It’s Official: Spain Has the World’s Best Beaches

Calella de Palafrugell, Costa Brava | Erin L. McCoy
Spain has the best beaches in the world—and that’s official, according to the Association for Environmental Education and the Consumer (ADEAC). The ADEAC awards “Blue Flags” to beaches that meet high-level standards for sanitary conditions, safety (including the presence of lifeguards) and accessibility. In 2018, a grand total of 590 Spanish beaches were awarded blue flags—11 more than in 2017.

Environmental Stewardship

Even though there are more than 70 sustainable-tourism initiatives in the world, the Blue Flag is the only one with the backing of both the United Nations’ environmental and tourism arms, according to Dirk Glaesser, director of the UN’s Sustainable Development of Tourism organization. The president of the ADEAC also cites free and open access, environmental education and protection for sensitive zones, and accessibility for people with special needs as high priorities for the organization. In particular, the ADEAC adheres to standards set by the Foundation for Environmental Education. Thanks to all of these factors, you know that when you’re supporting Spain’s beach-tourism economy, you’re also supporting sustainable environmental practices. And not only are beaches in mainland Spain ranked highly—beaches in the Canary Islands and in a Spanish territory on the northern coast of Africa have also been recognized as fabulous places to relax and recharge.
Highly rated Spanish beaches
Spain has the most high-quality beaches in the world in 2018, according to standards set by the Association for Environmental Education and the Consumer (ADEAC).

Visit Some of These Gorgeous Beaches

Obviously, there are gorgeous beaches throughout Spain. The most famous sites are along Catalonia‘s coastal region, called the Costa Brava, and in the Balearic Islands, including Palma de Mallorca. The Valencia province has the most beautiful beaches of all—but there are some surprises among the rankings, The Local reports: 
The region of Valencia on the east coast of Spain boasts the most number of quality beaches in Spain with 132 winning the rating, (three more than 2017) while Galicia in Spain’s northwestern corner has 109, the Catalonia (northeastern Spain), 101 and Andalusia in the south, 97.
Visitors to Galicia may not be aware of just how gorgeous the coastline there is. Certainly, the northern Spanish coast is known for moodier weather. It’s wetter and rainier, and every day won’t promise beach water. But walkers along certain tracks of the Camino de Santiago—a centuries-old pilgrimage leading to the city of Santiago de Compostela—will encounter pristine beach after pristine beach, the most famous of which is Playa de las Catedrales. That means that if you’re the type of traveler who prefers historical sites to days at the beach, in Spain, you don’t have to choose.

Characterized by dramatically slanted walls of slate and schist, sea arches, and caves, the Playa de las Catedrales (Beach of the Cathedrals) in Galicia may be the most gorgeous beach in the world. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ #galicia #galiciamagica #galiciarural #beaches #beachday @earthportrayal @earthpix @globaltravelgram @beautifuldestinations @spainiswonderful @spain #spain #visitspain #vacation #earthshoot #earthpix #geology #playadelascatedrales #cathedrals #photography #nofilter #instapicture #bestoftheday #beach #clouds #travel #instatravel #travelgram #tourism #photography #travelphotography #lifeofspain @ericdamier @gracefuldestination #Nature @unlimitedspain @unlimitedtravellers @coolnaturetravelpics @naturetravelcool #unlimitedspain #awesomeearth #thediscoverer

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Tags : beachbeachesCataloniaCosta Bravafeatured
Erin L. McCoy

The author Erin L. McCoy

Erin L. McCoy is an award-winning photojournalist who holds an MA in Hispanic studies from the University of Washington. She's traveled to 20+ countries, five continents, and 45 U.S. states, but she's starting to lose count of how many times she's visited Spain.

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