Beaches awarded the

Blue Flag

Crete

The Blue Flag Programme is an international system for awarding beaches and marinas that meet some strict criteria. More than 3500 beaches throughout the world have been awarded with the Blue Flag, with Greek beaches being one of the most awarded. In Greece, the Blue Flag Programme is supported by the Greek Society for the Protection of Nature, which determines which beaches meet the relevant criteria.

The award of a blue flag beach is based on compliance with 32 strict criteria covering the aspects of environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management, safety and services

Because the program is an indicator of proper management of the beaches and their quality, Cretans have made great efforts for classifying as many beaches in the Blue Flag program, as possible. Most beaches are located on the northern coast of the island, which are the most touristy, but there are some on the south coasts.

The award of a blue flag beach is based on the following criteria.

Environmental Education and Information
  • Information about the Blue Flag must be displayed
  • Environmental education activities must be offered and promoted to beach users
  • Information about bathing water quality must be displayed
  • Information relating to local eco-systems and environmental phenomena must be displayed
  • A map of the beach indicating different facilities must be displayed
  • A code of conduct that reflects appropriate laws governing the use of the beach and surrounding areas must be displayed
Water quality

The beach must fully comply with the water quality sampling and frequency requirements
The beach must fully comply with the standards and requirements for water quality analysis
No industrial, waste-water or sewage-related discharges should affect the beach area
The beach must comply with the Blue Flag requirements for the microbiological parameter faecal coli bacteria (E.coli) and intestinal enterococci/streptococci
The beach must comply with the Blue Flag requirements for the following physical and chemical parameters\

Environmental Management
  • The local authority/beach operator should establish a beach management committee
  • The local authority/beach operator must comply with all regulations affecting the location and operation of the beach
  • The beach must be clean
  • Algae vegetation or natural debris should be left on the beach
  • Waste disposal bins/containers must be available at the beach in adequate numbers and they must be regularly maintained
  • Facilities for the separation of recyclable waste materials should be available at the beach
  • An adequate number of toilet or restroom facilities must be provided
  • The toilet or restroom facilities must be kept clean
  • The toilet or restroom facilities must have controlled sewage disposal
  • On the beach there will be no unauthorised camping or driving and no dumping
  • Access to the beach by dogs and other domestic animals must be strictly controlled
  • All buildings and beach equipment must be properly maintained
  • Coral reefs in the vicinity of the beach must be monitored
  • A sustainable means of transportation should be promoted in the beach area
Safety and services
  • An adequate number of lifeguards and/or lifesaving equipment must be available at the beach
  • First aid equipment must be available on the beach
  • Emergency plans to cope with pollution risks must be in place
  • There must be management of different users and uses of the beach so as to prevent conflicts and accidents
  • There must be safety measures in place to protect users of the beach
  • A supply of drinking water should be available at the beach
  • At least one Blue Flag beach in each municipality must have access and facilities provided for the physically disabled

Agii Apostoli beaches

The two beaches of the Holy Apostles (greek: Agii Apostoli) are located just 3km west of Chania and is a beautiful resort. The first cove at west is located just besides the east edge of Glaros beach. It is a beautiful sandy beach with all amenities and a large parking place nearby and easily accessed.

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Karteros beach

On the vast bay, there are two settlements, Karteros and Amnissos. The area has grown so much that the two villages are now united. The main reason for the rapid development of the area is the small distance from Heraklion and the vast beach with the fine golden sand.

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Almirida Beach

Almyrida is located 23km east of Chania, on the south shores of Souda Bay, and 1km west of Plaka village. It is a quiet resort with good facilities and a superb sea. The unspoiled countryside and the lush oil groves around Almyrida are ideal for walking.

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Sougia Beach

Sougia is a small village located 75km west of Chania, at the exit of the beautiful Gorge of Agia Irini. A favorite destination for hippies in the 70s', today it is a perfect choice for peaceful holidays in a beautiful landscape with all the basic amenities provided.

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Agia Fotia beach at Ierapetra

Agia Fotia, one of the favorite beaches of all Cretans, is located 45km southeast of Agios Nikolaos and 12km east of Ierapetra. It is a small bay formed at the mouth of a small stream that descends from the surrounding mountains. The settlement takes its name after the local Church of Agia Fotini (or Agia Fotia). The area is hidden in plane trees and tamarisks, while the bay is surrounded by high mountains and cliffs that create a magic scenery.

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Agios Pavlos beach

The coastal village of Agios Pavlos (St. Paul) is located 58km south of Rethymno, west of Agia Galini, and on the edge of Cape Melissa. You can access the area by driving from the villages Akoumia or Sachtouria.

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Gerani beach

Gerani is a small coastal village located 13 km west of Chania, located between Maleme and Platanias. It is situated in a verdant valley with olive and citrus groves.

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Sitia beach

Sitia is the easternmost city on Crete and is located 64km east of Agios Nikolaos. The wider area of Sitia province hosts several small beaches where you can enjoy the sun and the sea. However, some who prefer to stay close to town, can visit the long city beach.

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