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Rent, buy or book?

More and more foreigners in Portugal. We won’t ask whether these are the people who vote for political parties, which ironically want to keep foreigners out of their own country. According to neighbor Paddy, who apparently regularly encounters foreigners in the supermarket and then has politically tinged conversations with them, yes, that is so.

In our opinion, this mainly concerns people who want to rent, buy or book a house

Holidaymakers have always been there in large numbers – although Portugal still occupies a modest place in the rankings of popular holiday destinations for northerners. A popular country for Northern Europeans still is France, closely followed by Italy, and especially Tuscany.

They’ve had a lot of competition since the addition of the Eastern European countries, especifically from the Balkans, especially Croatia, and Greece. Portugal is best known for the Algarve, but walking holidays through the whole country are becoming increasingly popular.

Portugal is increasingly becoming a favorite among emigrants

In the Algarve you see many British, Germans and increasingly Americans (just a politically tinged comment: if I were an American, I would also want to leave – what a situation over there!) Further up, it’s Belgians, Dutch and a handful of foreigners from outside Europe. This is the group that wants to buy a house, is usually middle-aged, and wants to build a life in another country.

Portugal is actively attracting foreigners, with favorable tax programs for digital nomads, the Golden Visa (a bit controversial; you buy yourself into Europe, don’t you?) and pleasant customer service conditions for large companies. Most of them are in Lisbon.

Between buying and booking are the people who want the best of both worlds. They rent

Sonja and Annuska are booking with us for the second year, but they have been wintering in Portugal for much longer. In the Algarve. You simply have the mildest climate there, so close to Africa. They have a nice house in the Netherlands, with a large garden, so the answer to rent or buy is very simple. “Rent,” says Sonja decisively, “why would we want to buy a house here? That only causes problems, and now we can live somewhere nice for a few months without all the obligations.”

That’s what they do both: rent and book

Smart. No worries about a leaky tap or a warped curtain rail (wink to Sonja). In the summer you can relax in your own house and maintain your own garden at your leisure, in the winter in someone else’s house in a nice climate. “We actually always live in the summer,” says Annuska. “And I like to book with you on the way back, because you can enjoy a nice walk here.”

She used to run the marathon with two fingers up her nose, but: “Even when you age, you can keep walking for a long time.” And you can also go for a run here, by the way, a circuit of 9 kilometers, fairly flat, from the Termas through the valley.

“We’ll be back next year, comes rain or shine!” they shout when I wave them goodbye. The return journey is quite easy, in about four days.

Jacqueline and Hans do it exactly the other way around. They don’t like winter here, so they spend the summer in Portugal. They like going to the theater and museums, a typical winter-thingy, and Portugal is not very strong in those things. “I had the house built together with a very good old friend,” Jacqueline says, when she passes by, “but the sad thing was that when it was finished, she got sick and died.”

“Yes, that was very sad,” Hans agrees, “but luckily I’m here now.”

“We are childhood sweethearts,” says Jacqueline, while Hans gallantly helps her up the stairs, “we have known each other for a long time, but eight years ago, after I became a widow, there was a spark between us.” They smile at each other, but we’re distracted by Broes, who puts the Very Large Box they brought with them on the table. A present because of a Marie-Kondo campaign in their second home.

Jacqueline and Hans do both: buying and booking. (also with a wink, look:)


We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal.

A big step, especially with two small children.

We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday houses, rooms and a campsite.

You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation

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