General information

Below is some general information about Portugal:

Currency, Banks and Insurance

The Portuguese currency is the Euro.

Normal Hours:
8.30am-3.0pm Monday to Friday
Weekends: Closed all day

Commission Charged per transaction regardless of amount
Travellers Cheques attract huge charges
ATM's Accept UK Credit, Visa and Maestro/Cirrus Bank Cards
Automatic cash dispensers are widely available. 

Some Restaurants, larger Hotels, most Petrol Stations and Shops accept major Credit Cards and Bank Cards - Cirrus/Maestro and Visa.

Travel insurance - it is recommended that you have an adequate travel insurance policy to cover your holiday.


The Algarve has a warm climate with over than 3,000 hours sunshine a year, more than the Costa Brava, Mallorca or French Riviera.

Summer temperatures are, however, below the extremes of those in the Mediterranean countries. Our daytime temperatures average between 25-30C, whilst whilst occasional light sea and hill breezes keep temperatures delightfully balmy in the evenings.

Bring light clothes in summer, plus a jersey or two for cool evenings. In the winter it is wise to bring a warm jacket or coat, though during daytime you are unlikely to need anything more than a jersey.


UK, EU driving licences and International Driving Licences are valid in Portugal.

Always carry all documents with you, including Car Hire Agreements, Driving Licence and Passport.

Drive on the right-hand side of the road. Seat belts must be worn both in the Front and Back. As in all European countries it is important to observe the speed limits.

Alcohol limit: 0.5 gm/l. If you are involved in an accident with more than the legal limit of alcohol in your system, then the Insurance will be invalidated and you will be personally responsible for ALL costs.

Be aware that the A22 cross-Algarve motorway is a toll road. Tolls due are recorded by automatic transponders fixed along the route. All hire cars are fitted with transponders.


The supply is 220/240 Volts AC and uses the Northern European Socket.

Plugs have two round pins and most British and American appliances will need an adaptor.


Dial 112 free from anywhere to contact Police, Fire Brigade or Ambulance.


No vaccinations are officially required for visitors from EU or USA.

There are reciprocal arrangements within the EU on free treatment in clinics and hospitals. When requesting treatment, show your passport, or an EHIC card. After ‘Brexit’ on New Year’s Day 2021, the EHIC card is likely to be replaced by a new system, as yet unconfirmed. It’s likely that the current EHIC health insurance coverage will no longer be available to UK residents.

Pharmacies: - advise on minor matters.

Hospitals: - Faro, Portimao and Lagos. There is also a small A&E department at Loulé Health Centre for minor injuries, x-rays and heart checks.

Health Clinics: - deal with less serious problems


By air :Faro Airport is well served by low-cost and charter flight airlines flying direct from many UK regional airports and has services from airports in many EU countries.

Visas and Passports

All visitors to Portugal from Europe, United States of America and Australia need only their passport for up to 3 months visit.


Mains tap water is treated so is perfectly safe to drink. Most drink chilled bottled water which is inexpensive.