alentejo monte

Buying an Aljezur farmhouse

Aljezur farmhouses for sale

Algarve west coast climate; the best weather in Europe?


Odeceixe beach

Control of the red palm weevil

Vicentina natural park wildlife

Heating options

The truth about coastal property

What is natural park Costa Vicentina?

Building and renovating in western Algarve

Portugal land scams

Fishing on the Vicentina coast

Western Algarve agriculture


Utilities in Portugal

Schools in Aljezur

 Solar home heating plans


Western Algarve Agriculture;

Much of the area gets irrigation water from the Santa Clara reservoir; with canal access, we have 300 days of sunlight, and unlimited water. Many crops grow very well, especially root crops due to the ease of harvesting from the sandy soil.

Citrus loves it here, as well as figs, pears, grapes, and lots more.

Just don't think you can make a profit.


All the orange and tangerine trees in our orchard have different tasting fruit. It’s quite amazing.

It’s a great thrill to own an orchard, and eat your own fruit. But also a lot of work.

Watering, fertilizing, weeding, picking up the fallen fruit.


A friend of ours who has been living here for 30 years, told me the first spring I was here “enjoy the oranges you’re getting now, because you won’t get many in the summer. Or for that matter, any other fruit unless you spray a lot of insecticide all season long, and even then you’ll get very little.”

Sadly, he was right.

We didn’t spray insecticide, and in the summer we got maybe 1 fruit out of 10.

Our friend said the best thing to do in his opinion was to plant only early flowering trees, and forget about the summer.

There are some med flies in spring, but not many. The problem is that there are too many neglected orchards, and 100’s of med flies breed in every fallen fruit.

The orchards are neglected because you don’t get any money for your fruit, and it’s a lot of work to pick it up.

Spain has taken all the business from Portugal.

My neighbor, a tough old farmer with a lot of skill and experience, grows highly regarded sweet potatoes on a couple of hundred square meters of his 45,000 square meter farm. Most of the rest lies fallow. Why? Because that's all the potatoes he can sell out of his shed door through the year. The wholesale price is so low, he won't waste his time.

So if you want to grow something just for fun, you're in luck! The land is cheap.
Houses are expensive, and it isn't allowed to build any new ones. But if you want to keep a horse, or some sheep or goats, or grow your own food, or just want a really big garden; you can get a hectare or two for just a little extra when you buy a house here.


 You might be impressed by the hills and valleys you can own for a song, but unless you’re young, fit , and have nothing better to do, any land that can’t be plowed is just a huge liability.

We know a lot of older people that have admitted to us that yes, the first few years they were here they worked hard on the land, but gave up soon because it’s just too much relentless work.

Now they’re just watching the brambles take over, and after a few years they’re surrounded by a huge fire risk they themselves have created. It’s not nice!


Also when you buy your land, you must be aware that you will not be able to water it from your domestic water supply from the camara. The water rate rises exponentially, so the first few tons are cheap, but the last few [if you use a lot] will cost a fortune.


If you have a dug well, it will likely be insufficient for irrigation in summer. It’s worth a lot to have access to irrigation water from the Santa Clara reservoir. Many farms in the area have access to this water via the canal system, but many don’t.  


There are a lot of catchment ponds in Portugal [barragem] to help people through the dry time, and to have one of them on your land is definitely a plus.

Some people swim in their baragems, but we don’t consider that safe because the runoff from the fields that inevitably collect there contain fertilizers.


We think the ideal situation would be to have enough fairly level land surrounding your house to give you privacy that can be plowed twice a year.

If you don’t enjoy tractoring, your neighbors will do it for you quite inexpensively.

Then you can truly enjoy the wonderful wild flowers of the Algarve without apprehension that some plant might take over, as they tend to do. Or working your fingers to the bone.


You really need to have some land around your house because you might have the bad luck to have a very nice neighbor that keeps smelly pigs, endlessly barking dogs, sheep crawling with ticks, or cattle teeming with horse flies.



The sandy soil of the Rogil plane around Aljezur;

I always believed sandy soil was inferior, but that depends on what you want to grow [if anything]. Sandy soil drains much better than clay soils, and works easier. In winter rains, clay soils turn to mud. In the dry season, it’s as hard as rock.

The mud gets tracked into the house, and if you have horses it gets stuck in their hooves [and grass won’t grow again after it’s been trampled too much]. Our horse friends all tell us sandy soil is the way to go. Sandy soil is better for gardening, and for animals as well.

Of course the sand has its drawbacks; it doesn’t hold trees as well. Then again, it’s easy to pull weeds.


The famous sweet potatoes of Aljezur grow in the sandy soil.