According to the Hellenic Society for the Conservation of Nature (Ελληνική Εταιρία Προστασίας της Φύσης, ΕΕΠΦ), a total of 581 Greek coastal beaches, 15 marinas and 6 tourist boats received Blue Flags this year, placing the country second in the world among 53 countries. .
First in Greece in terms of total number of awards was the Prefecture of Halkidiki with 96 flags, followed by Attica, Crete and Rhodes.
In particular, the international commission awarded 4194 coasts, 732 marinas and 116 tourist boats around the world, and Greece owns 14% of the awards, writes lifo.gr.
“Our destinations are in demand all over the world,” said Deputy Minister of Tourism Sofia Zaharaki, expressing her hope that this year “we will exceed our expectations.”
What is the Blue Flag
The Blue Flag is the most recognizable and widespread international environmental quality mark in the world. Awarded since 1987 to coasts and harbors that meet stringent requirements. A prerequisite for being awarded the Blue Flag is excellent water quality in all respects. No other quality rating, even “Good”, is accepted by the program. The award is valid for one year.
In addition, 33 criteria for beaches, 38 for marinas and 51 for boats must be met, which relate to cleanliness, organization of work, information, safety of bathers and visitors, protection of the natural resources of the coast and coastal space, as well as compliance with environmental standards in general.
The quality of bathing water is monitored annually by the specialized departments of administrations and the General Secretariat for the Environment and Waters ΥΠΕΝ) through control sampling carried out by the laboratories of the National Accreditation System (Εθνικό Σύστημα Διαπίστευσης, ΕΣΥΔ).