This is the first year that the magazine has held the awards and 32% of the 3,276 votes by readers in the category for 'best value golf destination' went to the Algarve. The area also featured in other categories with the favourite course in Portugal named as Oceanico Old Course in Vilamoura and the best hotel/resort award going to Dona Filipa Hotel & San Lorenzo Golf Resort at Vale do Lobo.
Antonio Pina, President of Algarve Tourism, acknowledged the importance of the awards from Today's Golfer – a publication read by over 200,000 golfers and supported by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators – commenting that the UK remains the main source market for tourism in the area.
Both Vilamoura and Vale do Lobo are within half an hour of the region's capital, Faro. Farther to the east at Castro Marin, almost on the border with Spain, is another popular destination, the Quinto do Vale Golf Resort designed by Seve Ballesteros and set in the beautiful landscape of a natural valley right at the mouth of the Guadiana River.
If you're planning ahead, you may want to pencil in the week starting 29th September 2012, when the Algarve is celebrating its autumn Spa Week – the spring week is underway right now – and 15 of the region's best 5-star hotel spas participate with exceptional offers. During the seven-day event, any spa treatment is available at half price and many of the hotels also have preferential rates and offers for golf and other activites such as boat excursions and fine dining.