A True Beachfront Condo in Portugal for €706.49 per Month

We have boots on the ground in Portugal…

As I write, one of my real estate scouts, Ciaran Madden, and our photographer/videographer, Alan Kennedy, are in the coastal city of Viana do Castelo, at the start of a weeklong scouting trip to investigate opportunities in the north of the country.

Portugal has long been a key destination on my global beat. But as this country has exploded in popularity, finding value in some of its most popular destinations like the southern Algarve region or the capital city of Lisbon has become a real challenge.

Towns and cities in the north of the country, however, remain overlooked.

Northern Portugal offers all the key elements that make this country one of the world’s top expat destinations—the food, the culture, the history, the dramatic coastline, the spectacular soft-sand beaches…

Yet, real estate prices there can be a fraction of what you’ll find in more famed destinations to the south.

And northern Portugal has something else to offer…

The weather in northern Portugal is milder and more temperate than in the south. Warm, sunny afternoons are followed by gentle, cool evenings…providing perfect conditions for outdoor activities during the day and restful sleep at night.

I believe northern Portugal is where investors and second-home owners will head next in Portugal. So we’re getting out ahead. That’s why I’ve asked Ciaran and Alan to dig deep on the best opportunities there…

After landing in Porto, they began by scouting the coast immediately north of Portugal’s second city.

They sent me this report from the road…


Ronan McMahon, Founder, Overseas Dream Home & Real Estate Trend Alert

P.S. Join me this Thursday, June 20, at 12 p.m. ET when I’ll be discussing the best strategies for moving overseas and your best real estate options abroad. As an Overseas Dream Home reader, you can attend this special online roundtable event for free. Click here for all the details.

The “Hidden” Beach Towns of Northern Portugal
By Ciaran Madden

The small beach town of Apulia, 30 minutes north of Porto’s international airport, feels like the starting point of Portugal’s “hidden north”…

Along the coast to the north of Porto, you’ll find stunning soft-sand beaches, but they are virtually unknown to the tens of millions of tourists who flock to Portugal every year.

To the south of Apulia, you’ll find beach communities like Povoa de Varzim. But these are larger, with populations in the tens of thousands and resorts and large developments along the oceanfront. Plus, their proximity to Porto means they essentially form part of its greater metropolitan area.

By comparison, Apulia, a community of just 4,000 people, feels separate, local and residential. And it lacks the same scale of tourism infrastructure you’ll find in towns to the south.

Step one block back from its charming seafront promenade and Apulia is largely indistinguishable from a smaller town in Portugal’s interior, with its white-washed Baroque churches, traditional homes with red terracotta roof tiles, and quaint pastry shops offering exceptional cakes and coffee at astonishing low prices (the cost of an espresso here is $0.80).

This beach town is virtually unknown to the 30 million foreign tourists that flock to Portugal each year. Very few make it this far north. Though the town has long attracted day-trippers from major cities in this region such as Braga (25 minutes’ to the east inland). For generations, they’ve come in peak season to stroll along Apulia’s picturesque golden-sand beaches and surf its crashing Atlantic waves.

But Apulia never developed into a prominent destination for second home owners or year-round residents.

Now, though, there’s evidence that may be changing…

The small town of Apulia is just 30 minutes’ drive north of Porto and has a stunning golden-sand beach, but it remains “hidden” to foreign visitors.

Alan and I had set out from Porto toward Viana do Castelo…

Once an industrial city known for shipbuilding and fishing, Viana do Castelo has been gentrifying quickly. When Ronan scouted it last year, he found a lovingly restored historic center…pristine beaches…and excellent waterfront restaurants. We were traveling to Viana do Castelo to follow up on his scouting.

Viana is just an hour north of Porto on excellent highways. But we took our time, driving along  roads by the coast…exploring…digging deep…scouting the small communities along the way.

We were drawn to Apulia by its beach and its architectural curiosities…

To the north of the town center, on sand dunes overlooking the coast, are traditional windmills and storehouses made of granite and schist. Built in the early 19th century, these mills were once used to grind and store the maize grown in this region. Now some have been transformed into second homes or vacation rentals.

A row of traditional stone windmills, dating to the early 19th century, look out on Apulia’s stunning coastline.

Soon, these traditional stone structures will be joined by modern resort communities.

Cranes hover in the sky over this small town, as they do virtually everywhere we stopped along the coast. New high-end communities are springing up, with pools, gyms, and other amenities. Two beds of 850 to 1,000 square feet one block back from the beach retail for between €245,000 and €275,000. (See a listing here.)

Those price tags are not insignificant for homes here. But they are still a fraction of what you’d pay for a new-build by the beach in the cities and towns in southern Portugal. Apulia, like so much of the coast we saw here, is seeing new investment and growing interest.

After Apulia, Alan and I traveled farther north to the neighboring beach town of Esposende.

Esposende sits at the mouth of the Cavado River, on its northern bank. As in Viana do Castelo, fishing was once the major industry here. Now, tourism is the growing business, with numerous restaurants and cafés overlooking the shore.

This town of around 10,000 people appears affluent. On the road into and out of town you’ll see expansive villas…some built in a traditional Portuguese-style with verandas and red roof tiles, others are modern, with floor-to-ceiling windows, flat roofs, and large terraces.

Some of these villas sell for millions of dollars. It’s not difficult to understand the appeal of owning here. This is a charming coastal community, with multiple incredible beaches within easy walking or driving distance.

Along the riverside runs a wide palm tree-lined boulevard with a cycle track that leads to Esposende’s stunning wind-swept Atlantic beach, backed by low dunes and overlooked by the 17th century Fort of São João Baptista and the towering red lighthouse that sits beside it.

Fort of São João Baptista and Esposende Lighthouse overlook the town’s primary beach.

On the southern bank of Cavado River, you’ll find an even more spectacular beach, Praia de Ofir.

Set along a long spit of land that separates the Cavado River from the ocean, this 1.5 mile stretch of unspoiled beach is part of the Litoral de Esposende protected landscape. At the southern end, there are cafés and older hotels and high-rises to serve the surfing crowd who frequent this coast.

Esposende feels like a potential discovery. And you don’t need millions to own here.

In the town center, you’ll find large apartments, spanning 1,500 square feet, for sub-€200,000, such as this listing for €190,000. Meanwhile, one- and two-beds in the high-rises overlooking Praia de Ofir list for €225,000 to €250,000. Those communities are dated, but the views would be out of this world.

This one-bed condo, frontline to Praia de Ofir beach, is on the market for €225,000. Listing here.

After Esposende, we pushed on for Viana do Castelo, a farther 30 minutes’ drive north.

Like Esposende, Viana do Castelo is on the north bank of a river mouth. Viana, though, is much larger…a true city…with a population close to 90,000. It’s best known for its charming Old Town, beautiful riverfront and Santuario de Santa Luzia, a stunning church inspired by Byzantine architecture that sits high on a hill overlooking the city.

Before arriving in town, we stopped at Praia do Cabedelo, a beach to the south of the city on the Atlantic coast. To reach the beach, you walk along a boardwalk through a thicket of pine trees before emerging onto a stunning stretch of sweeping sand.

Praia do Cabedelo is a popular kite surfing destination. In fact, in our scouting along this stretch of coast, we saw people engaged in virtually every water sport. Surfing at the beaches of Esposende and Apulia…kayaking, sailing, and water skiing in the rivers at Esposende and Viana…kite and wind surfing on the beaches around Viana.

Along this coast, it seems you’ll find a beach to suit every preference and every activity.

By the time we reached the city of Viana itself, the light was beginning to fade. Today, as you’re reading this, we’ll be scouting the city in earnest. We’ll be meeting agents…viewing properties…and digging into the opportunities here. Then after Viana, we’re traveling north again to do the same in Caminha, the town ranked No. 2 on our list of the best places to buy real estate in 2024. (See the full list here.)

I’ll report back in the coming days on what we find…

Ronan says: Wow Ciaran, you have my attention. That true beachfront condo with an asking price of €225,000 looks insane. I can imagine waking up there to the sounds of waves crashing and having my morning coffee on the terrace. When the storms roll in, the wild ocean views would be awesome to look at.

Imagine…with a 3% mortgage I could buy for €706.49 per month (rates are on the way down in Europe so this number looks like it will be heading down too). I can’t see the full holding costs from the listing but I’m guessing we’d be all in for €850 per month. By all in I mean everything—taxes, insurance, HOA…you name it.

I want to go and stay in that building when I’m in the area in August. I did a search for availability to A) find a place for me to stay and B) test my hypothesis that you could cover all your costs of ownership ONLY by renting in July and August. Well, I could only find one other true beachfront condo there on Airbnb for my chosen week in August. I does look as nice as this one…is also a one bed and comes in at €2,113 for the week. True beachfront near a couple of stunning ancient cities and major international airport. Wow…

This play has me extra excited because I see it as a potential rerun of the Silver Coast opportunity. The Silver Coast is a long stretch of Atlantic coast between Lisbon and Porto. I got in before the market there took off. I couldn’t be happier with my beachfront home in the Silver Coast. I use it in spring and fall. In summer when I want to be in Ireland, the rent checks roll in. Plus it has gone up in value by about €150,000 in a few short years.

The potential mortgage costs on that €225,000 condo…and how much a similar condo costs to rent out short term on Airbnb in August.

I see this northern part of Portugal as a time machine. A way to get the ground floor opportunity we got in the Algarve a decade ago and in the Silver Coast five years ago. To be clear, though, there is a caveat with repeating this play… Recently Portugal introduced restrictions on short-term rentals. Under the new rules, new licenses will not be issued for properties classed as Alojamento Local, or “local accommodation” (guesthouses of under 10 rooms, hostels, and Airbnb-style properties) in high-density areas, that is Portugal’s cities, coastline and the Algarve, until 2030. This is an attempt to bring more long-term rental properties onto the market.

We’re digging into the full implications of these rules and where they will go. All the details will be in the full report on northern Portugal I’m preparing for RETA members. This report will also contain images, maps, video walkthroughs of properties, contact information for agents…everything Ciaran and Alan uncover in northern Portugal.

(Not a RETA member? Learn how you can join here.).

Still, despite the new rental rules, the wider point remains… If you thought you missed out on Portugal, you are wrong. You only missed out on the opportunity that everyone else is looking at.

Questions and Feedback

Have a question or comment? Maybe something for Ciaran and Alan while they have boots on the ground in northern Portugal? Share it here. Here’s one I got from an Overseas Dream Home reader…

Joanna F. asks: Do you cover the Naples area of Italy, and also Catanzaro in the Calabria region?

Ronan says: Hi Joanna, many thanks for the question. At Real Estate Trend Alert we don’t cover any particular part of the world per se. Unlike traditional real estate brokers, we’re not tied to one specific location. Our beat is global. We simply go where the opportunity is. My mantra is…when you look everywhere, there is always opportunity somewhere.

But everywhere is a big place, so each year my team and I make a prioritized list of where we think the best real estate opportunities around the globe are. Then we put boots on the ground. These scouting trips are an essential part of what we do. Boots-on-the-ground scouting is the single best way to identify true opportunity in overseas real estate. That’s why my team and I spend over a million dollars on travel and research every year.

Italy regularly features on my list of places to explore for real estate opportunities. A few years back, I declared “Mission Italy” and we did a deep dive into the real estate scene around this beautiful, historic country. My scouts started in Rome, before checking out Florence, Venice and Pisa, as well the hill towns and villages throughout Tuscany, Abruzzo, Umbria, and Emilia-Romagna. (RETA members can access the full report on what they found

We’re also constantly updating our Italy coverage…looking for the next opportunities.

For instance, my scout Ciaran is not long back from a scouting trip to Sicily, where he found some mind-blowing real estate bargains. I’m talking about historic houses in stunning hill towns for prices like €28,000 to €35,000…that’s less that the cost of a new car in the U.S. You’ll find some of Ciaran’s dispatches from the road here on the Overseas Dream Home website.

Real Estate Trend Alert members also got Ciaran’s in-depth report on all the incredible lifestyle and investment opportunities he uncovered in Sicily, including video walkthroughs of homes, contact information for agents and more.If you’re not yet a member and want to be the first to hear about the new opportunities me and my team uncover as we travel the globe, including our full, upcoming report on northern Portugal, all the details for joining are here.

If you come across a location that you think my team and I should investigate for potential real estate opportunities, please do get in touch and let me know.

Your Daily Dream Home

Montecatini Val di Cecina, Tuscany, Italy


This cozy two-bedroom apartment is located in the medieval village of Montecatini Val di Cecina, in the Tuscany, Italy.

It’s situated on the second floor of an old palazzo with a private garden and a view of Volterra.

It features an entrance, kitchen with panoramic dining room, bathroom, and bedroom. Upstairs there’s an attic space with another bedroom, a small bathroom, and a storeroom. Also included is a 161 square feet cellar on the ground floor with garden access.

Click here to find out more

Remember, we don’t make money from any listing shared here in the Your Daily Dream Home section. We have no dog in the fight. We’re just sharing cool properties we’ve found.

I haven’t visited this property or done due diligence on it. If you’re interested in the listing, you should hire an attorney and do your own due diligence.

Sign up to Overseas Dream Home now, and Discover The Best Places in the World to Buy Real Estate 2024.

Enter your email address in the box below and click “Sign me up now” to claim your FREE report.

No-spam pledge: We value your privacy. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Overseas Dream Home ....on Social Media

Subscribe on Youtube

Follow us on Instagram

Transparency is important to us, so you should know that properties and development projects detailed here may be clients of Pangaea Limited, a real estate advertising company managed by Ronan McMahon and Margaret Summerfield. Should you purchase one of the properties, Pangaea may receive a fee from the property owners, real estate developers and/or real estate agents. International Living Publishing Limited along with certain marketing companies who work with Pangaea may receive a portion of that fee.

Nothing in this website, and no communication by our staff, should be considered personalized advice. Although our staff may answer general queries, they are not licensed to address your particular situation.

We always recommend strongly that buyers perform their own complete due diligence and use a qualified legal professional to help with any real estate transaction.

© 2024, International Living Publishing Limited

Privacy Policy

Cookie Policy

Terms & Conditions