The “blue flag”, a symbol of quality in over 51 countries, a number which grows daily, is awarded (with very strict criteria) to organized beaches and marinas run by seaside municipalities, hotels and other relevant authorities.
This voluntary programme (“Blue Flags”) was originally launched in France , in 1985, on an experimental basis , but its real launch was on June 5, 1987- World Day for the Environment- when it was presented to the European Council and the EU as “an unconventional Environmental Activity for beaches hosting a big number of swimmers”.
The Greek Enterprise for the Protection of Nature (GEPN) has been handling this international programme with the aim of protecting Greek coasts and beaches ever since 1992, while, since 2000 many countries from nearly every continent(not only Europe ) take part in this programme . Its international operator , in charge of the whole project ,the FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education), in co-operation with the co-ordinators of its country-members, reclaims the criteria for the blue flag award, making them increasingly stricter, with the aim of improving – for the sake of visitors – the conditions of the beaches and marinas which are awarded a “blue flag”.
The Criteria of this International Programme fall under 4 basic categories :
For the year 2014 Crete is the leader in the “blue flag” awards.
Out of the 408 blue flags awarded to beaches all over Greece, 105 were awarded to Cretan beaches.
The GEPN has officially announced the beaches awarded blue flags for the year 2014. The International Committee has awarded blue flags to 3,372 beaches and 650 marinas all over the world , with Greece steadily 2nd among 51 countries worldwide.
For the Island of Crete :
For the Platanias Municipality :
Blue flags were awarded to the following areas: