What would the Greek Summer be without its innumerable pristine beaches and their crystal-clear, azure swimming waters?
As the country opens up to tourists after the coronavirus lockdown it is worth remembering that Greece is the number two country worldwide for the number of its Blue Flag beaches.
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.
Pristine swimming waters
The EU environment agency, or EEA, released a report earlier on June which declares that Greece is among the top five European nations in terms of the cleanliness of its swimming waters, while Cyprus is at the very top of the list.
A country-by-country breakdown showed that in five nations — Cyprus, Austria, Malta, Greece, and Croatia — at least 95 percent of swimming waters were considered to be of “excellent” quality. The study covered the 27-nation bloc, as well as the UK, Albania and Switzerland.
Swimming waters are quality classified according to two microbiological parameters, the presence of the bacteria Escherichia coli and Intestinal enterococci.
In Greece, a total of 97.6 percent of reported swimming areas are in line with the minimum quality standards and are thus classified as “sufficient” or better. 95.7 percent are classified as “excellent.” No swimming area in the entire country was classified as “poor”.