Euros 49000
or Exchange for a Classic Car

Waterfront Property For sale in Algarve Portugal

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The Algarve is a narrow strip of land, on the coast, 20/30 miles wide, south of a low mountain range and which runs east west on the southernmost tip of Portugal. It has a micro climate because it is influenced by the warm ocean trapped between the Algarve coast line and the Sahara desert and the low mountain range to the north, it is this micro climate that enables the Algarve to have a unique (in Europe) all year tourist season. The climate offers 300 sunshine days per year, very mild winters and little rain. This climate attracts European retirees to set up home in the Algarve and millions of tourists including snow birders and golfers to visit 365 days of the year. The rest of Portugal north of the Algarve has wet and cold miserable winters no different to the rest of Europe and so it is the Algarve that attracts by far the most investors and tourists in Portugal.

 Why are there so few waterfront properties in the Algarve?

There are of course coastal waterfront properties available, however a similar property to ours on the coast would attract asking prices upwards of Euros 400 000 depending on location. Ours is lakeside of course and the Algarve only has a handful of lakes, actually none are natural they are all dams, they are called Baragems and go by the names of Oudelouca (where Foz da Acor is), Bravura, Arade, Funcho, Odeleite, Beliche. There are only two navigable rivers, the Arade and the Guadiana. If you look at these lakes and rivers on Google Earth and scour the shore lines you will see there are only a handful of waterside homes. I have not counted them but probably about 400 in total throughout the whole Algarve, some of these are homes or have been developed and some are still ruins like ours. Google earth is a wonderful tool, you can see which are ruins and which are occupied just by the cars and vegetation surrounding the buildings.

Why are there are so few properties on the lakes? The Algarve in ages past was very sparsely populated, it was where the poorest farmers lived because the land was too dry and the coast had just a few small fishing villages. After a bloodless coup in 1975 the new government encouraged tourism and of course the Northern Europeans wanted warmth and sunshine, the Algarve was born. The huge growth of the tourism industry demanded water so dams were built and the valleys where most of the farms were situated were flooded, only houses above the high water line survived. The influx of tourism effected the coastline first and there was massive construction of hotels and villas, as land on the coast became more scarce and more expensive the trend moved slowly inland. The government in the 1990's realized that the invasion of rural areas by indiscriminate construction was threatening agriculture, the ecology and culture of the Algarve and in 1995 banned construction on vacant land and so new construction could only take place if there was an existing house or ruined house.

So this is why there are so few waterfront properties, the area was sparsely populated, many of the farms were in the valleys and were flooded, and before the developers could build on vacant land in the rural areas the law was changed to prevent it. In a nut shell if you want waterfront you have to buy an existing house or ruin, no exceptions.



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