To the thousands of Britons who already own a home in Portugal the answer is easy. Top of the list has to be the weather. Portugal enjoys an enviable climate in the summer, and many parts of the country, such as the Algarve, have mild winters, and even in the north the winters are still more agreeable than in many other parts of Europe.
Second on the list is the cost of living. Even though it has risen quite a bit over the past few years, living in or visiting Portugal is still comparatively cheap compared with other European countries. Although the cost of utilities in Portugal have increased substantially over the last decade or so, the same is true for most European countries. The good news is that many items such as beer and wine are considerably cheaper than elsewhere, and Portuguese wines can be extremely good.
The Mediterranean diet also means the Portuguese are amongst the healthiest in the world, and their life expectation is one of the highest in Europe. There is a public and private health system in Portugal, although the public health system doesn’t cover all of the routine tests taken for granted within the NHS. There are some dentists who work within the public health system, but most are private.
However the cost of dental treatment in Portugal can be much more affordable than in the UK. In spite of the recent economic troubles in Portugal, it’s still a great place in which to buy property for use as a holiday home, or in preparation for retirement. The great advantage of buying Portuguese property is that it can be rented out quite easily when not in use, and at the moment it’s possible to get some great bargains.