Algarve Nature Fest seeks to diversify region's tourism
The Algarve may be famous as a coveted summer destination, but things don't end when August is over. In September, Algarve Nature Fest's numerous free activities aim to make the region a nature tourism hotspot.
The party doesn't stop in August
While summer may bring flocks of tourists, the Portuguese region of the Algarve is seeking to encourage vistiors to come outside the high season. This September, Algarve Nature fest will be held in picturesque Olhao. The weekend-long festival aims to highlight the region's natural beauty, as well as bring awareness to its biodiversity and unique landscapes.
A number of nature-based activities will be offered along Olhao's charming promenade. Standard activities such as stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, zip lining and mountain biking are all on offer. But participants can also try their hand at archery, sailing tours, and a mechanical surfboard.
All of the activities are free, with some requiring advanced reservations. The complete list can be found on the event's website.
Part of a larger initiative to diversify tourism in the Algarve, the head of Algarve's Tourism Board, Joao Fernandes, is seeking to draw tourists to the region outside of the high season, which usually lasts from the end of June to August. During this time, the Algarve is inundated with visitors, with most of its yearly 4.2 million tourists arriving in summer. The town of Albufeira in particular has become notorious for its rowdy tourist crowds who frequent the town throughout the summer.
The beach near the famous sea caves of Benagil has also almost reached critical mass, with overcrowding, unauthorized camping, and waste management becoming huge problems.
Authorities hope that by diversifying tourism and promoting the Algarve during the off season, some of the summer stress can be alleviated.