Local services in Algarve
Portugal is a country with a rich culture, but you will find out that each region has its own particularities. This is certainly the case with the Algarve, where you can see people’s way of living through their arts and music and confirm how different they are from other Portuguese regions. The local culture and many of its representing works are preserved in museums in the major coastal centres and in smaller inland towns.
If you like to shop, you will love it in the Algarve! Like any tourist holiday destination, the Algarve has a plentiful supply of gift shops, where you can buy Portuguese souvenirs bearing the cockerel, pottery and ornaments, jewellery, postcards and much more to take home with you. There are currently five main shopping malls in the Algarve, 'Forum Algarve' in Faro, 'Algarve Shopping' in Guia, Aqua Portimão in western Algarve and 'Gran-Plaza' in Tavira and 'Ria Shopping' in Olhão, which are both eastern Algarve. All except Aqua Portimão have multiplex cinemas, plenty of parking, restaurants and, of course, lots of shops.
For non-emergency health care in the Algarve you should go to the local Health Care Centre ("Centro de Saúde"). For emergencies, dial 112 for the emergency service, free of charge. The call will be answered in three languages: Portuguese, English and French.
The Algarvians are friendly and hospitable people. Having dealt with different cultures for many years, people from the Algarve have a tolerant and relaxed attitude to visitors. What you’ll find here are some of the friendliest people in the world. The Algarve is different from the rest of Portugal. Its climate is different, its vegetation is different and so is the charming character of its people.