Thinking of relocation to Loule on the Algarve

Hi all

Having first fallen in love with The Algarve 30 years or so ago I have now made the decision to relocate for extended periods and eventually to retire to the area. Loule in particular appeals to me because from what I have read it is a typically working Portuguese town which retains its character and is not overrun by tourists.
I would be grateful for any information you could share with me on life in Loule for expats; meeting new people, both expats and Portuguese,   clubs and societies I could join and local activities on offer, the quality of life and cost of living.  Is it advisable to have a car?
I will be relocating initially on my own as my partner still working in the UK. I am a lady in her late middle years. Will it be possible for me to find part time work over there?  I do not speak Portuguese but I am looking to learn and I am currently trying to find a personal tutor in the UK.
Are there particular estate agents that you could recommend? I may look to rent (maybe 6 months this winter), to familiarise myself with the town.  Again could you suggest any letting agents I could contact who offer well located properties in the town for let.

Very kind regards
Karen

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