Spain tops world list with record-breaking Blue Flags for beaches, marinas, and boats

by Lorraine Williamson
Awarded the Blue Flag 2024

MADRID –  In an impressive show of environmental commitment and sustainable tourism, Spain has once again topped the world list for Blue Flag awards in 2024. This year, the country has received a record-breaking total of 747 Blue Flags, recognising 638 beaches, 102 marinas, and 7 tourist boats. This marks an increase from the previous year, with 11 more beaches, 5 additional marinas, and 2 more tourist boats being awarded.

The Blue Flag is a prestigious international distinction awarded annually by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) to beaches and marinas that meet stringent environmental and quality standards. The award signifies that the recipient meets criteria such as water quality, safety, environmental education, and information, as well as the provision of services and general environmental management.

The Blue Flag high standards

Blue Flag beach

The Blue Flag’s physical manifestation is a blue flag with a white logo, prominently displayed at awarded locations to signify their high standards. This program began in France in 1987 and has since grown into a global benchmark for beach and marina quality.

In Spain, the Blue Flag program is managed by the Association for Environmental and Consumer Education (ADEAC), a member of FEE since its inception. ADEAC rigorously reviews the criteria for each flagged location to ensure compliance with the program’s demanding standards.

Spain´s commitment to maintaining the high quality

Blue Flag beachThe 2024 awards highlight a consistent upward trend in Spain’s commitment to maintaining and improving its coastal and marine environments. For the fourth consecutive year, Spain has surpassed the 600-flag mark, demonstrating robust support from local town councils and significant investment in maintaining high-quality tourist destinations.

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Andalucia, the Balearic Islands, and the Valencian Community have been particularly instrumental in this year’s increase in Blue Flags. Their concerted efforts have contributed significantly to Spain’s leading position in global beach and marina quality standards.

The full list of awarded beaches, marinas, and tourist boats can be found here.

History of the Blue Flag

Blue flag beach

The Blue Flag program originated from a 1985 French initiative called “Messages to the Sea,” which aimed to raise awareness about marine environmental issues. This initiative evolved into the Blue Flag program, officially launching in 1987. Over the decades, the Blue Flag has become a symbol of environmental excellence, promoting sustainable development in coastal areas worldwide.

As Spain celebrates its record-breaking achievement, it continues to set the standard for environmental stewardship and sustainable tourism, reinforcing its reputation as a premier destination for travellers seeking quality and eco-friendly beach experiences.

Also read: Top ten Spanish beaches if you enjoy a long walk along the shore

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