At a ceremony in Madrid last week, the Vega Baja was awarded 25 blue flags for it’s beaches by the ADEAC, the representatives in Spain of the International awarding body, the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). This is four more than the region achieved last year, two of which are on the Orihuela Costa at Cala Cerrada and Mil Palmeras as well as those at Cabo Cervera (Torrevieja) and Playa Puerto (Pilar de la Horadada).
Blue flags are awarded to those beaches that meet demands on issues such as hygiene, sanitary conditions, safety, accessibility and the provision of lifeguards, so it might come as somewhat of a surprise that, despite the suspension last month of the Chiringuito contract, the Orihuela Costa has actually increased it’s share of accredited beaches from nine last year to eleven.
Not such good news, however, is the loss of the blue flag at the Cabo Roig marina, which is now under private management, although that at the port of Dehesa de Campoamor has been retained.
By locations, Orihuela has been awarded blue flags at Punta Prima, Cala Bosque (La Zenia), La Caleta (Cabo Roig), Cala Capitán, Aguamarina, Campoamor, Barranca Rubio, Cala Estaca, Cala Mosca, Cala Cerrada and Mil Palmeras.
In Torrevieja, Cabo Cervera, El Cura, Los Náufragos, Cala Piteras, Los Locos and La Mata (Sur).
In Pilar de la Horadada, Mil Palmeras, Jesuitas, Conde, Higuericas and Puerto Beach.
In Guardamar del Segura, La Roqueta, Las Playas Centro and El Moncayo.
All of the Mar Menor beaches have been excluded from the list because of their water transparency meaning that there will be no blue flags flying in either San Javier, San Pedro del Pinatar, Los Alcázares or Cartagena.
Travelling north however, blue flags have been awarded in Elche at El Altet, Arenales del Sol-Sur, La Marina, Carabassí and Les Pesqueres-El Rebollo while in Santa Pola the flags will fly in Calas del Este, Varador, Llevant, Tamarit and Calas Santiago Bernabeu.
In Torrevieja, the councillor for beaches, Javier Manzanares said that the addition of Cabo Cervera “is good news at the town now becomes the third city of the Valencian Community with the largest number of blue flags especially after difficulties we have had to re-establish the beaches following the storms. It has taken a great deal of hard work and for that I appreciate the commitment and dedication of all the people who have contributed with their efforts.”
With a total of 590 blue flags awarded to its beaches this summer, Spain will once again safely hold onto its title in 2018 as the country with the most blue-flag beaches in the world. Spain, therefore, can once again say officially that it has the best beaches in the world
While the number of flags decreased slightly in 2016, this year there will be 12 flags more flying than in 2017.
In addition to the flags awarded to its beaches Spain also won blue flags for 101 marinas and five cruise ship ports, three in Mallorca and two in Malaga, meaning that the country will be able to fly a total of 696 blue-flags along its coast line from the beginning of June.
The region of Valencia can boast the greatest number of quality beaches with 132, (three more than 2017) while Galicia has achieved 109, Catalonia 101 and Andalusia 97.