European Best Destinations has included Lagoa in its authoritative ranking of safe places to visit this year. Set up to promote culture and tourism in Europe, the travel website named the popular beach resort town – located in Faro municipality – among 13 destinations highly recommended for tourists planning holidays in Europe this year.
Unveiling the list, European Best Destinations noted, “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been giving you regular information about the situation with the publication of updated maps in real time on the coronavirus situation.
“As soon as it became possible to travel, we informed about the safest destinations based on criteria such as the number of active cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 inhabitants, the number of deaths, health measures, recommendations put in place by the authorities to welcome you in hotels, tourist accommodations, shops and restaurants in compliance with health standards.
“If a vaccine against COVID-19 allows us to travel more safely, many of you will want to travel to destinations that have remained safe throughout this pandemic. We have selected destinations in which hospitals have never been overcrowded, and destinations that have experienced fewer cases of COVID-19 and are also less likely to impose a curfew or restrictions during your stay.”
Welcoming the honour, mayor Luís Encarnação said, “It is with great satisfaction that I see the municipality of Lagoa being chosen as one of the safest in Europe, by the prestigious European Best Destinations. This distinction brings us greater responsibility, but it reflects well on the work done by everyone, since the beginning of the pandemic.”
Lagoa is one of four Portuguese destinations on the list, also including Alentejo, the Azores and Madeira, as well as (outside Portugal) Monte-Carlo (Monaco), Martinique (Lesser Antilles), Tahiti (French Polynesia), and Asos, Corfu, Kokkari, Meteora, Ikaria and Cavtat (Greece).
According to European Best Destinations, “Lagoa put measures in place very early to protect the local population and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Bringing together some of the most beautiful jewels of the Algarve such as the beaches of Cova Redonda and the beach of Praia Nova and its famous chapel, the beach of Marinha, the villages of Carvoeiro, Ferragudo, Porches… Lagoa is probably one of the most beautiful Algarve destinations and one of the safest.”
Also lauding the whole region’s response to the pandemic, the website said the Algarve had remained “almost untouched by COVID-19 in recent months” and was “one of the safest destinations in Europe, with eight times fewer severe cases per million inhabitants than hard-hit countries like Belgium.
“With one of the lowest population densities per square kilometre in Europe, the Algarve, like neighbouring Alentejo, has been less affected by COVID-19 than major European destinations. Fewer people per square kilometre, clean air, beautiful walks along the coast, unspoilt nature… this is what you will enjoy in this less touristic part of the Algarve.”
In conclusion, European Best Destinations advised travellers to “remain vigilant and do not forget the barrier gestures, social distancing, and wearing a mask when possible or required. Avoid travelling if you are in poor health. People over 70, or overweight or with respiratory problems, should be particularly vigilant. It is also our responsibility to protect our most fragile loved ones and the people from our host countries.”