The Foundation of Environmental Education (FEE) has just released the list of Blue Flag beaches around the world. As usual, Greece ranks high on the coveted list, and this year some 581 beaches put Greece in second position right behind Spain.
The Halkidiki peninsula in northern Greece topped the list for 2022 with a total of 96 blue flag awards. Immediately behind this region, were Attica, Crete, and Rhodes. Greece’s Deputy Minister of Tourism, Sofia Zacharaki (below), was quoted saying, “We are blessed as a country—our destinations are sought after worldwide.”
She went to to discuss the government and stakeholders are optimistic for this year’s tourism season in the wake of a disastrous two years under pandemic regulations and fears.
The Blue Flag designation was created in France in 1985, as a pilot scheme from the Office of the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe where French coastal municipalities were awarded the Blue Flag of overall water quality.
Today, the sought after Blue Flag is recognized internationally as the standard for gauging beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators. In order to qualify for the blue flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained.
Here on Crete, Greece’s biggest island is ringed by stunning stretches of sand, brilliant marinas, and popular boat operators. A few of the best beaches include our favorite, Kokkinos Pyrgos on the Gulf of Mesara, Hiona beach in the far East of the island, and incomparable Falasarna in Chania Prefecture in the far west.
This year marks the 35th anniversary of the creation of the Blue Flag, and the FEE wants to urge everyone to follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and elsewhere on social media and to take part in the celebrations with the hashtag #BlueFlag35th