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Portugal’s Low Density Regions

What are low-density areas in Portugal?

Low-density areas are determined by the so-called NUTS 3 regions. It defines them as areas that have less than 100 inhabitants per km2 or a GDP per capita of less than 75% of the national average.

Low-density areas are not the same as interior regions.

The definition of low density applies basically to all inland regions of Portugal and some coastal areas (Silvercoast & West Algarve). These areas change constantly and must be checked at SEF every 6 months. The inland regions are defined in Portaria nº 208/2017 July 13.

Map
*Municipalities where some of the parishes are considered Low Density and the others are High Density

What are some of the best low-density municipalities to invest in real estate?

For those who wish to invest in low-density areas, these are some of the best regions: Alentejo, Douro Valley, and Algarve.

What do they have in common?

They all offer low and competitive prices, ideal if you wish to retire or invest in tourism.

A great part of the real estate growth and investment around here can be explained by analyzing tourist behavior. For example, during the pandemic, we registered more corporate bookings of businesspeople working remotely. This means there are some who prefer to work from Portugal for a few months, given our great quality of life.

Algarve
low density algarve portugal
Lagos, Algarve. Sent in for our Photo Contest ©Sara Pereira
  • For most investors, it is a dream come true. Several areas in Algarve are now suitable for low-density routes: Castro Marim, Vila do Bispo, Monchique, Alcoutim, and Aljezur, even some parishes of Loulé and Tavira.
  • Algarve is Portugal’s most popular region among European expatriates. Either in the summer or winter, it has tremendous tourism growth.
  • You can invest in a vacation home or use the highly profitable opportunity that touristic accommodations represent
Douro Valley
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Douro Valley. Sent in for our Photo Contest. ©Sara Pereira
  • Classified as World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the region is one of the most acclaimed areas in the world.
  • The breathtaking valleys and renowned wines are profound reasons why many travel to the Douro Valley.
  • You can enjoy the full beauty of the river, by going around it by train. Or enjoy a ride on one of the numerous cruises. Excursions in the Douro region include high-quality cuisine, wines, and nature. 
  • Some low-density areas to get to know around here are AlijóMesão Frio and São João da Pesqueira
  • Country houses overlooking the river or wine-focused properties are always good investments in this valley, guaranteeing a high-profit margin and good times.
ALJEZUR
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Aljezur at night
  • Aljezur is widely known for being surrounded by the sea and the hills of the Costa Vicentina. Between the regions of Alentejo and Algarve, its cliffs are considered idyllic locations for the breathtaking views.
  • The amazing beaches here (Arrifana, Amoreira, and Bordeira) are sought after by surfers from all over the world.
  • The houses show traces of local architecture: the first floor with walls covered with adobo which is very good for thermal insulation; the houses are large with great sun exposure, gardens, and fireplaces. 
ALCÁCER DO SAL
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Alcácer do Sal. Sent in for our Photo Contest. ©Inês Costa
  • In the South of Lisbon lies one of the main real estate growth markets in Portugal. The region is called Comporta and is the investment target of most international buyers.
  • Comporta’s famous for its fantastic beach and nature. It’s considered premium land, very limited. Bordering Tróia peninsula, a sought-after vacation spot in itself, only adds to its charm.
  • In Comporta, a house can easily reach 1,000,000 Euros or more. Located in the district of Alcácer do Sal, it’s 20 minutes away from the beach of Comporta, right on the bank of a beautiful river.
  • Considered a low density area and being close to cities like Lisbon or Setúbal, it’s more than worth the investment.
ÉVORA
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The Temple of Diana, in Évora.
  • The southern of Portugal hides away several historic and quiet cities such as Évora. The city is known for its famous and well-preserved Roman temple, the Temple of Diana. 
  • Though a bit far away from the biggest cities, the University of Évora – one of the biggest public universities in Portugal – attracts a lot of students from surrounding districts.
  • With more people looking to stay in Évora, there’s a growth in searches for accommodation, which boosts the real estate market. It’s a great investment if you’re looking to buy and rent your property.
SERRA DA ESTRELA
serra da estrela
Serra da Estrela. Sent in for our Photo Contest. ©José Alves
  • A famous destination for winter sports, this is the highest mountain in mainland Portugal.
  • The unique rock formations, natural habitat, and high-quality regional products are some of the factors that make it perfect for investment.
  • With such a great location and several villages scattered around the mountain, it has become quite sought after for the nature trails and rural experience.
  • A lot of people acquire rural houses to use for a season and rent them for the rest of the year. This represents quite the investment since more people look forward to having some quiet time away from big cities.
MIRANDA DO DOURO
low density region golden visa portugal
Miradouro de Castrilhouço, Miranda do Douro.
  • Miranda do the Douro is a city in the district of Bragança, northeastern Portugal.
  • Right by the border with Spain, it is bathed by the Douro river and surrounded by the magnificent landscapes of the International Douro Natural Park. 
  • The city receives around 120 000 visitors per year, most of them Spaniards, due to its proximity to Spain. That’s why it made a great investment in urban regeneration, in tourism, and commerce.

List of Low density regions

Municipalities

Alentejo Central

  • Alandroal
  • Arraiolos
  • Borba
  • Estremoz
  • Évora
  • Montemor-o-Novo
  • Mora
  • Mourão
  • Portel
  • Redondo
  • Reguengos de Monsaraz
  • Vendas Novas
  • Viana do Alentejo
  • Vila Viçosa

Alentejo Litoral

  • Alcácer do Sal
  • Grândola
  • Odemira
  • Santiago do Cacém

Algarve

  • Alcoutim
  • Aljezur
  • Castro Marim
  • Monchique
  • Vila do Bispo

Alto Alentejo

  • Alter do Chão
  • Arronches
  • Avis
  • Campo Maior
  • Castelo de Vide
  • Crato
  • Elvas
  • Fronteira
  • Gavião
  • Marvão
  • Monforte
  • Nisa
  • Ponte de Sor
  • Portalegre
  • Sousel

Alto Minho

  • Arcos de Valdevez
  • Melgaço
  • Monção
  • Paredes de Coura
  • Ponte da Barca
  • Vila Nova de Cerveira

Alto Tâmega

  • Boticas
  • Chaves
  • Montalegre 
  • Ribeira da Pena 
  • Valpaços 
  • Vila Pouca de Aguiar

Área Metropolitana do Porto

  • Arouca

Ave

  • Cabeceiras de Basto
  • Fafe
  • Mondim de Basto
  • Póvoa de Lanhoso
  • Vieira do Minho

Baixo Alentejo

  • Aljustrel
  • Almodôvar
  • Alvito
  • Barrancos
  • Beja
  • Castro Verde
  • Cuba
  • Ferreira do Alentejo
  • Mértola
  • Moura
  • Ourique
  • Serpa
  • Vidigueira

Beira Baixa

  • Castelo Branco
  • Idanha-a-Nova
  • Oleiros
  • Penamacor
  • Proença-a-Nova
  • Vila Velha de Ródão

Beiras e Serra da Estrela

  • Almeida
  • Belmonte
  • Celorico da Beira
  • Covilhã
  • Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo
  • Fornos de Algodres
  • Fundão
  • Gouveia
  • Guarda
  • Manteigas
  • Meda
  • Pinhel
  • Sabugal
  • Seia
  • Trancoso

Cávado

  • Terras de Bouro
  • Vila Verde

Douro

  • Alijó
  • Armamar
  • Carrazeda de Ansiães
  • Freixo de Espada à Cinta
  • Lamego
  • Mesão Frio
  • Moimenta da Beira
  • Murça
  • Penedono
  • Peso da Régua
  • Sabrosa
  • Santa Marta de Penaguião
  • São João da Pesqueira
  • Sernancelhe
  • Tabuaço
  • Tarouca
  • Torre de Moncorvo
  • Vila Nova de Foz Côa
  • Vila Real

Lezíria do Tejo

  • Chamusca
  • Coruche

Médio Tejo

  • Abrantes
  • Constância
  • Ferreira do Zêzere
  • Mação
  • Sardoal
  • Sertã
  • Vila de Rei
  • Vila Nova da Barquinha

Região de Aveiro

  • Sever do Vouga

Região de Coimbra

  • Arganil
  • Góis
  • Lousã
  • Miranda do Corvo
  • Mortágua
  • Oliveira do Hospital
  • Pampilhosa da Serra
  • Penacova
  • Penela
  • Soure
  • Tábua
  • Vila Nova de Poiares

Região de Leiria

  • Alvaiázere
  • Ansião
  • Castanheira de Pêra
  • Figueiró dos Vinhos
  • Pedrógão Grande

Região de Viseu Dão Lafões

  • Aguiar da Beira
  • Carregal do Sal
  • Castro Daire
  • Mangualde
  • Nelas
  • Oliveira de Frades
  • Penalva do Castelo
  • Santa Comba Dão
  • São Pedro do Sul
  • Sátão
  • Tondela
  • Vila Nova de Paiva
  • Vouzela

Tâmega e Sousa

  • Baião
  • Celorico de Basto
  • Cinfães
  • Resende

Terras de Trás-os-Montes

  • Alfândega da Fé
  • Bragança
  • Macedo de Cavaleiros
  • Miranda do Douro
  • Mirandela
  • Mogadouro
  • Vila Flor
  • Vimioso
  • Vinhais

Parishes

Algarve

  • Loulé
    • Alte
    • Ameixial
    • Salir
    • União de freguesias de Querença, Tôr e Benafim
  • Silves
    • São Marcos da Serra
  • Tavira
    • Cachopo
    • Santa Catarina da Fonte do Bispo

Alto Minho

  • Caminha
    • União das freguesias de Arga (Baixo, Cima e São João)
    • União das freguesias de Gondar e Orbacém
    • Dem
  •  Ponte de Lima
    • Anais
    • Ardegão, Freixo e Mato
    • Associação de freguesias do Vale do Neiva
    • Bárrio e Cepões
    • Beiral do Lima
    • Boalhosa
    • Cabaços e Fojo Lobal
    • Cabração e Moreira do Lima
    • Calheiros
    • Estorãos
    • Friastelas
    • Gemieira
    • Gondufe
    • Labruja
    • Labrujó, Rendufe e Vilar do Monte
    • Navió e Vitorino dos Piães
    • Poiares
    • Serdedelo
  • Valença
    • Boivão
    • Fontoura
    • União das freguesias de Gondomil e Sanfins
    • União das freguesias de São Julião e Silva
  • Viana do Castelo
    • Montaria

Área Metropolitana do Porto

  • Vale de Cambra
    • Arões
    • Junqueira

Ave

  • Guimarães
    • União das freguesias de Arosa e Castelões

Cávado

  • Amares
    • Bouro (Santa Marta)
    • Goães
    • União das freguesias de Caldelas, Sequeiros e Paranhos
    • União das freguesias de Vilela, Seramil e Paredes Secas

Lezíria do Tejo

  • Santarém
    • União das freguesias de Casével e Vaqueiros

Médio Tejo

  • Tomar
    • Olalhas
    • Sabacheira
    • União das freguesias de Além da Ribeira e Pedreira
    • União das freguesias de Casais e Alviobeira
    • União das freguesias de Serra e Junceira
  • Ourém
  • Espite
  • União das freguesias de Freixianda, Ribeira do Fárrio e Formigais
  • União das freguesias de Matas e Cercal
  • União das freguesias de Rio de Couros e Casal dos Bernardos

Região de Aveiro

  • Águeda
    • União das freguesias de Belazaima do Chão, Castanheira do Vouga e Agadão
    • União das freguesias do Préstimo e Macieira de Alcoba

Região de Coimbra

  • Condeixa-a-Nova
    • Furadouro

Região de Leiria

  • Pombal
    • Abiul
  • Porto de Mós
    • São Bento

Região de Viseu Dão Lafões

  • Viseu
    • Calde
    • Cavernães
    • Cota
    • Ribafeita
    • São Pedro de France
    • União das freguesias de Barreiros e Cepões

Tâmega e Sousa

  • Amarante
    • Ansiães
    • Candemil
    • Gouveia (São Simão)
    • Jazente
    • Rebordelo
    • Salvador do Monte
    • União das freguesias de Aboadela, Sanche e Várzea
    • União das freguesias de Bustelo, Carneiro e Carvalho de Rei
    • União das freguesias de Olo e Canadelo
    • Vila Chã do Marão
  • Castelo de Paiva
    • Real
  • Marco de Canaveses
    • Várzea, Aliviada e Folhada
Frederik Pohl
Frederik Pohl, CEO
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