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Hi, we are presently living in Sao Martinho, having been here 6 out of 25 weeks, and next spring will need to move. We are thinking about the Tomar region and have already paid a fleeting visit to see our Forum friend Omostra. We would like to hear from anyone who has moved there to read of your experiences and opinions of the area. Our main concern is the weather in summer and winter as here near the coast the temperatures seem to be 'bearable'. We do not want to live in 35-40 degrees of heat nor do we want wet and cold winters.

We will no doubt be attending the xmas party that is being arranged so hope to meet up with a few of you then.

Has the party been sorted yet?

Cheers and thanks.
 

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:)
Hi beverleyp,

We have friends who rented in Marinha Grande for one year and who next decided to buy in Alcobaca. They wasted a lot of time on a property deal there which later fell through. Next, they decided to go to Tomar because they felt it was possible to get a better value for money property there, which they did.

Everything has turned out very well for them and although their house needed major work doing, they were very fortunate that the vendor put them in contact with an excellent portuguese builder who has worked non stop and kept their re-build within budget and on schedule. This is certainly not always the outcome.

I cannot say if the weather is different, but she has said that there are no large towns or good shopping in close proximity and that this is something that she now misses. Also, english is much less understood in this area then say in Sao Martinho and Caldas, which may or may not be a problem for you. I have visited Tomar and I was disappointed to be honest. It was much smaller and quieter than I had imagined. The only signs of life that I saw was at McDonalds and this was in June.

"Just my opinion!
:)
 

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Tomar is indeed not for everyone (thank god) :rolleyes:

But it is one of Portugals loveliest cities.

The town does have a wealth of culture and history (unesco world heritage site)which if that your thing then its very hard to find a better town, we get a lot of cultural tourism throughout the year, due to the wealth of things to see.

Tomar also host the two top resturants in the whole Ribatejo region, we have around 60 resturants so plenty of choice.
what we dont have in Tomar is the english bars, english breakfast type places that have spoiled a lot of Portuguese towns on the coast. and i think that is a great thing, i for one would not want to live in a little England.

The town itself has 50,000 people, we have resturants, cinemas, shopping, art galleries, meseums, sports venues, as well as lots of clubs and monthly cultural and music events.

We have a huge weekly market as well as a monthly antique market.

10 mins drive from town we have Castello do Bode lake, a 40 mile long fresh water lake, fantastic for water sports and nature lovers. with hundreds of miles of shoreline, with beaches, marinas, floating swimming pools etc etc.

also 10 mins drive from the town we have large shopping mall with all the usual shops. food court etc, but what i prefare is the abundance of little old shops hidden awya in the maze of cobbled medieval streets,in the old town, a walk round these streets and you will find lovely little resturanst, shoe makers, book shops, furniture makers, Antique shops, as well as fancy designer cloths shops and all the normal shops you would expect to find in a town of this size, including a Mcdonalds, and several pizza places!

Lisbon is just over 1 hours drive from Tomar. so very handy for visits to the capital.

For me Tomar i a lovely place to live, but its good to get different opinions, then make up your own mind,
I know you came to Tomar before (we did meet) but perhaps spend more time here before making any choices.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi, thanks for the info.
Peter

:)
Hi beverleyp,

We have friends who rented in Marinha Grande for one year and who next decided to buy in Alcobaca. They wasted a lot of time on a property deal there which later fell through. Next, they decided to go to Tomar because they felt it was possible to get a better value for money property there, which they did.

Everything has turned out very well for them and although their house needed major work doing, they were very fortunate that the vendor put them in contact with an excellent portuguese builder who has worked non stop and kept their re-build within budget and on schedule. This is certainly not always the outcome.

I cannot say if the weather is different, but she has said that there are no large towns or good shopping in close proximity and that this is something that she now misses. Also, english is much less understood in this area then say in Sao Martinho and Caldas, which may or may not be a problem for you. I have visited Tomar and I was disappointed to be honest. It was much smaller and quieter than I had imagined. The only signs of life that I saw was at McDonalds and this was in June.

"Just my opinion!
:)
 

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Glad to have come across this thread! I have been thinking about what Tomar is like and was about to post a thread at some point about it, looks like I don't hav to:).

I first developed an interest in Tomar recently while searching properties online, compared to other areas houses they cost much less, I assumed it was most likely because its a very Portugese town with less Tourism. Like in Spain a popular tourist town had sky high property prices yet drive out 20mins to a smaller local town and its less than half the price, cleaner, and more of a community feel to it.

I will be visiting Tomar when in Portugal as well as the Silver Coast and the Algarve, thanks Omostra for the info it was informative, can't b that small if its got 60 restaurants!

What i'm looking for is a friendly town with good schools and lots of activities for children, not too small but not big either which is not too far from the beach and th capital, though i'd want it to be a little further from the ocean than i'd have liked - the floods here recently and Global Warming is making me paranoid lol.
 

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In this region of central Portugal, Tomar city itself is one of the most expensive places to buy property, so imagine how cheap property can be 20 mins further out from Tomar,
(unless you go towards the lake where lakeside properties can run into millions of euros.)

I think the property on the coast, regardless of which country/region will always be much more expensive, due to holliday tourism. with properties inland you will get more for your money, and may get a better standard of life, less crowds of package holliday makers, and no ghost towns in the winter, like some coastal regions have.

Tomar is becoming more popular to overseas buyers, possibly a result of it becoming better known, we have also in the last year met a increasing number of expats moving from some coastal towns to Tomar, many from spain and the Algarve are now moving to this region, many for the same reasons to find a better place to live and get better value for thier money.
 

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Thanks for that:)
I'm not sure which towns the properties were in it just said 'Tomar' but I saw that region had lovely farmhouses with outbuildings for the same price as 2 bedroom apartments in the Algarve. Not that i'd want to live in a farmhouse is a bit too secluded for me.

I ideally want somewhere 10mins drive out from a bustling town/city, somewhere quiet yet not secluded, somewhere kids can play outside safely, with a few shops/restaurants and some playgrounds for kids.
I want a touristy town or one thats becoming known to be 10mins drive or max 20mins away as I want to start up some type of business in the future geared towards the tourism industry, not sure what yet still thinking on that one, but thanks to the recession it'll now b later rather than sooner, either that or I can purchase a property and find a job there but thats a gamble and I don't get to b my own boss:rolleyes:, much as I love Britain I wanna leave the sooner the better, i'd even thought of renting getting a job and goin from there but having a child thats an even bigger gamble i'm not gonna take, till then it's just hols in the sunshine for us:)
 

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:)

It's just horses for courses really and one mans meat is another mans poison. Where ever one decides to settle it should turn out alright but only if one gets the two most important essentials for success right.

The single most important consideration is making sure that you have the financial resources to continue to live here, come what may ? Lots of things can happen that you have no control over. There can be all sorts of unexpected delays and unforseen hold ups by others that can cost YOU money and eat up your savings. Just because you think that it may cost xxxxx to put a (bargain property right) does not mean that it will be achieved for your budget or within your time frame, unless you are capable of doing it yourself, it is in the lap of the gods really. :D

Buying the right house, in the right area and for a good (portuguese) price is the next essential for success. Most, only get one chance at it. If you buy the wrong house, you may never ever manage to re-sell it at ANY price. If you must get a job and earn a weekly wage to survive here, perhaps it would be best to just rent to see if you can find paid employment first, rather than buying a house and only then looking for a job. You may fail to find one. I have made some good choices and also some that were bad.

So, don't rush into anything.
;)
 

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Fortunately i'm not as impulsive as I used to be so won't be making any rash decisions:).
Unfortunately though renting and job-hunting on trial isn't an option for me as i've a well paid job here and if I leave it's unlikely i'll get it back especially with the recession and high unemployment, i'm also tied into a good tenancy have a great flat which i'll never get back, and study online part-time, if I continue as I am I can move comfortably in a couple of yrs or so so am trying hard to focus on that but the weather lifestyle and crime here has me getting constantly impatient to leave. If I rent now I can live there comfortably for a few yrs but then i'll b broke so will stay here a while till I have a plan on what type of business I want to open up because as impatient as I feel to leave I really don't wanna end up in any random 9-5 job I don't like.

The houses I saw were beautiful and ready to move into, there were alot of renovation ones too but those don't interest me at all as I really don't have the time desire or knowledge in that to want to bother. There were some cottages that were so beautiful surrounded by fruit trees etc and at such a low price that I might purchase one jus for weekends away:) beats weekends camping in Cornwall anyday;)
 

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:)


You do have a lot going for you in the uk and a bird in the hand is always worth two in the bush. It sounds like your feet are firmly planted on the ground though, which is good. Work and good business opportunities, usually means city living and unfortunately crime is usually part and parcel of city life.

The quieter, slower pace of life and safe areas that you desire to find are to be found in the more rural coastal and inland areas. Work and good business opportunities are few and far between though. Lots of people who choose to live in these areas are older and retired. They usually do not need to work and live on their uk pensions or on income from say a uk rented property or both.

It is wonderful here and I definately feel that portugal does offer a better quality of life for everyone, but only as long as you have the money to live on. Once the money runs out, the wonderful also runs out. It is very quiet here and can get lonely at times also. I hope that you do not think that I am trying to put you off, because I am not. It is just that people with vested interests will not tell you about these things and one really does need to be aware of the entire picture before the right decisions can be made.

Good luck.
;)
 

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Given what you have explained, I would suggest perhaps waiting a bit before buying a place here in Portugal, make sure you have your finances in order, so that when you come you can enjoy life here and not worry about making ends meet.
You could rent a property for an extended holiday perhaps 3 or 4 weeks, it would help you get an idea of what its like here. without making a big financial commitment.

It is best to take your time and buy the right place, rather than rush into buying something that you later realise you dont like, then have to think about buying a different house, You will only lose money that way, take your time, make plans, do research, visit the regions you like, start making enquiries into job opertunities,

If you like to work for your self then perhaps thats what you should plan to do, there are some great opertunities here in Portugal, for people that have the skills and desire to run thier own business. its fairly easy to set up a business here and depending on the industry you choose to go into, the languge need not be a problem.

Portugal will still be here when your ready to make the move.:)
 

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Portugal will still be here when your ready to make the move.:)
Lol! I like that one, i'm gonna write it in big letters and stick it up on the wall:) if that doesn't stop me taking a leap too soon nothing will: d

I know this is the right move for me, if it weren't Portugal it would've been Spain but i've my heart set on Portugal now. Although well adjusted to city life from birth i'm not really a city girl, when on holidays in the sunshine and palms I never want to leave, I love the Ocean and take regular trips to the coast whenever I can to b close to it.

I've decided life's too short to stay here because of my job and will definitly make the move, but I also realise how lucky I am to have my job and the opportunity and finances to plan my move when there's so much unemployment here and people are struggling to make ends meet, for that I will be taking advantage of my time here before taking a chance and starting over over there.
After all, those who don't dare - stay were they are. Time waits for nobody so to hell with it is what I always say:D
 

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What a lovely way of putting it Derek.
:clap2::clap2::clap2:
Best quote i've heard of Portugal so far:) my son is colouring it in right now and when he's done it'll b up, he loves it!

and yes Mr.Blueskies i'm a gal:) was trying to b Sky but it didn't work then Bluesky and that didn't work either so I settled for Blueskies, didn't kno there was another member with the same name lol
and thats miss not mrs:p:)
 

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tomar

Hi beverleyp
I do agree with Mr. Blueskies and Derek at the same time. It is a very small town, and it doesn´t really have the kind of “life” to please everyone. But it has just about everything Derek says, in a smaller scale that it sounds. In reality, Tomar is 2 hours away from Lisbon and 2.45 from Porto. Early this year, a meeting between local investors and Tomar Council, presided by the mayor, Mr. Pedro Marques brought some issues to the table. This meeting happened at the famous Templarios Hotel.
The major problems are: the access, (not good enough, desperately needing the IC3 to be done), lack of associations and qualified professionals, schools and formation centers are not working together with the local companies, to produce the skilled professionals they need. There are also business areas where they still very traditional and the investment in teaching new and more updated skills, just do not exist. Tomar has an area of 350 Km2, divided in 16 smaller councils. A population of 44.000 people where, 12.5% can´t read or write, less than 4% has high qualifications, 2.3% lives with no electric, 10% with no company water and 8% with septic tanks.
The good things, where they all agree are: great cultural places to visit, lovely views, great rural areas, food and wine, and the “amazing” Castelo Bode lake. It is why the high investments, go to words the tourism. There is also a great school/college network, a decent university and a professional skills formation center, but the full potential of this 2 institutions, up to now, hasn´t been used proper to help developing Tomar.
John999
 

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Some interesting points John, but I guess it depends on what you are looking for from a place to live, a lot of what you have said is centred on your view that Tomar, not being a business centre and not fully developing its potential to train its students etc.

but what if you are just looking fora nice place to live, Tomar will come very high on most people´s list for that, most people that choose to move over seas, dont normally look for a place to live that has a great track record in training and business development, they are more interested in schools, resturants, things to do and see. when they choose a place to settle.

A couple of other points you make need some correction,as they are not correct.

The meeting you mention that was "presided by the mayor, Mr. Pedro Marques", is not correct Mr. Pedro Marques was the Mayor about 8 years ago, The Mayor for the last 2 or so years is Corvelo de Sousa, who became the Mayor when the previous Mayor left who was Antonio Paiva.

the IC3 road from the south leading into Tomar is finished and open has been for 3 about years, from the IC3 you can take any of the 4 cut off roads that will lead you directly into Tomar. North of Tomar by 9km the Ic3 does change back into a normal road, (this road will be upgraded soon, new IC3 extention, as well as the new ic9 which is part open but will be finished soon) so I dont understand your reporting of the council meeting as saying
Quote
"The major problems are: the access, (not good enough, desperately needing the IC3 to be done)," How can it be any better from Lisbon straight into Tomar is a good new Road!

The schools here do have a very good work experience programme, I know as we have personally had several very enthusiastic students work with my company. The Government funded Centro de formascao in Tomar does train many students in skilled jobs and many of these attend very useful work placement programmes, The University here also has a very good reputation in producing skilled students. so I have to say that as we are a local company and we do work closely with the schools and colleges to produce the skilled professionals Iam not sure where you heard that it doesnt work! Two of the students we had from the college on work placement went on to be offered full time employment by me.


And without a doubt the 8% quoted for septic tanks is way off, its more like 80%....:D:)


On a different matter but as were speaking about Business development, has anyone else here been approached and invited to join the Central Portugal small Business club? James do you know about this club?
 

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Hi Derek
I wasn´t giving my personal opinion, I don´t have any interests in Tomar or any other area, so I just pass the info. I can find. I understand your point of view, the reality is that the IC3 is only supposed to be finished, (totally) in 2014, so the access to Tomar, ( with exception from that little bit from the A23), is still a no. Lately there are more people coming on this and other forums, talking about moving to Portugal and willing to work here. So I believe that the info. I passed is good to know. There is a big difference between someone who just wants to retire in a quiet place, and, someone who still needs to make a living. If Pedro Marques isn´t the mayor anymore, he still comes out as one of the most involved persons in the developing of Tomar area, and his name still pop´s out in several news about it. Tomar still is, his “baby”. I understand your personal interest in the area, but let´s be honest, if we present the 10 best places to retire in Portugal, Tomar hardly makes the top 10. To finish, Coimbra university, yes, it is famous and has created some of the best brains in the country, but the Tomar institute is far to be top one. Tomar center has a decent quality of life but the surrounding areas are undeveloped, comparing with town center, in fact some of the ruins around center Portugal are really falling down, because the government investment doesn´t really exist. Several of doe’s ruins haven´t had any T.L.C. for a long time. I am not trying to put anyone off, from moving to Tomar, but it is good to know all the bad things, and not just the good ones. I believe that is the reason for forums like this to exist. You know yourself many people bought in areas where supposed to be lovely, and after a while, when they move and start living, they realize that it was a mistake.
John999
P.S- Whether, hotter and dryer in the summer than the coast line, freezing and icing colder in the winter than the cost line
:cool:
 

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I do indeed meet lots of people who bought in the wrong place..... but i normaly meet those people when they come to talk to me about moving from that place TO Tomar.....:D;)


For me Tomar is the place i choose to live and operate my businesses, i spent 6 months travelling all over Portugal looking for a place before making that choice. I like the place its a lovely city, but as had been said before, everyone is different, thats why some people choose to live in the middle of London and other choose remote islands. people like different things, places, etc.

Thats why people should take their time and visit several places before making any long term choices.

but by far the best thing about Tomar region is the lake. (iam lucky i live 2 mins from this lovely place, if you look closely at the picture you can see me.)
 
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