Sunburn and sunstroke are common problems in summer in mainland Portugal and virtually year-round on Madeira. On a hot, sunny day, even people not normally bothered by strong rays should cover up. Sunscreen can be found in pharmacies and supermarkets, and some U.S. brands are available. The sun protection factor (SPF) is always noted.

Carry sunscreen for nose, ears, and other sensitive areas; be sure to drink enough liquids; and above all, limit your sun exposure for the first few days until you become accustomed to the heat. Mosquitoes are found throughout Portugal and, while they don't carry malaria, they can cause irritation, so pack or buy a local insect repellent.

Shots and Medications

No special shots are required before visiting Portugal, Madeira, or the Azores, unless you have come from or recently traveled through an infected area. You might consider a tetanus-diphtheria booster if you haven't had one recently.


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