• Once behind the wheel of a car, the otherwise mild-mannered Portuguese change personality. Macho driving, such as tailgating at high speeds and overtaking on blind corners, is all too common. Portugal has one of the highest road accident rates in Europe. Police have responded by aggressively patrolling certain dangerous routes, such as on the cheerfully named ‘highway of death’ from Salamanca in Spain.
  • Compared with other European countries, Portugal’s crime rate remains low, but some types of crime – including car theft – are on the rise. Crime against foreigners is of the usual rush-hour-pickpocketing, bag-snatching and theft-from-rental-cars variety. Take the usual precautions: don’t flash your cash; keep valuables in a safe place; and, if you're challenged, hand it over – it’s not worth taking the risk.
  • Take care in the water; the surf can be strong, with dangerous ocean currents.

Government Travel Advice

The following government websites offer travel advisories and information on current hot spots.

  • Australian Department of Foreign Affairs (www.smarttraveller.gov.au)
  • British Foreign Office (www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice)
  • Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs (www.travel.gc.ca)
  • US State Department (http://travel.state.gov)