The reputation of the Western Algarve as a mecca for active water sports is well established. Each sport has its particular beach venues – Castelejo, Amado, Arrifana and Monte Clerigo on the West Coast for surfing, Martinhal near Sagres for wind-surfing and the Alvor Lagoon for kite-surfing.
Two recently published surveys point to an improving picture for the Algarve property market. The 10-10-10 report from ILM Group in conjunction with Property Lynx concludes that a bottom was reached in the first half of 2012 and that the residential tourism sector is beginning to pick up. The RICS/CI Survey for February 2013 covering the whole of the Portuguese housing sector reports that confidence amongst agents is at its highest in two years.
1. Do AlmaVerde villas have wi-fi?
A few villas have unlimited wi-fi access. There is also a wi-fi hotspot in and in front of the reception building, and an internet-connected PC available for use during reception opening hours. In addition, wi-fi routers and pay-as-you-go pens are available from reception against a refundable deposit. A router enables multiple devices – computers, mobile phones, games consoles – to enjoy simultaneous wireless access from the villa or any other location. You only pay for the time that the router is switched on.
Last August, looking to stimulate its property market as well as its small-to-medium enterprise sector, Portugal introduced a Golden Residency scheme under which a non-EU person can obtain EU residency in return for an investment of €500,000 in property or €1,000,000 in a business.
A major benefit of the Portuguese scheme is that it opens access, with no further passport or immigration controls, to the 26 countries of the Schengen area.
Continuing its protest against the introduction of the A22 tolls, the Algarve’s Left Bloc is taking to the N125 on 25th July to highlight the many “black spots” and to stress the need for urgent improvements, if the N125 is ever to be a viable toll-free alternative to the A22.
The euro was launched in a blaze of euphoria on 1st January, 1999. We take midday in Frankfurt as the natal moment. You can look at the euro’s natal chart here
Appropriately for a currency, the ascendant Libra’s ruler is Venus, a key indicator of wealth and prosperity. But Venus is in Capricorn, indicating that this wealth must be hard-won. Clearly the young currency has some painful growing up to do. The Sun too is in Capricorn, and Saturn – ruler of both Sun and Venus in this chart – is in Aries.
Saturn is the disciplinarian of the horoscope. Modulated through Aries, Saturn will be an enthusiastic but headstrong and impulsive teacher, without the patience and compassion that a young, vulnerable Capricorn currency needs to feel secure. Even more challenging is the opposition with Saturn’s ruler Mars in Libra. This is ennervating, as the energy to gets things done is bogged down in endless Libran talks on the Saturnine themes of discipline and austerity.
Each autumn, Aljezur celebrates the sweet potato and its importance to the community by holding a Festival.
The 2011 event ran from Thursday to Sunday, from midday to midnight, except on the Sunday, when it closed at 9 pm. It takes place in the Espaço Multiusos, a vast, one hundred metre long metal shed set among steep wooded hills with views across the valley to the old town and castle.
Aljezur was founded in the tenth century by the Arabs, but in 1249 was taken by a band of knights of the Order of Santiago. They attacked the castle so suddenly that the moors had no time to defend themselves.
The long-anticipated toll charging system for the Algarve’s A22 motorway came into effect on 8th December 2011. The system covers the length of the A22, but some toll-free, short journeys can be made, particularly between adjacent exits. For example, it is possible to cross the bridge from Spain using the A22 and transfer to the N125, or to travel from Bensafrim to Lagos, without incurring a charge.
The normal toll rate for class 1 small cars is 9c/km. The class 1 journey from Lagos to the airport currently costs €6.60 including IVA. Toll rates for 9-seaters, SUVs and other larger vehicles are higher. There are no toll booths as such. The system captures number plate information using cameras mounted on overhead gantries, and automatically creates or updates an account for each vehicle identified.
Originally scheduled to be introduced in April, the A22 tolls have been strongly resisted by local residents and businesses. This is despite the exemptions and discounts being offered temporarily to people living or working in adjacent council areas. Visitors to the Algarve, particularly the Spanish, have also opposed the measure, going so far as joining with the locals in demonstrations involving hundreds of vehicles.
3,000 hours of sunshine per year, cooling ocean breezes to moderate the summer heat, and seasonal rainfall all contribute to a great climate. No wonder Andalusians have been snapping up holiday homes in the area!
Faro is among the best-served warm weather destinations for cheap flights from UK and European cities. The 2h 30m flight time puts it within easy weekend reach. A modern, fast motorway network connects the Western Algarve to Faro, Seville, Lisbon and beyond.
Boca de Rio Beach
Quantitative research has been lacking to support this contention. However, as reported in award winning US blog Jetson Green, recent research conducted by the Earth Advantage Institute, an Oregon-based non-profit organization, found that new homes with a green certification (US Green Building Council’s LEED in this instance), sold for 8 per cent more than new homes without a certification. Moreover, existing homes with a green certification sold for 30 per cent more than homes without such a certification. The research was carried out in several districts in Washington, Oregon, and was based on sales between 1 May, 2010 and 30 April, 2011. While there were differences from district to district, the overall results strongly supported the notion that both new and existing homes with a green certification have higher sale values.
The contribution made by thermal mass is not fully recognised