Portugal is hot right now, and I’m not talking about the climate.
The Iberian country has enjoyed a record-breaking year when it comes to tourism and is fast becoming a favorite among American travelers.
But it’s not just holidaymakers who are loving Portugal right now; the country is quickly becoming a star destination among digital nomads, too.
Portugal’s digital nomad visa has been in effect for about a year and in that time, 2,600 digital nomad visas have been issued by the Portuguese government, according to recent news reports in the country.
Within that figure, American digital nomads are one of the biggest groups, proving that this sunny European destination is striking the right chord with many.
Here are five reasons why Portugal is enjoying such a surge as a digital nomad destination right now:
Scores Well On What Matters
Portugal has good stats in all the right places when it comes to digital nomadism.
It is a well-developed European country with good transport infrastructure and reliable internet almost everywhere you go.
English is generally widely spoken, which will help when it comes to setting yourself up there and socializing.
It has a useful time zone (Western European Time), which is the same as the U.K., meaning you’re only a few hours ahead of the United States and one hour different from most of the rest of Europe.
Portugal is also a safe country, ranked as the seventh safest in the world on the latest Global Peace Index; it has low rates of crime, violence, and civil unrest.
A Good-Value Visa With Clear Guidelines
There are two types of digital nomad visas in Portugal – a residency visa that allows you to stay for four months (which can be extended to a two-year residency permit once you arrive), or the temporary stay visa, which allows you to stay for one year.
To obtain either visa you must be over 18, be a non-European Union citizen, have a monthly income of at least €3040 (about $3,250), have a work contract for your freelance or remote work, and pre-arrange your accommodation before you arrive.
While some of this may seem a little strict and prescriptive, it’s actually a good thing to ensure that you will enjoy a pleasant and trouble-free stay in Portugal while you live there.
Forward-Thinking On Digital Nomadism
Portugal has been a leader in digital nomad incentives within Europe for some time.
In 2020, it was the first country to set up a Digital Nomad Village program, which saw the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo become new destinations for digital nomads with free co-working spaces, tailored accommodation options, and a social calendar.
Many other co-working spaces have since been set up in other destinations, such as Lisbon and Porto, based on the success of this program.
Data from the UN World Trade Organization shows that Portugal also offers digital nomads some tax exemptions and even allows you to open a bank account in the country.
It’s clear that the country is generally open-minded when it comes to welcoming digital nomads to its shores.
You’re Never Far From The Beach
Perhaps the biggest draw for Portugal is how beautiful it is, thanks to its high concentration of beautiful beaches.
The most obvious spot is the Algarve region in the south, which boasts warm temperatures almost all year round.
Along the country’s western Atlantic coast, you will find a more rugged and dramatic coastline that is hugely popular with surfers and nature lovers – don’t worry, there are still plenty of beaches, and often much quieter than those in the Algarve.
Still Relatively Affordable
When compared to its peers in Western Europe, Portugal is still relatively affordable.
Based on recent data, it is estimated that a digital nomad can get by on about $1,700 a month, including their accommodation and food.
Whether it’s the capital of Lisbon, the arty city of Porto, or a quieter seaside town or village, Portugal offers a cheaper way of life than fellow European nations such as France or Germany.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com