Great news for beachgoers in the Algarve Portugal!
As the holiday season of 2023 has already begun in the Algarve and temperatures are set to hit the high 30s in some regions over the coming weeks.
Great news for beachgoers in Portugal! This year, the country will have a whopping 432 Blue Flag-designated bathing areas, including beaches, marinas, and sustainable tourism boats. That’s one more than last year!
The European Blue Flag Association recently made this announcement at the Vasco da Gama Aquarium the president of the Blue Flag Association of Europe, José Archer.
Archer said that the increase in the number of Blue Flag beaches is a reflection of the efforts of the communities and municipalities in Portugal to protect the environment and ensure the safety of beachgoers.
River Beaches Down but Still World No 2
However, due to the drought and fires that happened last year, there will be fewer river beaches available this year. But Portugal is still the second country in the world with the highest number of award-winning inland beaches, right after France.
In fact, only 47 river beaches were awarded this year, three fewer than last year. The president of the European Blue Flag Association, José Archer, recalled that this year there were fewer inland beaches awarded due to the drought and fires that occurred in 2022.
“Last year we had an extremely complicated summer in the interior, which affected some re-applications, but even so we continue to grow just in beaches, bathing areas, we are already close to 400”, he said, recalling that ten years ago this number was around 200.
Asked about the municipality of Sintra not having any beaches with the Blue Flag, considering its maritime extension, José Archer said that it was “a decision by the mayors themselves” regarding the candidacy for the award.
The Blue Flag Association of Europe announced this Thursday that in the next bathing season, 394 beaches will hoist the Blue Flag, spread over 103 municipalities, with Coruche and Montemor-o-Velho nominated beaches for the first time.
Lifeguards Needed – Baywatch Hopefuls Should Apply
However, Archer did note that there are some concerns about the availability of lifeguards in the Algarve this summer. He said that the number of lifeguards is expected to increase once the June holidays of universities and high schools begin, but that there may be some shortages in the early part of the season.
Anyone looking for a gap year and interested in a summer-long job with Baywatch qualities should apply here!
Despite these concerns, the Blue Flag Association of Europe is confident that Portugal will once again be a great place to enjoy the beach this summer.
Here are some of the benefits of visiting a Blue Flag beach:
- Clean water and sand
- Safe swimming conditions
- Adequate lifeguard coverage
- Environmentally friendly management
- Educational programs for beachgoers
If you’re looking for a safe and enjoyable beach vacation, be sure to check out one of the Algarve’s many Blue Flag beaches!
The Blue Flag designation is a reflection of the communities and municipalities’ commitment to providing clean, safe, and high-quality beaches, along with excellent services, security, and environmental awareness.
It’s an essential education program for sustainable development promoted by the Blue Flag Association of Europe and the Foundation for Environmental Education.
The official ceremony for raising the first Blue Flag on a coastal beach will take place at Praia do Mar in Caldas da Rainha on June 1st, while the first raising of the Blue Flag on a river beach will take place in Reconquinho, Penacova, on June 15th. The flag will also be hoisted at Marina de Troia, in the municipality of Grândola, on June 5th.
The distinguished beaches are located in North, Center, Tejo, Alentejo, Algarve, Azores, and Madeira.
Regarding the advantages of visiting a distinguished beach, the person in charge recalled the four essential points for obtaining the award: quality of water and space (organization) security and services, surveillance and people’s awareness (environmental education).
At an international level, Portugal ranks second in terms of award-winning ecotourism vessels, with 21, with 17 marinas having also been awarded.
The distinguished coastal and river beaches are distributed across the North (87, five more than last year), Center (47, less three), Tejo (76, less one), Alentejo (39, less one), Algarve (85, minus one), Azores (44, plus two) and Madeira (16, same as last year).
The Blue Flag Program is an education program for sustainable development, promoted in Portugal by the Blue Flag Association of Europe, the Portuguese section of the Foundation for Environmental Education.
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