Blue flags for 275 beaches across Portugal Published on 19 Jun, 2012 by Monica Cozacenco / Google+
Portugal's stunning beaches
Portuguese beaches are considered to be some of the best around the world; therefore, it is no surprise that 275 have been awarded the prestigious blue flag award for quality. This is four more than last year, which is fantastic news for tourism in the country. However, the European Blue Flag association did point out that there was a decline in beaches in the Algarve.
The beaches in Portugal are outstanding, and the small concerns with the beaches in Madeira, Azores and the Algarve were due to the lack of safety conditions on the beaches. During the recent press conference in Lisbon, the committee explained that there are several different factors, which are taken into consideration.
There is over 600 miles of coast in Portugal, which is a haven for travelers searching for the perfect beach. The beaches vary widely, and you will experience many different aspects to both the water and the coastline. Portugal continues to be a favorite vacation destination; therefore, the beaches need to be clean, safe, and have an amazing attraction.
Safety is a huge issue that they have to consider when awarded the highly acclaimed blue flag. Therefore, the beaches, which lost their blue flags were considered to have areas which would limit the safety. The beaches in question had areas that became unsafe during high tide, as the sandy areas were reduced, making them a danger.
With some work during this year the Blue Flag committee is confident that these beaches will be able to reclaim their blue flag status. Other areas of Portugal did incredibly well, and there were significant increases in the number of blue flags, which were awarded. The Northern region now has 67 blue flags, which is four more than last year.
The beaches in the center of Portugal have 23 blue flag beaches which is five more than last year, Alentejo region has 24 beaches with the blue flag, making this two more and the Tagus region of Portugal has 49 awarded beaches, which is four more than previous years. The Algarve may have lost five blue flags; however, there are still 69 beaches with the award.
Both Madeira and Azores also lost blue flags, however, they still have over 40 beaches with the award, which ensures that travelers can enjoy a vast array of stunning beaches. As well as the beaches in Portugal, 14 marinas were awarded blue flags. Every year there are vast improvements done to the beaches, ensuring that the numbers have increased.
Over the last twenty five years, the numbers of blue flag beaches have drastically increased, and from the 30 that were originally chosen there are now 275 beaches with the award. The high level of commitment and educational programs which have been carried out has helped to improve the beaches. Changing the local people’s behavior has been a challenge; however, it has proven to be rewarding.
Portugal can proudly announce that they are one of the countries with the highest percentage of blue flag beaches in the world. There are continued programs and awareness campaigns regarding the use of the beaches. All citizens are invited to visit the beach and learn how to behave whilst on the beach, and how the local wildlife thrives in the water. With continued learning, the beaches will improve, and the blue flags will remain.
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