Breakages in apartments and villas must be reported and paid for. In the event of a
serious road accident, wait for the police to arrive. Meanwhile, obtain the other
driver's name, address, his insurance company details and the number of his policy.
Insist that the police take statements from both parties and that both are
|Faro Airport (General)
|TAP (Portugal’s National Airline)
has a good website (in English).
The following table of average taxi prices from Faro Airport to various
points in the algarve is published by ANA Aeroportos - use this for guidance only. You
should always verify the price with the taxi driver before commencing the journey.
||w/Night Surcharge inc. Sat, Sun and Holidays
|Albufeira, Tavira, Eurotel
|Armação de Pêra
|Praia da Rocha, Vau, Penina
|Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo, Garrão
|Vila Real de Santo António
Open Monday to Friday 08:30 - 15:00; closed Saturdays, Sundays and National Holidays.
You'll need your passport to exchange travellers cheques. Look for the sign "câmbios".
Commission is charged per transaction regardless of amount.
ATMs (called Multi-Banco in Portugal) are abundant and very sophisticated. You can
usually draw cash against UK bank accounts if you have a VISA network card.
Clean, reasonably comfortable and cheap. Local services often infrequent by day and
non-existent at night. Avoid long, boring journeys within the algarve by booking express
regional services. Good choice of Algarve-Lisbon bus companies and departure times. The
Faro-based EVA (info in Portuguese, English, German and Dutch) run good local and
regional services, and also frequent services to Lisbon and Spain, and the Rede Nacional
de Expressos run a comprehensive national service. Both have good on-line routes and
||21 387 4162
||21 549 263
||21 396 1191
||21 347 4892
||21 545 099
||21 881 0210
||21 396 1163
||21 386 0206
||21 396 1569
||21 301 5344
||21 726 6600
||21 353 5041
||21 395 5224
||21 397 3121
Open 09:00 - 13:00; 15:00 - 19:00. One chemist in each area stays open
after hours on a rotating basis and the address of the open pharmacy is listed on all
other chemists' doors.
Chemists (Farmácias) will advise on minor matters. There are reciprocal
arrangements within the EU on free treatment in clinics and hospitals. When requesting
treatment, show your passport, or an E111 or E112 form. Health clinics (Centro de
Sáude) deal with less serious problems. For emergencies, there are 24-hour
hospitals in Faro, Portimão and Lagos. Private doctors (British, German and Dutch as
well as Portuguese) will give more personal treatment, but without insurance it can be
|Out of Town
- Insurance is compulsory and normally provided with a hire car
- EU licences are valid at all times
- Other foreign driving licences are valid for up to six months
- Seat belts are obligatory for the driver and front passenger
- DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE!
Alcohol is readily available and cheap - but the maximum legal blood alcohol level
is currently only 20mg per 100ml. If you drink and drive and are caught, you will be
immediately locked up and in court the next morning.
- Portugal has the highest road accident rate in Europe. The standard of both road
building and driving is much lower than in Northen European countries, and you need
to be continually alert and cautious. Be especially aware of vehicles suddenly
emerging from side roads, and of maniac overtaking.
- ZERO TOLERANCE! High-profile police patrols are becoming ever more vigilant and ever
less tolerant of bad driving, speeding and drink driving. Besides risking your life
and those of others, you also risk heavy penalties if you break the law.
There are no duty-free allowances for transport of goods
within the European Union.
If you are planning to bring home Portuguese delights such as port, table wines or
regional aguardentes or liqueurs, look no further for a good deal than the cheapest
local supermarket, where you can generally buy at prices lower than the airport "duty
220 volts AC with Continental two-pin plugs is usual. Earthing can be erratic in older
|Ambulance, Police, Fire (Multi-lingual)
Ants are out and about all over the algarve during the warm months and will home in on
any scraps of food left lying around. They are easily deterred by insecticide powders
which can be bought from supermarkets. Use repellants to deter mosquitoes from zeroing
in on exposed flesh at sundown and after dark.
To report or inquire about air travel baggage gone astray in transit, phone Faro airport
lost property office 289 800 688. Property lost in Portugal should be reported to the
nearest GNR police station.
In Quarteira a market is held every Wednesday, Loulé every Saturday, Portimão every first
Monday of each month, Lagos every Saturday, most Sundays in Almancil and Moncarapacho,
and most Thursdays in Boliqueme and on Mondays in Tavira.
This approximate price comparison between resorts was researched by Thomas
Cook and appeared in The Independent in 1999. It is offered here purely as a comparitive
||Bottle of Beer
||Taxi (5 km)
||Film 24 Exp
||Car Hire /wk
|Costa Del Sol
||New Year’s Day
||Camões and Portugal Day
||All Saints Day
||The Immaculate Conception of Our Lady
Other Public Holidays which fall on different dates are: Good Friday, Shrove Tuesday and
The national emergency number (equivalent to 999 in UK) is 112.
Portugal actually has two police forces -- the GNR and the PSP. The GNR
will deal with most matters, and pass you on to the PSP if necessary. The local numbers
for the GNR in the algarve are:
Loulé and Quarteira offices open Monday to Friday 09:00 - 19:00. Vilamoura, Boliqueme,
Almancil, Sta. Bárbara de Nexe, São Brás de Alportel and Estói offices are open from
Monday to Friday 09:00 - 18:00.
Theft from cars, locked or otherwise, is depressingly common. When driving you need your
licence and other documents, but don't leave them in the car when parked. Be every bit
as security conscious in villas and apartments as you would be at home. When you go out,
be sure to lock up.
You should read the excellent safety information provided by The Foreign & Commonwealth Office on their web site.
Generally open 09:00 - 13:00; 15:00 - 19:00, Monday to Friday. On Saturdays open 09:00 -
13:00. Closed Sundays, except some supermarkets, mini-mercardos and out of town
hypermarkets and malls. During the summer months many shops in tourist areas stay open
until 23:00 or even later, and will open on Sunday.
Telephone calls can be made at post offices and public call boxes which accept coins or
credifone cards. Credifone call boxes are the most common and the majority of newagents
and supermarkets sell the phone cards.
For calls abroad dial 00, followed by the country code (UK 44), the area code (omitting
the 0) then the telephone number. Country codes can be found in the front of the
telephone book, the post office, or by contacting the International operator on 099
(inside Europe), 098 (outside Europe).
To make local calls, you need to dial the area code (e.g. 289) even if you are inside
Portuguese trains (Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses) are clean,
efficient, comfortable, very cheap and run right on-time. Trains are one of Portugal's
secret gems, and well worth exploring. If you intend to travel from the algarve to
Lisbon, take the train - it's far cheaper and much more fun than the bus. The route pass
through some spectacular scenery, particularly in the hills and valleys of the lower
Alentejo, and the adventure is completed by a ferry journey across the river Tejo into
the heart of Lisbon. Consider paying the little bit extra for 1º class, where you have
soft reclining seats and aircon. CFP have a comprehensive on-line presence in both
English and Portuguese covering national and international routes, timetables and fares.