In the south of Portugal (or the southwest extremity of continental Europe) lies the land of the Algarve, at the crossroads between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
The region holds a lot of Portugal’s history from the Pre-Roman Empire period to this very day, as it is highly prized by visitors for its touristic values.
While Lisbon and Porto have become sanctuaries for digital nomads with a swift rise of coworking spaces, improvements to internet infrastructures, and more, the Algarve, on the other hand, has developed at a slower rate on these specific matters.
Nevertheless, Al-Gharb, as it was named by the Moors, has kept its authenticity and raw beauty.
Beaches, lagoons, mountain ranges, the low cost of living, and the Mediterranean climate are the essential assets of the Algarve, but there’s more than meets the eye!
Now that we know that the Algarve is a great destinations, let’s find out together, in this article, how is Algarve for digital nomads.
How is the internet in the Algarve?
In the big cities of the region, such as Lagos and Faro amongst others, internet speed is high and reliable.
Faro’s average download speed, for example, goes as high as 64Mbps, and Portimao has an average download speed of 26Mbps.
Overall, if you’re able to find a place that offers WiFi within those towns, working remotely, using video calls, and so forth, will never be an issue.
The south of the Algarve also provides an impressive coverage for 4G users, as you can see in this image from Nperf.com.
All things considered, NOS has the biggest coverage but sits last in terms of speed, while MEO and Vodafone take first and second place with almost double the average speed.
Even though a majority of digital nomads will be fine with what NOS offers, the choice depends on your location, the length of the visit, and your needs.
Visa to work remotely from Algarve
All the information you will need to know about the best visas to get to work from Portugal has been summarised in this Portugal for digital nomads guide.
I highly encourage you to read the Visa section of this guide as there are several options available.
Where to stay in the Algarve?
To bounce back on that last point, there are quite a lot of spots you can stay in the Algarve and most of them are assigned to the major towns on the Mediterranean and Atlantic Coast.
The biggest town and where you’ll be more likely to meet fellow nomads is Lagos, although the cost of living there is quite high (still affordable) of the Algarve.
Cities like Faro and Portimao are just as reliable regarding connectivity and finding digital communities, while not having as much touristic attraction as Lagos gets.
Sagres is going to be your choice if you plan on surfing and maybe do your laundry at the Laundry Lounge where you can have a little drink and get some work done after a surf session!
Best Coworking & Coliving Spots
CoworkSurf in Sagres
Like said above, there is a community of surfers and freelancers who organize retreats at least once per year in Sagres, arguably the best location to ride some waves.
The workspace is limited to 6 people and the partner guesthouse sits 10 minutes off the beach, next to the Adega dos Arcos, a well-known restaurant in Sagres.
Go check their website here.
You will not find a lot of coworking spots like this one in the Algarve. The goal of the people behind Aljezur Life is to build a network for all the local businesses, platforms, and projects to be seen on and offline.
They provide high-speed internet, comfy chairs, and some really thorough guides on where to eat for the day and find a place to stay for the night.
To know more about this place click here.
You could book this amazing traditional sunny house in the historic center of Tavira in the eastern Algarve. This house provides high-speed WiFi, a communal lounge, a rooftop deck, a fully equipped kitchen, and many more.
All of those amenities are available if you book one of the many bedrooms which costs roughly $900 per month.
Carpe Diem Aljezur
Situated in the northwest of the Algarve, close to the Atlantic Ocean coast, Carpe Diem has been built with an idea in mind, to bring a stress-free environment with shared areas for remote workers.
It’s the closest thing to a proper coworking place, they have comfy chairs, hot desks, and fast WiFi. If you plan on hiking near Monchique (~30km), this is a great spot to stay during your trip.
The majority of digital nomads who have visited the Algarve have booked places through Airbnb.
You can use Flatio.com as well if you’re planning on staying for a month at least.
After that, Booking.com and the Algarve Digital Nomads Facebook group where you can exchange with other remote workers who have been or are in the Algarve, are your last two options to book or get information on a place to stay.
Why working remotely from the Algarve?
The weather & geography
In the Algarve, it is rare to see cloudy skies all year round and the Atlantic breeze cools up the high temperatures in the summer. During the off-season, beaches are a blessing for surfers and snorkeling.
The south of Portugal has many things to offer such as outstanding golf courses, breathtaking caves along the littoral of the Mediterranean Sea, and stunning cliffs to witness.
The north side of the Algarve, called Serra, conceals mountain ranges and thermal springs. Monchique is a fairly known spot for hikers.
The cost of living
Compared to other European countries, living in the south of Portugal is relatively cheap and estimated roughly at $2000 per month. It is one of the main reasons why digital workers and tourists alike are attracted to this region.
Getting around is also affordable, through trains (only connects Faro, Lagos, and Portimao) and buses which are particularly well built.
In short, you still have the same living standards that you would get in Spain or the UK, but cheaper.
In summary, the Algarve is a great region for digital nomads, both for its perfect location and the region’s affordable cost. While the coworking concept still grows slowly, you can find many places where you can work from and enjoy the lifestyle of the Algarve.