What is life in rural Portugal like ?
Life in the rural part of Portugal should not be compared with life in the more sophisticated urban areas of the same country. On the one hand, amenities such as electricity, water, telephones and good roads are more or less standard throughout all of Portugal, locating qualified technicians and trades persons may cause major problems. It is not unusual, for example, to find plumbers, gas fitters and electricians lacking even the most elementary certified qualifications, but don't worry, we have contacts for many tried and trusted trades persons. There are major differences concerning attitudes between medical, dental and legal professionals as well, this however is hardly surprising as a lopsided relationship has evolved through the years between those with and those without formal education.
What is the climate of central Portugal ?
In general, the climate in the central highlands of Portugal (approximately 50 kilometers inland from the Atlantic ocean, near the city of Coimbra) is friendly. There is usually ample rain in the period December through March, but little snow or ice. Because the altitudes of the municipalities in the hills vary considerably, it is unwise to make sweeping statements, particularly concerning frost. At 700 metres, there can be occasional light night frost in Pera, the village where we live. A village at 400 metres just 10 km south will be completely frost-free. A central heating system is therefore recommended for maximum comfort. The summer months can be particularly pleasant with much sun and clear skies. The weather is warm, but not humid, during the day. When the sun goes down, however, it cools off considerably. Therefore, it is always advisable to keep warm clothes at hand for the evenings. Rule of thumb observation about the climate in our part of Portugal, on a year round basis, the temperature is about 10 degrees warmer than the UK , France, Germany or the Netherlands.
What is the cost of living in rural Portugal ?
The cost of living compares very favorably with the UK, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. A monthly budget of approximately €1000 will cover mid-range expenditures for two people, including general maintenance of a large house, property taxes, electricity, heating, telephone, etc., as well as automobile expenses, food, entertainment and dining at local restaurants at least twice per week. This has remained stable for the past ten years. Try to match that anywhere in northern Europe !
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