For many, January is the perfect time to join a gym. People are keen to make a fresh start in the new year and up their fitness level, or it could be that you are newly-arrived in Estremoz and are wondering how to continue your regular exercise regime.
So, I thought I was being clever, thought I would avoid undue paperwork…but in the end it just backfired on me—and I ended up having to resit the driving test!
When I lived in Cascais in the 1980s, I changed my UK driving licence to a Portuguese one. Since then, even when living outside the country, I made the decision to stick with my pink triptych ‘carta’ because it had a validity date of 2027.
Since arriving in the Alentejo town of Estremoz, work has been taking place on renovating a building to house the new public library. Located close to the Gadanha fountain, it was finished and opened to the public in July of last year – so we thought we would take a look…
Estremoz despite being in the Alentejo region of Portugal is really well connected with the rest of the country, as well as being just an hour to Badajoz, the nearest large city in Spain. So if you feel like taking a cheeky trip to Lisbon for a taste of big city culture, the Estremoz to Lisbon express bus run daily by Rede Expressos is just a two-hour trip away.
Anyone who becomes a resident in Portugal is eligible to import one foreign-registered car tax-free. This is good news because the import taxes on cars here is extortionate, however, you do need to work through a whole list of documents and meet certain criteria in order to comply with the tax-free status—and you must have owned the vehicle for more than 6 months.
Coming from Spain, my little car had Spanish plates, but the same rules apply to importing vehicles from other EU countries and also British or US registered cars.
Whether you believe in taking the Covid jab or not is one thing, but if you do decide to go ahead, in Estremoz it is a pretty simple procedure to follow.
How to get an appointment for your covid jab
If you are already registered with the national health system in Portugal and have your Numero Utente, then you should receive a call from the health authority when your age bracket for vaccination is reached.
One of the many document-related things that you have to do when you move to Portugal is exchange your driving licence for a Portuguese one.
This is a requirement once you have been granted residence in Portugal and is fairly easy to do online.
One of the things that I most worried about when moving to Estremoz was finding a good hairdresser, but luckily one thing the town is not short of is hairdressers and beauty salons.
Estremoz has a number of top quality beauty salons and hairdressers, some of which offer both services to their clients.
We arrived in Portugal mid-COVID in September 2020, when the borders were open and it was safe to make the move, and one of the first things we did was to register for Portuguese residency at the Estremoz town hall.
The Camara (town hall) is a beautiful building set at the top of the main Rossio square, and we presented ourselves at reception armed with our passports, NIFs and the deeds (escritura) of the property we purchased.
Having worked in insurance in a past life, I am well aware of how important it is to have a good home insurance in place, especially if your property in Portugal is used as a second home and may be empty for long periods of time, so insuring your home in Estremoz is a priority.