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PORTIMAO

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LovetheBeach
8/8/2019 20:31 EST

Are there any expats on this exchange that live in Portimao? The Algarve sounds like a place I might want to relocate to, but I'm tired of really small communities and want a large town/small city with more amenities than a village. I understand from my research that the population of Portimao is somewhere near 60,000 people. That sounds large enough to have decent shopping, medical facilities, etc. What is the "spirit" of the city like and what's it like to live there? Thanks for any insight you can offer!

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Z16
8/10/2019 08:02 EST

To: lovethebeach, my husband and I just found our forever place in Portimao, we checked a few cities in the Algarve area: Faro, Loule, Albufeira, Tavira and Lagos, but we love Portimao for the same reason that you mentioned, we like a larger city that we can have a beach close by and shopping centeres with great food to choose from, we are renting right now but also we are in the process to buy a new apartment less than 1 mile to the Praia da Rocha beach and one block from the river. We only have been here less than 2 months but so far we loved it.

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LovetheBeach
8/10/2019 09:23 EST

Thank you, Z16!
Are you finding everything you need there for daily living? Is there a lot of traffic, or what would seem to be "normal" for the same size town in the US? Good public transportation? And, here's a big question: Does Portimao have options for buying clothing, shoes, etc.? I'm currently living in a small town in South America where the closest boutiques, dept. stores or places to buy clothes and shoes are about an hour away, and for serious clothes shopping I'd need to travel 2-3 hrs to the nearest large city. Thank you again!

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Z16
8/10/2019 12:24 EST

To: lovethebeach, we are renting on the busiest street in Portimao, goes from North to South of the city and we can see the traffic from 5-7 pm, but if you take the side streets is not too bad, for us is entertainment to see the people and the traffic from the balcony on the 4 floor. About transportation from one city to another in Algarve area you have buses and a train, but within the city we haven't found hardly any, we are lucy that we live in a very good location right now, we can walk to the beach (less than a mile) and a short walk to one shopping center. But for the best shopping center: Aqua (where you can find clothing and shoes at very good price) we have to take an Uber. I hope this will help you a little, like I said we only been here less than 2 months. Z.

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Countga
8/10/2019 14:45 EST

Hello LovetheBeach,
I would also check out Faro if I were you. The int'l airport is there. There is a beach on the ocean behind the airport. A local bus goes to the airport & the beach. There are 2 big malls within 5 kms of each other: Forum Algarve & Mar Shopping (Ikea). There is a local bus station nearby the train station as well as an inter city bus station. One can take the train or bus to Lisbon from there. Faro also has a nice downtown shopping area near the marina & the bus stations. They are also have quite a few festivals. Check out visitalgarve.pt.
I have traveled by train to Faro & caught the local bus to the Forum Algarve Mall. But I do not know all the routes available. I do not live in Faro.
I like smaller cities. ))

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LovetheBeach
8/10/2019 16:19 EST

Thank you, again, Z16! I'll definitely put Portimao on my list of places to visit when I get to Portugal.

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LovetheBeach
8/17/2019 12:44 EST

Thank you, Countga!
I will definitely check out Faro as well. I finally found my personal "sweet spot" for the size of city I want to live in. I have always disliked really big cities, and thought small towns and villages might be nice, but have since discovered that it becomes a real drag to have to travel an hour or more to a larger city to do any kind of shopping than for everyday groceries and such. Glad to see I have at least 2 options in the Algarve!

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dancebert
8/17/2019 14:09 EST

>About transportation from one city to another in Algarve area you have buses and a train, but within the city we haven't found hardly any,

That Portimão has a bus system is one of the reasons I checked it out in person as place to live. I count 19 routes.

Overview http://www.algarvebus.info/011.htm
Official route map https://www.cm-portimao.pt/images/menus/servicos/vaiEvem/elementosGraficos/Mapa_Rede_Urbana_2017.jpg

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Countga
8/17/2019 14:29 EST

Good for you. You will also be surprised what some of the smaller cities have as well. For example, here in Tavira we have a nice shopping mall with a large grocery store, a cinema, a garden store, a furniture & household goods stores & lots of clothing stores. Of course, the variety is even better in Faro due to its size. Good luck exploring in the Algarve.

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GeoffK
8/17/2019 21:17 EST

I live in Tavira and agree that it is a great place to live. Population is about 25k I think. Have lived in Olhao too and think that would also be suitable.

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GeoffK
8/17/2019 21:19 EST

I live in Tavira and agree that it is a great place to live. Population is about 25k I think. Have lived in Olhao too and think that would also be suitable.

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LovetheBeach
8/18/2019 10:27 EST

Thank you, dancebert!
I have been living without an automobile since I left the US 5 yrs. ago, and do not miss the expense and upkeep! Give me good public transit anyday!

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LovetheBeach
8/18/2019 10:29 EST

Thanks, GeoffK! I will definitely put Tavira on my list of places to visit!

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wilsonworld
8/18/2019 11:02 EST

Here's a nice video about Tavira from a Youtube couple I follow. They just filmed it so it's recent and relavent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37puBSv0VNk

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