading environment it is immensely satisfying and encouraging for the future, that the Golf Tour Operator industry has given a stamp of approval to the service PAGS has provided to them over a considerable number of years”

PAGS services include accommodation, golf, transfer and car rental reservations. In addition they provide resort representation, a 24 emergency contact and other ancillary golf services such as a comprehensive amateur tournament calendar.

Sales and Marketing Manager Phil Moran said “The award is a tremendous achievement and a testament to the robust business model that Andy and Sue created. In this marketplace you cannot afford to be complacent and in 2012 PAGS will be aiming to improve still further. We will be introducing a new innovative On –Line Tour Operator Golf Holiday Management and Booking System, which will enable our Tour Operators to manage their business in real time and with greater efficiency and control.”

“The service we provide is all about teamwork, and we would especially like to thank our supplier partners across Portugal and also in Costa de la Luz, for their work and support over many years. They have certainly made a substantial contribution towards PAGS winning this award.”