This is the case of 38-year-old Ira Grabenko. She arrived in mid-March in Quarteira, in Loulé, in the Faro district, where she has family, and managed to stay with her children, aged 19 and eight, in an apartment in which she was allowed to stay for free on one condition - when summer comes, she has to leave the apartment.

Despite being warned that it would be temporary, Ira was hoping that the war "would last for a week or two" and then she would be able to return to Kyiv.

However, almost three months have passed since the start of the war, and with no end in sight, Ira knows she cannot return and has no prospects.

"So far we have no solution. If we don't find a place we will have to leave the Algarve, it's impossible to find a house here", she said.

However, Iva, who is a psychologist by profession, wants to stay in the Algarve as her eight-year-old son is already at school, and it is in the region that she has family in: "We don't want to leave, but we'll probably have to".

The last hope lies with a group of volunteers who are waiting for information on long-term rental solutions - a problem that, in the Algarve, affects not only foreigners but Portuguese as well, due to high demand and short supply.

In turn, Katerina, who is in the same situation, has three children, aged five, 14 and 17, and was paying 650 € a month for an apartment also in Quarteira, one of the most sought-after holiday areas in the central Algarve.

According to her brother Vadim, who has been living in the Algarve for several years and speaks fluent Portuguese, his sister was asking for the stay to be extended as long as possible, but now the landlord wants the house back to rent to tourists.

"She's looking for a house, but so far she hasn't got one. I don't know if it is only here that it is so complicated", he said, noting that his nephews and nieces are already in school and that his sister's wish is to remain in the Algarve, where her parents are also.

For now, Katerina is waiting for an answer from a British person "who is able to arrange a house", as there are "many people trying to help", namely, foreign volunteers, who have "more [financial] possibilities" than the Portuguese.

"What we would prefer is to go back home [in Ukraine], but at the moment it is not possible to go back yet," Vadim said.

Loulé is one of the Algarve municipalities that has organised bus trips to take refugees from Ukraine and has prepared to take in families, having made about 50 shared accommodations available.

However, the Mayor of Loulé told Lusa that even though the shelter has "all the conditions and dignity", the fact that they are shared has led many to choose to look for housing on the rental market.

According to Vítor Aleixo, "few" have agreed to stay in the accommodation, preferring to find other solutions "on their own", and there's also a preference to stay on the coast, where there's less housing available.

"We still have space for people, but what's happened is that people prefer houses or apartments. We don't have apartments", he stressed.

For the mayor, the lack of long-term rental housing in the region is a "terrible" reality that affects not only refugees but "everyone" looking for a house on the market.

According to Vítor Aleixo, the municipality still has space available in two places to accommodate eight people - four in Almancil and four in Salir - and is carrying out works in other places to increase the capacity.

Currently, in the shared accommodation provided by the municipality are eight families, a total of 28 people, in the parishes of Almancil, Alte, Salir and Quarteira.