13 May, 2024 @ 12:30
1 min read

The hugely popular beaches that have LOST their Blue Flag status this year – including in Cadiz, Marbella and Alicante

Spain’s Andalucia achieves all-time record for number of blue flags awarded this year, 2023

WHILE Spain continues to be the global king of the Blue Flag beach this year, it actually made a net loss in the latest list.

Eight Spanish beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag for the first time, but a whopping 30 have been downgraded.

Three in Andalucia were stripped of the honour, four in the Balearic Islands, three in the Canary Islands, one in Cantabria, seven in Catalonia, six in the Valencian Community, four in Galicia, and two in Murcia.

Among them were Marbella’s Adelfas Alicate and Cadiz’s Tres Piedras-La Ballena in Chipiona.

READ MORE: Malaga WILL be allowed to fill private swimming pools this summer ‘due to tourism demands’ – while Cadiz, Almeria and other provinces await permission

blue flag
Thirty beaches across Spain lost Blue Flag status this year

Beach-goers in Alicante were even harder hit, waving goodbye to premium status for five of its beaches.

These include Finestrat – La Cala, L’Alfas de Pi – Raco de L’Abir, Orihuela – Casa Estaca, Santa Pola – Llevant, and Teulada – La Ampolla.

Mallorca also lost Blue Flag status for four of its beaches; Cala Ferrera in Felanitx, Can Picafort in Santa Margalida, Cala Llombards in Santanyi and Es Port in Ses Sailnes.

On the flip side, the Alicante area gained three Blue Flag newcomers in Dels Torres in Vila Joiosa-Alicante, Pobla Marina in Pobla de Fornals-Valencia and Rabdels in Oliva-Valencia.

Jose Palacios, president of the Environmental Education and Consumer Association (Adeac), which leads the Blue Flag initiative, heaped glowing praise on the beach quality across all Spain’s designated coastal areas. 

READ MORE: Drought latest in Spain: Major tourist destination lifts emergency measures

He noted, however, that four regions—Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y Leon, Aragon, and La Rioja—still do not have any Blue Flag beaches.

Out of 694 applications, 638 beaches were successful, representing an impressive 91% approval rate. 

To retain the Blue Flag, beaches must meet strict criteria, including excellent water quality, compliance with the Coastal Law, and the provision of essential services like lifeguards and toilets. 

While showers are not mandatory, Palacios discouraged their installation due to the unnecessary waste of freshwater and the potential for infections. 

The banning of pets – especially dogs – on Blue Flag beaches remains a strict requirement.

Spain was followed by Greece in second place in the global ranking with 596 Blue Flags.

This was followed by Italy with 457, France with 403, and Portugal with 394.

Walter Finch

Walter - or Walt to most people - is a former and sometimes still photographer and filmmaker who likes to dig under the surface.
A NCTJ-trained journalist, he came to the Costa del Sol - Gibraltar hotspot from the Daily Mail in 2022 to report on organised crime, corruption, financial fraud and a little bit of whatever is going on.
Got a story? [email protected]
@waltfinc

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