The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has announced this week the beaches, ports and sustainable boat tour operators in Europe for 2019. Spain boasts 669 Blue Flag awards including 566 Spanish beaches, 98 marina resorts and 5 sustainable tourist boat operators.
The prestigious Blue Flag is recognized worldwide as a sign of the excellence of life-saving facilities, first-rate water quality, accessibility and information about the surrounding nature of the award-winning beach.
Despite a total of 24 beaches losing their Blue Flag status this year, Spain continues to top the list of countries with the most Blue Flag beaches in the world for the 32nd consecutive year.
This summer, the Blue Flag will be flying on one out of every five Spanish beaches. On a global scale, one of every six Blue Flag beaches throughout the world is on Spanish soil. From crystal-clear waters, coves, cliffs and broad stretches of fine sand, the Spanish coastline has something for everyone – from families to extreme sports enthusiasts.
Holidaymakers heading to Alicante in the Valencia region, are spoilt for choice with more than 70 beaches that have been awarded the Blue Flag; the highest number of Blue Flags (71) this year. Sun-worshippers can choose between never-ending stretches of fine golden sandy beaches such as Guardamar del Segura which is set against a backdrop of fragrant pine trees, to the numerous coves dotted around the Santa Pola bay, or the shingle beach of L’Espigo on the estuary of the Algar river in Altea which is one of seven beaches to be awarded Blue Flag status for the first time.
There is even an inland beach that has been awarded the Blue Flag. “Virgen de la Nueva”, which is on the banks of the San Juan Reservoir in the heart of Spain in Madrid and is great for water sports.
Jannich Petersen, CEO of Spain-Holiday commented on the news: “2018 was a record-breaking year for Spain tourism, with over 82.6 million international visitors and beach holidays destinations are in more demand than ever. Last year, Spain-Holiday.com reached 48.9 million web visitors looking for beach holiday rentals in 2018 and we anticipate to smash that figure in 2019.”
“Spain has won the most Blue Flag awards year in year out for past 32 years. The prestigious accolade is awarded for more than just natural beauty – it also takes into consideration water quality, accessibility and sustainability. The Blue Flag awards are a great indicator of how the coastal towns and regions of Spain are committed to preserving the 8,000 km of coastline”