Portugal’s Algarve region has again been nominated in the Best European Beach Destination category of the World Travel Awards.
Other nominees in the category include Corfu, Greece; Sardinia, Italy; and Cannes, France. Voting will take place online until the July 26 and is open to the public. The winner will be presented at a gala event in Marrakesh, Morocco, on Dec. 10. The Algarve was previously awarded the prize in 2012 and 2013.
In 2014, Live and Invest Overseas named the Algarve region as the Best Place To Retire.
With 200 kilometers of coastline, the Algarve boasts beaches ranging from sandy and secluded to lively and popular. A number of the beaches have been awarded Blue Flags by the nonprofit nongovernmental organization the Foundation for Environmental Education. The Blue Flag label indicates a beach meets strict criteria in regard to environmental management, services, and safety. The Blue Flag label has been awarded to more than 4,000 beaches in 49 countries.
Three bays in the Algarve have designated gay beaches, and the Accessible Beaches—Beaches For Everyone program is improving the beach experience for the disabled. The program is an initiative of the National Coordination Committee for the European Year of People with Disabilities and provides a list of requirements for beaches to meet for them to gain recognition as an accessible beach.