A year ago Spain was awarded 589 blue flags for its beaches and another 99 for its yacht marinas and leisure ports, giving a total of 688; quite an achievement for the start of a summer which had been preceded by three months of total lockdown and was still facing major restrictions, including what was looking to be (and in the end, was) an almost total absence of foreign holidaymakers.
But even with this being the second year running that involved stringent safety criteria to prevent the spread of Covid-19 as part of the blue flag conditions, Spain has once again surpassed itself with a whopping 713. Of these, 615 are for beaches, 96 for ports and marinas, and two for tourist sailing vessels. And once again, Spain is the world leader for blue flags – it has been non-stop for 34 years now – even beating much larger countries with considerably more coast.
Alicante province has the most blue flags, and Málaga has gained more than any other. As has been the situation now for many years, the region with the most blue flags is the Comunidad Valenciana on the east coast, at 137, followed by Andalucía with 115, but this is generally expected, as they are the largest two coastal regions and, in the case of the Comunidad Valenciana, is the only mainland region of more than one province where all of them are on the coast and none of them are 100% land-locked.
Again, as was the case last year, the province of Alicante had the most blue-flagged beaches in Spain, at 74 – and as Spain is the global leader, as you live in the Comunidad Valenciana’s southernmost province, your coastline is the one with more blue flags than anywhere else on earth!
The Councilor for Beaches, Luisa Boné, confirmed that the 11 beaches of Orihuela will once again for the fourth consecutive year, fly the Blue Flag. The Blue Flag is an award that recognises meeting the highest quality requirements of the bathing waters and the coastal beaches, in addition to offering an adequate public information and a good rescue and first aid service.
The 11 beaches of Orihuela keep title of the second city in Spain with the most blue flags and the first one in the Valencian Community.
Luisa Bone said: “Both the storms suffered as well as the restrictions and uncertainty as a result of the pandemic have made these last two years very complicated, but with the work, perseverance and involvement of the different areas of the Orihuela city council, we are once again fully renewing these distinctions that add so much value to our beaches and to our city as a national and international tourist destination.”
Orihuela maintains this award on all its beaches, which are: Punta Prima, Cala Bosque, La Caleta, Cala Capitán, Aguamarina, Campoamor, Barranco Rubio, Cala Estaca, Cala Mosca, Cala Cerrada and Mil Palmeras. Campoamor marina has also obtained formal recognition.
Finally, Luisa Boné, wanted to recognise the work and effort of Ramón López, former councillor for beaches, who sadly passed away recently, ‘since these flags area result of the work that he and his team did last summer on our beaches. A hard and difficult summer to manage and that has been rewarded with these 11 Blue Flags’.