Yesterday in Athens, a full list of facilities in Greece awarded the Blue Flag in 2019 was announced. The event was attended by many representatives of tourism from the public and private sectors. 515 beaches, 15 marinas and 4 sustainable tourist ships were awarded throughout the country . This means that Greece was ranked second among all 47 countries participating in the Blue Flag program. In Crete this year, you will see the Blue Flag on 115 beaches and one marina . A full list of places featured on Crete can be found at the end of the article.
Although the total result of Greece is slightly lower than a year ago, when 519 beaches were awarded, it is worth noting that the number of all Greek honors is 12% of the global number of awards granted under this program. For comparison, in Poland in 2018 there were 31 beaches with the Blue Flag. This year in Greece most of the awards - 92 - went to the beaches in the area of Halkidiki. The biggest decline in the number of distinctions for beaches occurred in the Ionian Islands. In 2019, there are 33 beaches, for comparison in 2018 Blue Flag fluttered over 51 places.
The Blue Flag is an important distinction and a sign of the quality of the beach, which is worth soliciting. Such places are also more eagerly looked at by travel agencies that send their clients to hotels located near such places. It is worth remembering that although this distinction is awarded for the whole year, in the event of a drastic deterioration of water quality or non-compliance with the guidelines of the beach / marina program, you may lose the right to use the blue flag symbol. EEPF and FEE inspectors repeatedly visit award-winning beaches during the hot season and marinas throughout the year to see if the Blue Flag criteria are met.
In the case of losing the decoration, an additional punishment is also the inability to apply for this distinction in the next year. Despite the slight fluctuations in the number of places highlighted, the popularity trend of the Blue Flag project is clearly growing, which can be seen in the table below.
Honorable mentions have been awarded since 1987 to beaches and marinas that meet stringent requirements and criteria. Over the past dozen or so years, the Blue Flag has become the most recognizable and popular international symbol of high-quality beaches and marinas in the world. The uniform standard of this distinction was developed in 2001 by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) in Denmark. In Greece, the Blue Flag is awarded by the Greek Society for Nature Conservation (EEPF).
It is worth recalling that the history of this distinction dates back to 1985, when the idea of distinguishing coastal communes characterized by water quality was born in France. Two years later in 1987, this idea started as an official European program known as the Blue Flag.
Initially, the awarded decorations were to become an incentive for the spa managers to meet the objectives of the European Council Directive concerning the reduction of bathing water pollution and its protection against further pollution (Council Directive 76/160 / EEC of December 8, 1975). Over the next several years, a simple and clear concept of marking the best beaches and marinas has been positively received by tourists in the European Union. Work began on changing the rules allowing for the introduction of this award in other countries around the world. Since 2001, after establishing uniform rules, this mark has become an international symbol of the best beaches.
Beaches that claim the right to use this mark must meet the 33 criteria imposed by the FEE (in the case of marinas, 38 criteria). The prerequisite for this distinction is excellent water quality. No other quality classification, even "good", is acceptable. Below we present the most important criteria that are taken into account. They are divided into four issues, within which detailed conditions are specified.
Clean sea and coast
Nature protection and care for the natural environment
Below is a list of 115 beaches and 1 marina in Crete, which this year have been awarded the Blue Flag.
In Chania, the total number of beaches awarded this year by the Blue Flag has increased by 1. New beaches that appeared on the list are Gerani / Asterion Hotel in the municipality of Platania and Kavros / La Mer Resort in the municipality of Apokoronas. This year, the Blue Flag did not receive the beach in Kalathas, which appeared in last year's ranking. It is a pity, because it is a very popular place (especially among locals), with a beautiful sandy beach and a great bathing area.
As with the previous prefecture, the number of awarded beaches is higher by 1. This is Lianos Kavos / Creta Marine beach in Mylopotamos municipality. We are happy that the awarded beach has not lost any awards.
Agios Vassilios Municipality
In the prefecture of Heraklion, four beaches were distinguished more than a year ago. These novelties are two beaches in Ammoudara at the hotels Dessole Dolphin Bay and Enorme Hotels Beach in the municipality of Malevizi and Alexander Beach in Agios Dimitrios and Potamos in the municipality of Chersonissos.
In the case of Lassithi Prefecture, the total number of awarded beaches is lower by 4 compared to the list from last year.
The distinction was lost by 4 beaches in the municipality of Ierapetra (Myrtos, Agia Fotia, Ierapetra 1-Municipal, Achia Schinokapsalon) and one of the municipalities of Agios Nikolaos (Chiona). She appeared among the awarded Limanaki beach. It is worth noting that in Agios Nikolaos there is the only marina in Crete, which receives the Blue Flag every year.
Agios Nikolaos Municipality