The Algarve could be the perfect digital nomad hotspot. Off-season, or away from the coast, accommodation is affordable and the cost of living is equally very affordable as well. A coffee (bica) can be as cheap as €0.50 and a beer often costs just €1. There’s miles of beautiful coastline and it’s usually very easy to find a café with Wi-Fi as well.
Unfortunately, even though Lisbon is attracting its fair share of digital nomads, the Algarve has yet to take off as the next Chiang Mai. If you come to visit, don’t expect to bump into many other digital nomads. That said, there are a few co-working spots and desks to rent in the Algarve, so things are slowly beginning to take off.
Cowork Surf, a combination of co-working, co-living, and surfing will take place in April 2017. So far, no other co-working retreats have been announced but it’s worth keeping an eye on those that took place in 2016 in case they run another event next year: CoWork Algarve, Coworkvilla, and Southwest Collective.
CENTRO Lagos – A coworking/shared office space.
- Price: €149 per month.
- Website: centro-lagos.com
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.
Votum Co-working lab (Faro) – A coworking space for freelancers and digital nomads. Has a table tennis table and runs occasional techie events.
- Price: 1 day= €5, 1 month = €80
- Website: votum.pt
Mobile Internet (Mi-Fi) Options in Portugal
If you’re looking for mobile internet while you’re in Portugal, a number of companies hire out mi-fi hubs on a short to medium term basis. These devices create a portable wi-fi hotspot, allowing you to connect a laptop (or several devices) to the network and work while you’re visiting Portugal.
Meet other digital nomads/Freelancers
The ‘Digital Nomads Portugal’ Facebook group has quite a few members from the Algarve. While there have been one or two organised meetups, they’re not usually very regular. If you want to meet other digital nomads in the Algarve, try posting in here and letting people know that you’re in town.
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.
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.
Cafés to work from
Finding Wi-Fi in the Algarve isn’t difficult. It’s often available in cafés, and it’s also available in plenty of council-owned properties as well. Spending time in a café is a big part of Portuguese culture, and although there aren’t many digital natives living in the Algarve, it’s unlikely anyone will get annoyed if you spend half a day in their café.
Tip: If you don’t know the Wi-Fi password, it’s often the name of the café. This works about 50% of the time so it’s always worth trying.
Lazy Jacks – Located on Lagos Marina, this bar/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. (Tripadvisor Link)
Café Tropical – A small café with free Wi-Fi, Café Tropical is an easy café to work from for a few hours. (Tripadvisor Link)
Café DaRosa – If you just want to check e-mails or do something quickly, this 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. (Tripadvisor Link)
Do you have any tips for working remotely in the Algarve? Are you planning on visiting? Let us know in the comments below.