Portugal was once a nation of explorers. Today, that process is happening in reverse, as the world travels to this sunny corner of the Iberian peninsula, eager for a warm-weather lifestyle with attractive business opportunities. And in return, Portugal has prepared a great welcome.
Connections between the UK and Portugal have been forged over several centuries, from the bodegas of Porto to the golf courses of the Algarve. And while UK citizens’ passion for Portugal endures, they are now being joined by a global array of talent: executive nomads and high-net-worth buyers and renters clutching laptops instead of golf clubs.
The number of foreign residents in Portugal has increased for seven years in a row, according to figures from the Portuguese immigration and border service. Many of these are executive nomads, described by Paul Tostevin, head of Savills World Research, as “a distant cousin of the freelance creative working from a cafe in Bali, who is more likely to own a villa in the Algarve or a condo in Miami, and regularly hops on a plane for a board meeting in London or Geneva”.
In the latest Savills Executive Nomad Index, looking at the 15 most popular spots for long-term remote workers, Lisbon came out on top, with the Algarve in fourth place.