Safety and Healthto enjoyin the Azores

Travel safely

Stay healthy and safe in the Azores

The Azores is a safe place to travel, but as the old Portuguese saying goes - "don't tempt the devil." - it's better to prepare and take some precautions to ensure that your stay is peaceful and free of problems.

Before traveling to the Azores.

  • Make photocopies of important documents (ID, passport, credit cards, driver's license) and pack them separately from the originals.
  • Don't rely solely on your phone's memory for contact numbers and important information. Keep a notebook with important contacts and data.
  • Get travel insurance that covers loss, theft, or damage to expensive items and any medical or travel expenses related to illness, accidents, injuries, and repatriation.
  • Bring your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you're from one of the 27 European Union Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, and the UK.

Emergency phone number

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The 112 is the single European emergency number of the European Union. It can be used in case of medical, life or safety emergency. Free of charge from any fixed, mobile phone or public telephone.

APP PROCIV Azores 

The PROVID AZORES app provided by the Regional Civil Protection and Fire Service of the Azores is a tool for disseminating self-protection measures for situations that involve natural disaster risks but also acts as an auxiliary tool in first aid for victims of accidents and poisonings.

It has an alert system, especially regarding weather warnings, seismic bulletins, as well as real-time informative notes of any situation of danger alert or relevant information that is located in the vicinity of your location. The app, intuitive and easy to use, is available for Android and IOS systems in the languages: Portuguese, Spanish, English, German, and French.

We recommend downloading and installing it during your visit.

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Personal safety

The Azores have a low crime rate, but as the saying goes, "better safe than sorry." We recommend that you take a common sense approach to your personal safety:

  • Always lock the doors and windows of your vehicle when you are not around.
  • Do not leave valuable objects in plain sight inside parked vehicles.
  • Store valuables securely. Preferably, use a safe in your accommodation.
  • Do not leave bags, backpacks, wallets, or electronic and photographic devices unattended, especially in airports, ferry terminals, or during trips on public transportation.
  • Withdraw money from ATMs located in areas where people are circulating.
  • If you go out at night, avoid dark places where there are no other people around.

Outdoor safety

The Azores islands are an invitation to explore nature, and outdoor activities are one of the reasons why many people visit us. It is important to remember that the islands are made up of rugged terrain, which is why you should follow safety instructions and rules, especially when exploring trails or outdoor activities that involve risks to your physical integrity.

  • Check the weather conditions forecast before starting any trail.
  • Some of the trails may not have mobile network coverage. Let someone know where you're going and when you'll be back.
  • Avoid hiking outside the delimited and recommended areas.
  • Make sure you use appropriate clothing, footwear, and equipment for the weather conditions and the activity you're undertaking.

Safety at sea

The vast sea that surrounds the islands of the archipelago offers opportunities for multiple water activities. With all this potential, safety concerns should be well-present.

  • If you have doubts about whether you should enter the sea for safety reasons, stay out.
  • Never swim or surf alone or when you are cold or tired.
  • Look for guarded beaches and respect the flag signaling. Green - You can swim and bathe; Yellow - You can bathe but not swim; Red - You should not enter the water.
  • Avoid entering the water when the medusozoa flag is displayed.
  • If you have children, never let them out of your sight.
  • Follow the instructions of lifeguards, if you have any doubts, ask.
  • Read carefully the information on maritime currents, agueiros, and other safety information present in the beach accesses.
  • If you rent motorized or non-motorized boats, respect the safety guidelines of the company that rents them, do not put your safety or that of others at risk by approaching other boats and people in the water.

Volcanic activity

The Azores are a location of active and dormant volcanoes and have some popular geothermal destinations. When visiting a volcanic region, it is important to stay updated with warnings regarding volcanic activity and earthquakes. Areas with active calderas have very hot water (above 100°C/210°F) and/or toxic vapors on the surface. In these areas, thin crusts of land can form that appear solid but can break under the weight of a person.

  • Under no circumstances should you go beyond the walkway zones.
  • Do not step on terrain with signs of boiling water, volcanic mud, or smoke coming from the ground.
  • Keep children under close supervision and do not allow them to leave the safety zones.
  • We recommend holding hands with small children when walking in these areas.
  • Wear sturdy footwear. Flip-flops, sandals, or high heels are not suitable.

Earthquakes

The Azores, besides being an area of volcanic activity, are located at the convergence of three tectonic plates, and for these reasons, earthquakes can occur in the region. In the event of an earthquake, take the following self-protection measures:

  • Head for an open area, staying away from the sea, rivers, tall buildings, walls, power poles, antennas, and other objects that may collapse or fall.
  • You should crouch or lie down on the ground to avoid uncontrolled falls. At the same time, protect your head with your arms.
  • If you are inside a building, take shelter in safe places such as doorways, corners of rooms, under a table, or other sturdy surfaces.

Travel and Accidents Insurance

We strongly advise that you have a travel and health insurance for your trip to the Azores. Public and private healthcare facilities offer a high standard of healthcare, but these services may not be free for visitors.

European Health Insurance Card

It is equally important for visitors from one of the European Union member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, to have the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This card allows you to obtain the necessary medical assistance from public healthcare providers during your stay.

This free, standardized card was designed to simplify the identification of its holder and the institution responsible for the costs of the necessary healthcare.

Healthcare services are provided to EHIC holders in the same way as to beneficiaries of the social security system in the country where they are located, which means that these services may not be free and there may be fees or non-refundable co-payments.

The EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance, nor does it cover situations in which the insured person travels to another state for medical treatment. It does not cover healthcare services provided in the private healthcare system or other expenses, such as the cost of repatriation or compensation for lost or stolen property. Before traveling, find out how to obtain the European Health Insurance Card in your country.

Experiences to explore the Azores.