Spain continues to excel in maintaining the highest number of Blue Flag-accredited beaches on an international level.
According to the Spanish Tourism Institute, Turespaña, the achievement underscores Spain’s ongoing commitment to upholding environmental standards, safety measures, and overall quality at its beaches.
The agency points out that since 1987, when the accreditation initiative was first introduced, Spain has consistently gained recognition for 729 of its beaches. Particularly, ten beaches have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag for the first time, and this year, 22 beaches have successfully reclaimed their Blue Flag title.
Currently, the top five Spanish Blue Flag-accredited beaches are:
- Playa El Far de Sant Cristófol, located near Barcelona
- Serene La Breña in Córdoba
- Captivating Torre Derribada in Murcia
- Picturesque Jover in Tenerife
- Unique Cancho del Fresno in Cáceres, Extremadura
The Blue Flag program has been a cornerstone of sustainable beach and marine tourism for over 35 years, setting a standard that many destinations aspire to achieve. The organisation’s efforts align closely with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, demonstrating its integral role in advancing global sustainability.
Similarly to Spain, Portugal has also experienced an increase in Blue Flag accreditations for its beaches, marinas, and boats in the previous year. Portugal authorities pointed out that this accomplishment showcases the country’s dedication to maintaining high environmental and safety standards along its coastlines and water bodies.
They also added that the addition of 32 more Blue Flag spots compared to last year demonstrates Portugal’s continuous efforts to improve and enhance its coastal and marine areas.
Furthermore, during this year, a total of 102 municipalities have submitted applications for Blue Flags, covering more than 393 beaches. This includes first-time applications from Vila Verde, Tabua, and Alandroal, while Cascais and Marinha Grande have re-engaged with the Blue Flag program.
Within the marina category, a noteworthy development was also the inclusion of the Nautical Recreation Centre in Velas, the Lajes do Pico Nautical Recreation Centre, and the Machico Recreational Port in the Blue Flag program for the first time. At the same time, the most substantial surge in Blue Flag recognition is observed in the domain of ecotourism vessels, particularly boats.
In addition, this year, there has been a remarkable increase, with an additional nine vessels operated by five new entities earning the Blue Flag distinction.