The Most Affordable Sunshine in Europe!

Source: Telegraph.co.uk

The vote for Brexit hit British travelers in the wallet, but trips to Portugal soften the blow. Yes, it takes the euro, but the country remains one of the most affordable destinations on the Continent, offering visitors the elegance of Western Europe at Eastern European prices. In fact, in its 2017 Holiday Money Report, the Post Office Travel Money declared The Algarve the cheapest of 44 European destinations. Families can find particular savings in the shoulder seasons, at October half term, for example, when family hotels still have great sports and kids’ clubs, but at lower prices than in the summer months. Why not check out our rates: Villas in Algarve for rent (rates)

Portugal is officially one of the sunniest countries in the world, and at the height of the summer visitors to the Algarve can expect temperatures of 28C and 11 hours of sunshine daily (and about one day per month of rain).

Even if you go for October half term, you are likely to find appealing weather: 22C, with seven hours of sun daily (which beats the 14C and three hours of sunshine you’ll find in Blighty at the same time of year).

May half term is an even better bet: the crowds are fewer, you can expect temperatures of around 25C, and 10 hours of sunshine each day, with little chance of rain. Check out  Algarve weather temperatures and rainfall statistics.

Holiday makers with children are pretty much restricted to school holidays, however the rest of us can pick and choose when we want to go on vacation, often beating the hottest weather in the summer months and the crowds as well. Have a look at our availability and see if there are dates that night suit you. Also look at our special offers you might be in for a bargain.

Travel Magazine

Perfect BBQ Chicken Piri Piri

Whether you are at home or staying at our villa rental in Algarve you might want to try your hand at authentic Portuguese chicken Piri Piri.

First of all, if you don’t have a charcoal BBQ and charcoal then it simply will not turn out right nor taste the same.BBQ Chicken Piri Piri

Here is how we do it at Villa Vida Nova!

Buy the smallest and most tender chickens you can find and the more yellow the skin is the better. Dissect the chicken through the joints and cut the breast into manageable pieces, keep the skin and bone on but cut off any excess fat and discard. You can just buy drums and thighs if you like the dark meat, IMO they taste better than breast anyway.

There are many Piri Piri sauces in the local supermarket in Monchique, buy one and pour it over the chicken. You can add some fresh Piri Piri seeds from the garden if they are ready, be careful, don’t touch your eyes or anything sensitive after handling them! Add a handful of coarse salt, a shot or two of whiskey, half the juice of a lemon from the garden and leave for 24 hours in the fridge, turning the pieces over several times so that they get a good coating all over.

Chicken needs 40-45 minutes on the BBQ to make sure it is cooked through and not pink on the bone. So for this a supermarket bag of charcoal is not going to do it, 2 maybe but you don’t want to run out, so buy a big sackful from the vegetable shop with the plastic donkey on the Alferce road about 1/3 of a mile from the Intermarche on the left. A big sack is about 10-12 Euros whereas the Intermarche bags are about 5 Euros for about 1/6th of the quantity. You will then have plenty for several BBQs and what is left over the next guests will appreciate. Don’t skimp on the charcoal.

Use plenty of charcoal in the BBQ with a couple of fire lighters get it going and put the griddle in as low as possible so any fat on it burns off. Use the wire brush to give it a good clean, turn it over and do the other side. After about 20 minutes it should be ready but still too hot, level out the hot coals and damp it down by splashing cold water from a plastic drinking bottle. Keep that full and handy.Chicken Piri Piri at Villa Vida Nova

Put the chicken on the griddle the thickest pieces in the middle at the back and the thinnest and smallest pieces at the front and place at the highest level, make a note of the time and observe the underneath of the chicken. Don’t walk away from the BBQ you will need a helper to top up your beer or wine and your handy water bottle! Keep damping the coals if the chicken is cooking too quickly, the damping is to make the cooking period last the full 45 minutes. Keep turning the chicken every 3-5 minutes, it must not burn.

Don't skimp on the charcoal

As the charcoal burns away keep pushing it to the back and add more charcoal at the front which in turn will be pushed back and more added at the front to replace it. After about 25-30 minutes you should be able to move the griddle down a notch or two, keep adding charcoal as required and or water to dampen, keep turning, it should not be burnt but the skin should be turning crispy and brown and the skin on the drumsticks should be pulling upwards from the end.

That’s about it, after 40-45 minutes it should be perfectly done. Enjoy!

Portugal Property Market Report

Record year for Portuguese housing market on the cards

The current year is set to finish with more than 20 billion euros changing hands in real estate transactions across the country.

Record year for Portuguese housing market on the cards

 

The news of the continued growth in the Portuguese property market was revealed this week by the National Real Estate Agents’ Association (APEMIP).
The association said that with this projected growth, the property market will have expanded by 20 percent on last year’s figures.
APEMIP further forecast that this growth will continue for at least the coming two years. It said that the real estate market has received a decisive push through foreign investment, but said that continued growth is now also being supported by the domestic market, with investors cashing in on their bank deposits to invest in the buy-to-let market.
Meanwhile, new figures have show that the building industry has registered growth of over 40 percent.
According to the Pipeline Imobiliário Index, the number of building licences issued between the second quarter of 2016 and the second quarter of 2017 has climbed by 42.7 in mainland Portugal.
The issuing of licences to renovate or rebuild old homes performed particularly strongly, with an increase of just over 68 percent for the period in question.
Meanwhile, official figures out earlier this autumn indicated that the national housing price index has seen property prices rise by eight percent during the second quarter of the year when compared with the same period in 2016. House prices also rose on the first quarter of 2017, with the cost of housing up 3.2 percent.
Figures published by Portugal Statistics (INE) further revealed that new properties continued to report growth, while used properties, while still recording strong increases, slowed during the second quarter of the year.
The INE said that a total of just under 37,000 properties were sold between April and June, which is up 16.1 percent on 2016 and almost five percent above the number registered between January and March this year.
The total value of real estate sold during the second quarter was up 23.3 percent on last year, totaling 4.6 billion euros, of which 3.7 billion euros accounted for used homes.

If this does not tempt you, not sure what will! We invested in Portugal and have seen the value of our property in Monchique increase two fold in the last 12 years, what’s more it serves us as an escape from Canadian winters (snowbirding) and gives a great return on investment in the summer months because we rent it out. Have a look at our rental website and see what we have what our rates and availability are.

Portugal Named World’s Best Golf Destination!

Portugal has been named the World’s Best Golf Destination. The top award was handed out at the 2017 World Golf Awards held at the La Manga Club in Spain. Portugal also won the Best New Golf Course, by West Cliffs Golf Links, Lisbon.

Portugal currently welcomes 420 000 golfers to its 90 courses every year, with 82% of all rounds being played by foreign tourists.Golf 3

Voting for the 2017 awards closed at the end of September 2017 with a record number of ballots cast by leading golf industry tourism professionals. Theses were tallied alongside the votes of hundreds of thousands of golf consumers around the world.

Morgado and Alamos are two new courses just 15 minutes drive from our villa rental , Actually the villa is within an hours drive of almost 40 golf courses, so if an ideal base if you are a golfer!

The best months for golfers, when it is not too hot during the day and the summer madness is over are actually the winter months. It is ideal as the climate is cooler and much more friendly for a round or two. We have many golfing couples that stay at the villa in Monchique and play golf obviously but use the villa as a base for exploring the rest of the Algarve, Alentejo and even Southern Spain. There is so much else to see.

Portugal is the Worlds 3rd Safest Country

Portugal has meanwhile also been rated as one of the top three expat destinations in the world when it comes to the general living experience in the country.

The most peaceful country in the world is currently Iceland followed by New Zealand and then Portugal.

Portugal is becoming one of the most desirable countries in which to have a vacation , holiday home or retire to, safety plays an important role in most holiday makers choice of destination.

The Global Peace Index ranking at the start of autumn 2017 rates Portugal as the third safest country in the world, climbing up from it’s position of 5th in 2016. The Global Peace Index ranks 163 countries according to their domestic and international conflicts, safety and security and degree of militarisation. The most peaceful country in the world is currently Iceland followed by New Zealand and then Portugal. General crime in Portugal has dropped by 21 percent during the last 10 years while serious crimes are down 32 percent.

West coast 1

Top expat destination

Portugal has meanwhile also been rated as one of the top three expat destinations in the world when it comes to the general living experience in the country. (Yougov HSBC Expat, The News)

Come and see for yourself, you will not be disappointed the Algarve has a perfect climate and if you are looking for the perfect place to stay then look no further our own villa rental in Monchique would give you a perfect base to explore the Western Algarve.

Where is Home?

Living in both Canada and Portugal

Our villa in Monchique is available from mid March to end of November each year during which time we live in Canada. One of the most common questions we get asked is where do we consider our “Home” to be? And, it is a difficult question to answer. When we first started commuting between Canada and Portugal I would say that our boots were still in Portugal but lately Bev would certainly sway towards Canada as we spend the largest part of the year here. For me though, having been a nomad all my life I cannot say either way, apart from a week of jet lag at either end I soon settle into whichever home as if I had never been away.Float Plane over Nanaimo

We love both countries, and count our blessings every day. The only thing the two countries have in common is that the people are friendly and they are both very safe places to live, in both, if we go out and realise we forgot to lock the front door it is not an issue. Otherwise the two countries are about as diverse as you can get, everything from culture to food.

Getting into the Mode!

When in Portugal we have to get into “Portuguese mode”, that is: language, cars with clutches, (you should see our kangaroo stops), bureaucracy, bank and post office short opening times, cheap groceries and wine, wall to wall sunshine most days, awesome restaurant food,  and Portuguese drivers! In Canada mode, burgers, pot lucks, making our own wine, cheap gas (petrol), language, yes language, Canadians speak English but so many words are different that sometimes folks don’t have a clue what we are talking about!Our resident orphaned deer

Pets

One disadvantage of living in two countries is not being able to have pets. We would love to have a dog or two but what do you do with them when you are away for so long, to board them in kennels would not be fair so we have to content ourselves with “Bambi” our resident orphaned deer, here he is waiting for an apple!

Here is a proud mother with twins born in our garden this spring.Mom with twins

Stop overs

Traveling between the two countries creates opportunities as far as flights are concerned we have discovered that going via different places each time gives us an excuse to have a short stop over. This year we had a couple of weeks exploring Yorkshire, last year Southern and Northern Ireland and next year Southern Ireland again, you just have to taste those Irish breakfasts!

In conclusion we love both places, there are so many positive things about both and what few negatives may exist from time to time are insignificant.

 

Is British Columbia more British than Britain?

I have come to the conclusion, well nearly, that there are more Brits here in British Columbia Canada than in Britain! Just outside the provincial capital, Victoria, named after Queen Victoria, is Oak Bay, yes, named after English Oaks planted there over a century ago. it’s a suburb of rather Posh houses and is often referred to as being, “Behind the Tweed Curtain”. Plus fours, tweed jackets, Range Rovers and Jaguars abound!

Jaguar 420G
Nigel and Bev with their 1967 Jaguar 420G

We even have an annual Scottish Highland Games complete with hairy knees, cabers, wee drams, kilts and Bag Pipes! It doesn’t end there either, any excuse for a Scottish marching band and they are out in force often competing for Bag Pipe honors.

Our local pub is called the Lion Rampant, a Scottish pub and they serve Haggis and Cullen Skink. Just up the road we have the Crow and Gate, a replica of the original pub called the Crow and Gate in Crowborough, East Sussex, built by a local who was homesick for his beloved pub in Blighty. Even our local Fish n’ Chip shop has a photo on the wall of the cast of Coronation Street who dined there some years back! Yes, BC folks are hooked on Corrie too!

So not to be left out of all this Brit nostalgia stuff I bought a Jaaaag. It was a wreck but after some 1000 hours of solitary confinement in the garage (for buying it), it now resembles a luxurious Jaaaag! Or Jagwaaar as the Tweedies would pronounce it. DSC_2153  It’s a 1967 420G in Old English White. It is the largest car Jaguar ever built and one of only 1125 left hand drives made and one of only 67 imported into Canada, so it is quite rare and the Brits here can’t get enough of it! We entered it in several shows and concourse type competitions and have notched up 5 first prizes. DSC_2152  DSC_2154 The boot (trunk) is enormous, apparently the infamous Kray twins had one for moving “things” around! All in all it has turned out to be a most enjoyable and worthwhile project.

All offers considered………..I have my eye on a 59 Mark V. lol.