Traveling Safely in the Algarve

It’s important to travel safely and responsibly wherever you go. Here are some tips for traveling in the Algarve, one of Portugal’s most popular holiday destinations.

Rogue Travel Reps

Dodgy travel reps can cost you a lot of money on holiday. They can be unscrupulous and will promise you anything just to get a commission – if you’re not careful you could end up with an expensive bill for a car that doesn’t work properly or a poorly thought out (and even dangerous) excursion. Avoid these problems by travelling with a reliable company like Villa Plus, who have organised Algarve villas for the last 30 years.

Unfair Taxi Charges

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Be careful of taxi charges if you are travelling in Portugal’s big cities, as there is always a chance of getting ripped off. This is by no means a general rule – just be careful! A good way to avoid argument is to negotiate a fare before you get into the cab.

Pickpockets

Again, this is another one to watch out for in the big cities. Keep your valuables in sight at all times and make sure things aren’t hanging out of your bag on public transport.

Beach safety

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Make sure you take heed of any warning flags or signs near Portugal’s beaches. These will tell you the strength of the currents and if there are any dangers present. Red flags always mean danger. If you are going swimming in the sea, it is a good idea to pick a swimming spot near a lifeguard.

Driving in Portugal

The vehicle accident rate in Portugal is unfortunately quite high, so it’s essential to be ultra careful when you’re driving in the country. Problems that often occur are people breaking the speed limit and overtaking in dangerous spots. Stick to the Portuguese Highway Code and you should be absolutely fine.

Keep happy hour happy

This is one for the backpackers. In areas where there are lots of bars that cater for young travellers, bar owners are keen to get you drunk as quickly as possible with cheap alcohol so that you will spend all of your money. Of course, this isn’t unique to Portugal – just keep an eye out.

Strong sun

If you have a fair complexion, be careful of the strong sun. During the summer months the sun is very strong in Portugal, so apply plenty of sunscreen and spend time in the shade every so often.

Forest Fires

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Forest fires are quite a common occurrence during the summer months in the Algarve, so if you’re out hiking, be aware of the danger. Don’t start a fire yourself by leaving lit cigarette ends around, or not extinguishing barbecues.

Mosquitoes

More of a nuisance than a health hazard, mosquitoes can still ruin your fun in the Algarve. Make sure you pack good repellent, and cover yourself up at night time.

Visas

You can stay in Portugal as tourist for up to 3 months, but after that you must apply for a Registration Certificate from the nearest Town hall to your accommodation.

Happy holidays and stay safe!

Images by Joi and Ervins Strauhmanis used under Creative Commons License.

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