Exciting Times In Carvoeiro, Portugal: Winning All Around

Swept Up In The Excitement Of Portugal’s Soccer Win—More Live From The Scene In The World’s Top Retirement Haven

Portugal is headed to the Euro 2016 finals!

I’m not a big soccer fan, but I have to say that I’m enjoying the excitement.

Last night’s semi-finals match between Portugal and Wales was playing live on every television screen here in Carvoeiro (and, I’m figuring, on every television screen across Portugal, as well) as we traveled from our conference hotel to the center of town for dinner.

Little beachside Carvoeiro was busier and livelier than I’ve ever seen it. Fans crowded the streets shoulder to shoulder, hands and arms linked and swinging. They sang and danced on the beach and drove through town honking horns and waving banners and flags from car windows. They crowded every bar and every restaurant, eyes glued to the oversized screens showing the action in real time.

We had to drive through town three times before spying an empty parking spot… then we tried three restaurants before finding one with an available table for six.

Walking into the open-air dining room overlooking the water, we understood why the handful of empty tables. No TV screens!

Instead, everyone in the place was staring down into his hands, live streaming the match on his phone. The two Portuguese friends with us for the evening pulled out their phones to do the same.

About two hours later, a great roar erupted in the restaurant and throughout the town. Portugal had won 2-0!

Lief and I are in Carvoeiro for this week’s Live and Invest in Portugal Conference. Along for the fun is our son Jackson.

I was happy to read recently that Portugal is ranked the fifth-safest country in the world. I make this point because 16-year-old Jackson has been keen since we’ve arrived to explore on his own. While Lief and I have been at the conference and out to dinner with friends, Jackson has been coming and going solo, including last night during the melee of Portugal’s great soccer victory.

While Lief and I have been working, Jackson has been immersing himself in the full Portugal experience. He’s practicing Portuguese with the help of Duolingo on his smart phone. He’s making friends, trying local specialties, hiking the city streets, and walking the beaches. He even decided to get his hair cut at the local Carvoeiro barbershop yesterday.

His take on Portugal so far?

“This place is a bargain,” Jackson told us yesterday. “I thought Lisbon was cheap, but here on the coast is much cheaper. I’ve been eating out for lunch and dinner each day for 5 to 8 euros per meal.

“Also,” Jackson added, “the beer is excellent. Super Bock is my favorite.”

We’ve named Portugal the world’s top retirement haven in our new Retire Overseas Index, released earlier this week. Indeed, this is a land of superlatives…

One of the safest countries in the world. One of the greatest lifestyle bargains in Europe. Great beer, great golf, great fishing, great surfing, great boating…

Other bests highlighted by the local experts and expats participating in this week’s Live and Invest in Portugal Conference include:

  • Portugal is perhaps the best year-round coastal getaway in Europe… and finally this reality is becoming recognized; tourism is expanding significantly…
  • Health care costs are 78% lower than comparable U.S. health care costs on average…
  • The Portuguese are the biggest fish consumers in Europe… the Portuguese diet is generally super healthy…
  • Portugal’s property markets are heating up, and stock is moving. One property agent who presented at last year’s conference showed a slide during his presentation this year detailing 50 property listings. “I showed this same slide last year,” he explained. “At the time, I had sold one of these properties. Today, I have only one of these properties still available… and I’ve sold many others in the past 12 months besides…”
  • The Portuguese value family and tradition. They are among the world’s warmest, most welcoming, most polite, and most respectful…

Portugal is a land of adventurers. Exploration and discovery are in their genes… in their souls.

This is the best time in our lifetimes to join them.

Kathleen Peddicord