Lisbon tops the list of cities in Portugal, but while the capital city offers an excellent lifestyle and a hot property market, savvy investors are always on the lookout for the next big destination. Portugal’s west coast, also known as the Portuguese Riviera, is full of potential and provides stunning scenery, lively cities, and excellent connections to the rest of the country.
The Portuguese Riviera stretches on from the coastal cities of Cascais, Estoril, and Sintra, west of Lisbon. The region is famous for its luxury real estate, and Cascais and Sintra consistently rank among the richest municipalities in Portugal. The area’s top-tier resorts, luxury shopping, beaches, and fine cuisine have given it its nickname, comparing it to the French and Italian Rivieras – but at a fraction of their cost.
Best Beaches in the Portuguese Riviera
The Portuguese Riviera boasts some of the country’s best beaches – from ruggedly windswept stretches of sand to calm coves. For beach lovers looking to buy property in Portugal, the Portuguese Riviera can certainly deliver. The stunning scenery is considered nature at its best, free of the manmade developments spotted in the Algarve.
Despite the luxury appeal, the area is also home to a large surf community, giving it a laid-back vibe and driving down the cost of living.
Rich History and Glamorous Neighbors
The Portuguese Riviera area has a longstanding history of hosting the rich and famous. Portugal’s elite members flocked to Cascais during the Second World War when European monarchs and heads of state fled west the violence. This was around the time when the Portuguese Riviera experienced a population boom, with an increase of over 20,000 residents between 1939 and 1946. Nowadays, many celebrities own real estate in the Portuguese Riviera, including Madonna, who reportedly bought abuy property in Portugal, commenting that “the energy of Portugal is so inspiring."She joins celebrities like Michael Fassbender and Monica Belluci, who have recently made Portugal home.
Wander through the enchanting lanes of Sintra, a postcard-perfect town in the woodland hills of the Sintra Mountains. Renowned for its magnificent scenery, exotic gardens, glittering palaces, and mountaintop castles, this Unesco World Heritage site was once the home of royalty, Moors, and even Lord Byron. The town center is cheerfully studded with pastel-colored manors looking down over the bright blue Atlantic Ocean.
Michelin Star Cuisine
With the sea at its doorstep and local produce in abundance, it’s no surprise that Portugal’s west coast is a hot gastronomic destination. Cascais boasts over five Michelin-starred restaurants, while Sintra’s culinary highlights include Tascantiga Sintra, which serves Portuguese tapas, Incomum by Luis Santos for fine dining, and Casa Piriquita, an elegant 160-year-old bakery.
CasinoFor individuals who enjoy going to the casino, you'll be pleased to know that the casino in Portuguese Riviera, specifically Estoril, is well equipped. Today, it is considered one of the biggest working Casinos in Europe. Each year, it grabs the attention of people from all over the world who flock here to enjoy its luxury premium services. You can even fine dine in the casino in Portuguese Riviera, with world-class restaurants located here.
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Exploring Visa and Immigration Options for Portugal
If you're considering making the move to Portugal, it's essential to be informed about the various visa and residency options available. The Golden Visa Portugal program is an attractive option for many, offering residency to investors and their families. For those eyeing retirement in this beautiful country, the Retirement Visa (D7) is tailored for you. Digital nomads can take advantage of both short and long stay options with the Nomad Visa (D8). Meanwhile, the NHR - Non Habitual Tax regime provides significant tax benefits for new residents.
For the entrepreneurial spirit, Portugal offers the Entrepreneurship/startup Visa (D2) - Start-up Visa (open company) tailored for those looking to establish their businesses in the country. Those with specialized skills can explore the Work visa for highly qualified employees (D3). Additionally, if you have Portuguese ancestry, you might be eligible for Citizenship by descent.
However, moving to a new country isn't just about visas. If you're thinking of buying property, our guide on Buying Property in Portugal can offer invaluable insights. Dive deeper into the immigration process with our comprehensive Portugal immigration guide. For Americans specifically looking to relocate, we have curated information on Americans moving to Portugal. Lastly, one can't forget the importance of the NIF (Tax Registration Number), a crucial step in any relocation process.