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Useful Information


The nearest international airport is located in Faro;  Tel. +351 289 800 801.

The Western Algarve can also be reached from Lisbon International Airport in around 2.5 hours; Tel. +351 218 413 500

We can arrange friendly, efficient and cost effective direct private transfers to and from the airport. Contact us for details. 



There are many banks located in all of the major resorts and many other more rural locations. Cash can be obtained from any ATM machine, locally these are known as a 'Multi-Bank' and are usually situated outside bank buildings as well as many other locations such as Supermarkets, Petrol Stations and Government buildings. Cash can be withdrawn using all major bank and credit cards. 

The Banks are open Monday to Friday : 8-30 a.m. until 15-00 p.m.


Car Hire

Do you need a car? Ask us about our preferential car hire rates. All are inclusive of full damage waiver and collection can be arranged from the airport or locally. We are able to receive discounted rates and can pass these on directly to you. Please contact us at any time and we will be happy to assist.


There are usually several Chemists available within the main resorts and also in some Supermarkets. Opening times do vary but generally, operating hours are between 09.00 –13.00  and 15.00 – 19.00. 

There is always one chemist open twenty four hours a day and the rota for this is displayed on every pharmacy door.


The dental facilities available within the Algarve are generally excellent. Surgeries offer a full range of services, including emergency procedures. Contact us for advice on your nearest surgery. 


There are post offices in all towns and villages across the Algarve. Mail Delivery is generally excellent and postage prices are cheaper than trhe UK.

Public Transport

Regular bus and train services operate all along the Algarve. Lagos is the end of the line for the train service, which is relatively cheap and usually on time. The train station is behind the Marina de Lagos and the harbour. There are two services to Faro, a fast one and one which stops at every station which takes much longer. It is best to check time tables carefully before embarking.

The bus service is inexpensive and the buses are clean and run fairly regularly along the coast. Bus stops, called Paragems are plainly marked.

There are regular coach services to Lisbon, which are not expensive and it makes a pleasant part of the holiday to take one of these and stay overnight in the city.

Refuse Disposal

There are no house to house refuse collections in Portugal.

Refuse should be disposed of on a daily basis by placing it in one of the many large bins marked “Lixo” or at one of the numerous recycling points that you will find dotted around, these are known as Isla Ecologica.


The taxi services are efficient and very reasonably priced. The main 2 main companies are detailed below. They can be booked by contacting them half an hour before you want them for a local journey and arrange a pick up.

If using a UK/Irish mobile please remember to dial 00351 before the number.

Gils Eannes – 282 764481

Taxiarade – 282 460 610

For longer journeys or Airport transfers please contact us we will be able to arrange this on your behalf.


Area Codes    

There are 3 area codes in the Algarve.

  • Sagres to Albufeira: 282
  • Albufeira to Faro: 289
  • Faro to Tavira: 281 

International Dialling Codes

To make a call dial 00 + the country code + the area code (omitting the prefixed 0) + number.

  • Belgium: 32
  • France : 33
  • Germany: 49
  • Holland: 31
  • Italy: 39
  • Ireland: 353
  • Spain: 34
  • Sweden: 46
  • Switzerland: 41
  • U.K.: 44
  • U.S.A.: 1
  • The International Operator can be dialled on: 171 / 177

Using the Roads

Speed Limits 

The speed limit, unless there are signs to the contrary, is 40 kph in built up areas, 90 kph on main roads and 120 kph on motorways.

Seat belts 

Compulsory, both in the front and back. Children under 13 years old are not allowed in the front seats. 


If you are bringing your own car, it’s documents should be kept in the car. The driver should always carry his / her driving licence, passport or identity card.

Hire Cars 

When completing the rental agreement ensure that everyone wishing to drive the car has their name on the agreement, which should be kept in the car at all times. Also in the car should be the car documents – ensure that they are. Do not leave valuables in the car or indeed anything on view as hire cars are seen as easy and profitable targets.

To the Driver

If wanting to turn left, make sure that there is not a continuous white line down the middle of the road – if there is you must not cross it. Many of the roads now have loops, bearing off to the right and bringing you round so that you can go straight across the road, which makes turning left a less hairy experience.

At roundabouts, give way to the traffic coming from your left. 

Do not Drink and Drive !! 

The laws over here are very strict and if you are caught the penalties are severe – a hefty fine or even a night in prison. Please, if you plan to drink, taxis are cheap and readily available TAKE ONE please DO NOT Drive!!!!

Spot Checks 

These are common here and the Police do not need a reason to stop you. If you have done anything wrong do not argue. You will have to pay an “on the spot” fine and arguing will only increase this.


Most places have designated parking areas, many of which are “Pay and Display” so look for the ticket dispensers by the side of the road in Lagos and Portimao.

There are several car parks where you collect a ticket as you go in and pay on the way out. Otherwise parking is free, though check before you leave your vehicle that it is secure and there is nothing on view to attract a thief. Supermarket car parks are popular places for thieves and also beggars.


You will come across Tolls on a number of Motorways in Portugal. The only one on the Algarve is the A22, which runs from the spanish border to Lagos. This is usually the main road that tourists use to reach their resort.

If you travel the full length of the motorway, one way, the cost incurred will be around 7.00 euros.

In order to pay this, unless your car hire company has provided you with a transponder, you will need to wait 48 hours after your journey and then go to a nearby ‘Payshop’ or Post Office, please remember to take with you the registration number of your vehicle so that you can pay the outstanding amount. 

The only option that you have to avoid this inconvenience is to use the EN 125 road as an alternative route to reach your destination. Algarve Estate Management will be happy to provide directions should you require them.


Contact the Algarve Retreats team today.

 United Kingdom
01433 410 236

+351 282 183 798