A HOLIDAY destination popular with Brits has been named the "best beach destination" in all of Europe – for the 10th time.
The Algarve, in Portugal, was named Europe's "Leading Beach Destination" at this year's World Travel Awards (WTA).
Beating other popular destinations such as Majorca, Corfu and Sardinia, The Algarve has more than 100 beaches, with more than 88 Blue Flag beaches.
And new research from Love Holidays has revealed the destination to be the cheapest winter sun destination for Brits, with seven-night breaks from just £94pp.
I was lucky enough to visit the Algarve just before the peak season and could definitely see why it is often winning praise.
Praia do Camilo, one of the popular beaches often featured on social media, lives up to the hype with bright blue water.
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And while popular, it remains less crowded than other beaches when visiting during shoulder season, due to the 200 steps to the bottom.
I stumbled across some of the tiny islands off the coast of the Portuguese hotspot too, which had golden sands, beautiful shells and barely any crowds.
Barretta Island is uninhabited but home to an amazing restaurant Estamine, serving fresh fish and local cuisine.
Or you can stay on Isla de Armona, slightly more built up but with a few cottages and cafes to visit next to the beautiful beaches.
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And it's an affordable destination – with fantastic local wine for just £2 a glass.
Don't forget to try the famous Piri Piri chicken too, with the Nandos style dish popular with locals, or an empanada, easy to find across the region.
I stayed at 3HB Faro, the first five-star hotel in the Algarve city, which was modern but still great on a budget.
Starting from £175 a night (working out to £88 each), it comes with a rooftop pool and bar as well as glamorous rooms.
The on-site Habito restaurant serves authentic Portuguese food too with highlights being the avocado hummus and pork belly.
And if you fancy something else rather than just beaches, there is amazing nightlife with bars and clubs across Lagos and Albufeira.
Algarve Tourism president André Gomes said, following the win: “The Algarve has beaches to suit all tastes.
"From long, sandy beaches protected by golden cliffs to small bays nestled between rocks and the calm waters of the east coast beaches like Manta Rota and Altura, which are perfect for families.
"Meanwhile, the west coast beaches of Amado, Bordeira and Monte Clerigo have some of the most scenic and uncrowded in the country and are a go-to destination for surfers."
To get to the Algarve, you can find flights from the UK to Faro which take around two hours, and start from just £14.99 with Ryanair.
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