Surpassing last year’s tally and proving the Algarve’s golden sands are now safer and cleaner than ever before, the beaches of the Algarve have been awarded 69 Blue Flags by the Eco-management and safety body Blue Flag. Earning the highest number of flags in the country, this accolade cements the Algarve’s reputation as the premier beach resort in Portugal for its stunning stretches of sandy beaches and coves. With such a stringent checklist of criteria including assessment of environmental issues, safety, the comfort of users and the provision of information, any visiting families should be assured that the many and varied beaches within the Algarve are family friendly.
The Algarve has been awarded 15 more flags than in 2009 and has broken a new record in Portugal. Across the region the popular resort of Albufeira has maintained and increased it’s lead with 19 Blue Flags, while Vila do Bispo now has nine, Loulé has seven and resorts Faro, Lagoa, Tavira, Vila Real de Santo António all have four.
The resort of Albufeira has long been a melting pot for tourists attracting the young and old alike. A popular spot for family holidays, Albufeira contains a majority of the Algarve’s blue flags and highlights many beaches for all the family to enjoy that are framed by further activities, restaurants, bars and shops.
While all the Algarve’s Blue Flag beaches are family-friendly, some also hold even greater appeal with further facilities such as beach tents and water sports schools at the beaches of Ancão and Quinta do Lago in Loulé and Galé, and Santa Eulália in Albufeira among others.
The Blue Flag organisation demands strict levels of excellence which beaches must meet in order to qualify as a Blue Flag beach. There are 32 separate criteria which beaches must adhere to in aspects of environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management and safety and services. All Blue Flags are only awarded on a season by season basis so beaches must maintain the same standard throughout to prevent the Flag being rescinded .