Greece is the number two country worldwide for the number of its Blue Flag beaches, according to the environmental group The Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature.
Almost 500 of the country’s beaches were awarded the prestigious Blue Flag status for this year. The top area in Greece, for this year once again, is Halkidiki, with 94 flags awarded for the high environmental and accessibility standards at its beaches.
The iconic Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognized voluntary eco-labels awarded to beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators. In order to qualify for the blue flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained.
The international committee this year awarded 3,895 beaches, 691 marinas and 82 tourist vessels across the world for fulfilling all these criteria.
The nation of Spain continues its hold on the title of the country with the most Blue Flag beaches. Greece is second, followed by Turkey, France and Italy, in that order.
According to the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature, the national operator of the program, the Blue Flag is the most recognizable ecological symbol in the world.