Stuart, Kim, Lucas (13), Ellie (11) and Finn (11)

How long have you been an army family?

We have been together since early 2005, we met in the Netherlands and married there in 2007.

Time in Lisbon?

We arrived in May 2021 in the middle of the pandemic. We lived in our own house back in the UK. When the option of Lisbon came up, we decided as a family to take the opportunity. We had never been to Portugal before; the weather was amazing and naturally most of us got sunburnt on the first day.

How many other military families live there?

We have a small community with 22 serving personnel, this is a tri-service location. Some serving people brought their families.

What’s your quarter like?

DIO allocates private accommodation so everyone’s quarter is different. Although an effort is made to co-locate serving members/personnel, we are generally spread out quite far. The quarters in general however are very nice, spacious and even stay cool in the summer.

Are there any employment/ training opportunities?

Employment on base is possible although limited. Training opportunities are provided and shared by the Community Liaison Officer.

What about schools/ childcare?

There are several schools and nurseries, all local, most are international. English speaking schools are located all around our location – this area has a lot of expats. Even with after school and sports clubs, most can speak English.

Where do people tend to get together and who supports you?

We have the National Support Element who supports us and weekly coffee mornings with the community.

How do you find the cost of living?

It’s probably slightly lower than a lot of places although there are definitely ups and downs. Food shopping is comparable with similar types of supermarkets as the UK. Day trips out can vary although most are usually good value, but because there’s lots to see and do in Portugal and most things are spread out, fuel costs can get quite high.

What are the best and worst things about Lisbon?

The worst is the Portuguese driving style – expect the unexpected! The best things are the people, the way of life and the opportunities available. We’re about ten minutes away from the beach, 20 minutes from Lisbon centre and airport.

Would you recommend it as a family posting?

Absolutely! The opportunities are endless. The atmosphere and way of life is more relaxed, this is the perfect posting for a family with children or without.