Alentejo walking – Photo: TURISMO ALENTEJO

Latest migration figures reveal flood of Brits moving to the Portuguese interior

The Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the UK has shared details of a significant surge in Brits moving to inland Portugal, ahead of its upcoming Moving to Portugal Show and seminars on October 21. The London show, which will take place at the Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel, will be the first in-person property event that the Chamber has held for two years.

Since the last in-person event, the number of Britons moving to Portugal has surged, with the country’s Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) revealing a 34.6% jump between 2019 and 2020. The increase takes the total number of Brits who are officially resident in Portugal to 46,238, meaning the British are now the second largest group of foreign residents in Portugal, after the Brazilians.

Ahead of the event, the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the UK has highlighted the locations that are attracting the most interest from British buyers and residents.

“The Algarve’s gorgeous, sunny beaches continue to make it the most moved-to area of Portugal for British expats, with Lisbon also attracting keen interest, as is usually the case. What is surprising is the sizeable increase in British buyers and movers seeking rural, inland properties in Portugal. Such areas can offer exceptional value for money by UK standards, along with breathtaking views and the chance to experience life in Portugal unspoiled – indeed, almost entirely untouched – by mass tourism,” says Christina Hippisley, General Manager of the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the UK.

According to SEF’s figures, the most popular inland area in 2020 in terms of an increase in British residents was the Castelo Branco district, in central Portugal, which shares a land border with Cáceres in Spain. Castelo Branco district is now home to 1,252 Brits. Far from the tourist crowds, the region is peaceful and charming, with traditional architecture and a reputation for its olive oil, wine and cheese.

The island of Madeira is also attracting keen interest, with 1,342 Britons living there in 2020. That number is expected to increase from 2022, since, despite its popularity as a tourist destination, property there will still qualify for inclusion in Portugal’s Golden Visa scheme.
With a stunning natural landscape, excellent cuisine and a traditional way of life, Madeira has a huge amount to offer. The capital, Funchal, is also delivering great yields for investors.


Portugal in general is looking good for 2022, as well. The country has just been voted the best place to live in 2022 in the annual Expats Exchange survey. Portugal’s “weather, culture, people, food, natural beauty and health system” were all flagged up by expats as things they love, and there was plenty of admiration for how the Portuguese government and citizens have handled the pandemic.

The upcoming Moving to Portugal show will support those interested in a new life in Portugal to explore the country in greater depth. Smaller than usual, to ensure it is Covid-secure, the show will feature a wide range of experts, with guidance available from the likes of Edge International, Currencies for You, Blevins Franks and Émigré for legal, visa, tax, pension, investment, finance and lifestyle issues.

On the property front, Nomad Bay Residences will be present to showcase Golden Visa-eligible homes, while Fine & Country Algarve will be offering a range of properties available across the country’s most popular region. Representatives of leading resorts will also be present, including Martinhal Family Resorts and Hotels.

Alentejo walking – Photo: TURISMO ALENTEJO

The event will also provide delegates with access to information on lifestyle matters, with individuals such as language tutors available to provide on-the-ground insights into life in Portugal.

“This event will answer common questions about moving to Portugal, addressing everything from delegates’ queries about their pensions to the price of a litre of milk. Our panel of experts will be on hand to provide in-depth information and advice, delivering exceptional value to all those interested in getting the best out of a new life overseas,” concludes Christina Hippisley.

Christina Hippisley, General Manager, Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, UK