Once again the US is in a tizzy over another mass shooting, this time in downtown New York City in broad daylight. It must be terrible to live in a country where fear of your own personal safety is so prevalent. I live most of my year in the relative safety of Canada. And each time I visit the Algarve I am struck by how much safer I feel there than anywhere else.
Not that anywhere there are lots of people one is ever totally free from crime, but in the Algarve and Portugal there really isn’t a big worry about personal safety, nor food safety for that matter. If you are someone who likes to party hearty, heading for the local bar scene and staying out ’til the wee hours of the morning, the threat might increase slightly. There is something about the mix of youth, drink, and drugs that begets violence I find.
But except for that, I think you’d be hard pressed to find many folks who visit the Algarve who have horror stories to tell. Not like my friend who has a permanent scar on her lip from being assaulted with a machete on a beach in Barbados. At some places, usually parking lots near very popular beaches, you might have your car broken into, but that’s about it in my experience. And even that is relatively rare given the volume of tourists who visit this tiny region each year.
A friend was visiting me recently and the Algarve’s safety was very much on her mind as she considers a visit this winter. She was extremely pleased to know that there is so little violent crime. She was also extremely pleased to know that you don’t have to wash, peel and cook fruits and vegetables before eating them. Remember, this is both a first world country and one that is not tropical so parasites and critters are no more common here than elsewhere in Europe. She was also liked hearing that cockroaches are not a big issue either, nor is heavy spraying common to keep them down, as it is in Mexico and Caribbean locations.
So if you are looking for a safe place to enjoy a relaxing time, I can recommend Portugal and it’s sunny Algarve region very highly. Mind you, you can’t be an idiot about it. Put valuables out of sight in the trunk before you get to your destination. Lock your car. Keep your passport & credit cards in a safe place. Don’t walk down a street you don’t feel comfortable about, day or night. And don’t wander the streets late at night under the influence of drugs & alcohol. Pretty much the same rules you’d live by at home.
Come for a visit and rediscover how to truly enjoy yourself!