Blue Flag | beach awards for the Greek Islands

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Blue flag beaches

Blue Flag beaches in the Greek Islands

Greek Blue Flag beaches
Blue Flag beaches

Greece and the Geek Islands picked Blue Flag awards for a total 395 beaches and nine marinas for 2015/2016.

This was fewer beaches than 2014 when 408 Blue Flags were awarded to Greek beach resorts and marinas took 10 flags.

It puts Greece in third place in the Blue Flags table behind Spain with 578 and Turkey with 436, one place lower than the previous year.

The 2014/15 flags for Greek beaches was 15 more than the 2013/14 figure of 393 but the number dropped to 370 in the summer of 2014 when 38 Greek beaches were stripped of their Blue Flags following spot checks, most of them on the island of Corfu which saw its Blue Flag beaches cut from 30 to just seven.

The 2015/16 awards put Greece third in the international league table of 63 countries who have signed up by the Foundation for the Denmark–based Environmental Education Foundation (EEF)to promote safe, clean beaches .

In Greece, FEE is represented by EEPF, the oldest environmental organisation in the country, founded in 1951, which plays an active role in environmental and conservation projects across Greece and the Greek Islands.

For a full list of Blue Flag beaches in Greece and the Greek Islands visit the EEPF website.

This year the international jommittee awarded Blue Flags to more than 4,000 beaches and 650 marinas worldwide.

The awards are issued annually to participating FEE member countries in Europe, Canada and North Africa. In November, Blue Flags are awarded to beaches in the Caribbean, New Zealand, South Africa and other southern hemisphere countries.


How to pick up a Blue Flag beach award

To gain a Blue Flag, beaches must meet a total of 32 criteria relating to cleanliness, organization, information and visitor safety as well as providing plans to help protect the environment of coastal areas.

The quality of bathing water is tested with random checks and microbiological analysis. Beach inspectors not only check for industrial and municipal discharge but they will even make sure that litter bins are emptied frequently and that beaches are cleared of litter and debris.

First aid equipment must be available on the beach and trained lifeguards must also be on duty. Provision should also be made for people with disabilities. Beaches with the Blue Flag accolade are able to fly the distinctive blue and white flag.


When Blue Flag awards are handed out

The Blue Flag awards are granted each year in May/June for beaches and marinas in Europe, Canada, Morocco, Tunisia and nearby countries. Blue Flag awards are handed out in October/November for beaches in the Caribbean, New Zealand, Brazil, South Africa and others nearby.

The International Blue Flag Jury is composed of representatives from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), International Lifesaving Federation (ILS), the European Environment Agency (EEA), the European Union for Coastal Conservation (EUCC), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an Environmental Education expert, the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) and FEE.

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