Travel insurance for Portugal

Planning a holiday to Portugal? Captivating cities, golden beaches, world-class golf and fantastic food make Portugal an increasingly popular destination for UK holidaymakers. What’s more, it’s easy to fly to Madeira, the Algarve or Lisbon coasts to soak up the sun at any time of the year.

While holiday insurance is not likely to be top of your list as you organise your trip to Portugal, making sure you are covered gives you peace of mind and is invaluable should something go wrong.

To find out more or to get a quote, call our travel insurance specialists free on 0800 033 4902 or get a quote online in just minutes by clicking below.

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Cover for medical conditions in Portugal

The healthcare system in Portugal, Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS), is similar to the UK’s NHS and provides hospital and local health centre services to tourists and local citizens alike.

The autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira have their own regional health services called the Serviços Regionais de Saúde (SRS), managed separately by the respective governments.

The free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) gains you access to public healthcare services in Portugal and the autonomous region but it by no means covers everything. NHS Choices informs us that health care in Portugal might not include everything you’d expect to get free of charge from the NHS and you may have to make a patient contribution to cover the cost of your care.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirms the importance of purchasing adequate travel insurance in addition to the EHIC.

Portugal travel information


The FCO Travel Advice pages recommend that you visit your doctor at least four to six weeks before you depart in order to check if you need any vaccinations or special arrangements to cater for your medical condition, destination and planned activities in Portugal.

Tap water is safe to drink, but carrying bottled water is recommended as it gets very hot, particularly during summer.

In an emergency, dial 112, the EU-wide emergency number. It is free to call and you can even phone for free from a mobile without a SIM card. The person taking your call should speak English.


UK travellers to Portugal need a valid passport to enter the country on holidays for up to three months. If you’re staying longer, you need to apply for a Registration Certificate from the local Camara Municipal (Town Hall).

There is no need for any additional period of validity on your passport beyond the dates of your stay.

Driving in Portugal

You can drive in Portugal with a valid UK driving licence. If you don’t have a photo card licence, you will need to obtain an International Driving Permit.

Driving is on the right and accident rates are higher than in the UK so extra caution on the roads is advisable.

FCO advice

The FCO advises that crime rates in Portugal are low. The usual precautions against pickpocketing and bag snatching in busy towns, public transport and tourist resorts are recommended.

Foreign registered and hire cars can sometimes be targets for thieves, so make sure you leave nothing visible when you leave it to go sightseeing. Should you fall victim to theft, you will need to report any loss or theft to the local police and contact your travel insurers immediately.


  • The official currency of Portugal is the Euro. Cash is easily available from the country’s numerous ATMs (Multibanco)
  • Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, particularly Visa and MasterCard
  • Banks are generally open between 8.30am and 3pm, Monday to Friday.

Travel Insurance Portugal

Get a travel insurance quote online in minutes or by calling us on 0800 033 4902.

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*Price is correct at the time of publishing, based on one person aged 18–65 on a Basic policy travelling within 30 days of purchase, excluding medical conditions
†Based on all quotes given between January 2016 – December 2016