Albufeira leads list of Portugal’s ‘Gold Quality Beaches’

A record number of 382 beaches in Portugal have been awarded Quercus’ ‘Gold Quality’ flags in 2016, an extra 68 compared to 2015. Albufeira leads the list with 22 accolades, followed by Vila Nova de Gaia (18), Almada (16), Torres Vedras and Vila do Bispo (12 each).

In the Algarve, Loulé follows as the second municipality with the most ‘Gold Beaches’ (10), ahead of Aljezur (8), Lagoa and Portimão (7 each), Vila Real de Santo António (5), Lagos, Faro and Silves (4 each) and Castro Marim, Olhão and Tavira (3 each).

Lagos’ Dona Ana beach, on the other hand, will no longer fly a ‘Gold’ flag. The beach had already been stripped of the flag it received in 2015 over its controversial sand replenishment project, considered an “environmental disaster”.

At the time, Quercus said that the €1.8 million project promoted by the government “significantly altered the beach’s natural landscape” and “jeopardised the conservation of highly diversified marine ecosystems”. (click here)

In order to receive a ‘Gold Quality’ flag from Quercus, beach waters have to pass a number of quality tests.

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