Portugal ranks sixth in number of blue flag beaches

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 05-07-2021 13:00:00 · 1 Comments

The Deputy Secretary of State and Regional Development, Carlos Miguel, highlighted on 2 July in Mira, in the district of Coimbra, that Portugal has the sixth most beaches with a Blue Flag in the world.

“Of the 53 countries that participate in the Blue Flag program, Portugal ranks sixth with beaches with blue flags, which means that the municipalities have had a great environmental awareness and have been working hard all over the coast and also on river beaches,” said Carlos Miguel.

“The country has been mobilizing because it realized that here and in this signpost there is environmental and economic wealth”, he stressed.

Praia de Mira was confirmed in the 2021 listing as the record holder for the Blue Flag award, being the only bathing area in the world to receive, without interruption, the Flag that distinguishes the quality of the beaches every year, within the scope of the Blue Flag Program.

“Praia de Mira is the only one that has had this award for 35 consecutive years, that is, since the beginning of the program until today. No other beach in Europe has achieved it”, said the Secretary of State.

“Whoever speaks of Praia de Mira associates it to a quality beach, with very strict criteria. An inclusive, accessible beach, with high quality”, said the mayor of Mira, Raul Almeida.

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The reality is, in fact, that most of the lifeguards on these beaches are often reluctantly paid by nearby restaurant owners. Lifeguards are present from June 1 until September 30 only. Drowning outside these dates means chances on survival become a lot lower on these beaches.

Besides this, all lifeguards makes 10 hour shifts, 6 sometimes 7 days a week for a lousy €1.000,00 per month. They work in blistering sun, with outdated equipment, no jetski nor rescue boat nearby for support. Imagine swimming a 100kg + overweight North European tourist back to shore, who is just about to vomit his sardine lunch and green wine out before getting plumb or panicked.

Then there's the showers, or rather there's no showers. Typically a blue flag beach has proper showers plus wheelchair access. In reality you don't find any of these between Lagos and Odeceixe. Bathrooms form another issue, the city council shrug it's overloaded and ignorant shoulders. They point to the unfortunate restaurant owners, or as in Amado beach, force the concession holder to install port-a-loo's which the 60+ year concession holder cleans himself. Think of it...

Blue flag, yes it looks nice, but it's still a long, long way to go to fly true-blue-colours.

By Zjjj-wow from Algarve on 05-07-2021 09:32
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