The Portuguese people are justly proud of their country and they are proud of the fact that so many celebrities have bought properties in their country that it has become known as ‘the California of Europe’. An astonishing number of celebrities have indeed made their home in the comparatively small area of Lisbon and the Algarve. Actors Scarlett Johannsson, Monica Bellucci, John Malkovich and Michael Fassbender have all bought property in Lisbon and just down the road, in the World Heritage Site of Sintra, Madonna has a 7.5-million-euro mansion. 

Singers Sir Cliff Richard and Bonnie Tyler have long owned property in the Algarve and if you fancy a kick about on the beach, make sure that you get Eric Cantona, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerard, Teddy Sheringham and Frank Lampard on your team. You’ll also find designers Christian Louboutin and Phillipe Starck and U.K. T.V. celebrities Chris Evans, Phillip Schofield, Ant n Dec and Duncan Bannatyne practising their golfing techniques or wandering unrecognised.

So, what does attract celebrities to this part of the world?  Property prices? Even celebrities like a bargain and your millions will certainly go a lot further here than they will in some of the more established haunts of the rich and famous.  Lisbon’s properties are some of the most affordable in Europe for a capital city, and it’s also one of the most beautiful. There’s also the incentive that purchasers of property over 350,000 euros are eligible for the ‘Golden Visa’ scheme, which gives them residency rights and freedom of travel within the Schengen area.

Property is of course also cheap in the north east of England and you don’t see celebrities flocking there, but then it doesn’t have the weather. Southern Portugal has almost year-round sunshine, hot summers and deliciously warm winters. It also has some of the best beaches in Europe, one of the lowest costs of living in Europe and it has been rated as the third safest place to live in the world. That last point must be a particular attraction if you are rich and famous.

Lisbon, a coastal capital, built on seven hills, like Rome, has stunning architecture, Michelin starred restaurants and world class shopping. Its international airport makes hopping off to another of your homes quick and easy. As if all of these attractions weren’t enough, there’s something more, something very important. Portugal has a very appealing culture, rich in tradition. Its people are friendly and welcoming and its pace of life gentle. There are diverse landscapes of great beauty within easy reach and once away from the tourist hotspots even the most famous celebrity can find some tranquil corner of the countryside where they can wander freely.

What’s particularly attractive about Portugal is that though you may never be able you afford to live in Laurel Canyon, in Portugal you don’t have to be a celebrity to be able to afford a property, which is why the country continues to be such a popular choice for Europeans looking to relocate.