Portugal & drones: anything I should know?


I’m off to the Algarve in a couple of weeks for a spot of out-of-season fun and I’m planning on doing a bit of flying while I’m there. From what I’ve seen elsewhere, it looks like their version of the drone code is pretty similar to the UK’s & I don’t need to apply for a permit from ANAC unless I’m doing something out of the ordinary, or flying at night.

Am I right, or do I need to be applying for a permit of some kind?

Thanks for your help.

Help for a beginner - Spare battery for Sentinel 360 drone
Portugal: One!

There was a thread not so long ago by @greenarmy1978 and @milkmanchris:

An I think @JayForceOne has been there too!


Some good locations advice there - thanks for signposting.

Since nobody else has raised it as an issue, I guess the permit thing is a bit of a red herring then?


I went there last year at this time, I applied for a permit thro the relevant authorities but they didn’t reply back. Maybe they don’t understand da English, So rather than risk it at the airport, left it at home.


Back in Blighty!

Took it anyway. Flew it around a bit. Had fun.

Several people stood and watched, a few asked friendly questions. Bumped into a couple of other folks from U.K. buzzing about with MP and Air as well.

No negative attitudes. But it’s January and the place was virtually deserted anyway. Seagulls were a PITA tho.


Glad you got the bird up Russell and had a good time!.
Everything went ok at the Airport each end then?.


Yep. A complete non-event.

We flew between Stansted and Faro in both directions. Nobody batted an eyelid.


Hi chaps.

Spookily I’m off to Portugal on Thursday and thought I’d do a quick search.

Am I right in thinking the drone has to be in your hand luggage?

I’m staying at some huge golf and spa resort, so hoping I can fly around there. But also I’m going to Portimao race circuit and have got permission to film us all on track #win

Looking forward to it.


The batteries do yes (its the law) and for piece of mind, keep the drone and remote with you too (although its best to check your individual airlines rules and regs)


Fireproof bags for Batteries @UnluckyTimmeh , Batteries MUST be kept in hand baggage, (tape up terminals to be sure) better safe than sorry.
Drone in bag as well with remote, you should be fine.
Some airlines require batteries to be at a low charge rate (25%)
Have a great time, and we need to see the videos !!, so we can all drool !!


Yes, put it and the batteries in your hand luggage. Then again, do you really want to check it and risk it being thrown about by the baggage handlers?

As Chris said - make sure the terminals are covered. Some airlines restrict you to no more than 2 batteries, so give a third one to someone else.

Some airlines also insist on fireproof bags for the batteries as well. Better to be safe than sorry. They are cheap as chips on Amazon, but if you want to borrow some - send me PM. I normally travel with mine at storage voltage as well, but I’ve never had to get the batteries out of my bag at any airport I’ve been through.

Enjoy! I don’t want to go to the area in high season, but this time of year it’s gorgeous, warmer than the UK, and pretty empty.

If you’re in the Portimao area and you have time, you might like to do the Seven Hanging Valleys Walk along the cliff tops. The coastline is simply stunning and almost perfect for a drone. I’m editing my footage this evening! The only thing that makes it not perfect - those bloody seagulls! Keep your eyes open & you’re fine.


A bit late now but I thought it would be useful for future reference. I am originally from Portugal and drone laws there are - for the time being - quite relaxed. Small country but with tremendous and varied landscape specially coastal scenes. In the middle of the country - by the coast - there is a place called NAZARE which features the biggest waves in the world. Breathtaking and UBER scary :slight_smile:
There is an app that locates you anywhere on the Portuguese territory and tells you what you can and cannot do on that spot. It is a very COOL app but sadly, it is all written in Portuguese and AFAIK no other language as option. All info regarding drone flying (as well as a link to download the app) can be found at


Last “word of advice” the country has vast areas where you can freely fly up to 120m high but , at the same time , and a bit inexplicably, there are vast areas under military control in which flying is forbidden.

Hope this info is of use to anyone




Something I filmed there earlier this year in Porto which is the second largest city.


It’s never to late @Migs !, any information, especially from someone who has lived in the Country is always invaluable.
Thanks for the Information above, it will almost certainly come in handy for future travellers.


Thanks very much. I’m heading out on Thursday, hopefully with everything sorted (as long as Russ gets my PM).

I’ll try and capture as much as possible :slight_smile:


Ta for the info Migs. And the video. I’d forgotten about apps - I used one called IcarusRPA which is in English. I was surprised to see there isn’t an NFZ in Porto and I was kicking myself for no taking the drone when I was there last year. I’d like to have flown along the river.

I found Portugal’s whole attitude to drones really quite refreshing. The law is relaxed and accommodating, and everybody I met while flying was friendly and usually they stopped to watch.


Received and replied!


The attached pics show the general flight conditions in Portugal. As mentioned previously, no other language other than Portuguese in the app which is a real shame.
Colour code is as follows:
Blue - Conditioned flight You can fly in these areas but you have height limits. Normally 30 or 60 meters.
Yellow - Needs authorization from the Portuguese Aviation Authority (AAN). These areas are normally over nature reserves
Orange - Military controlled areas. You can fly but you need special authorization from the Portuguese Aviation Authority and the chances are pretty low…
Red - Forbidden at all times. AFAIK, red only applies to airport runways

If there is no colour on the region you want to fly in, then the drone code takes control which is basically very similar to the one here. Drone no heavier than 25Kg, no night flight. keep it in sight at all times and minimum distance from people, as well as buildings, is 30 m. There are more rules but these are the basic ones.

Hope you have a lovely time flying there


You would think that it should be multi-lingual, that would be a great legal battle sorting that out !!


Universal language ;o)