The lesser-known Algarve – such as its beautiful hinterland, its burgeoning wine sector and its unique gastronomic experiences – is attracting interest among international journalists and tour operators, reveals the Algarve Tourism Association (ATA).
Alternative attractions “beyond the sun and the sea” are gaining ground among the Algarve’s main markets.
“Interest in the Algarve’s hinterland is growing and tourist products such as wine, gastronomy and nature have been sparking interest among international tour operators and journalists, who are keen to discover these new areas,” it added.
As part of its latest marketing strategy, ATA has been promoting the Algarve as a “versatile destination”, offering tourists “authentic, diversified, year-round experiences”.
This month, the association welcomed two international press trips from the UK and Ireland. The aim was to show these journalists what a “multifaceted” destination the Algarve can be.
One of the press trips was “dedicated exclusively to local wines and gastronomy”. Journalists were invited to visit some of the region’s wine estates and participate actively in the winemaking process.
They were also shown the contrast between the coastal and inland gastronomies, embarking on a culinary journey that took them from Ria Formosa, where they tried delicacies such as fresh oysters, to Monchique, where they tasted the borough’s famous Medronho and Melosa spirit drinks.
The second press trip highlighted nature tourism and the “beauty of the region’s landscapes”. The main activity saw journalists exploring the Via Algarviana and Rota Vicentina hiking routes, which span both the Algarve’s coast and inland. They also enjoyed a dolphin watching experience in Sagres.
ATA boss João Fernandes said: “We are delighted to see this growing enthusiasm around the ‘other Algarve’ beyond the sun and the sea.”
According to Fernandes, this should be an incentive for local business owners to “invest more and more in authentic and differentiating experiences other than the traditional tourism products”.
He believes gastronomy and wine, and nature can provide experiences that are “unique and authentic”, as well as “contribute to a more sustainable tourism” as it helps to promote “year-round demand and greater diversification of markets”.