Are you spending the summer months, or planning a winter escape with your dog in the Algarve? Look no further as we’re going to fill you in on everything you need to know about taking a dog to the Algarve, where glorious sunshine and soft, sandy beaches await. Travelling to the Algarve with a dog is relatively easy, whether you depart from the UK, continental Europe, or North America. We’re going to dive in to dog friendly travel to the Algarve, as well as local dog rules, Algarvian dog friendly beaches and accommodation, and what to expect when you take your four legged friend on a Portuguese adventure.
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Pet Travel Documentation
First and foremost, if you’re taking your dog to the Algarve, you must have the correct pet travel documentation in place.
When travelling to the Algarve with a dog from another EU member state, you must have the following:
- A working Microchip (in line with the technical requirements of Annex II of the EU Regulation on the movement of pets)
A clearly readable tattoo if applied before 3 July 2011
- been vaccinated against Rabies
- a valid EU issued Pet Passport
In general, from non-EU countries, your dog needs to have:
- A working Microchip (in line with the technical requirements of Annex II of the EU Regulation on the movement of pets), or has a clearly readable tattoo if applied before 3 July 2011
- been vaccinated against Rabies
- Animal Health Certificate, or a Pet Passport that was issued by an EU member state
You can also use a Pet Passport issued in one of the following countries to travel to Portugal :
- Faroe Islands
- San Marino
- Vatican City State
How to Travel to the Algarve with a Dog
The transport options available for dog friendly travel obviously depend on where you’re travelling from – there’s no pet friendly ferries from Canada to the Algarve! However, if you’re travelling from the UK, you can sail to France or Spain on a pet friendly ferry. There are no pet friendly ferries at the moment that sail directly to Portugal.
Brittany Ferries offers pet friendly cabins on some routes, or check out our full list of pet ferry options from the UK to France, Spain and more. If you’re taking your car, you may opt to travel on the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, then drive onwards to the Algarve with your dog from Calais.
You can also fly from many UK airports to Lisbon with your dog in the cabin or hold. Or, if you prefer you can fly to Faro with your dog directly from another EU airport. For example, we flew Django in the cabin with KLM from Glasgow to Amsterdam, then onwards to Faro with Transavia.
However, if you choose to fly your dog in the cabin to the Algarve, be aware that you can’t fly back to any UK airports with them in the cabin. This is due to DEFRA rules – all pets, except Assistance and Service Dogs must travel in the hold as cargo to Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Usually, you can fly your dog in the cabin to Ireland, so you could use this option then travel on a pet friendly ferry to the UK.
When taking your pet to the Algarve from continental Europe, there are plenty of pet friendly airlines based in the EU. From North America, there’s also a few transatlantic airlines that allow dogs, but you’ll first have to fly to Lisbon, or arrive in Faro from another EU airport.
If you’re taking your dog to the Algarve due to relocation rather than vacation, you may decide to opt for the pet courier route.
Dog Friendly Accommodation in the Algarve
There are many hotels and apartments in the Algarve that accept dogs. Have a look at our detailed page on relocating to Portugal with a pet. Otherwise, search on the likes of booking.com and Airbnb for suitable pet-friendly accommodation.
Dog Laws in the Algarve
As with in the rest of Portugal, dogs aren’t allowed to be off lead in public spaces, so always ensure that you keep your dog on a lead, no matter how well behaved. This rule tends to be overlooked, as many owners walk their dogs off lead, but better to be safe than sorry!
Since the Algarve is such a sunny place, you can usually sit outside cafes and restaurants with your dog. Many places also provide water and cuddles for your pooch.
Also, be aware that if you share your life with one of the following dog breeds which are classed as dangerous in Portugal, your dog must be muzzled and on a leash of 1m or less:
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Brazilian Fila Dog
- Great Dane
- Inu Grooming
- Pit Bull
- Staffordshire bull terrier
- Inu Grooming
Algarve Dog Friendly Beaches & Parks
There are some official dog friendly beaches in Portugal, but none are in the Algarve. During the main tourist season, from around the end of April to the beginning of October, many beaches put up their no dog signs. However, dog owners still tend to walk their dogs on the beach early in the morning or later in the evening. In general, this doesn’t cause any issues.
There are dog friendly beaches in other parts of Portugal, so hopefully the Algarve will follow suit soon. In the meantime, another official dog park has recently opened in Faro, Parque Canino. Located next to the Penha Sports Pavilion, next to the skate park, the 1000m2 park is open daily between eight in the morning and eleven at night. This dog friendly park is in addition to the first Faro dog park, which is located in Alto de Santo António, Rua de Berlim.
Dogs on Trains
Aside from the dog breeds mentioned above, which are classed as dangerous, you can travel with your pet on trains across the Algarve, or to reach other destinations in Portugal such as Porto and Lisbon. Have a look at our complete guide to Portugal with a pet.
Keeping your Dog Safe in the Algarve
When you take your dog to the Algarve, be sure to have a collar and tag with your contact details, to be safe on the off chance that they get lost. Most people will take a lost dog to the local veterinarian for their microchip to be read, but sometimes foreign microchips don’t show any details. So, a tag is the safest way to ensure you’re reunited with your waggy companion as quickly as possible.
There’s also some vector-borne diseases that you absolutely must protect your dog from in the Algarve. For instance, mosquitoes can transmit Heartworm, and sandflies can inflict Leishmaniasis. Remember to swat up on keeping your dog safe from dangerous diseases in the Algarve.
Have lots of fun in the glorious sun, and be sure to leave a review on our site for the pet friendly transport and places you visit on your travels!
For more information, check out our comprehensive guide on travelling to Portugal with a pet.
- Flying from the UK to the EU with a Pet
- 3 Ways to Enter France with a Pet
- Global Pet Friendly Airlines
- Pet Friendly Ferries
- Travelling by Train with a Pet
- Pet Travel Rules for Wordwide Destinations