The Algarve is raising a total of 88 blue flags on beaches across the region this bathing season, making it the area of Portugal with the most internationally recognized beaches.
The Blue Flag is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that a beach, marina or sustainable boating tourism operator meets its strict standards which include areas relating to safety, cleanliness, facilities and points of education.
Of the 88 blue flag beaches there has only been a slight change to those featured on the list with Pintadinho beach in Lagoa losing its flag, while Vale Centeane, also in Lagoa, has been given a flag for the year.
Albufeira remains the areas of the Algarve with the highest number of blue flag beaches in the region with a total of 25, this is then followed by Vila do Bispo with 11 flags and Loulé with 10.
Further down the rankings for the number of blue flags in the Algarve there is Lagoa and Lagos with 6 each, Aljezur, Faro, Olhão, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António with 4, Castro Marim with 3 and Silves with 2.
As well as Algarve beaches receiving the blue flag award, a total of four marinas have also been recognised with those being Vilamoura, Albufeira, Lagos and Portimão.
While the Algarve is leading the way for blue flags, Portugal as a whole has performed well during 2017 with a total of 320 blue flags across the country and autonomous regions, this is an increase of six new blue flags and represents 2902 coastal beaches and 28 riverside areas.
On an international level, Portugal has come out on top as being the country in Europe with the highest percentage of blue flag beaches with 55% in total. Other countries such as Spain have more blue flags, however their percentages are lower marking Portugal as a prime destination for those looking for safe, secure and clean beaches in Europe.
With so many blue flag beaches spanning the entire length of the Algarve, you are only ever a short distance away from some of the best beaches in Europe when staying in the region.