Greek beaches fly the Blue Flag
'be sure your beach is clean and safe'.
As you stretch out on that holiday sunbed it's good to know that your chosen beach is clean and safe. And that's why many holidaymakers opt for the Greek Islands which regularly pick up hundreds of Blue Flag awards for its clean shores. For years the Greek Islands have ranked second only to Spain for the number of beaches that lift the high quality accolade.
Greek island beaches snapped up no less than 393 Blue Flags in 2013. The country came second of 49 countries across the world whose beach resorts were rated by an international jury.
Crete came top with 38 Blue Flags, followed by Corfu with 35, the same number as the sandy shoreline of the mainland Halkidiki peninsula.
Other Greek holiday islands lifting clean beach awards this year include Rhodes with 20, Thassos with 10, Kefalonia with nine, Lefkas with six and Kos with five.
To fly a Blue Flag on the beach the resort must pass 32 strict tests on seawater quality, sand cleanliness, visitor safety and the environmental protection.
The Blue Flag has now become the definitive international measure by which beaches are judged since it began way back in 1987 when only 14 beaches earned the award.
Inspectors measure everything from accessibility for disabled to the number of litter bins provided and lifeguards on duty.
Most important of all is that seawater must be clear enough to meet the highest health standards defined by European Law.
Award winners can fly a Blue Flag throughout the bathing season and holiday visitors can be assured that their chosen beach is both clean and safe.