Spain has been awarded a total of 688 ‘Blue Flags’ (589 beaches, 98 marinas and five tourist boats) that will fly from June on the coast of the country, which is 19 more than last year. The Valencian Community, with 148, is the leader in the number of ‘Blue Flags’ this year, with 134 on beaches and 14 in ports, one less than last year in each category.
Spain, with 23 more beaches and four fewer ports, has maintained its uninterrupted international leadership since 1987. Although more than 100 ‘Blue Flags’ have been flying in Spain for more than ten years, ten Spanish beaches premiered a new banner this summer.
Of the ‘Blue Flags’ awarded, Spain has maintained a percentage of around 15%. Thus, although only in one in five (18.4%) of the Spanish beaches will fly the ‘Blue Flag’ this summer, around one in seven Blue Flags that fly across the world will do so on the Spanish coast.
Spain is well in front with 688 flags followed by Greece (514), Turkey (508), France (507), Italy (482) and Portugal (387). The International Blue Flag 2020 Jury, with the participation of the United Nations Organisations for Tourism (UNWTO) and the Environment (UNEP), has awarded Blue Flags to 45 countries in the Northern hemisphere.
Of the 662 candidate beaches for ‘Blue Flags’ in Spain in 2020, 589 have been awarded. This means that 89% of the beaches that applied for a ‘Blue Flag’ were successful in gaining recognition.
Alicante receives 73 blue flags, more than Valencia and Castellón combined.
The main changes of this year are the renewal of the blue flag on the beach of Torrelamata sur, in Torrevieja, and Villas Higuericas in Pilar de la Horadada; likewise, the flag at Puerto Dársena, Pilar de la Horadada, has also been won back.
However the Community lost two flags, a beach and a marina in Santa Pola, which has been under construction during the last year and has, so far, been unable to return its services to normality.
By regions, in the Marina Alta, six Dénia beaches have been awarded the blue flag (les Bovetes, les Marines, Molins, Punta Raset, Marineta Casiana and les Deveses), three in Xàbia (la Grava, l’Arenal and la Granadella), one the Poble Nou de Benitatxell, the Cala Moraig; three from Teulada (el Portet, l’Ampolla and les Platgetes), one from Benissa, Cala Fustera and three from Calp (la Fosa, Cantal Roig and Arenal Bol).
The Roda, l’Espigó and Cap Blanc, in Altea, have blue flags in the Marina Baixa; the Racó de l’Albir de l’Alfàs del Pi; Llevant, Mal Pas and Ponent, from Benidorm; La Cala, from Finestrat and Varadero, Ciutat, la Caleta, Bon Nou and Paradís, from Vila Joiosa.
Two beaches in El Campello (Carrer de la Mar and Muchavista) and five in Alicante have a blue flag in l’Alacantí: Sant Joan, l’Albufereta, Postiguet, Saladar and Tabarca.
In Baix Vinalopó, the beaches of l’Altet, Arenales de Sol, la Marina, Carabassí and les Pesqueres-el Rebollo in Elche, and Calas del Este, Varadero, Llevant, Tamarit and Calas Santiago Bernabéu de Santa Pola have obtained a blue flag.
However the Vega Baja is the region with the most blue flag beaches, with two more compared to 2019: Torrelamata-Sur in Torrevieja and Higuericas in Pilar de la Horadada.
In Guardamar del Segura the beaches of La Roqueta, Centre y el Moncaio have obtained this distinction, while in Torrevieja the beaches of Cabo Cervera, El Cura, Los Náufragos, Cala Piteras, Los Locos and Torrelamata-Sur have all received a blue flag.
Orihuela is the Valencian municipality with the most blue flags, with a total of 11: Punta Prima, Cala Bosque (la Zenia), Cala Capitán-Cabo Roig, Caleta-Cabo Roig, Aguamarina, Campoamor, Barranco Rubio, Cala Estaca, Cala Mosca , Cala Cerrada and Mil Palmeras.
This same beach also receives a blue flag in the municipality of Pilar de la Horadada, which has five other blue flags (one more): Jesuits, Higuericas, Conde, Rocamar and Puerto.
Most of the blue flag marinas in the Valencian Community are in Alicante. In fact, only one, Orpesa, is outside the Alicante province.
The marinas awarded blue flags are CN Altea, CN Dehesa de Campoamor (Orihuela), CN El Campello, CN Xàbia, CN Les Bassetes (Benissa), CN Marina Internacional Torrevieja, CN Torre de la Horadada (Pilar de la Horadada), CN la Vila Joiosa, Marina Dénia, Marina Deportiva de Alicante, SA, RCN Calp, RCN Dénia and RCN Torrevieja.
148 Valencian blue flags, from north to south
From north to south, in the Baix Maestrat, two Vinaròs beaches (Fortí and For a Forat) will have a blue flag; two from Benicarló (Morrongo and La Caracola); one from Peñíscola (Nord) and four from Alcalà de Xivert: el Carregador, la Romana, el Moro and Manyetes. The south beach of Peníscola loses the flag
In the Plana Alta, the flags are awarded to les Nord beach in Torreblanca; les Amplaries, Morro de Gos, la Conxa and les Plagetes de Bellver in Orpesa; Voramar, l’Almadrava, Torre de Sant Vicent, els Terrers and Heliópolis in Benicàssim and the beaches of El Pinar and Gurugú in Castelló, a city that loses its distinction on Serradal beach.
In Plana Baixa the beaches of l’Arenal and the Grao-Malvarrosa of Borriana have a blue flag; the Grao, Pedra Rotja, Masbó and Estanyol de Moncofa; les Cases y el Cerezo de Xilxes y Casablanca de Almenara.. The Marines de Nules beach also retains the distinction, which it obtained for the first time in 2019.
Valencia: La Pobla de Farnals loses its blue flag
In the province of Valencia, two municipalities in the Camp de Morvedre receive a blue flag: Canet d’en Berenguer, with the Racó del Mar beach, and the Corint, l’Almardà and Puerto de Sagunt beaches.
In l’Horta the beach of Puçol and seven beaches of València have received a blue flag: el Saler, la Garrofera, la Devesa, l’Arbre del Gos, Recatí-Perellonet, Cabanyal and Malva-rosa. La Pobla de Farnals has lost the recognition.
Cullera is the only municipality in Ribera Baixa with beaches that have this distinction, a total of six: Dossel, Far, Olivos, Cap Blanc, Sant Antoni and Racó.
La Safor is the region of this province with the most recognised municipalities, with a total of eight. Tavernes de la Valldigna receives the blue flag on the beach of the same name and on the Gulet; the Bellreguard, Daimús, Miramar, Piles and Xeraco beaches also receive a blue flag and in Gandia, the Nord beach has been recognized. Oliva is the municipality with the most blue flags in this region with a total of four (Terranova-Burguera, l’Aigua Morta, Pau-Pi and Aigua Blanca).
244 municipalities receive a blue flag throughout Spain
The number of participating Spanish coastal municipalities in 2020 is 244, the same as in 2019, of which 233 (+6) have obtained at least one ‘Blue Flag’, despite the increase and control of their demands.
The Valencian Community leads the number of beaches with ‘Bluremedy the breaches of the Coastal Law that led to the denial of ‘Blue Flags’ in 2019, as well as the presentation of new candidate beaches.
This classification also heads the ranking in the number of ports, Catalonia with 23, followed by Andalusia with 18; Valencian Community with 14; Balearic Islands with 13; Galicia with 12 and the Canary Islands with 5.