Gran Canaria received 3 more blue flags than our neighbour Tenerife this year, but also lost a blue flag from one of it’s more important tourist beaches, Playa de Mogán. The other smaller Canary Islands all received the accolade reserved for the world’s cleanest and most pristine coastlines: Lanzarote received 7, Fuerteventura 8, the island of La Palma 5, La Gomera 2, and the western island of El Hierro, 1.
The official blue flag beaches on Gran Canaria for 2018 are :
Las Canteras in Las Palmas. San Agustín, Maspalomas, Meloneras and Playa del Inglés in San Bartolomé de Tirajana. Hoya del Pozo, Salinetas, Melenara and La Garita in Telde. Amadores on the Costa Mogán. La Sardina in Gáldar, Arinaga in Villa de Agüimes, El Burrero in Ingenio, El Puertillo and Los Charcones in Arucas
Blue Flag Centre for 2018 on Gran Canaria: San Bartolomé de Tirajana, for the Interpretation Centre Natural Reserve of the Dunes of Maspalomas
Blue Flag paths for 2018 on Gran Canaria: the Bahía del Confital walkway and Playa de Las Canteras both in the capital Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
31 municipalities (town halls) throughout the Canary Islands have been awarded the Blue Flag in this year’s edition, receiving a total of 50 Blue Flag awards for beaches, 1 more than in the previous year, and 5 awards for marinas.
The Blue Flag initiative
The prestigious Blue Flag is an annual award for a system of environmental quality certification developed by the European FEE (Federation of Environmental Education). In Spain, the initiative is coordinated by ADEAC (Association of Environmental and Consumer Education). The ‘Bandera Azul’ promotes and rewards participation in voluntary environmental initiatives by municipal authorities, the local and visiting population and agents of the tourism sector.
In the Canary Islands, the Blue Flag initiative is managed in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of the Government of the Canary Islands, through the General Directorate of Public Health of the Canary Islands Health Service.
This international program rewards the efforts of local councils and managers of marinas to meet the high demands set by the Blue Flag initiative and which is a guarantee of sanitary and environmental quality, care for the environment, accessibility and services as well as excellent levels of water quality.
The criteria to obtain the award are grouped into four areas: quality of bathing waters, information and environmental education, environmental management and health and safety, services and facilities.
The Blue Flag Program was implanted in Spain in 1987 and the following year the Canaries were incorporated into the initiative, winning three flags that first year in the municipalities of Adeje (Playa de Troya), San Bartolomé de Tirajana (Playa del Inglés) and Santiago del Teide (Playa de La Arena). Playa de la Arena and Playa del Inglés have received the award every year since in all 31 editions. By the year 2000, 22 flags were already flying in 16 municipalities on 5 of the islands.