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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Algarve

When to go

The Algarve enjoys a delightfully warm Mediterranean climate, which means it's just about always a good time to visit. The high season falls between June and September, when temperatures regularly reach the high 20s and stay comfortable long into the evening. It's also when the Algarve's population can multiply tenfold with holidaymakers. The region experiences very little rainfall and the sun is almost always unimpeded, warming holidaymakers and Algarvios in as much as 300 days of sunshine per year.

Even the winter months see moderate temperatures that don't often dip below the teens, and rainfall still stays relatively low. Swimming in the sea probably won't be on the agenda at this time of year, but this also means there's significantly less tourism in these months and more space is available in restaurants, hotels and the beaches - which means more cheap holidays to the Algarve are on offer for savvy shoppers.

Passports and visas

British citizens don't need a visa to enter Portugal but must have a valid passport. By law, you must carry your passport with you and may need to show it when paying by credit card. For the most up-to-date passport and visa information, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/portugal/entry-requirements.

Getting around

When entering the Algarve, you'll land at Faro Airport. Depending on where your resort is located, transfer times will range anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and a half. The easiest way to venture between resorts or to see the region on your own time is to hire a car, though on the whole, most resorts are small enough to travel around by foot, with the exception of larger Albufeira and Portimao.

Taxis and public bus services are available. The area is also serviced by a railway that runs from Lagos in the west to the Spanish border in Vila Real de Santo Antonio, and stops at most towns along the way.

Advice for travellers with children

The Algarve is an incredibly family friendly destination for a number of reasons, not least because most of its beaches fly the coveted Blue Flag for cleanliness and services. The region is treated to a fantastic range of family-friendly hotels, with a number of services and amenities for children, and attractions like zoos and waterparks are readily available. However, the main draw of the Algarve is getting out in the sun, so it's always recommended to bring ample sun cream.

Restaurants range from fine dining to more casual beach spots, though most will be happy to accommodate children. Even a wide selection of bars are suitable for little eyes and ears, and feature karaoke nights and dance shows by the staff. All Inclusive Algarve holidays are easy to come by, taking the stress out of feeding and watering the little ones.

Electricity

Connector type: Generally round two-pin plugs

Voltage info: 220 volts AC, 50Hz

Emergency information

Call 112 for all emergencies and the operator will put you through to the police, fire brigade or ambulance service. The line is operated in five languages including English.

British Consulate

If you're a victim of crime, affected by a crisis overseas or if something happens to a relative or partner, contact the British Vice-Consulate in Portimao. It's open to visitors on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:30am to 2pm, excluding public holidays. Consular phone lines are open from 9am to 5pm.

Address: Edificio A Fábrica, Avenida Guanaré, 8501-915 Portimao

Email: portugal.consulate@fco.gov.uk

Telephone: +351 282 490 750

Hospitals

Hospital Distrital de Faro R. Leao Penedo, 8000-386 Faro Telephone: +351 289 891 100

Hospital Distrital de Lagos R. do Castelo dos Governadores, 8600-563 Lagos Telephone: +351 282 770 100

Hospital de Portimao Estr. do Poço Seco, 8500-338 Portimao Telephone: +351 282 450 300

Useful Links

My Guide Algarve - Find out more about the best beaches, things to do on your holiday and restaurants to visit at My Guide Algarve.