Data Shows Spain Still World Leader in
Top Quality Beaches
Spain can keep its reputation as being the country with the best, cleanest, and safest beaches in the world thanks to its impressive 579 blue flag beaches.
The Association for Environmental Education and the Consumer (ADEAC), the body in charge of designating blue-flag beaches, has kept Spain as the top of the charts for another year in a row; a streak that has existed since way back in 1987.
Being designated a blue-flag beach means meeting some stringent criteria. The ADEAC assess the hygiene, safety, sanitary conditions of a beach, along with the accessibility and provisions of lifeguards. While the number of blue-flag beaches in Spain has dropped by 7 since 2016, it still proved itself to be the best in the world for safe bathing.
In terms of individual regions, Valencia is home to the most blue-flag beaches – with 129 – while Galicia to the northwest has 113, Catalonia has 95, and Andalucía – where the Costa del Sol can be found – has 90 blue-flag beaches.
The Murcia region, which sits not far from the Costa del Sol, lost 16 blue flag beaches compared to last year; the largest drop nationally.
Greece boasts the second-highest number of blue flag beaches after Spain, followed by France, Turkey, Italy, and Portugal.
Spain became the top of the charts thanks to its marinas, which boast an impressive 100 blue flags collectively. With another five blue flags for cruise ship ports, Spain is home to 684 blue flags in all – the largest number for a single country.