Catalan beaches awarded 87 blue flags for their water cleanliness, safety and environmental management

This summer, 87 beaches in Catalonia will display a blue flag recognising their overall quality, safety, environmental-friendliness, and cleanliness. It is one more flag than last year. The Costa Daurada and Ebro Delta got 37 flags and the Costa Brava got 28. Beaches near Barcelona received 22 flags. Catalonia is, after Galicia and the Valencian Community, the Autonomous Community with the highest number of such recognitions. Blue flags are awarded every year by the independent and non-profit Foundation for Environmental Education, in collaboration with the United Nations Agencies for the Environment and Tourism. Spain is the country in the world with the highest number of blue flags.


June 7, 2012 12:49 AM

Barcelona (ACN).- This summer, 87 beaches in Catalonia will display a blue flag for their overall quality, according to the Environmental and Consumer Education Association of Spain (ADEAC). Catalonia is, after Galicia and the Valencian Community (also called Valencian Country), the Autonomous Community with the highest number of blue flags. Beaches located along the southern Catalan coast, on the Costa Daurada or the Ebro Delta, received a total of 37 blue flags. Costa Brava beaches, in Catalonia’s northern coast, got 28 awards. Finally, beaches located in Barcelona or nearby, in Garraf and Maresme Counties, where Sitges and Malgrat de Mar are located respectively, received a total of 22 blue flags. In addition, Catalan marinas and ports received 24 blue flags, two more than in 2011. The blue flag is an ecological label for beaches and ports which comply with 32 criteria based on water cleanliness, safety and environmental management and education. They are awarded every year by the independent and non-profit Foundation for Environmental Education, in collaboration with the United Nations Agencies for the Environment and Tourism. Spain is the country in the world with the highest number of blue flags.

At the presentation held in Madrid on Wednesday, ADEAC’s President, José Sánchez Moro, thanked the Catalan Government and the Catalan Water Agency (ACA) for their cooperation. Catalonia is in the top 3 of Spanish beach areas. Galicia tops the ranking, with 126 flags, and is followed by the Valencian Community, with 108. Then comes Catalonia (87  flags) and in fourth position is Andalusia, with 77 awards. Catalonia has a total of 75 kilometres of beach recognised with a blue flag. Sánchez Moro explained that Spain is the country in the world with the highest number of blue flags: 638. There are 35 more flags than last year. 540 flags are for beaches and 48 are for marinas and ports. Half of the flags from this last category are in Catalonia.

Catalonia will display this year a total of 87 blue flags, one more award than last year. Beaches in the provinces of Tarragona (Costa Daurada and Ebro Delta) and Girona (Costa Brava) maintain the number of flags, 37 and 28 respectively. Beaches in Barcelona received one more flag this year, reaching a total number of 22. Regarding the 24 blue flags of Catalan marinas and ports, Girona keeps its 8 flags while Barcelona and Tarragona pass from 7 to 8 each.

The blue flag criteria

The criteria for a blue flag to be awarded are 32, and they include: free access to the beach and it being managed as a public space, displaying clear and concise information, promoting health habits, being 100% in line with environmental and coastline legislation, having quality sand, clean water, and a lifeguard service with at least two people. This last element prevents paradise beaches from small villages to be included in the prestigious list, as they lack the money to hire two lifeguards

The list of Catalan blue flag beaches

Tarragona has 37 beaches. North of Tarragona they are the following Cunit, Segur de Calafell, L'estany-Mas Mel, Calafell, Coma-ruga, Francàs (Vendrell), Roda de Barà, Costa Daurada (Roda de Barà) and Altafulla. In Torrebembarra:  la Paella, el Barri Marítim, and Es Muntanyà. In the city of Tarragona: La Mora, Arrabassada, la Savinosa, and Tamarit. In the south of Tarragona, the awarded beaches are Vilaseca’s Pineda; in Salou, the beaches of Llevant and Capellans; in Cambrils, Vilafortuny i Esquirol, Cavet and Prat d'en Forés; in Montroig del Camp, Cristall and Pixerota; in Vandellòs i l'Hospitalet de l'Infant, La Punta del Riu, l'Arenal and Torn; in l'Ametlla de Mar, Sant Jordi d'Alfama, Cala Forn, Pixavaques, l'Alguer and Calafató; in l'Ampolla, Caproig and Avellaners; in Sant Carles de la Ràpita, Parc del Garbí and les Delícies; in Alcanar, les Cases d'Alcanar.

The 28 Costa Brava beaches are: in Portbou, Platja Gran; in Llançà, Gifreu and Port de Llançà; Port de la Selva; Empuriabrava, in Castelló d’Empúries; in Torroella de Montgrí, Cala Montgó; in Palafrugell, Tamariu, Canadell and Llafranc; in Palamós, la Fosca; in Sant Antoni de Calonge, Es Monestrí, Torre Valentina, Sant Antoni and Cala Cristus- Ses Torretes; in Castell-Platja d'Aro, Cala Rovira, Platja d'Aro, and Sa Conca; in Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Sant Feliu and Sant Pol; in Tossa de Mar, la Mar Menuda i Gran de Tossa; in Lloret de Mar, Lloret, Fenals, Sa Boadella and Santa Cristina; in Blanes, Blanes, Sabanell and Sant Francesc.

Finally, the 22 flags in Barcelona are: in Malgrat de Mar, Malgrat; in Pineda de Mar, Pineda; in Calella, Garbí and Gran de Calella; in Canet de Mar, Canet; in Caldes d'Estrac, els Tres Micos; in El Masnou, Ocata and el Masnou;Badalona; in the city of Barcelona, la Nova Mar Bella, la Mar Bella, el Bogatell, la Nova Icària, La Barceloneta and Sant Sebastià; in el Prat del Llobregat, el Prat; in Gavà, Gavà Mar; Castelldefels; in Vilanova i la Geltrú, Ribes-Roges, d'Adarró, and Sant Gervasi; and, in Cubelles, Llarga.

24 flags for marinas and ports

8 Costa Brava marinas and sports ports received a blue flag. They are: Club Nàutic de Llançà; Club Nàutic Port de la Selva; Port Esportiu de Roses; Club Nàutic l'Escala; Club Nàutic l'Estartit-Torroella de Montgrí; Port Esportiu Marina de Palamós; Club Nàutic Port d'Aro; and, Club de Vela Blanes. The 8 in Tarragona are: Port de Segur de Calafell; Port de Torredembarra; Nàutic de Tarragona; Port Esportiu de Salou; Club Nàutic Cambrils; Port Esportiu de l'Hospitalet de l'Infant i Vandellòs; Club Nàutic l'Ametlla de Mar; and, Club Nàutic l'Ampolla. The 8 in Barcelona are: Club Nàutic el Balís-Sant Andreu de Llavaneres; Consorci Port Mataró; Marina Port Vell-Barcelona; Port Olímpic de Barcelona; Port Ginesta-Castelldefels; Club Nàutic Garraf-Sitges; Port Esportiu Aiguadolç- Sitges; and, Club Nàutic Vilanova i la Geltrú.