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It can sometimes be daunting to spend time in a country where the language and culture is a lot different to our own, whether you're on a short holiday, spend some weeks a year here, or have made the Algarve your full-time home.

The Portuguese are easy-going folk, and despite first appearances are incredibly welcoming, especially to those who make an effort to integrate with Portuguese life. Here are 3 ways to win over locals and residents.

1. Learn Portuguese
Portuguese is a relatively hard language to learn and most people in the Algarve do speak English, but learning a few key phrases will get you a long way in winning over the locals. Even if you're not fluent, try out some Portuguese whenever you greet (olá, bom dia, etc) or thank someone (obrigado/a). The effort will be well appreciated! Making sure you're understood will also help your confidence and, in the case of an emergency, could be very useful.

2. Understand the customs
Things will no doubt be very different in Portugal compared to your home country – and the more relaxed pace of life often gets some getting used to. Make efforts to understand the cultural norms, such as dressing respectfully, the observance of traditions and religious festivals, and the importance of spending time with family.

3. Get involved
The Portuguese are friendly people, but you'll likely need to make the first move. Speak to neighbours, take part in local celebrations and charity events, support the local football teams or chat with people in the neighbourhood pastelaria over a galão and a tosta mista.

Moving to a different country can be a challenging – and sometimes lonely – experience, so finding the best area for your personality and lifestyle are vital to enjoying your life in the Algarve. Speak to the experts at Algarve Home Sales to find your perfect fit.