The Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature (HSPN) has announced the prestigious Blue Flags awards for beaches, marinas and tourism boats in Greece. With 617 awarded beaches, Greece ranks second out of a total of 52 countries internationally.
For the first time, the number of awarded beaches has surpassed the 600 mark, with Greece boasting 15% of the total number of awarded beaches among the countries participating in the program. In total, the International Committee awarded 4,212 beaches worldwide, in addition to 710 marinas and 120 tourism boats.
The region of Halkidiki was ranked top in Greece, earning 94 blue flags, followed by Rhodes with 57 and Lasithi in Crete with 48. Hania counts 38 beaches with blue flags, and Iraklio 33. A total of 18 beaches were awarded in Attica.
Read about the awarded beaches and marinas here.
The announcement of our country’s awarded beaches, marinas and tourism boats took place on the beach of the Pilot Beach Resort in Georgioupoli, Apokoronas, in the region of Hania, Crete.
The “Blue Flag” distinction has been awarded since 1987 to beaches and marinas that fulfill the strict criteria. In order to be awarded, a required prerequisite must be the “exceptional” quality of the waters. The award is valid for one year.
In addition, 33 additional standards are required for beaches (38 for marinas and 51 for boats), which mostly involve overall cleanliness, organization, information, the safety of swimmers and visitors, protection of the beach and the surrounding area’s natural wealth, and environmental awareness.
Quality Check of Swimming Waters
The quality of the swimming waters is monitored each year by the Water Directorate of the Decentralized Administration and the General Secretariat of Natural Environment and Water of the Hellenic Ministry of Environment and Energy, via the testing of samples conducted by laboratories accredited by the Hellenic Accreditation System (ESYD).