Blue Flag Beaches & Marinas

Bandera Azul
Bandera Azul      

Blue Flag Beaches | Blue Flag Marinas

Blue Flag Beaches & Marinas in Andalucia

Costa de la Luz

Take a look at what beaches have been awarded a Blue Flag status on the Costa de la Luz. More >

Costa del Sol

Take a look at what beaches have been awarded a Blue Flag status on the Costa del Sol. More >

Costa Tropical

Take a look at what beaches have been awarded a Blue Flag status on the Costa Tropical. More >

Costa Almeria

Take a look at what beaches have been awarded a Blue Flag status on the Costa Almeria. More >

background

The Blue Flag Campaign started in 1987 and is now is a voluntary eco-label awarded to over 4000 beaches and marinas in 48 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, Jordan, UAE and the Caribbean. Recently the Blue Flag Programme has expanded to offer awards for individual boaters and whale-watching boats.  The Blue Flag Programme promotes sustainable development through strict criteria in the categories of Water Quality, Environmental Education and Information, Environmental Management, and Safety and Other Services. The Campaign is a private initiative under the Foundation for Environmental Education Europe (FEE) and is operated in each country by the national FEE-member organisation. In Spain this is the Asociación de Educación Ambiental y del Consumidor. 

blue flag criteria

The Campaign gives an award - the Blue Flag - on the basis of criteria on:

  • Environmental education and information
    (e.g. information on bathing water quality and the local environment, tours and activities that raise awareness)
  • Environmental management
    (e.g. waste, nature protection, sewage treatment)
  • Water quality
    (for beaches clean bathing water of a specified quality)
  • Safety and services
    (e.g. lifesaving equipment, toilet facilities, first aid)
Torreguadiaro beach near to Sotogrande port © Michelle Chaplow
Torreguadiaro beach near to Sotogrande port      

The European Commission

The European Commission has since the start been involved in the Campaign. The Commission supports especially the multi-layer approach: protection and preservation but also education and awareness, clean and safe water but also integrated and sustainable coastal management. The European Environmental agency is a member of the International Blue Flag Jury. Other institutional partners are United Nations World Tourism Organization and United Nations Environment Programme.

 

Detailed Criteria


Detailed information on participating organizations and the criteria to be met for blue flag consideration can be found at www.blueflag.org and www.adeac.es

Guide to the interpretation of Blue flag beaches in Spain is here PDF (Spanish). Blue flag criteria from BlueFlag.org is here PDF

On the Spanish Health Ministry website you can look up the water quality readings for Spanish beaches with 350 sampling beaches in Andalucia (Select Andalucia and click buscar (search). click on the beach name and then on the tab 'muestra' to see the fortnightly summer water quality readings. The blue flag criteria is under 250 ufc/100ml for E-Coli and  100 ufc/100ml for Enterococo.   There were only 3 cases in Andalucia in 2015 when a reading exceded this and the beach was temporarily closed to bathers. EU signs on bathing quality can be seen here

 

Blue Flag Beaches in Andalucia

There are 76 Blue Flag Beaches in Andalucia and 17  Blue Flag Marinas in Andalucia. The number varies slightly each year. Local town halls tend to boast of successful recognition when the annual awards are published each May and keep very quiet about their losses. With the information below, you can now easily check if your local beach has been awarded Blue Flag status.

These pages are updated each May as the seasons awards are published. Info is not published on which beaches were submitted and why they were not awarded. We suspect it is more likely infrastructure requirement than water quality.   

Blue Flag Season


The blue flag is only awarded for the summer season. This varies slightly form one municipality to another.  In Europe the minimum season is 1 July to 15th September. Most of the blue flag beaches in Andalucia operate for the season from 1 June or 15th June to 15th September. For exact dates check the Blueflag.org website listings. In practice it the requirement for the provision of lifeguard services that determines the season. Other criteria such as environmental management and bathing water quality will be served for a wider period although the water testing is only carried out during the season.

It is likely that a lifguard will be on municipal beaches, blue flag beaches and the major beaches will have lifeguards for easter and June to September but not other times. 

CALIDAD DE TURISTICO Q


The Instituto para la Calidad Turística Española have a system of awarding establishment the 'Q' certificate. This includes beaches and there are 85 beaches in Andalucia with a Q certificate.

 

Blue Flag Beaches | Blue Flag Marinas

Blue Flag Beaches & Marinas in Andalucia

Costa de la Luz

Take a look at what beaches have been awarded a Blue Flag status on the Costa de la Luz. More >

Costa del Sol

Take a look at what beaches have been awarded a Blue Flag status on the Costa del Sol. More >

Costa Tropical

Take a look at what beaches have been awarded a Blue Flag status on the Costa Tropical. More >

Costa Almeria

Take a look at what beaches have been awarded a Blue Flag status on the Costa Almeria. More >