First of all, what a great community! I stumbled upon this site and the amount of information and willingness to help others is amazing!
It is really valuable to read the experiences and tips from 'real' people in our search for information about emigrating to Portugal.
I hope it's okay to introduce ourselves:
We are Paul and Marleen from the Netherlands and are working towards emigrating to Portugal in 6 years.
Our idea is to plant (each following year) Paulownia trees, they have a number of great advantages which we can put to use.
We like to grow our own trees so we can build our own log cabin. When our cabin is done we are planning to build little eco-cabins from the Paulownia's.
So far we are concentrating on the Central area of Portugal with a little preference for the region around Castello Branco.
We will be visiting Portugal from 1 to 7 January coming year and are looking for tips and places to visit in regarding to our plans.
I know its a fairly general question but I didn't want to make my first post a big blur of plans and information
Please feel free to ask for more details!
Greetings from a cold and wet Netherlands!
Paul and Marleen
Please keep an eye on the laws changing. It used to be that you didn't need permission to build from non-permanent materials like wood, but I understand that the law is changing here very soon and that it will be applied retrospectively, meaning that existing log cabins build without permission may have to be taken down. There have been so many bad fires in recent years that the authorities are tightening up with people moving in and building flammable structures in forested areas.
I would recommend visiting a place called Tamera. I have never been myself but have met a couple people who have and bring back good reports. It's a fairly large permaculture-oriented intentional community, where they do "all the things"....water catchment, alternative buildings and energy, community dynamics, teaching, etc. They have some very alternative spiritual and social beliefs but huge lessons in land management can still be learned.
Please be sure you plant sterile, non-invasive trees!
Portugal is a beautiful country, and the people are kind and generous.
The region around Castello Branco has suffered numerous wildfires. You need to be aware of this. Acquaintances who live in the area have said “The question is not if our land will burn, but when it will burn.”