Such are the strengths of the Spanish region of Andalucia as a magnet for tourists – including its reliably warm, Mediterranean climate, as well as its picturesque scenery and fascinating cultural heritage and diversity – you might not imagine that many would-be visitors would require even more reason to arrange a holiday break here.
Indeed, the marinas, beaches and boats further add to the attraction of this part of southern Spain – and now, tourists might have been given even greater justification for arranging a spot of sightseeing in Andalucia.
Specifically – as reported by The Olive Press – Andalucia has been awarded 148 Blue Flags in 2023. This exceeds the region’s previous record, with three more flags having been gained this year than was the case in 2022.
This landmark achievement means that only one region in the whole of Spain – Valencia – now has more Blue Flags than Andalucia, which is ahead of Catalonia and Galicia on this measure.
What is the Blue Flag scheme, anyway?
If you have considered doing some sightseeing in Andalucia – or have done so in the past – you might have come across mentions of “Blue Flag beaches” or similar, and wondered what these references meant.
The short answer to this question, is that Blue Flags are voluntary awards for beaches, marinas, and sustainable tourism boats around the world.
However, it isn’t easy for such a facility to earn this sought-after ecolabel; in order for a Blue Flag to be granted, various strict environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be satisfied, with this compliance being maintained over time.
The grand idea behind the Blue Flag programme – which was first established in 1985 – is to help connect the public with their surroundings, and to encourage them to find out more about their environment.
So, for a given site to qualify for a Blue Flag, it must make available environmental education opportunities, as well as a permanent display of information that is relevant to the site’s biodiversity, ecosystems, and environmental phenomena.
As a visitor, then, knowing that a particular amenity in one of the above categories has been awarded a Blue Flag, means you can treat this as an indicator of its quality and suitability as a tourist attraction.
Andalucia’s Blue Flag credentials are getting stronger and stronger
If there is one Spanish region – even by the usual high standards of Spanish regions – that is especially committed to complying with environmental legislation and improving the quality of its beaches, it is surely Andalucia.
Such commitment is demonstrated by the fact that while the region had some 96 Blue Flags in 2019, this number has expanded to an even more impressive 148 this year.
Of those 148 Blue Flags, 127 were granted to beaches, which is five more than last year’s number. Andalucia’s marinas, meanwhile, attracted 19 Blue Flags, and two Blue Flags were awarded to sustainable boats.
On a province-by-province level, it was Málaga that attracted the most Blue Flags of the Andalucia region – 47, to be exact, with 39 for beaches, six for ports, and two for sustainable boats. Such parts of the autonomous community as Cádiz (37 flags), Almería (33 flags), and Huelva (17 flags) also fared strongly in the rundown.
Given such numbers, it can hardly be surprising that Spain as a whole boasts the highest number of Blue Flag beaches in the world, with a total of 729, which is six more than in 2022.
So, whether you come to Andalucia’s beaches with a view to catching some rays, trying out some water sports, spending quality time with the rest of your travelling group, or something else entirely, you can be confident of having a quality experience.
Call the Simply Shuttles team today on +34 951 279 117, or send us an email, and we will be pleased to arrange the excellent-value airport and private hire transfers that could help you get even more out of your next visit to the Costa del Sol.