Located to the west of the Algarve region, Alvor has a population of around 5,000 residents, and remains a popular alternative to some of the more crowded and commercialized areas of the Algarve region. Alvor has managed to maintain its traditional Portuguese fishing village charm despite the influx of tourists and new buyers.
Alvor has an interesting history. With a strategic location facing the natural lagoon that opens on to the sea, the area was first founded by the Carthaginians. It became a wealthy seaport and was afforded much status by the Romans. Like many other areas in southern Portugal, Alvor changed hands several times between the Moors and the Portuguese until 1250 when the Portuguese retook the area for the final time. Evidence of the town’s past wealth is evident in the nearby ruins of a Roman villa. Much of Alvor was destroyed in the earthquake of 1755, and the 16th century church is the only building that survived destruction.
Today Alvor is a popular vacation location with narrow enclosed streets offering live music, restaurants and cafes. Alvor is also close to Portimao with its beautiful sandy beaches and naturally rugged cliffs, as well as the very popular Praia da Rocha and Praia da Vau, as well as the nature reserve of Quinta da Rocha.
Alvor’s riverfront area has unique charm and is one of the main attractions of the town. The paved avenue is lined with palm trees as well as cafes and restaurants that overlook the harbor where you can relax and watch the fishing boats come and go all day long delivering fresh catch.
The lagoon-front location of this town is an attractive option for potential buyers with families. Hosting a wide variety of lagoon water sports and competitions, this town makes full use of its waterfront location. From canoeing up the Alvor River to the working harbor and boat rentals, there’s never a lack of activity. One can also even take a tour to go dolphin watching or deep sea fishing. And for day long excursions the Splash and Slide Water Park is nearby and is a great favorite with young and old.
Property in Alvor ranges from recently built apartments and condominiums and luxurious villas to farmhouses and smaller homes in the town in need of renovation. This wide array of available property is alluring to both the foreign buyer as well as the local one. Affordable properties in Alvor allow for the opportunity to live in a smaller town and perhaps work or play in the larger cities. Alvor is also a great location for those interested in mid to long term investments as more and more people are moving away from the congested larger Algarvian cities in favor of the smaller, more traditional towns. And, growing at a measured pace, Alvor is high on the list of those looking for quality property at reasonable prices.
Alvor property buyers are increasing as more and more people discover the quaint and more traditional towns in the region. New home construction is continual, though Alvor is cautious to grow at a measured pace to avoid overbuilding and to preserve the fishing village atmosphere that so many find attractive.