Leading American newspaper The New York Times has placed the Algarve at number 29 in a list of 45 places to visit in 2012.
The paper’s travel section includes the region among a host of exclusive, exotic and rather eccentric choices, including Richard Branson´s pioneering Virgin Galactic flight.
The article notes the Algarve’s ability to cater to all budgets and the fact that it has a large concentration of luxury hotels, spas and resorts – and says its green credentials are another good reason to visit.
Among the hotels highlighted were the Hotel Bela Vista in Praia da Rocha, the Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel near Sagres and the Conrad Algarve Hotel near Vilamoura.
Special mention was given to Olhão as the favourite of “chic Lisboan visitors” and the Real Marina Hotel & Spa as a stylish place to stay.
The nature reserve of the Ria Formosa, home to one of the largest barrier reef lagoons in Europe, was also included.
The Algarve is able to offer quite a number of activities under the umbrella of ‘green tourism’ with companies such as Natura Algarve offering informative package tours.
Currently tourism in the Algarve is heavily dominated by visitors from northern Europe and American visitors made up less than 5% of the total that passed through Faro airport in the last year.