Fifteen beaches in Greece that had received the quality “Blue Flag” award in May were taken off the 2021 list, the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature (EEPF) said on Tuesday.
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 15 beaches in Greece after local and international inspectors made unannounced visits and found that coastal managers were not fulfilling the imperative criteria required.
The EEPF highlighted that although the waters of all 15 beaches were “excellent” in terms of quality (a main requirement for a beach to receive the eco-label), the coastal managers had failed to maintain the required cleanliness of the beaches and protect the environment. They also did not provide the necessary information, services and safety to bathers.
The EEPF said it proceeded with the withdrawal of the blue flags from the 15 beaches in order to preserve the prestige and credibility of the institution.
The destination that lost the most Blue Flags for not upkeeping beaches was Katerini of the regional unit of Pieria.
The Blue Flag award of the following coasts were revoked for 2021:
– Tolo Beach (Nafplio, Argolida)
– Kondyli Beach (Nafplio, Argolida)
– Kiani Akti (Alexandroupolis, Evros)
– Alykanas 1 Beach (Zakynthos, Ionian Islands)
– Alykes 1 Beach (Zakynthos, Ionian Islands)
– Gialiskari Beach (Kea Island of regional unit Kea-Kythnos)
– Otzias Beach (Kea Island of regional unit Kea-Kythnos)
– Koundouros Beach (Kea Island of regional unit Kea-Kythnos)
– Aragia Poros Beach (Argostoli, Kefalonia Island)
– Kallithea Beach (Katerini, Pieria)
– Peristasi Beach (Katerini, Pieria)
– Olympiaki Beach (Katerini, Pieria)
– Paralia Beach (Katerini, Pieria)
– Korinos Beach (Katerini, Pieria)
– Agios Mamas Beach (Nea Propontida, Halkidiki)
A total of 545 beaches in Greece were honored with the quality Blue Flag award for 2021. After the 15 beached lost their Blue Flag status, 530 beaches in the country now display the eco-label.
According to the EEPF, leading international travel agencies and tour operators pay special attention to Blue Flag beaches when choosing the destinations they sell to travelers.