Portugal is certainly one of the places in Europe where it is good to live, especially to retire there. The French understood this well, since there are about 30,000 living in Portugal forming a dynamic and united Francophone community. It became the Florida of Europe and the Eldorado of the retired. But it is not only because of the tax advantages and the costs of living, there is a real quality of life thanks to many other reasons:
• A very pleasant climate
Portugal has a Mediterranean climate, which translates into mild winters due to oceanic influence and hot, dry summers.
The winter, from December to February, has average daytime temperatures of 14ºC and 17ºC, and 9ºC during the nights. The summer runs from May to October with average daytime temperatures of 21ºC to 26ºC and 17ºC in the evening.
According to the zones of the country, the climate differs but it is particularly clement in the south of Coimbra. In Lisbon, the capital, there are 220 days of sunshine per year and nearly 300 in the Algarve (South of the country).
• A welcoming population
In Portugal, we are often surprised to meet a people of incredible kindness and politeness. Even the language barrier will not prevent you from getting acquainted and making Portuguese’s friends. Moreover, most speak French or English which allows to easily integrate and make themselves understood in the life of every day.
• An attractive country
This country with an area of 91906 km2 and 1793 km of coastline offers from north to south a great diversity of breathtaking landscapes at short distance: fertile hills and arid plains, vast forests and long olive groves, great sandy beaches and creeks enclosed by cliffs jagged by the sea.
Portugal retains many vestiges that, over time, have made the great history of this small country: small chapels and great cathedrals, castles and monasteries, Roman remains, all tell not only the history of the architecture and the Portuguese art but also the life of this people.
• A good health system
Portugal has a good health system, which ranks 12th in the World Health Organization rankings.
Health infrastructures, public and private hospitals are now of good quality, especially in Lisbon.
This country has more doctors per 1,000 inhabitants than France, ie 21,000 doctors and 18,000 specialists.
It should be noted that social security is compatible with French social security and the provision of medical care in Portugal is very simple: before leaving France, you must ask for the Form E121 / S1 and the European Health Card at social security. This will make it possible to register with the social security organization of the place of residence in Portugal. However, health insurances on the spot, mandatory for any expatriate, are 30% more expensive than in France.
• A feeling of security
It is a safe country where it is possible to walk (almost) everywhere and at any hour without encountering any safety concerns. There is some constitutional stability, the crime index is one of the lowest in Europe and a high level of public and private security services. Portugal is the 17th most peaceful country out of 153 (Global Peace Index 2011).
There have not been violent demonstrations of religious fundamentalism of any origin whatsoever.
• A wide range of services
There are many well-known university towns and international schools, notably the French Lycée Charles Lepierre in Lisbon and the Lycée Français International Marius Latour in Porto.
There are also large shopping centers and the main luxury brands are present in the city center.
There are also many recreational and cultural centers, large football stadiums, tennis courts and highly sought-after golf courses.