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Greece Ranks Second in the World With 617 ‘Blue Flag’ Beaches

Greece Blue Flag beaches
The Halkidiki peninsula in northern Greece, renowned for its golden sand and turquoise waters, swept most of the awards with 94. Credit: Greek Reporter

A total of 617 beaches in Greece were awarded the prestigious Blue Flag award for 2023, putting the country in second place in the world, according to data released on Wednesday.

The number of “Blue Flags” now found in Greece exceeds, for the first time, 600, with Greece retaining 15 percent of the distinctions for best-rated beaches.

The Greek section of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) says that Halkidiki peninsula in northern Greece, renowned for its golden sand and turquoise waters, swept most of the awards with 94. Attica, Crete and Rhodes follow.

A map with all the locations in Greece and elsewhere awarded this year is available at Attica, the prefecture of greater Athens, boasts 18 Blue Flag beaches. They are:

Brexiza, Nea Makri
1st Limanaki Daskaleio Kerateas/Solo Pino
Lagonissi 1-Grand Beach/ Grand Resort Lagonissi
Lagonissi 2-Mediterraneo/Grand Resort Lagonissi
Lagonissi 3-Kohilia/ Grand Resort Lagonissi
Mavro Lithari/EverEden Beach
Astir Beach Vouliagmeni
Voula A
Glyfada A
Glyfada B
Agia Marina, Aegina

Spain tops the list of the most Blue Flag Awards in the world with 729.

The Greek beaches are famed across the world for their clear bathing waters and their great diversity.

The Greek shoreline of the Aegean Archipelago, the Ionian and Cretan Seas can suit all tastes. You will find small beaches and long stretches of sand, pebble beaches and sea caves hewn into steep rocks, beaches with white or pink sand, as well as black sand ones created by volcanic soils.

Stringent criteria are needed to qualify for a Blue Flag

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.

Certificates, which the FEE refers to as awards, are issued on an annual basis to beaches and marinas of FEE member countries.

The Blue Flag was created in France in 1985, as a pilot scheme from the Office of the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe where French coastal municipalities were awarded the Blue Flag on the basis of criteria covering sewage treatment and bathing water quality.

1987 was the “European Year of the Environment,” and the European Commission was responsible for developing the European Community activities of that year.

FEEE presented the concept of the Blue Flag to the commission, and it was agreed that it would launch the Blue Flag program as one of several “European Year of the Environment” activities in the Community.

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