More Blue Flags for Portugal

Portugal has been ranked 5th in the list of Europe's top beach destinations with 298 beaches and 17 marinas receiving the coveted Blue Flag this year, an increase of 8 per cent compared with the previous year.
Once again, the Algarve is the region flying the most flags with 82 beaches receiving the accolade this year, 13 more than 2013.
The North also emerged as a quality beach destination with no less than 66 Blue Flags to its name, followed by the Tagus region with 48.
The Blue Flag label is an international symbol of quality and is one of the best-known environmental symbols worldwide. It has been awarded since 1987 to beaches and marinas meeting the strict requirements of the program.
In order to receive a Blue Flag, a beach doesn’t only have to have an excellent quality of bathing water, it must also comply with a further 32 criteria concerning cleanliness, environmental management and organization, environmental education and information, visitor safety and services, as well as protection of nature, the coast and the coastal area.
The program is run by the Copenhagen-based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) which has 63 members worldwide. Tour operators and travel agencies also take the program into consideration when recommending holidays to their clients.
The full list of Portugal's Blue Flags is available at