38 Greek Beaches Lose ‘Blue Flag’ Status
Thirty-eight of Greece’s beaches, located on some of the country’s popular destinations such as Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Santorini, have lost their coveted Blue Flags and were dropped from the 2018 list, the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature (EEPF) said on Monday.
The “Blue Flag” is a voluntary eco-label awarded to beaches across the world and is run by the independent, non-profit organization Foundation for Environmental Education based in Copenhagen. The EEPF is the program’s coordinator for Greece.
According to the EEPF, the blue flags were removed from the 38 beaches by Greek and international evaluators who made unannounced visits and found the coastal managers not fulfilling the imperative criteria required.
The beaches had received the quality “Blue Flag” award in May. The destinations that lost the most blue flags include Zakynthos (18), Kefalonia (7), Santorini (5), Achaia (3), Thessaloniki (2), Fthiotida (2), Crete (1).
The EEPF said that the unannounced inspections revealed that coastal managers had failed to maintain the required cleanliness of the beaches, protect the environment and provide the necessary information, services and safety measures to bathers.
“Given that the award concerns the previous year and not the current year, if re-evaluations do not show compliance to the criteria before the end of the bathing season, these beaches can not be candidates for the 2019 awards,” the EEPF said in an announcement.
The ‘Blue Flag’ award of the following coasts were revoked for 2018:
Location: Aigialia, Achaia
Beaches: Dipeliotika, Punda, Eleonas
Location: Thermaikos, Thessaloniki
Beaches: Neoi Epivates, Potamos
Location: Zakynthos, Ionian Islands
Beaches: Alykanas, Alykes, Ammoudi, Amboula Tragaki, Amboula Psarou, Argasi, Arcadianou-Koukla, Gaidaros, Gerakas, Kryoneriou-GNTO Beach, Kalamaki 1, Kalamaki 2-Louros, Katragaki/Eleon Grand Resort, Laganas/Zante, Keriou Lake, Banana, Bouka, Tsilivi
Location: Thira, Santorini
Beaches: Agios Georgios, Kamari 1, Kamari 2, Perivolos, Perissa
Location: Kefalonia, Ionian Islands
Beaches: Avithos, Ammes, Antisamos, Lourdas, Myrtos, Platys Gialos, Skala
Location: Agios Nikolaos, Lassithi, Crete
Location: Lokron, Fthiotida
Beaches: Livricho, Souvala
A total of 519 beaches, 15 marinas and one sustainable tourism boat were honored with the quality “Blue Flag” award in Greece for 2018.