The Algarve could be the perfect digital nomad hotspot. A coffee (bica) can be as cheap as €0.50 and a beer often costs €1 or less. There’s miles of beautiful coastline and it’s usually very easy to find a café with wifi as well.
Then there’s the surfing. The Algarve, particularly the West Coast, is a fantastic surf spot and a great place to either learn or practice surfing.
It’s also fairly affordable, particularly if you stay long-term and if you stay away from the most touristy spots.
Unfortunately, even though Lisbon has become a digital nomad hotspot, with a buzzing community and plenty of co-working spaces, and Porto with its growing number of coworking spaces is getting there as well, the Algarve has yet to take off as the next Chiang Mai or Las Palmas.
It’s getting there, though, and, if you decide to visit, you could really help it achieve its potential.
Accommodation for digital nomads
- The Algarve Digital Nomads has an ongoing survey and nearly every digital nomad that visits the Algarve ends up booking through Airbnb.
- Booking.com is also worth looking at, particularly off-season (around October to April). During this time, you can often find hotel rooms for as little as €15 or €20 per night. You can sometimes find cheap apartments on there as well and even cheaper hostel beds.
- Other options for medium-term stays include NomadX, a new digital nomad accommodation platform, and longtermlettings.com
- For longer stays see the guide to renting long-term on the Algarve.
- Co-living spaces like The Stokeworks can be fun places to live and meet other digital nomads.
- Some nomads hire campervans while they’re on the Algarve. This isn’t the cheapest form of accommodation, but it’s definitely one of the most fun.
Where should I go on the Algarve?
Digital nomads are often quite spread out on the Algarve especially between Faro, Lagos, and places on the West Coast like Sagres (esp. if they’re into surfing). Lagos and Faro are probably the two main places digital nomads end up in.
It’s probably best to avoid Albufeira, which is one of the largest resort towns on the Algarve. Praia da Rocha is similar, although not quite as wild.
During the winter months, the Algarve can be very quiet and many restaurants and bars shut down. Although you will find one or two places that are open, many of the resort towns can have a bit of a ghost town feel to then.
If you’re visiting the Algarve between November and March, it’s probably best to stay in Faro or Portimão, as these are both cities (~50k people) and don’t really shut down for the winter.
Getting around the Algarve
The best way to get around the Algarve is by car, especially if you want to go to the beaches or into the countryside.
The Algarve does have quite a good train system, but it only connects to some of the towns on the Algarve (Faro, Lagos, and Portimão are all connected).
Otherwise, there is a good bus system that connects the towns on the Algarve. Finding the timetables can sometimes be a bit difficult, but Algarvebus.info has all the info.
Co-working spaces & recommended cafés on the Algarve
The following spaces have been suggested by members of the Algarve Digital Nomads FB Group. If you’re not already a member, it’s worth joining.
Co-working spaces in Faro
Atelier Cowork Faro
A new and very stylish coworking space in the heart of Faro.
- Price: €90 + IVA per month and €10 +IVA per day
- Website: Facebook.com/ateliercoworkfaro
- Trial day available: Yes.
- Price: from €70 per month and €8 per day.
- Website: alandrasquare.pt
- Trial day available:
Faro Avenida Business Centre
A coworking space for freelancers, digital nomads, and teleworkers. Other services available include meeting rooms, lockers, and a phone service.
- Price: 1 day = €10, 1 month from €70.
- Website: Faroavenida.com
- Trial day available – just get in touch with them.
Cafés to work from in Faro
Co-working spaces in Lagos
Cowork Lagos (Lagos)
Co-working space with 24/7 access.
- Price: €30 per month
- Website: coworklagos.pt
- Trial day available: On Wednesdays
CENTRO Lagos (Lagos)
A coworking/shared office space.
- Price: €149 per month.
- Website: centro-lagos.com
Reis & Marreiros, Lda
A coworking/shared office space.
- Price: €100 per month.
- Address: Rua Brito Camacho, Lote 41 – Cave frente, Lagos, Portugal
Cafés to work from in Lagos
Twin Fin is a surf café and bar that’s situated in the heart of Lagos. It’s very nomad-friendly with good internet and power sockets at every table (they’ve specifically said digital nomads are welcome to work from there).
London Tiger Coffee
London Tiger Coffee is a small and cozy café with good wifi and a great selection of cakes and desserts.
Located on Lagos Marina, Lazy Jacks bar and restaurant is a very easy place to work from and it has a very good internet connection as well.
It can be touristy and busy during the summer months but outside of the summer months, there’s usually only a few tables with customers and nobody seems bothered if you work from there.
A very small café with free wifi, Tropical Café is an easy café to work from for a few hours.
Co-working spaces in Portimão
A coworking/shared office space.
- Price: €15 per day or €135 per month.
- Address: Rua Joaquim Agostinho Fernandes
Co-working spaces in Sagres
Currently, there are no co-working spaces in Sagres. There is a co-living space, however.
Cafés to work from in Sagres
Laundry Lounge is a bar and café that’s popular with surfers and freelancers. You can even do your laundry there as well.
The Hangout is another café that’s popular with surfers and freelancers. As well as pizza, coffee, and beer, there’s often live music as well.
Co-working spaces in Loulé
Cowork Mucancas Loulé (Loulé)
A small co-working space located in Loulé, a small town close to Faro. Facilities include showers, coffee and tea, printers, a kitchen, storage area, a conference room, and free parking.
- Price: 1 day = €15, 1 month from €150.
- Website: mucancas.com
The Green Building (Loulé)
- Price: €160 per month or €15 per day
- Website: the-green-building.com
- Trial day available:
Golden Creative (Loulé)
- Price: €120 per month or €10 per day (+ IVA)
- Website: goldencreative.pt
- Trial day available: Get a free week’s trial using the Croissant App.
Cafés to work from in Loulé
Ikea Lounge area
Free tea or coffee Monday – Friday if you have an Ikea card.
Cafés to work from in Silves
If you just want to check e-mails or do something quickly, Café DaRosa is a nice place to work from. Free internet access is available from the nearby Silves council, so you don’t even have to ask the café for a password.
Cafés to work from in Almancil
Venepao 93 Padaria e Pastelaria
Good coffee shop, but it doesn’t have power outlets.
Baguette de Paris
Coffee shop with power outlets.
Coworking Retreats in the Algarve
There are now several co-living retreats in Portugal, and this includes one or two in the Algarve. Others happen sporadically, and take place for just a couple of weeks in the year. There is now always at least one of these per year.
Where to meet other digital nomads in the Algarve
There are a few relevant groups on Facebook: Algarve Digital Nomads and Digital Nomads Portugal. If you want to meet other digital nomads in the Algarve, try posting in here and letting people know that you’re in town. A few people do this every month, and it’s probably the best way of meeting other nomads.
Start Algarve, a meetup group for startup owners in the Algarve, is another place to meet fellow entrepreneurs, digital nomads, and startup owners. Meetups are infrequent, but it’s always worth checking to see if there’s something happening while you’re in the Algarve.
Atelier Cowork in Faro, one of the Algarve coworking spaces, also has events on a regular basis and it’s worth checking their Facebook page to see if there’s anything coming up.
While not about freelancing specifically, the couchsurfing forums can be a good place to meet other people while travelling. As with the Digital Nomads Portugal Facebook group, just post a message saying that you’re in town and see who wants to meet up.
Other places to work from on the Algarve
- Tip: If you don’t know the wifi password, it’s often the name of the café. This works about 50% of the time, so it’s always worth trying.
- Tip 2: Most libraries in the Algarve have free wifi, and are very easy places to work from.
- Tip 3: Many supermarkets (especially the larger ones like Pingo Doce and Continente) have free wifi. Normally you can pick it up in the food courts or cafés and work from there. There are big food courts at the main shopping centres in the Algarve: Algarve Shopping (near Guia), MAR Shopping (near Loulé), Forum Algarve (near Faro), and Aqua (near Portimão).