New record number of blue flags on Spanish beaches
5/13/2021 |


A total of 615 Spanish beaches will fly the blue flag this summer – the symbol that reflects the quality of the waters, services and safety. With 25 more beaches than in 2020, Spain continues to be the unrivalled leader
Spain renews its indisputable global leadership in the number of beaches that fly the blue flag. It does so, moreover, by beating its own record: a total of 615 blue flags will fly over Spanish beaches this summer, 25 more than last year.

Spain has now enjoyed 27 straight years as the leader in this international certification, which analyses and rewards those beaches that meet the criteria of water quality, safety and services, environmental management and environmental information and education, within the programmes of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) – the largest environmental education organisation in the world, with members in 77 countries. This award is also backed by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), which considers it to be the best beach evaluation programme in the world.

The new record number of blue flags in Spain is the result of the efforts – in mid-pandemic – of local, regional and national authorities to contribute to safe, sustainable and quality tourism. In total, 249 coastal municipalities have presented 676 beaches, 14 more than in 2020. 15 beaches have received a blue flag for the first time ever, while another 34 have recovered them.

The number of blue flags for marinas has also risen – a total of 96, two more than a year before – in addition to those that were granted to two tourist boats (both in Malaga), such that the total number of blue flags in Spain amounts to 713. In other words, one in every seven blue flags flown around the world are located in Spain, which places us at the head of the global ranking, ahead of other countries with extensive coastlines, including France, Italy and Greece.

View of Tagle beach in Suances, one of the eleven Cantabrian beaches that will fly the blue flag again this summer. EFE/Pedro Puente Hoyos

By autonomous region, Valencia continues to be awarded the most blue flags: 153 (137 for beaches and 16 for marinas), followed by Andalusia with 137 (115 for beaches, 20 for marinas and two for tourist boats), and Galicia, with 122 (111 for beaches and 11 for marinas). In turn, the most significant increase took place in Andalusia, with 15 more blue flags for beaches, while the figures for other regions remain stable, although, for its part, eight more beaches have received a blue flag in the Canary Islands than last year.

Awards have also been given to those municipalities that have made an additional effort, beyond the merely blue criteria, in different areas: for Lifeguards and First Aid to Chiclana de la Frontera (Cadiz) and Muro (Balearic Islands); for Inclusive Beaches to Arnuero (Cantabria), Arona (Santa Cruz de Tenerife) and Santa Eularia des Riu (Baleares), for Environmental Education to Arucas, (Gran Canaria), Conil de la Frontera (Cadiz) and Gandía (Valencia).