Wellness has become increasingly important to second home buyers, according to the new Global Destinations for Second Homes report from Savills. As the aftershocks of the pandemic continue to be felt, in terms of adjustments to the way that we live and work, it seems that families are taking wellness so seriously it is impacting their choices of where to buy their second homes. For second home buyers from London, Portugal’s Algarve made it into second place on their list of top destinations.
“With the increased focus on personal health and wellness, second home locations have to pull double-duty by providing both the traditional sun, sea, countryside or mountains and also providing the key amenities to promote personal wellness. Locations which excel in this category offer ample gyms, high numbers of golf and tennis courts, and large numbers of spas which second home residents will be able to take advantage of. Air quality is also a key element for a top wellness score, especially as many have recognised the effects of pollution on personal health.”
Savills Research: Global Destinations for Second Homes
Portugal’s Algarve is one region that wins big when it comes to wellness credentials. With a coastline of over 200 km, there’s sea air in abundance, while just a few kilometres inland there’s also wonderfully fresh mountain air to enjoy. Both landscapes also offer incredible views that cannot help but refresh and restore the mind.
As well as its natural environment, the Algarve offers an uncomplicated lifestyle that is ideal for those seeking greater serenity. Trees weighed down with carobs, olives, oranges, figs, almonds and a host of other fresh fruits and nuts contribute to the superb local gastronomy, along with the plentiful seafood courtesy of the Atlantic Ocean. Even the wine is fresh and uncomplicated, with locally made wines delivering the taste of sunshine in every glass.
On a national scale, Portugal’s air quality is ranked as ‘good’ by IQAir. The cleanest air quality in the country, meanwhile, is found in the Algarve town of Alcoutim. Tucked away on the Guadiana River, which marks the border between Spain and Portugal, the town is known locally for its stunning river beach, where visitors can splash in the warm, shallow water, tucked away in a valley that seems a million miles away from the rest of the world.
For those who prefer their wellness delivered in a spa setting, the Algarve also ticks all the right boxes. The region is home to more than 40 spas and treatment centres. From spas inspired by the aquamarine water of the Algarve’s ocean caves, delivering the latest treatments (think phyto-aromatic facials and golden quartz treatments), to traditional settings providing deep massages that seem to relax every cell in your body, there is something for everyone when it comes to Algarve wellness centres.
With so much rolling countryside available, the Algarve has plenty of space for golf courses. The region is home to 31 courses in total, with destinations such as Quinta do Lago, Vale de Lobo and Vilamoura attracting players – and second home buyers – from around the world.
“The Algarve is wellness embodied in a region. From its clean air to the pace of life to the ample opportunities to keep fit, it has the perfect outdoor lifestyle to appeal to buyers tired of the stress and pollution back home. The abundance of luxurious spas and wellness centres is an added bonus, while the local gastronomy is both healthy and delicious. It’s a very special place to live for those focused on their personal health and wellness.”
Christina Hippisley, General Manager of the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the UK
Those looking for more wellness than a holiday alone can provide can discover more about life in Portugal at the upcoming Moving to Portugal Show & Seminars. Taking place on 20th October 2022, from 11 am to 8 pm at London’s Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel, the show will feature more than 20 exhibitors, with experts on hand to discuss a wide range of aspects of life in Portugal. Visas, tax options, residency, healthcare, schooling, daily life and more will all be under the spotlight, with seminar presentations, panel discussions and one-to-one networking all helping attendees discover everything they need to about moving to Portugal.
The Moving to Portugal Show, which is hosted by the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the UK, is free to attend and places for the show and seminars can be booked online.
Home buyers seeking to tap into Portugal’s wellness lifestyle have plenty of options when it comes to property. At Greens Vilamoura, for example, the unique living experience is focused on sustainability and harmony, with the development contrived around a goal of enhancing residents’ quality of life. Vertical gardens that reuse treated water from the 100% ecological, 25m swimming pool mean that Greens Vilamoura is bursting with foliage and flora.
Meanwhile, over at Verdelago Resort, Altura, wellbeing is showcased through interior gardens, sports facilities, a stunning coastal setting and a market stocked with local and ecological products.
As well as homebuyers, holidaymakers are placing an increased emphasis on wellness, according to Turismo de Portugal, which notes that an increasing number of travellers are looking to include some element of wellness in their holidays. This is driving hotels and resorts to include pools, spas and activities such as yoga and mindfulness sessions in their holiday offering. As a region, the Algarve is running a spa week from 22nd to 30th October 2022, designed as a digital detox to enable individuals to connect themselves to wellness.
The Algarve scored particularly well in Savills’ recent Yoga Index, which rates areas based on their yoga environments, yoga class essentials and yogi index. Portugal’s Algarve placed 11th globally for its impressive yoga offering. The area is also known for its stunning wellness and detox centres, such as its Juice Master Retreat and Vitalisé Portugal centres, which focus on supporting a healthy mind in a healthy body.