Algarve Health and Wellness Travel
Why Gen Z to Baby Boomers are coming to the AlgarveWhy the Algarve is where wellness and health travellers, Gen Z and digital nomads flock to and is one of the best places to retire to or live in, connected to nature, with fresh air to breathe. The Algarve is justly famous for the amazing beaches and year round sunshine. But to reduce the region’s attributes to only grains of sand and rays of sunshine is overlooking much of what makes southern Portugal one of the best places to visit, to reconnect, to live and invest in or to retire to.
Check out the top reasons why the Algarve is one of the best wellness and new life destinations, offering quality of life that ticks practical as well as aspirational boxes.
In search of wellness
A much-used term these days, wellness is defined by Merriam-Webster as the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal. Seeking out conditions that allow for optimal health and wellbeing is a priority for Gen Z, Gen X, millennials and those approaching retirement. The abundance of vitamin D delivered via daily sunshine is an important element of the Algarve’s attraction but there are others, such as:
Excellent medical facilities – there is a network of private and public health services in Portugal. Expat residents of Portugal and the EU can join the state healthcare system which generally provides a high standard of care. Private hospitals networks, such as HPA, and clinics like the Orange Medical Centre, have agreements with a vast array of insurance providers and are popular options for elective medical procedures such as cosmetic surgery and aesthetic treatments or dental treatments, as well as dealing with emergency or chronic health issues.
Wide range of accommodation with wellness options – whether to undergo a medical procedure or simply to enjoy a period of rest, recovery and relaxation, the accommodation options are outstanding.
VILA VITA Parc resort is home to the only Sisley Spa in Portugal, using products that combine an advanced scientific approach with the finest natural ingredients, including plant extracts and essential oils.
Organic Neal’s Yard Remedies are available at Vivenda Miranda Spa in Lagos.
There is a great choice of locations for wellness retreats, pamper days, detox and yoga holidays, such as beautiful Casa de Mondo in Boliqueime and Casa Fuzeta in Olhão.
Of course, you don't need to leave your home for self-care. Algarve Hot Tubs install quality hot tubs, saunas and swim spas across the Algarve. Soaking in your hot tub on a mellow Algarve evening, while the sun sets is good for both body and soul.
VILA VITA Parc
The upcoming Algarve Tourism Conference aims to explore “new tourism for new times” with a focus on wellness, health travel and creating a sustainable, circular economy. Global ‘wellness tourism’ spend is rising rapidly and expected to surpass €900 billion by 2022, representing 18% of the global tourism market. Meanwhile, the GWI (Global Wellness Institute) predicts wellness tourism trips to grow by 8% annually reaching 1.2 billion by 2022. The Algarve’s unique attributes, current infrastructures and future investments could see the region become the top destination for health and wellness travel, as well as the number one choice for those seeking to find better work-life balance in beautiful natural surroundings.
If remote work and a good wi-fi connection mean you can work anywhere, it makes sense to choose somewhere beautiful that offers the chance to do other things you enjoy. The Algarve ticks this box, offering:
Superb sporting facilities
The Campus at Quinta do Lago offers high performance facilities for elite athletes as well as enthusiastic amateurs. National rugby, football, triathalon and para-olympic teams have trained here.
Padel and Tennis – there tennis holidays at Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago and other resorts, as well as private and municipal tennis clubs , such as ATF - Algarve Tennis and Fitness Club, where you can enjoy social tennis or join tennis lessons. Or take on some Padel. One of the fastest growing sports around, there are super padel clubs across the Algarve. As an added bonus, the social element of padel is a great wave for new residents in the Algarve to make friends.
Golf – as a serial winner of Best Golf Destination awards, the Algarve offers over 30 golf courses. For fun, for making connections or doing business, the quality of the courses is top class. The Algarve was named Golf Destination of the Year 2020 and there are some excellent golf offers available.
Gyms – in every town and in many resorts there is a choice of gyms and fitness facilities, including popular Crossfit centres.
Natural beauty – over 150kms of amazing coastline to explore when the work day is done. The Algarve region is perfect for walking, hiking, biking, sailing, surfing, kayaking or whatever your preference may be. Protected areas rich in bird-life and flora, salt-pans and sandbanks, miles of beaches, intriguing caves and gentle hills – all close to hand.
Work conditions – for digital nomads trying to get work-life balance right it helps to have the right working conditions. A good internet connection (Lazer Telecom have very speedy connection in the Central Algarve region) is a must have. If you like to work in company rather than alone there are several co-working spaces in the Algarve, in Faro, Portimão and Lagos for example.
Innovation – one thing you may not know about Portugal is that it has a strong track record of innovation and a current vibrant start-up scene. The Algarve Tech Hub aims to promote and grow the Algarve region as a global technological hub for technology-focused companies and individuals.
Easy Access – flight times to Faro airport from much of Europe is 3 hours or under with a good choice of routes. Lisbon, with an even greater selection of international routes is just a short flight or a 3 hour train or road journey from the Algarve
If you decide to relocate for lifestyle or retirement, the sunsets are even prettier in your chosen destination if it makes good financial sense to move there. Portugal offers some excellent incentives.
Non Habitual Residency – a programme which can essentially allow you to receive foreign income, such as pensions, tax free.
Tax incentives for returning residents – if you fulfil certain conditions and return to Portugal before 31 December 2020, you could qualify for a 50% reduction in employment and self-employment income tax for a five-year period (source: Blevins Franks).
Golden Visa programme - offers a renewable one-year residence permit to those who buy Portuguese real estate valued at €500,000+ (€350,000+ in urban regeneration areas), or who invest a minimum amount (starting at €250,000) in various types of Portuguese enterprise (source : Blevins Franks).
Do seek expert and qualified advice to ensure you benefit from the various programmes. See our Expat guide and Portugal tax page for more information
Buying property in the Algarve is generally considered to be a good investment. Resorts such as Vale do Lobo are tranquil and private, with ocean and golf front properties that have proven resilience in the property market. Owning property here is as much about buying into a lifestyle where the luxury lies in the natural setting, the clean air, ocean views and endless beaches, as it does in the bricks and mortar.
Good investments are not limited to beachfront resorts. There is a growing number of people looking for properties, such as old farmsteads in more rural locations or in residential towns such as Faro, Portimão, Tavira and Olhão which are among some of the best places to live in the Algarve. There are large multinational real estate agencies in the Algarve as well as independent agencies such as Lwl Properties in Tavira, or Sunpoint Properties in Praia da Luz and Casas do Barlvanto in the western Algarve. With many years experience in their local markets, these independent agencies often have the best insights and expertise in making sure a property transaction runs smoothly.
Quality of Life
If you are travelling or relocating for health and wellness reasons, to find a better lifestyle, this is a major factor. Portugal gets top marks across many different aspects of quality of life and is ranked #1 on the 2019 InterNations Expat Insider Survey Quality of Life index. Portugal is considered the 3rd safest country in the world according to the Global Peace Index 2019. The Algarve is considered to be one of the best beach destinations in the world, with 88 beaches awared the Blue Flag in 2019. The region has also been ranked by Forbes and CNN as one of the best places to retire to. The weather is a major bonus - not too hot, not too cold and with over 300 days of sunshine per year. The quality of food available in markets and at restaurants is consistently high with an empahsis on fresh and seasonal produce. Locals tend to follow a mediterranean diet rich in omega fats from fresh fish and seafood, plenty of vegetables and fruit. Portuguese food can be simple but very tasty. It is easy to eat very well and very healthily.
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