395 beaches and 9 marinas in Greece awarded the Blue Flag for 2015
The Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature has announced that, out of a long list of 50 countries, Greece has ranked number three on the Blue Flag quality awards this year. The special event was held at Katerini beach, in Pieria, Macedonia. In total, 395 beaches and 9 marinas in Greece have been recognised for their excellent seawater quality, litter management, organisation of the swimming area, safety procedures for bathers and protection of the environment, among other factors.
Crete is the year’s champion in blue flags
Ranked first in blue flags this year is Lasithi with 44 flags, followed by Halkidiki (39 flags), Chania (29 flags), Rhodes (23 flags) and Heraklion (17 flags). The announcement took place in Katerini by the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature. The various marinas and beaches awarded are not only the cleanest ones, but they must also meet a number of criteria relating to visitors safety, nature conservation and environmental awareness.
Did you know?
In order to receive a Blue Flag eco-label, a beach must not only be found to have an excellent quality of bathing water, it must also comply with a further 32 criteria concerning cleanliness, environmental management and organisation, environmental education and information, visitor safety and services, as well as protection of nature, the coast and the coastal area.
It is not easy for a marina to be awarded the Blue Flag. It must meet 24 strict criteria, which have to do with the cleanliness of the marina, organisation, safety of visitors, protection of nature and environmental awareness. Even when a marina is awarded the Blue Flag, it only keeps it that year and goes through the evaluation process again the following year. HSPN and FEE inspectors visit marinas throughout the tourist season and note any problems or shortcomings.
What is the Blue Flag Programme?
The Blue Flag is a programme of environmental awareness and protection which is implemented every year, on a large scale, in more than 50 countries in Europe and other parts of the world by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). The Blue Flag label is an international symbol of quality and is one of the best known environmental symbols worldwide. It has been awarded since 1987 to beaches and marinas meeting the strict requirements of the programme. It aims at making beaches and marinas better and safer, while at the same time protecting their natural environment, so that we may always enjoy them. The Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature is the programme’s coordinator for Greece. It is the oldest conservation organisation in the country and has been active in environmental education and the protection of nature since 1951.
Click here to find the blue flag beaches for 2015 and choose which one(s) to visit this summer!