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Portugal Districts

Portugal is divided into 18 districts. The districts are further divided into Concelho and Freguesia.

The 18 districts are Aveiro, Beja, Braga, Bragança, Castelo Branco, Coimbra, Évora, Faro, Guarda, Leiria, Lisbon, Portalegre, Porto, Santarém, Setúbal, Viana do Castelo, Vila Real and Viseu. Plus, there are the Azores Islands.

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Pure Portugal Blog

Elevating Indoor Air Quality: The Unseen Role of Rising Damp in Portuguese Homes

In the pursuit of healthier living environments within Portuguese homes, a critical but often invisible factor is the impact of rising damp on indoor air quality. Rising damp, a condition where moisture seeps upward from the ground into building walls, can significantly degrade the air we breathe indoors, affecting not just the building’s structural health but also the well-being of its inhabitants. Moisture-laden walls provide a breeding ground for mould and mildew, which release spores into the air. These spores ...Read more

Taxation of holiday homes in Portugal

Holiday homes in Portugal are administered under the Alojamento Local (AL) regime. This is a regime that regulates holiday homes. Registration is mandatory for this regime and the home must meet certain requirements such as shading on the windows, the existence of fire extinguishers and a self-aid kit. Recently (in 2023), the socialist government in Portugal passed legislation with the aim of reducing the amount of AL properties in Portugal. Now, it is no longer possible to obtain an AL ...Read more

Portugal’s Hidden Gems: Exploring Off-the-Beat Rural Areas

Exploring Portugal’s hidden rural areas reveals a world of enchanting landscapes, historic villages, and cultural richness, offering a serene escape from the well-trodden tourist paths. Here are some off-the-beat gems to consider for your next Portuguese adventure: Peneda-Gerês National Park: This is Portugal’s only national park, boasting stunning landscapes like lush forests and sparkling lakes. It’s a haven for hikers and wildlife enthusiasts, where you might spot the Iberian wolf or golden eagles. The park is dotted with traditional villages ...Read more

The Art of Composting in Portugal

Creating a successful compost pile is an enriching endeavour for any property owner in Portugal, blending seamlessly with the pursuit of sustainability and the cultivation of lush, productive gardens. It is not as simple as ‘chuck it in a pile and leave it’ but it certainly does not need to feel daunting either! We thought we would share some top tips on the ‘art’ of layering your compost, this is really a critical process that balances green (nitrogen-rich) and brown ...Read more

Enhancing Energy Efficiency in Portuguese Homes: The Role of Rising Damp

In the quest for energy efficiency within Portuguese homes, a critical but often overlooked factor is the role of rising damp. Rising damp, a condition where ground moisture travels up through the walls, can significantly impair a building’s insulation properties. This often leads to increased energy consumption, particularly in heating, as damp walls require more energy to warm up. The impact of rising damp on a building’s thermal resistance is a key concern in Portugal’s diverse climate. Damp walls have ...Read more

Growing Your Own Food in Portugal: April – Spring in Full Swing

April in Portugal is synonymous with spring in full swing. The landscape is alive with growth, offering a plethora of gardening opportunities. Understanding April in Portugal: The north enjoys mild temperatures, central regions bask in pleasant warmth, and the south is awash with Mediterranean sun, making this a fantastic month for diverse planting. Water and Soil Management: April showers are common, especially in the north, making it essential to manage water effectively. Mulching becomes crucial to retain soil moisture and ...Read more


It is the beginning of December and it seems the fine weather is over here in the Serra da Lousã. I blame the full moon. It is raining sideways, downwards and even upwards, as column after column of cloud drifts through the valley and up over the ridge. The phenomenon is called chuva tocava do vento — rain touched by the wind. Cerdeira seems to huddle down under its trees, each house clutching onto its neighbour for shelter. Warmth and ...Read more

The Cost of Living in Portugal: Budgeting for Your New Portuguese Life

As of 2024, Portugal continues to be an attractive destination for its relatively affordable cost of living, especially when compared to other Western European countries. On the Pure Portugal Living The Good Life Facebook Page the topic of budgets comes up at least a few times a month. Whether you’re planning to move to Portugal or just curious about the expenses, here’s an overview of the living costs you can expect, including utilities, groceries, healthcare, and leisure activities. Utilities and ...Read more

Growing Your Own Food in Portugal: March – Spring’s Awakening

March in Portugal is where the magic of spring truly begins. The soil warms, seeds sprout, and gardens come alive with the promise of a new growing season. Understanding March in Portugal: The varied climate across Portugal’s regions now starts to uniformly welcome the spring. Days are longer, and temperatures are rising, creating ideal conditions for a wide variety of crops. Water and Soil Preparation: With the increasing warmth, it’s time to ensure your irrigation systems are ready. Continue to ...Read more


Late at night an owl circles Cerdeira, filling the valley with its lonely cries. A small creature scurries over the roof tiles, intent on some personal goal I can’t fathom. Deer are known to come right down the steep slate steps of the village. One morning, I saw a herd of five does under the watchful eye of a stag high on the mountain. They observed me with mild curiosity for several minutes before moving off. Officially, there are 27 ...Read more

Portuguese Residency: Navigating Visa Options for Property Owners

Understanding the intricacies of residency and visa options for property owners is essential. Here we share a short guide to help make things seem a little less hazy! Residency Options for Property Owners (remember as a rule anyone can buy in Portugal regardless of your residency status!) Portugal offers several pathways to residency for property owners. The most renowned is the Golden Visa program, which allows non-EU investors to gain residency by purchasing property. Although there have been recent changes ...Read more

Growing Your Own Food in Portugal: February – Preparing for Spring’s Arrival

February in Portugal is a transitional month, bridging winter’s end and the onset of spring. It’s a time to prepare and anticipate the burgeoning growth ahead. Understanding February in Portugal: As the days start to lengthen, there’s an air of expectancy in the garden. The north remains cool, central regions begin to warm up, and the Algarve starts to feel the first hints of spring. Soil and Water Work: It’s vital to prepare the soil for early planting. Adding well-rotted ...Read more

Understanding Portugal’s Property Market: Trends and Predictions for 2024

As 2024 gets well underway, Portugal’s property market remains a topic of keen interest for investors, expats and locals alike. The market is diverse, with various trends and predictions painting a picture of opportunity and caution. Market Dynamics Portugal’s property market in 2024 is witnessing contrasting trends. Some areas, particularly the Algarve and Lisbon, are experiencing huge growth in property values still, driven in the main by international investment, urban regeneration, and a scarcity of new developments. This growth is ...Read more

Golden Visa update from Holborn Assets

Update from Jason Swan  You’ll be pleased to know that the Portuguese government has recently announced that the application period for the Golden Visa (6-18 months), will now count towards the 5-year qualifying period for citizenship. This is excellent news and will significantly reduce the time it takes, to receive your passport and rights to live in the EU. I can confirm that the NHR tax regime has now been withdrawn – however, it remains available for clients who started ...Read more

Rewilding project after wildfires in Portugal – Can You Help?!

We wanted to take a moment to share this fabulous GoFundMe because it is such a fabulous cause! Steve and Sarah bought Quinta da Chumbaria after seeing it advertised on Pure Portugal and what they have achieved there is nothing short of amazing! Not only are they lovely humans, who deserve all the luck in the world, what they are aiming (and succeeding) to achieve is nothing short of amazing, they are a real inspiration! If you can help with ...Read more

The Pure Portugal Festivals Guide – 2024

Portugal’s vibrant festival scene continues to thrive and grow, offering an array of events that cater to all tastes and ages. Whether you’re into music, art, culture, or just looking for a great time, Portugal’s festivals in 2024 are not to be missed. Here’s is your 2024 month-by-month guide to some of the most anticipated festivals of the year. FESTIVAL MED (27 – 30 Jun): A celebration of global culture, music, and gastronomy in the sunny ambience of Portugal. Primavera ...Read more

New Year, New Home: Top Locations to Buy Property in Portugal in 2024

In 2024 Portugal remains an idyllic destination for property seekers. Renowned for its diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant lifestyle, Portugal offers a wealth of opportunities for investors and homebuyers alike. Here we take a look at some of the top places people are looking to purchase property in 2024! The Algarve: Timeless Appeal The Algarve, with its breathtaking beaches and top-notch golf courses, continues to captivate property buyers in 2024. Quaint towns like Albufeira, Lagos, and Faro blend old-world ...Read more

The Pure Portugal Guide To Portuguese Public Holidays & Celebrations – 2024

Whether you are just visiting Portugal or already living here you will want to be sure you know the important dates and public holidays which happen through the year, many businesses close over holidays and there are some great celebrations to join in with too! Not all businesses close for a public holiday, generally you can still find supermarkets and main shops open especially in larger places, public transport will still run usually also, but expect to find the local ...Read more

Growing Your Own Food in Portugal: January – Embracing Winter’s Subtlety

In the heart of winter, January in Portugal offers a unique palette for the dedicated gardener. Let’s explore how the Portuguese landscape’s subtle beauty can be harnessed during this quiet season. Understanding January in Portugal: The north experiences chillier days, central regions see milder temperatures, while the south enjoys a gentle Mediterranean climate. This variety across the country creates diverse opportunities for gardening. Water and Soil Management: January is typically a wet month, especially in the north. Harvesting rainwater now ...Read more


Between the earth, the water, the fire and the air, pottery invokes the magic or transformation. Do we have the humility to learn from it? –from the RTP television series “Histórias da Cerámica” featuring Renato Silva and Kerstin Thomas Potter and wood carver Kerstin Thomas was hiking through the mountains with friends in 1988 when they stumbled upon the abandoned village of Cerdeira hanging on a mountainside, high above the town of Lousã in central Portugal. Kerstin thought it would ...Read more

Getting a visa to live in Portugal

There are many types of visa which you can use to move to and live in Portugal – some of the lesser known types of visa for Portugal are the Start-up Visa, Study Visa, Employment Visa and the Family Reunification Visa to name a few, but here below we have shared information on the more commonly used visas to consider for anyone wanting to move to Portugal from outside the EU. Visa-Free Stay: Eligibility: Citizens from the UK, USA, Canada, ...Read more

Living the Slow Life: Embracing the Charms of Small Towns in Portugal

Portugal frequently ranks among the least expensive European destinations for travellers to fly to and discover from North America. However, this stunning country is filled with more than only its capital, Lisbon, or its second city, Porto, known as the wine powerhouse. Drive to any or all of these quaint little villages and unexplored beauties throughout Portugal to experience the country from a new perspective. Are you trying to find out which Portuguese small towns are the most suitable to ...Read more

The Portugal Digital Nomad Visa – D8 DNV

In response to the growing interest in the D7 Visa, which was initially designed for retirees, Portugal introduced a new Digital Nomad Visa (DNV) program to attract remote workers and freelancers. The D7 Visa, has been in existence for several years, and was primarily aimed at pensioners seeking to relocate to Portugal. However, the program became popular among digital nomads and remote workers seeking to relocate to Portugal as well. Despite the fact that the D7 program explicitly required passive ...Read more

Kings Day in Portugal (Dia de Reis)

Kings Day (Dia de Reis) in Portugal falls on January 6th, it is a day steeped in history and tradition, marking the end of Christmas festivities and the beginning of a new year filled with hope and joy. Historical Significance: Kings Day in Portugal marks the adoration of baby Jesus by the Three Kings (sometimes known as the wise men) who travelled across the desert for 12 days to get to Bethlehem, they represented Europe, Arabia and Africa and travelled ...Read more

Bolo Rei Recipe

Find our the significance of this traditional recipe by clicking here Yeast Preparation: 25g active yeast 2 tsp granulated sugar 100g all-purpose flour 75ml warm water Fruit Mixture: 250g finely chopped assorted crystallized fruit 100g seedless raisins 1 tsp finely grated lemon rind 1 tsp finely grated orange rind 2 tablespoons port wine 1 tablespoon rum Dough: 150g butter 150g granulated sugar 3 eggs 2 egg yolks 600g all-purpose plain wheat flour 75ml warm milk 50g chopped almonds 50g chopped ...Read more

Creating Your Dream Home: 9 Essential Considerations for Residential Architecture

Creating your ideal house requires a careful examination of residential architecture. We will examine nine crucial factors in this article that provide the groundwork for realising your goal. Every component, from subtle aesthetics to clever space planning, is essential in creating the house you will call your own. Creating the Dream Home Let us explore these considerations to ensure that your ideal residence, designed in collaboration with a reputable residential architecture firm, encapsulates both your personal design preferences and functional ...Read more

Top 5 Universities in Portugal for Exchange Students

Not only because of its affordability and high quality of education, Portugal is one of those countries where students from all over the world come to learn. A true reason is adherence to strong morals and the friendliness of college professors who appear to be much nicer and less strict while still being demanding. If you ask an average exchange student in Portugal, you will receive happy feedback and encounter a sense of relaxation. Let’s see what universities you should ...Read more

How to Immerse Yourself in Portuguese Culture: Unveiling the Top 5 Traditions of Local Students

The Portuguese culture is all about friendliness and respect, which also shows when it comes to an academic environment. It is a reason why so many exchange students feel at home when they visit Portugal and quickly dive into various ways to learn. The local students also have several traditions that they are eager to share as soon as they engage in a friendly conversation. Let’s take a peek at the top 5 amazing traditions that make studying in Portugal ...Read more

Which Documents Require Certified Translation in Portugal?

Portugal, with its rich history and thriving economy, is a destination for many individuals seeking business, education, and residence opportunities. In such a context, the need for certified translation services becomes paramount. This article will delve into the types of documents that typically require certified translation in Portugal and the nuances involved in the process. Introduction to Certified Translation in Portugal Certified translation services in Portugal play a crucial role in ensuring that documents are accurately and officially translated, adhering ...Read more

Mastering the Portuguese B2 DIPLE Language Level

“Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. “ — B2 DIPLE Language Level After a two-year absence, I returned to Portugal on a month-long working holiday, two weeks of which were spent as writer in residence at Cerdeira — Home for Creativity, an artistic retreat high in the mountains above Lousã. It is a high, serene place, linked to the town down below by ...Read more

The End of the Non Habitual Residency Program (NHR).

The end is near for the 10 year tax benefit offered by the NHR status, first launched in 2009. This program alone is responsible for thousands of foreign nationals relocating to Portugal since its implementation. People from all over the globe attracted to Portugal by our nice weather, culture, peace index and low taxation offered to non-habitual residents. The government announced on 2nd October 2023 that NHR will stop in 2024 as a measure to fight fiscal injustice. This is ...Read more

Permaculture in Portugal: December Delights and Duties

Ah…December in Portugal! While the rest of Europe dons heavy coats, Portugal, with its mild winters, offers a unique gardening landscape. As Christmas bells jingle in the distance, those with green fingers still have a wealth of permaculture tasks and opportunities. Let’s dive into the world of December gardening in Portugal from a permaculture lens. Portugal’s December Garden: A Snapshot Sure, the days are shorter and nights cooler, but the Portuguese soil is far from dormant. Winter rains grace the ...Read more

Christmas in Portugal

Some of us are preparing for our first Christmas in Portugal! Some of us are well-seasoned stayers for Portuguese Festivities! Having spent Christmas in many different countries over the years and having the joy of seeing many different traditions and celebrations I can truly say that none compares to the warmth and love of the Portuguese Christmas! Little villages and towns are adorned with decorations, nativity scenes ‘presépio’, coloured lights and more often now the seemingly obligatory climbing Santa. In ...Read more

12 Days Of Christmas

We decided to share the Pure Portugal 12 days of Christmas. Where for the first 12 days of December the Pure Portugal Team picked a Portuguese word relating to Christmas or winter to prepare us all for the fun festive time ahead! First Day Of Christmas Pinheiro – Pine Tree  The favoured tree to be used as the Christmas Tree! Can also be known as ‘Avore de Nata Second Day Of Christmas Rabanadas – French toast A traditional treat, sometimes ...Read more

How to Dry Citrus Fruit in The Oven

Great tips from The Mini Smallholder on how to dry citrus fruit to use as cheap, low impact decorations. When you dry citrus fruit in the oven at home you go low and slow to fill the house with a gorgeous festive smell. Because this time of year is all about creating memories. This falls into the category of things your kids will love about Christmas. It is more sustainable than plastic decorations which are designed to be used this ...Read more

Surviving and Thriving: November Permaculture in Portugal

In the realm of survival, every advantage is essential. In Portugal, as November ushers in the final lap of autumn, the earth is not dormant; it’s just more selective. Leveraging permaculture principles, even in the slightly cooler climes, can be your ace in the hole. Let’s explore how to maximise yields and prepare for the coming months. The Lay of the Portuguese Land in November While Portugal’s coastal regions benefit from the tempering influence of the Atlantic, its interiors can ...Read more

The Portuguese Caminho de Santiago: Solo, Group or ….Forever?

Thinking of walking solo on the Caminho de Santiago? It’s a fun and challenging walk whether in a group or as a solo traveller. Having done it with a partner and by myself, I can say I enjoyed both, but would probably lean towards going solo next time. Wait a minute, you say, …what’s this about “next time”? Once you have done the Caminho, it can become a regular thing, or even an obsession. It is hard to put into ...Read more

‘Halloween’ In Portugal

Not so long ago, Halloween, as many people know it, wasn’t really something celebrated widely in Portugal, however ‘Halloween’ has actually always existed as a day of celebration in a traditional form. ‘All Saints Day’ is celebrated on the 1st of November, which is a public holiday, and is followed by All Souls Day on the 2nd of November, which is not a public holiday. *During a public holiday Banks, post offices and other public services are closed (this includes ...Read more

Devilish Pumpkin Bowl Soup

Ingredients For the Soup 2 tbsp olive oil 2 onions , finely chopped 1kg pumpkins or squash 700ml vegetable stock or chicken stock Salt and freshly ground black pepper Method Cut the top off the pumpkin and set aside. Scoop out the seeds and fibres from the middle, discard or you ca n set them aside if you want to bake/roast the seeds to eat or dry them to save a plant later. Using a sharp knife and a spoon, ...Read more

Permaculture in Portugal: October Planting and Nurturing

  If you’ve been wondering how to harness the beauty of Portugal’s October season, you’re in the right place. Let’s deep dive into the permaculture world, tailored to the Portuguese landscape. Understanding October in Portugal From the rolling expanses of Alentejo to the picturesque slopes of the Douro Valley, Portugal boasts a wealth of diverse environments. As summer’s heat gradually mellows into autumn’s crisp embrace, October emerges as an ideal month for planting and tending. Harnessing Water: With summer drawing ...Read more