A valid passport is the only requirement for US citizens that plan on travelling to Portugal. Citizens from the EU, the EEA, and Swizerland, do not require a visa.
Passports must be valid for at least six months (depending on your nationality) and are required by citizens of all countries except; members of the European Union/European Economic Area, and citizens of Switzerland holding valid national ID cards. British, Australian, Canadian, American and Japanese citizens all need a valid passport.
Visas are required by all, for stays of up to 90 days, with the exception of:
- the above mentioned nationals
- Nationals of Andorra, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Hungary, Israel, Korea (Rep. of), Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Switzerland, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela
Health and Vaccination Information
You will not require any vaccinations to visit Portugal, unless you are coming from an infected area. Make a point of checking with your tour operator or local Portuguese Embassy if in any doubt.
Carry a fleece jacket or sweater with you, as well as bathing clothes, whilst travelling in the Azores. During the months of October through to April, you will need a raincoat due to frequent showers. For sightseeing and other trips we recommend you wear hiking/trekking shoes.
1st January (New Year), Carnival (Tuesday in Carnival), Good Friday, Easter, 25th April (Liberationday), 1st May (Laborday), 16th May (Day of Autonomy), Whitesun/Pentecost, Corpus Christi, 10th June (National Day), 15th August (Assumption Day), 5th October (Proclamation Day), 1st November (All Saints Day), 1st December (Independence Day), 8th December (Day of the Immaculate Conception), 25th December (Christmas).
Various islands have addional regional holidays such as town, and village, sagras and celebrations.
The Azores are one hour behind GMT (-1): (one hour behind Lisbon)
Stores: Monday-Friday 09.00-13.00/15.00-18.00, Saturday 09.00-13.00
Supermarket SOL*MAR in Vila do Porto, Santa Maria: open daily from 08.30-20.30
Bank: Monday-Friday 08.30-15.00
Business Hours: Monday-Friday 09.00-12.00/13.30-17.00
On São Miguel and Faial, there are a few high end hotels. On the smaller islands you will find an array of small, privately owned, accommodation such as pensions, B&B's, and private rooms.
Travel insurance / Cancellation
You should always check whether cancellation insurance is included in your policy.
Taxi and Transportation
Taxi rates in the Azores are fair. For longer journeys and round trips it is recommended to fix a price before departure. The majority of taxi drivers speak English. Bus services run on all islands except Corvo - buses on Santa Maria Island. It is relatively simple to obtain a ride hitch-hiking as well.
A Service charge is included in restaurants and hotels, nonetheless, it is common to give a tip of between 5 to 10% depending on your satisfaction with the service. Your driver, waiter, porter, chambermaid, or guide would be happy to receive a 1-2 Euro tip for their services.
The most common, and widely accepted, credit cards are:
- EUROCARD/ MASTERCARD
- AMERICAN EXPRESS
The best place to exchange cash is a local bank. However, depending on the bank you may have to pay a service charge of approximately 5 Euros.