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Beaches and ports in Catalonia receive 122 Blue Flag distinctions

 The quality of Catalan beaches and ports has increased. This year the International Jury awarded Catalonia 9 more flags than last year and the area now has 98 distinctions for beaches and 24 for ports. The province with the most awards is Tarragona with over 40 flags, followed by Girona with 30 and Barcelona with 28. Barcelona has recorded the biggest increase and has won 8 more flags for its beaches than last year. The President of the Environmental Education Association (ADEAC), José Ramón Sánchez, praised the increase of Blue Flags, assuring that in Catalonia there is "an excellent situation regarding education and environmental information". Indeed, Spain is at the forefront of the world rankings with eight more blue flags than in 2015.

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07 June 2016 05:23 PM

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Xavier Vallbona / Pampa Mektoubdjian

Barcelona (CNA).- The Environmental Education Association (ADEAC) awards the Blue Flag to those beaches, marinas and yacht clubs that pass inspections of hygiene, security, free access, sustainability and compliance with disability legislation, along with their complementary and educational offer. Catalonia has won 122 awards this year (98 beaches and 24 ports). The majority of flags are in Tarragona with over 40 awards, followed by Girona and Barcelona with 30 and 28 flags respectively. The province of Tarragona has been awarded 40 Beach Flags (up from 38 in 2015) and 6 for its ports (down slightly from 7 in 2015). The beaches of Girona have lost a flag with respect to 2015. Barcelona is the province that recorded the biggest increase and its beaches have won 8 flags from the previous year, accumulating 28 in total. 


The President of ADEAC, José Ramón Sánchez, highlighted the association’s good relationship with the Catalan institutions and wanted to separate the concession of these awards from the political situation between Catalonia and Spain. Sánchez also praised the increase in Blue Flags, assuring that in Catalonia there is "an excellent situation regarding education and environmental information".

Flag ranking in Spain

Spain gained nine blue flags with respect to 2015, in 2016 it lost one but still remains a global leader with 686 Blue Flag beaches and ports, of which 586 are for beaches and 100 for marinas. The country is at the forefront of the world rankings with eight more beach blue flags than in 2015 (578). The Spanish state remains the leader among the 48 states and 51 territories that are included in the awards. Below the Spanish 586 beach distinctions, one can find Turkey (444), Greece (430), France (400) and Portugal (315). The ADEAC president highlighted the success of the Spanish ports and beaches, assuring that the state’s distinctions show a "new worldwide record".

Regarding the number of flags for beaches, Catalonia (98) is the third area of the Spanish State, behind Galicia (123), and Valencia (125), and ahead of Andalusia (76), the Balearic Islands (45) and the Canary Islands (45). Catalonia is the territory which has seen the highest increase in the number of blue flags (9), followed by the Valencia Community (5), the Canary Islands, Murcia, Asturias and the Basque Country (4).

98 awarded beaches in Catalonia 

In the region of Catalonia, Tarragona beaches have gone from 38 flags in 2015 to 40 in 2016; this year´s new distinctions were the flags for Poniente de Cunit and Capellans in Salou. Girona lost one flag and moves to 30 distinctions; although it lost the flags for Mar Sopas and Mar Cristiano beaches in Sant Pere Pescador, unlike last year, it gained one for Aiguablava Begur. Barcelona won nine more flags in comparison to 2015. The new distinctions for beaches in Barcelona are for Pescadores beach and La Riera of Pineda de Mar, Bogatell beaches, Nova Icària, Barceloneta, Somorrostro, San Sebastián, San Miguel, Gavà beach and Lluminetes in Castelldefels. In the losses section, the province of Barcelona lost the flag for Levante Beach and now has 24 blue flags for Catalan ports, one less than in 2015. . Girona and Barcelona maintain the same number of distinctions as 2015, while Tarragona loses one and moves from 7 in 2015 to 6 this year.

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  • Image of the Gulf of Roses, the most northeastern bay on the Catalan coast (by ACN)

  • Image of the Gulf of Roses, the most northeastern bay on the Catalan coast (by ACN)