Retiring to Portugal and Living in the Azores

Terceira - Azores

If you love Portugal you will love the Azores, and if you love the thought of retiring to Portugal but really, you want a guaranteed laid back lifestyle with fewer of the extremes of temperature that parts of Portugal can offer, why don’t you consider living in the Azores?

Located in the Atlantic Ocean, this archipelago of 9 islands has a pretty perfect climate, and what’s more the islands are stunningly beautiful, peaceful yet quite active locations offering would-be retirees a wealth of choice when it comes to activities as well as an affordable cost of living and a lovely location in which to live.

The climate in the Azores is affected by their location in the Atlantic Ocean, by the Gulf Stream and by their latitude as well – so whilst the Gulf Stream and the islands’ latitude could suggest one extreme of temperature, their physical location in the Atlantic ensures the climate is mild all year round.  Some have even gone so far as to suggest that the climate in the Azores is perfect!

In the summertime its warm, in the winter its mild, there is rainfall in moderation and only occasionally do storms hit the islands in the summer, with the odd rough winter day being the only negative climate issue!  Because of the attraction of the weather, the islands have become something of a retirement hotspot for British expatriates.  You will experience few harsh extremes and sufficient rainfall to ensure your garden and the surrounding countryside is always lush, verdant green.

If you are looking for a retirement location, the Azores are quiet enough when it comes to nightlife and tourism so that your summertime days and nights are not punctuated by noise and crowds…but at the same time, the islands have been well discovered and are beloved of visitors from many nations so that there is still plenty to do and see to stop you getting bored!

If you enjoy golf and had considered living in Portugal because of the number of incredible courses there are particularly in the Algarve, you’ll be please to know there are a fair few fairways in the Azores too!  You can try the Balalha or Furnas Golf Clubs on Sao Miguel island or perhaps Terceira Golf Course on Terceira island.  And if you’re a golf widow then don’t worry, there’s loads more to the Azores than just golf.

As mentioned, the islands are so lush and green thanks to the weather, they are also very fertile and so gardening is a popular pursuit.  Wining and dining out is also a highly enjoyable pastime because there are so many exceptionally good local restaurants and cafes on each of the main islands.  If you enjoy walking, hiking or mountain biking or cycling these are popular pursuits in the Azores – as is fishing with big game, sea and lake fishing all possible.  Bird watching is another popular pursuit – or if you prefer more activity what about tennis, horse riding, swimming or even scuba diving!

In terms of where to live in the Azores, well, the choice you make will be very much dictated by your lifestyle choices and also the locations you feel most at home in.  The islands are divided into three groups, the Eastern, Central and Western islands.  Sao Miguel is the most accessible and largest of the islands and is therefore home to more expatriates than the other islands and more tourists as well.  Santa Maria is a great island for those seeking tranquillity and the best weather in the entire archipelago, Terceira is popular with walkers and its capital is the harbour town of Angra do Heroismo which has been made a World Heritage site.

These are the three main islands of interest with would-be retirees…but to find the perfect location for you where you can put your feet up and make a home, you really need to spend an extended period of time exploring the islands.  I.e., that’s the perfect excuse for a holiday!

4 thoughts on “Retiring to Portugal and Living in the Azores”

  1. Looking for retirement information for living in the Azores. Cost of home buying what is need to purchase a home for a foreigner. Taxes and other expenses for moving and retiring from America to an Island in the Azores?

    What is the main economic factors in the Azores, i.e. farming fishing?

    Thank You

  2. Hello
    We would like to know how much money would we need to make the move from canada to the Azores? And can we get our pension from Canada transferred to the Azores ? Is there a big difference with Canadian money and Portugal money?
    And what would be the procedure to make the move?
    Thank you
    Hope to hear from you soon
    Have a nice day😊

    1. Hi Carole,
      It looks like a very exciting move, congratulations. We can’t help you much with the info as our primary audience is British. Rules concerning pension transfers differ from country to country. Look at the Double Taxation treaty between Portugal and Canada and see what it says about pension taxation. If under the agreement your Canadian pension is taxed in Portugal, then you will probably be able to benefit from 10 years of no tax living, however you do need to consult a specialist.
      Good luck with your move

  3. We just got back from our first trip to the azores and loved it. It has everything we have been looking for in a retirement location.
    Is there a certain area of São Miguel where retirees live? Is there an active retiree community to engage with?

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