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The Region

Practical Information


  • Climate

    All year round, the Algarve offers the best climate in Europe. With only a short period of rainfall (it normally rains between November and March) and long hours of sunshine, the Algarve region is blessed with the perfect weather for tourism.

    During summer months, temperatures are quite high, which greatly favours the so-called "Sun, Sand and Sea Tourism". The Algarve is a veritable paradise for bathers. It is a region endowed with beaches of fine white sand all along its extensive coastline and a calm sea with water temperatures of around 22°C in the summer period.

    Due to its relief and geographical position, the Algarve boasts a fantastic climate influenced by the European continent, North Africa, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean weather.

  • Average temperatures

    Air temperature in the summer: from 24°C to 29°C

    Air temperature in the winter: from 15°C to 18°C

    Sea temperature in the summer: from 21°C to 24°C

    Sea temperature in the winter: from 15°C to 19°C

  • Currency

    Euro €

  • Visas

    No visa is required for European citizens.

  • Local time

    Time Zone - Greenwich Mean Time

  • Clothing

    Lightweight, cotton summer clothing is best for the summer months with casual but smart options for dinner. During winter months there will still be warm days but you would better wear trousers and a light jacket for the cooler evenings.

  • Language

    Portuguese has its roots in the Latin language. It is the mother tongue of about 200 million people. In Portugal there is a considerable number of people who can understand and communicate in foreign languages. English is almost a second official language.

    An expression visitors may appreciate to remember is ‘Bom Dia’ meaning ‘Good Day’.

  • Business hours


    Monday to Friday: 08:30 – 15:00


    Post Offices

    Monday to Friday: 09:00 – 17:30

    Central post offices and those at airports are open on Saturdays



    Monday to Friday: 09:00 – 13:00 / 15:00 – 19:00

    Saturday: 09:00 – 13:00



    Monday to Friday: 09:00 - 13:00 / 15:00 - 19:00

    From January to November, shops close at 13:00 on Saturdays; in December, they are open Monday to Saturday, from 09:00 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 19:00. There are also many shopping malls with shops that are open every day from 10:00 to 24:00.




    For lunch from 12:00 to 15:00 and for dinner from 19:00 to 22:00


    National Museums

    Wednesday to Sunday: 10:00 to 18:00

    Tuesdays: 14:00 - 18:00

    Closed on Mondays; Good Friday; Easter Sunday; 1st of May and 25th of December

    National Palaces

    Closed on Wednesdays

  • Health

    No vaccination is required

  • Tipping

    Generally 5-10% if you are happy with the service

  • Electricity

    Voltage: 220/380 volts at a frequency of 50 Hertz.

    All sockets follow the European standards.

    To use American-type plugs, a 220-volt transformer should be used together with an adapter plug.

  • Emergencies

    If you find yourself in an emergency situation, dial 112, the number of the national emergency services. The call is free and can be answered in three languages: Portuguese, English and French. If you require medical attention, you should go to the local Centro de Saúde (Health Centre), whilst the emergency services at the hospitals should only be used in severe situations.

  • Credit and debit cards

    Most Portuguese shops and businesses accept credit cards: Visa, Amex, Diners Club and MasterCard. There are a lot of cash machines all over the country. These cash machines are identified with the "MB" abbreviation, from which you can withdraw cash 24 hours a day.

  • Currency exchange

    Money can be exchanged at banks, which are open from 8.30 am. to 3 pm. (from Monday to Friday), at the bureaux de change and the automatic currency exchange machines (these are for currency sale transactions only).

  • Public Holidays

    Public Holidays

    New Year’s Day 1st January
    Freedom Day 25th April
    Worker’s Day 1st May
    Portugal Day 10th June
    Feast of the Assumption 15th August
    Republic Day  5th October
    All Saints Day 1st November
    Restauration of Independence 1st December
    Immaculate Conception 8th December
    Christmas Day 25th December

    Moveable Public Holidays

    Good Friday    March-April
    Corpus Christi May-June

    Municipality Holidays

    Albufeira 20th August
    Alcoutim 2nd Friday September
    Aljezur 29th August
    Castro Marim  24th June
    Faro 7th September
    Lagoa  8th September
    Lagos  27th October
    Loulé Thursday of Ascension
    Monchique Thursday of Ascension
    Olhão  16th June
    Portimão 11th December
    São Brás de Alportel  1st June
    Silves 3rd September
    Tavira 24th June
    Vila do Bispo 22th January
    Vila Real de Santo António 13th May