Dangers & Annoyances
This is Portugal’s most touristed area, and petty theft is prevalent. Never leave valuables unattended in the car or on the beach.
Swimmers should be aware of temperamental coastal conditions, especially on the west coast; these include dangerous ocean currents, strong winds and sometimes fog. Check the coloured flags: chequered means the beach is unsupervised, red means don’t even dip your toe in as it's currently unsafe to do so, yellow means paddle but don’t swim, and green means it's safe to swim. Blue is an international symbol that means the beach is smashing – safe, clean and with good facilities.
Cliff instability is a problem, especially heading westwards from Lagos. Erosion is ongoing and serious rock falls and smaller landslides do occur. Heed the signs at the beaches and along the cliffs.