In order to receive a Blue Flag eco-label, a beach must not only be found to have an excellent water quality, it must comply with a total of 33 criteria (38 for marinas and 51 for boat operators), concerning cleanliness, environmental management and awareness, various amenities and services, information, visitor safety and protection of the coastal area.
Greece’s Blue Flag Beaches Pass the 600 Mark
Greece now boasts more Blue Flag beaches than ever before with 617 in total – up from 581 in 2022, according to the 2023 Blue Flag quality award list for beaches, marinas and tourism boats, released by the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature (EEPF).
Greece once again ranks second after Spain worldwide among 52 countries with 617 of its beaches, 18 marinas, and 6 tourism boats getting the Blue Flag label, one of the world’s most recognized voluntary eco-labels.
This is the first time Greece’s Blue Flag beaches exceed 600, which corresponds to 15 percent of the total number of beaches awarded by the program this year.
Halkidiki is once again Greece’s Blue Flag champion as the destination boasts a total of 94 beaches with the prestigious eco-label.
The annual announcement of Greece’s Blue Flag beaches, marinas and recreational boats took place on Wednesday on the coast of the 5-star Pilot Beach Resort in Georgioupolis in Chania on the island of Crete.
The Blue Flag program is operated under the auspices of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. In Greece, the program’s coordinator is the EEPF.
On a worldwide scale the foundation awarded the international eco-label (blue flags) to 4,212 beaches, 710 marinas and 120 recreational boats for 2023.
Press here for Greece’s 2022 Blue Flag quality award list (in Greek and English).
Further information about the Blue Flag program, including the criteria, can be found on the following poster.
The Blue Flag Program initially started in France in 1985 and began operating in Europe in 1987. The program went global after 2001 and today has an ever-increasing number of countries participating.
Over the years, the Blue Flag has become a highly respected and recognised eco-label working to bring together the tourism and environmental sectors at local, regional and national levels.
In Greece, EEPF signed a cooperation protocol with the Tourism Ministry in 2013, officially cementing common goals that included increasing the number of Greek Blue Flag coasts, improving the level of offered services there and generally improving the quality of the tourism product.