Portugal, a jewel of Western Europe, boasts a diverse tapestry of culture, history, and natural beauty. Leveraging our Portuguese office of experts, HNW entrepreneurs, investors, and families who seek ROI or want to capture the luxury lifestyle of Portugal turn to Astons.

The eclectic diversity of Portugal is palpably felt in its ancient streets, monumental landmarks, and enduring traditions. The country’s allure is enhanced by its warm Mediterranean climate, friendly locals, and a lifestyle that balances modern convenience with timeless elegance.

For decades, it’s a lifestyle that has attracted HNW entrepreneurs, investors, and families – a demand that has grown since Portugal launched its Golden Visa program in 2012 – and revamping and updating it in 2023

Astons is perfectly situated to connect HNW entrepreneurs, investors, and families with Portugal from our office in HNW entrepreneurs, investors, and families – an affluent coastal town just 30 minutes from Lisbon.

We intimately know every part of this country and have helped hundreds of HNW entrepreneurs, investors, and families investors capitalize and leverage the ROI of the Portugal lifestyle. 

Have you been thinking about capturing Portugal for yourself? 

Here is everything you need to know – from our local experts in the Astons Portugal office.


A brief history of Portugal

Emerging as a country in the early 12th century, Portugal rapidly grew in power. It carved out a unique identity distinct from its Iberian neighbors – specifically during the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal’s golden age.

Pioneers like Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan wrote the history of the world, sailing from Portugal’s shores, discovering sea routes to India and Brazil – even circumnavigating the globe. These voyages expanded geographical knowledge and established Portugal as a significant economic power – a global position it still holds today.

However, the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and subsequent economic and political challenges signaled a period of decline. The 20th century was marked by political turmoil, culminating in the Carnation Revolution of 1974, which transitioned Portugal from an authoritarian state to a modern democracy. 

Portugal joined the European Union in 1986, been a part of the Schengen Area since 1995, and adopted the euro in 1999. Portugal has experienced steady growth in recent years – partly credited to a growing service sector, mainly through tourism and technology. 

Today, Portugal is known for its vibrant culture. From its melancholic Fado music to the colorful azulejo tiles adorning its buildings, Portugal’s cultural landscape is a testament to its storied past. The country remains a symbol of exploration and discovery [especially in technology and cryptocurrency], with its legacy still evident in its architecture, literature, and global connections.


What makes Portugal so attractive?

Why do so many HNW entrepreneurs, investors, and families, year after year, add Portugal to their lifestyle?

Honestly, there are as many varied reasons as there are luxuries.

The biggest HNWI insider secret about European living is not believing the very strategic and purposely crafted marketing propaganda – socialist healthcare, high taxation, unsecured borders, etc.

There’s a reason global empires conquered the world but never left their homes in Europe. And why the vast majority of modern royalty still reside there.

For HNW entrepreneurs, investors, and families, the European Union is the very personification of old-money living in the modern era. Portugal is one of the many EU lifestyle investments for HNWIs who seek that opportunity.

In a nutshell, Portugal offers:

  • Access to the European Union: Portuguese residents enjoy the freedom to travel visa-free across the bloc’s 27 member states, including popular destinations like Spain, France, Italy, Germany, and Sweden – which will include ETIAS exemption
  • Residency with ROI: Portugal’s Golden Visa program provides investors with various investment channels. Most notably, Astons Equity Fund option combines residency with ROI and a cash-out option that won’t affect residency
  • Tax Benefits: Portugal offers favorable tax regimes for HNW residents, particularly the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) program, which provides tax advantages for the first ten years of residence – reduced tax rates and, in some cases, exemptions on foreign income and pensions
  • Unmatched Standard of Living: The routine of daily life is elevated to world-class levels, including education and healthcare
  • Climate: Though entirely on the Atlantic, the country still enjoys the Mediterranean climate, heavenly landscapes, and a rich cultural heritage

And, of course, the lifestyle – a quiet luxury of high-quality living. 


Prime locations for luxury living in Portugal

Portugal has a diverse range of luxurious living options. From the lively city life in Lisbon to the serene beauty of the Algarve, there’s something for every taste and preference. 

Here are some of the country’s most sought-after areas.

Lisbon & surrounding areas

Lisbon, the capital city, is known for its historic buildings, contemporary art scene, and exciting nightlife. 

In districts like Chiado and Príncipe Real, you’ll find stunning premium apartments with cityscape views conveniently paired with high-end shopping and gourmet dining experiences.

The Lisbon coast, stretching westwards from the city’s edges to Cascais, is famed for its beachfront properties, exclusive golf courses, and elegant marinas. 

This area is a haven for those who enjoy a lifestyle of quiet luxury, with plenty of opportunities for sailing, golfing, and enjoying the pristine beaches.

The Algarve

The Algarve is synonymous with expat luxury living in Portugal. Known for its golden beaches, crystal-clear waters, and world-class golf resorts, the region is a paradise for those seeking a relaxed yet upscale lifestyle. 

Housing the country’s largest HNW expat communities, the Algarve is Portugal’s version of Spain’s Costa del Sol – which it neighbors. 

Towns like Vilamoura, Quinta do Lago, and Vale do Lobo are particularly popular, housing prominent communities of lavish villas, private pools, and exclusive beach clubs.

The Algarve’s culinary scene is another of its highlights, focusing on fresh seafood and the region’s best wine.

Porto & the Douro Valley

Porto is the country’s second-largest city. Holding a fierce rivalry with Lisbon in everything from cuisine to sports, it boasts incredible architecture like the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge and the ornate São Francisco Church. 

Famous for its port wine, Porto’s wine cellars are a must-visit, with tastings and insights into the port-making process. Port was once hailed as the chosen wine of English royalty and replaced French wine in all royal affairs. 

Those same Ports are still produced today, but only in the Demarcated Region of the Douro.

Connected to Porto by the river from which it takes its name, the Douro Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its terraced vineyards and scenic beauty. 

Here, luxury is defined by the Quintas; wine estates transformed into exclusive high-end accommodations offering wine tastings and river cruises.

Madeira & the Azores

Madeira and the Azores, Portugal’s island gems, are a more unique lifestyle experience. 

Madeira is known for its lush landscapes, outdoor activities, and world-class resorts. The island’s capital, Funchal, is home to many high-end hotels and restaurants.

The Azores, an archipelago in the mid-Atlantic, is great for nature lovers and the eco-chic crowd. The islands are known for their dramatic landscapes, thermal springs, and boutique accommodations focusing on sustainability and integration with the natural environment.


Living the Portuguese lifestyle

Portugal real estate

Portugal’s luxury real estate market is diverse, from urban-contemporary penthouse apartments in Lisbon to majestic vineyard estates in the Douro Valley.

In Lisbon’s city center, investors and residents find a fusion of historic elegance and contemporary luxury. 

Traditional apartment blocks date back to the 18th and 19th centuries, and though rustic from the outside, their interior space is finished to exceptionally high standards. 

Full-service living featuring all the necessities:

  • Private terraces and outside space
  • Concierge services
  • Secure underground private parking

The Algarve has opulent beachfront villas, and exclusive resort communities – private pools, landscaped gardens, and access to professional golf courses and superyacht marinas are not a luxury but a standard of living. 

In Porto, renovated townhouses and contemporary apartments, especially in areas like the Ribeira district, provide investors and residents the same fusion of tradition and modernity as Lisbon but with the uniqueness of Porto and its exclusive river views.

Leaving the urban scene behind is another investment option that is equally unmatched in Europe – as Portugal’s countryside and coastlines house their own unique portfolios of luxury properties.

From restored farmhouses in Alentejo to modern villas on the Silver Coast. These properties are for those who seek spacious living areas and outdoor entertainment spaces – some even include vineyards or olive groves.

Portugal’s property market offers beautiful homes to enjoy as a personal residence, an investment opportunity, or both [such as a revenue stream now and your retirement plan for the future]. 

The country’s visa system has several options, but all of Portugal’s residency visas require lengthy in-country physical presence except one – the Portugal Golden Visa program.

Thus, HNW entrepreneurs, investors, and families seeking to capitalize on the Portugal real estate opportunity can fully Trust Astons to guide them through every step of the process. 


Portuguese fine dining and cuisine

Very much like Italian cuisine, Portuguese cuisine changes by region. Naturally, the cuisine is seafood-oriented, as half of the country borders the Atlantic. 

But that is not to say the gastronomy of Portugal lacks diversity – to the contrary.

More decadent, savory, and earthy flavors like deliciously slow-cooked meats are equally traditional. 

The country’s culinary scene has been increasingly recognized internationally, with several Michelin-star restaurants finding a Portuguese home in recent years.

In Lisbon, this includes:

  • Alma: Led by chef Henrique Sá Pessoa, Alma stands out as a beacon of culinary excellence, marrying traditional Portuguese dishes with contemporary flair
  • Loco: Known for its innovative and experimental approach to cuisine, it provides a unique Michelin-star experience
  • Belcanto: Chef José Avillez’s two Michelin-star flagship restaurant in the heart of Lisbon combines sophisticated Portuguese cuisine with an elegant setting
  • Eleven: Set atop a hill with panoramic city views, this Michelin star offers modern European cuisine with a Portuguese twist
  • 100 Maneiras: An intimate and exclusive dining experience led by Chef Ljubomir Stanisic, known for its creative tasting menus

Meanwhile, Porto [never to be outdone by Lisbon] has its own extensive selection of fine dining:

  • DOP: Chef Rui Paula’s restaurant in the center of Porto focuses on refined interpretations of traditional Portuguese dishes.
  • Cantinho do Avillez: Another gem from Chef José Avillez, this Porto outpost brings his innovative take on Portuguese cuisine to the north.
  • Antiqvvm: Offering phenomenal views of the Douro River, Antiqvvm serves modern Portuguese cuisine, emphasizing fresh, seasonal produce.
  • The Yeatman: Chef Ricardo Costa’s expertise in transforming local produce into haute cuisine has garnered international acclaim.

Moving south to the Algarve, the pinnacle of fresh seafood, is the two Michelin star Ocean Restaurant located within the upscale retreat of Vila Vita Parc where Chef Hans Neuner crafts a unique experience with a sea-inspired menu and views of the Atlantic Ocean.

In the city of Évora, in the Alentejo region, you’ll find Origens, a restaurant that epitomizes the fusion of traditional Alentejo cuisine with modern cooking techniques. 

Fine dining doesn’t stop at Portugal’s coastlines but extends to the islands. 

In Madeira, Il Gallo d’Oro at the Cliff Bay Hotel, under the guidance of Chef Benoît Sinthon, has a menu inspired by Iberian and Mediterranean cuisine, earning its Michelin star for its creative and refined dishes.


High-end shopping in Portugal

In Portugal, the shopping experience is often complemented by the old-world esthetics of tile-lined streets and rustic neighborhoods.

The country’s two major cities, Lisbon and Porto, are the primary hubs for luxury retail.

Avenida da Liberdade is Lisbon’s most prestigious shopping district, home to numerous luxury brands – including:

  • Prada
  • Gucci
  • Louis Vuitton
  • Dolce & Gabbana
  • Armani
  • Burberry

Chiado is another elegant district known for its classic style, housing international designers and Portuguese brands. Príncipe Real has a selection of chic boutiques and avant-garde shops.

In Porto, Santa Catarina Street is a trendy spot featuring a mix of international high-end brands and local stores. 

For independent artisan boutiques and designers, head to the Boavista area. 

And definitely do not miss out on a secret shopping hideaway, the Rua de Miguel Bombarda – while known for its art galleries, this neighborhood in Porto also hosts a selection of exclusive shops.


Portugal’s exclusive leisure activities


Portugal has some of the best marinas in Europe, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and services. 

Marina de Cascais, close to Lisbon, is a favorite among the superyacht community. The marina provides berths up to 36 meters, with comprehensive services, including 24-hour security and the added benefit of Cascais’ varied leisure and dining options nearby.

Doca de Alcântara, located in Lisbon itself, caters to a range of yachts – up to 20 meters – and provides direct access to the city center.

Of course, the Algarve is the superyacht hub, and the 5 Gold Anchor Platinum Vilamoura Marina is arguably the most prestigious in Portugal. Accommodating yachts up to 60 meters, the marina offers a full range of services, including exclusive shops and restaurants.

In the north of the country, Marina do Douro, near Porto, is as much a highlight of the local social life as it is a superyacht marina. Providing excellent facilities for yachts up to 50 meters and is an ideal starting point for exploring the Douro Valley and its famous wine region.



Portugal has developed a reputation as Europe’s premier destination for golfers. World-class courses and consistent weather conditions create a perfect paradise for golf enthusiasts.

With over 100 courses in the country, here’s a consensus of Portugal’s Top 5 golf courses that every real pro needs to place at least once in their life:

  • Penha Longa Resort: This course combines the hilly and flat terrain of the Sintra mountains, providing a challenging yet enjoyable golf experience.
  • Quinta do Lago: Home to three of Europe’s most renowned golf courses, set within the beautiful Ria Formosa Natural Park.
  • Vale do Lobo: Two picturesque courses, the Royal and the Ocean, each providing a unique experience amidst scenic landscapes.
  • Estela Golf Club: Located near Porto, this course is 3 km of links exposed to the coastal elements. Incredible views, but expect a challenge of Atlantic proportions. 
  • Vidago Palace Golf Course: Combining a centuries-old setting with regal elegance, this award-winning course is attached to the five-star Vidago Palace spa and hotel – built per the wishes of King Carlos I.


Private education in Portugal

Access to the best education and institutions is paramount if you have a young family.

Portugal’s private education sector is geared toward international schools, which tend to teach in English and are located in Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve.

These schools typically offer International Baccalaureate (IB) or the British curriculum (GCSEs and A-Levels), with some providing the American curriculum.

Institutions to note:

  • St. Julian’s School [Lisbon]
  • The Carlucci American International School of Lisbon
  • Oporto British School [Porto]
  • CLIP – The Oporto International School [Porto]
  • Nobel International School Algarve


Portugal’s wine scene

It’s impossible to discuss the Portuguese lifestyle without touching on the wine. 

Most wine enthusiasts in Portugal tend to build their own extensive cellars of the finest wines from across the country. Others purchase their own vineyard and create their own. 

Regardless, wine in Portugal is distinct and unique to the region, with factors like climate and proximity to the coast all influencing the nose and notes. 

For example, in the lush, green Minho region, Vinho Verde reigns supreme – light, fresh, and slightly effervescent wines, with Alvarinho and Loureiro being standout white varieties. 

Meanwhile, Porto and the Douro Valley are world-famous for Port but also craft exceptional table wines, primarily from Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz.

In the Dão region, you’ll find elegant and age-worthy wines, with Touriga Nacional again playing a leading role among the reds, while Encruzado has delicate whites. 

With its hot, dry climate, Alentejo is a powerhouse for full-bodied and fruity reds, featuring varieties like Aragonez and Trincadeira and offering aromatic whites from Antão Vaz.

Lisbon’s wine region is as extensive as eclectic, with nine wine sub-regions; Lisboa wines provide much of everything. 

From its namesake island, the fortified Madeira wine, ranging from dry to sweet, is celebrated for its unique aging process. 

a passport branded with the astons logo

Making the Portugal power move with Astons

Portugal provides an unquestionable and uncompromising standard of living for HNW entrepreneurs, investors, and families. 

The mere range of lifestyle options means that regardless of perspective – pure investment or personal enrichment – Portugal is an ultimate HNWI power move.

And, with the exponential demand from investors seeking the highly-coveted EU Plan B, Portugal is a standout contender.

The Portugal Golden Visa program makes the realization of your EU dream a streamlined process.

The Astons Portugal Golden Visa Equity Fund investment option, makes the program a genuine pathway to residency, ROI, and all the benefits of the EU: freedom of movement, ETIAS exemption, healthcare, education, quality of life, stability, and safety.

These are the foundational reasons why Astons has chosen Portugal for one of our office locations.

If you are ready to make the ultimate EU power move, Astons is waiting to be your partner. Schedule a free confidential and comprehensive consultation with an Astons expert today – Susanna leads our operations from Cascais, but feel free to contact any office location that is most convenient for you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How difficult is it to gain Portuguese citizenship from the Golden Visa?

There is some very good news about the pathway to citizenship using Portugal’s Golden Visa.

First off, Portugal is considered to be the easiest country in the EU to gain citizenship through residency.

Secondly, the time frame for legal residents to be eligible for citizenship in Portugal is among the shortest in the EU – only 5 years.

Finally, that shorter time frame just became even shorter, as in January 2024, the Portuguese government amended the law so that the time spent waiting for your Golden Visa application to be approved also counts toward the eligibility for citizenship.

Which means, at the same point in which a Portugal Golden Visa holder would be eligible to apply for permanent residency, they could instead directly apply for citizenship should they want to.

What is the status of the Non-Habitual Resident tax program?
Is Portugal’s healthcare system accessible to English-speakers?
Will Portugal be part of ETIAS in 2025, and will Golden Visa holders be exempt?
Is there a Costco or a warehouse-type store in Portugal?