Handy Beach Information
Information on beaches in the Algarve
The Algarve is justly famed for its beautiful beaches and wonderful climate. No less than 89 Algarve beaches were awarded the prestigious Blue Flag in 2018. The Blue Flag is awarded to beaches that meet the exacting criteria regarding water quality, environmental management and education, safety, cleanliness and facilities. Many beaches along the Algarve are manned by life-guards during the summer season. You should always pay attention to the indications given by the life-guards and follow the indications of the colour coded flags posted on the beaches:
- Green flag - this means that it is considered safe to swim.
- Yellow flag - this indicates that it is safe to paddle in the water, but it is not safe to swim.
- Red flag - this indicates that it is dangerous to bathe or swim and you should not go into the water.
- Red and yellow flags - these mean that lifeguards are on patrol. You should only swim, surf or body board between the red and yellow flags.
During July and August, the Regional Health Administration (ARS) of the Algarve and the Portuguese Red Cross will operate 31 'Postos de Saúde de Praia' (beach health clinics) along the Algarve coast, to treat minor medical emergencies and offer healthcare advice and tips to beachgoers.
The Algarve has joined the "Accessible Beach Project – Beaches for Everyone". The project aims to make Algarve beaches accessible beaches to those with reduced mobility. Besides being supervised by life-guards, these beaches must provide ramps and walkways giving direct access onto the beach and should have certain support facilities such as First Aid posts, disabled toilet facilities and handrails. Some of the beaches also have "anfi-buggies" – a type of amphibian wheelchair that allows those with reduced mobility to enjoy a swim in safety and under supervision.
If you decide to go for a dip, please remember that you are swimming in the Atlantic- a powerful ocean with strong currents. Treat the sea with a wary respect and never take your eyes off any children swimming with you.
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