Surpassing last year’s tally and proving that Greece’s stunning shores have higher standards of water quality, safety, services, environmental education and management than ever before, Greece has been awarded Blue Flags for 408 beaches and ten marinas by eco-management body the Foundation for Environmental Education.
Earning the second highest number of flags of the 51 countries partaking in the programme this year, the accolade cements Greece’s reputation as one of the premier holiday destinations in Europe for its picturesque marinas and hidden beaches.
The Blue Flag award scheme is a prestigious, international programme which acts as a guarantee to tourists that a beach or marina is one of the best in the world.
Blue Flags are awarded season by season to beaches and marinas that have a high standard of water quality, safety, services, environmental education and management, with each beach judged on 32 strict criteria.
Last year, Greece received Blue Flags for 379 beaches and nine marinas.
Indeed, 2014 is shaping up to be a record year for Greek tourism, with a record 18.5 million arrivals – not including cruise ship passengers - and 13 billion euros in tourism revenue expected.
Newly-released figures confirm that arrivals at the country’s main airports rose by 30.1 per cent in the first quarter of the year, compared to the corresponding period in 2013.
Between January and April, Athens International airport alone saw a 36.1 per cent jump in arrivals, a figure boosted by the addition of 700,000 flights to the Greek capital for the whole of 2014.
“Greece has the eleventh longest coastline in the world and countless gorgeous beaches with waters in all shades of blue and green lapping volcanic rock formations, golden sands and smooth pebbles,” said Marketing Greece managing director Iossif Parsalis.
“Whether you’re looking for a romantic secluded cove, a family-friendly sandy beach, an exclusive marina or an active coastal adventure, Greece has a coast to suit your taste and interests.”
World Travel Awards
Greece will also be celebrating later this year when World Travel Awards arrives for its annual Europe Gala Ceremony.
Scheduled for August 2nd, the event will be hosted by Divani Apollon Palace & Thalasso and will welcome hundreds of industry leaders from across the continent.