Sagres Praia da Mareta Photo: Bruno Filipe Pires/Open Media

Algarve remains region with most blue flags in Portugal

Algarve beaches awarded 86 flags in 2022

The Algarve continues to be the region with the most Blue Flags in Portugal, with 86 beaches and four marinas being awarded the coveted accolade in 2022.

Every beach in the Algarve maintained its Blue Flag from last year apart from Lagos’ D. Ana beach, which was left off the 2022 list. The reason has not been explained, although the beach – once considered one of the most beautiful in the world – has faced its fair share of controversy in recent years over a far-from-consensual sand replenishment project.

Meanwhile, the marinas in Lagos, Portimão, Albufeira and Vilamoura have retained their flags.

Praia de Carvoeiro
Photo: Inês Lopes/Open Media

The national tally of Blue Flags awarded to beaches, marinas and boats has increased to 431 – 32 more than last year and “nearly 15 times higher than the number 25 years ago,” said José Archer, president of the Blue Flag association (ABAE), on Thursday in Cascais.

“Thirty-five years after hoisting the first Blue Flag here in the borough of Cascais, we announce the attribution of Blue Flags to 393 beaches, 18 marinas and 20 ecotourism boats,” he added.

The Blue Flag is an accolade awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) to 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,” the official Blue Flag website states.

In other words, the flag aims to show beachgoers that the beaches, marinas and boating tourism operators that have been awarded the accolade have high environmental and safety standards.

Praia da Rocha
Photo: Inês Lopes/Open Media

Here is the list of Blue Flag beaches in the Algarve, from west to east:

    • Aljezur: Odeceixe-Mar, Amoreira-Mar, Monte Clérigo and Arrifana
    • Vila do Bispo: Cordoama, Beliche, Castelejo, Tonel, Mareta, Martinhal, Ingrina, Zavial, Salema, Almádena – Cabanas Velha and Burgau
    • Lagos: Luz, Porto de Mós, Meia Praia
    • Portimão: Alvor Poente, Alvor Nascente, Vau, Três Castelos, Rocha and Marina
    • Lagoa: Ferragudo, Caneiros, Carvoeiro, Vale Centeanes, Senhora da Rocha and Vale do Olival
    • Silves: Armação de Pêra and Praia Grande Poente
    • Albufeira: Salgados, Galé-Oeste, Galé-Este, Manuel Lourenço, Evaristo, Castelo, Coelha, São Rafael, Arrifes, Peneco, Pescadores, Alemães, Inatel, Aveiros, Oura, Oura-Leste, Santa Eulália, Maria Luísa, Olhos D’Água, Belharucas, Falésia Açoteias, Falésia Alfamar, Rocha Baixinha Poente, Rocha Baixinha and Rocha Baixinha Nascente.
    • Loulé: Vilamoura, Quarteira, Forte Novo, Almargem, Loulé Velho, Vale do Lobo, Garrão-Poente, Garrão-Nascente, Ancão and Quinta do Lago
    • Faro: Faro-Mar, Barreta, Ilha do Farol-Mar and Culatra-Mar
    • Olhão: Armona-Mar, Armona-Ria, Fuseta-Mar and Fuseta-Ria
    • Tavira: Barril, Terra Estreita, Ilha de Tavira-Mar and Cabanas-Mar
    • Castro Marim: Praia Verde, Cabeço and Alagoa-Altura
    • Vila Real de Santo António: Manta Rota, Lota, Monte Gordo and Santo António

By Michael Bruxo
michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com