139 Blue Flag Beaches in Crete: A Symbol of Quality and Dedication

by Crete Locals

  • Posted 10 months ago
  • Beach

Blue Flag beaches in Crete, Greece shine with sun-drenched shores and crystal waters. 2023 has been particularly noteworthy, as an impressive number of Greek beaches and marinas have earned the prestigious international “Blue Flag” award. With 617 beaches and 18 marinas adorning the honour, Greece proudly takes the second position worldwide, from which 139 are on Crete Island.

The “Blue Flag” program, initiated in 1987, has become a voluntary symbol of quality recognized globally. This year, 53 countries from across all continents participated in the program, managed internationally by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). In Greece, the program’s coordination has been trusted to the Greek Society for the Protection of Nature (ΕΕΠΦ) since 1992.

What Does a Blue Flag Beach Mean?

A Blue Flag award is not merely an accolade for a beach’s beauty or popularity; it signifies a commitment to high standards that cover a broad range of factors. It’s not just about water purity, contrary to popular belief, but also includes numerous additional parameters.

To win this prestigious flag, the beach operator – often a municipality or a large hotel – must meet all 33 rigorous criteria set by the program. These include not only the quality of seawater, which is a basic prerequisite, but also the beach’s organization, health conditions, safety measures, information availability to bathers, cleanliness of the coast, and more.

Being awarded a Blue Flag involves expenses, staff hiring, special equipment, and ongoing efforts for the proper organization and operation of the beach.

What standards does a beach need to uphold to earn the Blue Flag award?

Blue Flag Beaches in Crete
Blue Flag Beaches in Crete

Beaches vying for this award are required to satisfy 33 key criteria established by FEE, with marinas and pleasure boats needing to adhere to 38 and 51 conditions respectively. The fundamental requirement for receiving this award is outstanding water quality; even a rating of ‘good’ won’t suffice.

Here, we outline the crucial standards that are considered for the Blue Flag. These are grouped into three major themes, each encompassing specific conditions.

Cleanliness of sea and beach:

  • Excellent bathing water quality that is verified by regular sampling carried out throughout the bathing season (1/6-31/10), according to the European Directive 2006/7/EC. The Special Secretariat for Water of the Ministry of Environment and Energy is responsible for implementing the “Bathing Water Monitoring Programme”.
  • No disposal of industrial and urban effluents close to the beach, without proper treatment.
  • Sufficient rubbish bins, which are emptied at regular intervals, as well as regular removal of all waste from the beach.

Beach facilities and visitor safety:

  • Information for the public about bathing water quality, regularly updated.
  • Εmergency plans to cope with a pollution accident, including immediate notification of the public.
  • Prohibition of automobile and motorcycle access to the beach.
  • Prohibition of free camping.
  • Sufficient toilet facilities, with a controlled system of waste disposal.
  • Trained lifeguards on duty, or immediate access to lifesaving and first-aid equipment and a telephone in case of an emergency.
  • Care and facilities for people with disabilities.
  • Ensuring that unattended pets do not have access to the beach.

Protection of nature and environmental awareness:

  • Printed information and code of conduct for the beach and surrounding areas with sensitive natural environment, flora or fauna.
  • Activities that promote awareness of the natural environment of the beach and the need to protect it.

Crete: The Island With the Most Blue Flags in Greece

map with Blue Flag Beaches in Crete
Blue Flag Beaches in Crete

Out of the total Greek tally, the island of Crete has emerged as a gem, claiming 139 Blue Flags – the highest among all Greek islands. These flags are spread across its four regions: Chania with 38, Rethymno with 20, Heraklion with 33, and Lasithi taking the lead with 48.

In the subsequent sections, we’ll delve deeper into a selection of these Crete beaches that have proudly earned the Blue Flag in 2023. We’ll also provide a comprehensive list of all the Blue Flag beaches in Crete for those planning their next visit to this stunning island.

The Blue Flags of Crete are not just an international recognition of the island’s stunning beaches and marinas. They stand testament to the unwavering commitment and hard work put in by the local municipalities, hoteliers, and the people of Crete in providing high-quality, safe, and clean beach experiences for locals and tourists alike. Join us as we embark on a journey across Crete’s Blue Flag beaches, showcasing the remarkable beauty and exceptional standards that make this island a true paradise.

List of Blue Flag beaches in Crete in 2023

Chania Region with a total of 38 Blue Flag beaches:

Kantanos-Selino Municipality:

  • Grammeno
  • Pachia Ammos
  • Sougia
  • Chalikia

Kissamos Municipality

  • Kasteli/Mavros Molos-Plaka
  • Falasarna/Pachia Ammos 1
  • Falasarna/Pachia Ammos 2

Platanias Municipality

  • Gerani/Asterion Hotel
  • Kolymvari/Euphoria Resort
  • Platanias-Limanaki/Porto Platanias Beach
  • Platanias/Geraniotis
  • Rapaniana/Cavo Spada

Chania Municipality

  • Ag. Apostoli 1
  • Ag. Apostoli 2
  • Agia Marina/Santa Marina
  • Agios Onoufrios
  • Agia Marina/Almira Beach
  • Kalathas
  • Kalamaki
  • Kladissos/Domes Zeen Chania
  • Marathi
  • Nea Chora
  • Stalos
  • Stavros
  • Chrissi Akti

Apokoronos Municipality

  • Almyrida
  • Georgioupoli/Corissia Hotels
  • Georgioupoli/Corissia Princess
  • Kavros/Anemos
  • Kavros/Eliros Mare
  • Kavros/Georgioupolis Resort
  • Kavros/La Mer Resort
  • Kavros/Mythos Palace
  • Kalyves Xyda
  • Kyani
  • Maistrali
  • Perastikos/Mare Monte
  • Perastikos/Pilot Beach

Rethymno Region with a total of 20 Blue Flag beaches:

Rethymno Municipality

  • Adelianos Kampos A/Aquila Rithymna Beach
  • Adelianos Kampos/Caramel Boutique
  • Pigianos Kampos/Grecotel White Palace
  • Platanias Β/Minos Mare Resort
  • Rethymno 1/Aquila Porto Rethymno
  • Rethymno 1/Ilios Beach
  • Rethymno 1/Kriti Beach
  • Rethymno 2/Pearl Beach
  • Rethymno 4-Myssiria/Creta Palace
  • Rethymno/Ikones
  • Skaleta/Creta Star
  • Skaleta/Rethymno Mare

Mylopotamos Municipality

  • Lianos Kavos Lavris/Iberostar Creta Panorama
  • Lianos Kavos/Creta Marine
  • Panormo Limni/Grecotel Club Marine Palace

Agios Vassilios Municipality

  • Agia Galini/Ystero Varkotopi
  • Ag. Pavlos
  • Plakias
  • Rodakino
  • Souda

Iraklio Region with a total of 33 Blue Flag beaches:

Malevizi Municipality

  • Ammoudara 1/Agapi Beach
  • Ammoudara 4/Candia Maris
  • Ammoudara/Atlantica Akti Zeus
  • Ammoudara/Dessole Dolphin Bay
  • Ammoudara/Lifestyle Beach
  • Ellinoperamata/Apollonia Beach
  • Made/Athina Palace
  • Fodele/Fodele Beach Hotel

Iraklio Municipality

  • Ammoudara/Enorme Teatro Beach

Chersonissos Municipality

  • Agios Georgios 1/Aldemar Knossos Royal
  • Agios Georgios 2-Panagia Rizi/Annabelle Beach Resort
  • Agios Georgios 3/Mitsis Cretan Village Beach Hotel
  • Agios Georgios 3/Mitsis Royal Mare
  • Ag. Dimitrios/Alexander Beach
  • Agia Pelagia-Menopetra/Akrogiali Beach
  • Amnissos/Unique Blue Resort
  • Anissaras/Lyttos Beach
  • Anissaras/Mitsis Laguna Resort
  • Drapanos/Nana Golden Beach, Nana Princess
  • Estavromenos/Arina Beach Hotel
  • Kastri/Creta Maris
  • Klontzani/Enorme Ammos Beach
  • Klontzani/Sirens Hotels
  • Kokkini Chani/ Knossos Beach
  • Kokkini Chani/Mitsis Rinela Beach Resort
  • Kokkini Chani/Themis Beach
  • Limenas Chersonisou 1/AKASHA Beach Hotel & Golden Beach
  • Limenas Chersonissou 5/Silva Beach Hotel
  • Potamos A
  • Potamos/Cretan Malia Park

Phaistos Municipality

  • Kaloi Limenes
  • Kokkinos Pyrgos
  • Matala

Lasithi Region with a total of 48 Blue Flag beaches:

Agios Nikolaos Municipality

  • Agios Nikolaos 1/St. Nicolas Bay
  • Agios Nikolaos 2/Minos Palace
  • Agios Nikolaos 3/Minos Beach
  • Agios Panteleimonas
  • Almyros
  • Ammos/Marina
  • Ammos/Municipal
  • Ammoudara
  • Ammoudi/Niko Seaside Resort-MGallery
  • Driros/Domes of Elounda
  • Elounda/Porto Elounda
  • Elounda 1/Elounda Blu
  • Elounda/Elounda Mare
  • Karavostasi
  • Kitroplateia
  • Mirabello/Wyndham Grand Crete Mirabello Bay
  • Pigaidakia Eloundas/Elounda Village
  • Pilos/Istron Bay
  • Plaka/Blue Palace
  • Poros 1/Elounda Bay Palace
  • Poros 2/Elounda Beach
  • Spiliada/Kalimera Kriti
  • Schisma
  • Chavania 1/Candia Park Village
  • Chavania 2

Sitia Municipality

  • Analipsi
  • Vai-Finikodasos
  • Vourlia
  • Kato Zakros
  • Kouremenos
  • Lagoufa/Mikri Poli Crete
  • Limanaki
  • Makrygialos-Langoufa/Sunwing Makrigialos Beach
  • Sitia 1/Galliko
  • Sitia 1-Galliko/Sitia Beach
  • Chiona

Ierapetra Municipality

  • Agia Fotia
  • Gra Lygia
  • Ierapetra 1-Municipal
  • Ierapetra 2/Dimotiki
  • Ierapetra/Enorme Santanna Beach
  • Katharades/Ostria Resort
  • Kaki Skala/Avra Palm
  • Koinotiki Plaz Makrygialou
  • Koutsounari 2/Kakkos Bay
  • Koutsounari/Coriva Beach-Pelagos Seaside
  • Koutsounari-Agios Ioannis/Sunshine Crete & Sunshine Crete Village
  • Myrtos

Crete, with its leading number of Blue Flags, epitomizes the commitment to quality and excellence that Greece represents. Whether it’s the azure water, pristine beaches, or the extensive facilities and services, the Blue Flag beaches of Crete promise an unmatched beach experience to all visitors. So the next time you’re planning a beach holiday, remember the Blue Flags flying high in Crete, signaling the best of what Greece has to offer.

Share your thoughts!

You might be also interested

first time in crete guide

First Time in Crete: 5 Essential Insights for an Unforgettable Journey

  • Posted 2 weeks ago

© All rights reserved. Crete Locals