Best Blue Flag Beaches in Europe
Lahinch Beach, Ireland
By: Susanna from Curiosity Saves Travel
Ireland’s West Coast is dotted with stunning coastlines, dramatic cliffs, and of course, incredible beaches. The best way to enjoy a sustainable road trip along the Wild Atlantic Way is to stop and enjoy Ireland’s Blue Flag beaches, like Lahinch. Lahinch Beach is a natural crescent-shaped beach at the edge of a quintessential Irish coastal town.
Lahinch Beach was one of the first beaches in the EU to receive the Blue Flag eco-labeling back in 1987. Since then, it has consistently maintained its status, a testament to its impeccable water quality and trash-free shores synonymous with Blue Flag labeling. The beach has natural sandy shores, with a rocky barrier to protect the town. Inagh River cuts through the beach, depositing into the ocean, making for dynamic tidal changes and opportunities to spot wildlife in the sandy streams of water.
Along with the incredible environmental standards, the beach is known for its accessibility features, and there are beach wheelchairs available for free, but only during the peak summer months. Lifeguards are on site to foster a safe swimming environment, but again only during the summer swimming season.
Lahinch Beach is one of Ireland’s most popular surfing destinations; plenty of surf schools are there to hone your cold-water surfing skills. Kayak rentals are available for the Inagh River. If you prefer to stay dry, the beach stretches nearly 3km, and at lower tides, it is an excellent place for a relaxing beach stroll or, as the Irish would say, a “ramble”. After working up an appetite, head into town to visit Kenny’s, a charming and traditional family-owned Irish pub. Lahinich’s proximity to the Cliffs of Moher, the Doolin Caves, and castle ruins make it a great launching point for coastal walks, heritage tours, and more.
Book a night at the local and welcoming Cragshore B&B for an affordable, sustainable, and local experience. You can easily walk to Lahinich Beach from there.
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Verga/Almyros Beach, Kalamata, Greece
By: Simina from Travel with Simina
Photo contributed by Simina
One of the best things to do in Summer in Greece is to enjoy the beaches. When it comes to picturesque beaches in Greece, Almyros Beach in Kalamata stands out for its clean blue waters and rocky beach. This coastline has been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag status, which shows its cleanliness, water quality, and commitment to environmental sustainability.
One of the reasons Almyros Beach is a great Blue Flag Beach is that it adheres to strict environmental standards, ensuring the cleanliness of its waters and the protection of the local ecosystem. Moreover, the beach is trash-free, has good water quality, and is safe for any type of traveler.
Aside from enjoying the sun and sea, Almyros Beach offers activities such as water sports. As the beach has very few waves and it is shallow, it’s ideal for snorkeling, kayaking, and paddleboarding. The beach’s calm waters make it an ideal spot for beginners to try their hand at these activities. For those seeking relaxation, sunbeds and umbrellas are available at no extra cost.
For sustainable accommodation options near Almyros, the Kalamata Mediterranean Villas is a perfect choice. This environmentally friendly villa is situated in the town of Kalamata and is operated solely on green energy. Moreover, they apply practices such as reducing waste, using less water, and supporting the local community. The beach can be reached by bus or on foot.
To contribute to the preservation of Almyros Beach, visitors are encouraged to respect the natural environment and avoid leaving any trash or litter behind. Almyros Beach is stoney, so you may want to wear water shoes to walk around comfortably.
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Cala Galdana Beach, Menorca, Spain
By: Liza S. from Always in Spain
Photo contributed by Liza
Menorca is one of the best Spanish islands and home to some beautiful beaches. One Blue Flag beach on the island that’s worth visiting is Cala Galdana.
Not only is Cala Galdana located in a protected area of Menorca, but it also aims to raise awareness and educate visitors about responsible beach behavior, the local ecosystem, and conservation efforts via signboards around the beach and town.
The calm waters make this beach a relaxing and safe spot for swimming, thanks to the bay’s shape, which provides a natural shelter from strong winds and waves. You can also participate in water sports like kayaking, paddleboarding, and pedal boating. If you need a bite, you can find many local bars and restaurants within a short walk from the beach.
For more active travelers, there are several hiking trails in the area you may want to explore. One of the best routes is part of Camí de Cavalls, a coastal path that encircles the entire island and takes you from Cala Galdana to the next beach, Cala Macarella. Once you reach Cala Macarella, it’s also well worth extending your walk to the hidden cove, Macarelleta, which boasts turquoise waters and white sand.
You can get to Cala Galdana by bus from Mahon, Ciutadella, or Ferreries (Line 51, 52, and 53). Be sure to check the bus schedules in advance, and note that bus services may be limited in the non-summer seasons.
Cala Galdana is a popular spot in the summer, so you’ll want to arrive early to secure a good spot or stay near the beach! For a more relaxing visit, consider visiting before or after the summer rush (May-June and September- October) when it’s still warm enough to enjoy the water but with fewer tourists.
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Caswell Bay, Wales, U.K.
By: Lowri Thomas from Many Other Roads
Photo contributed by Lowri
Are you looking for the perfect sustainable beach to visit this summer? Look no further than Caswell Bay in Wales! It’s one of the UK’s most beautiful Blue Flag beaches and is a haven for visitors. Whether you want to visit this part of Wales from London or beyond, you will be met by friendly locals and amazing activities to keep you busy.
Located close to The Mumbles, Caswell Bay offers an expanse of golden-colored sand that’s kept immaculately clean all year round. In fact, it keeps its blue flag status thanks to its bathing water being of the highest possible quality. It’s perfect for everyone, from families with little ones who can enjoy the safe golden sands to experienced surfers who can enjoy the excellent surfing conditions.
There’s plenty to keep you busy while at Caswell Bay too. Take a walk over to the stunning Langland Bay, take a surfing lesson with Gower Surfing Academy, or simply explore the hidden rock pools around the beach.
For those needing accessible options, Caswell Bay is accessible and wheelchair friendly. You can get here by bus or car. To guarantee a parking space during sunny days, it’s worth arriving before 10 am.
The area around Caswell Bay has plenty of stunning places to stay, but the most popular area is Swansea. Here you will find everything a city offers with super easy access to the beaches. As this is a sustainable beach, make sure your visit helps to maintain that by leaving only footprints. This means not taking anything from the beach and not leaving anything behind – the locals will highly appreciate it!
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Rena Maiore, Sardinia, Italy
By: Claudia Tavani from Strictly Sardinia
Photo contributed by Claudia
There are many incredible beaches in Northern Sardinia, and Rena Maiore is certainly one of them. This lovely beach is found just 10 km (6.2 miles) from Santa Teresa di Gallura, one of the prettiest small towns in Northern Sardinia. The beach is fairly small – it can host around 400 people comfortably. However, what it lacks in size, it makes up for in sheer beauty.
The beach is easy to access but far enough from any proper settlement, so you really do have the feeling of being in a pristine place. It’s surrounded by dunes of the finest, softest white sand, and its water is clear, of many shades of blue, and the perfect place to go snorkeling. As it is shallow for the most part, this is a beach that is perfect for families with children, who can spend hours playing on the shore or in the water. Other things you can do in the area include kayaking or coastal walks to admire the beauty of the coastline.
There isn’t much in terms of actual services on the beach itself, so make sure to pack whatever you think you may need for the day, including an umbrella for shade and food and water. There is a kiosk on the far northern end of the beach that serves snacks, drinks, and quick meals in case you need them.
You can access the beach throughout the day. The beach tends to be more crowded on weekends and in August when most Italians enjoy their summer holidays. The beach is easy to reach by car, and there’s a large parking lot with wheelchair-accessible ramps that take visitors to the beach. However, if you prefer, you can get there by bus from Santa Teresa di Gallura – just hop on bus 728, and you will be there in about 30 minutes.
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Punta Rata Beach, Brela, Croatia
By: Martina from Places of Juma
Photo contributed by Martina
Punta Rata Beach in Brela is a stunning Blue Flag beach in Croatia that offers travelers an absolutely beautiful and, at the same time, sustainable vacation experience. Located in the heart of the famous Makarska Riviera, this beach stands out not only for its unique beauty but also for its commitment to preserving the environment. Furthermore, this pebble beach was also voted one of the top 10 beaches in the world by Forbes magazine.
As with the Blue Flag award, the beach meets strict criteria for good water quality, cleanliness, and best facilities. The beach is kept litter-free and regularly maintained to ensure a pristine environment. In addition, the beach is not directly accessible by car, but you have to walk downhill from the few parking spaces. Therefore, many visitors choose to walk or cycle along the coast, which is a great environmental choice. Another plus is the safety, there are hardly any high waves, so the beach is also a good option for families with children.
At Punta Rata Beach, you can participate in several sustainable activities. There is a long promenade for long walks along the coast. There are fun activities such as stand-up paddling, kayak tours, and snorkeling. In addition, Biokovo National Park is nearby, with numerous hiking trails and viewpoints.
The nearest urban center is Split, easily accessible by public transportation and where you will find an international airport. From there, you can take local buses or taxis to Brela. The best time to visit Punta Rata is during the low season in May and September. During this time, there are very few tourists, and you can enjoy the beach at its best. Book a highly-rated, sustainable villa in Brela.
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Botany Bay, England, U.K.
By: Paulina from The UK Every Day
Photo contributed by Paulina
Botany Bay is well known for its breathtaking Cliffs in England and gorgeous chalk stacks to many locals. However, this place is often overlooked in favor of other famous locations such as the White Cliffs of Dover or Seven Sisters.
If you are looking for a fantastic Blue Flag beach not far from London, make sure to add Botany Bay to your travel bucket list. You can get a direct train from London to Margate and enjoy 3 miles of coastal walk or catch the bus from Margate to Botany Bay.
Travelers with limited mobility can admire the beach from the top of the cliffs, which offer vast views of the sea. Paved trails span for many miles, making Botany Bay one of the most accessible-friendly beaches in England.
During low tide, Botany Bay reveals interesting fossils, and exploring rock pools is one of the best activities at the beach. However, many visitors come there just to relax and enjoy the summer. The best time to visit Botany Bay is between June and September, when days are longer and temperatures more pleasant.
With a lifeguard on duty, Botany Bay is safe to visit with family. Moreover, England is a safe country to visit for solo travelers. Therefore, swimming in such breathtaking scenery will be an amazing experience.
There are many sustainable properties in Margate, located less than 10 minutes drive from Botany Bay. Home from Home Stay Margate is one of the best accommodations, with continental, vegan, and vegetarian breakfasts included in the price. However, if you want to be even closer to the beach, choose Hideaway at Botany Bay – a fantastic holiday home.
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La Caleta Beach, Cádiz, Spain
By: Meredith from Bag Lady Meredith San Diego
Photo contributed by Meredith
Embracing Spanish siesta on the shores of La Caleta is a practiced habit. As a Blue Flag Beach, I would spend hours of my summer on its pristine coast. A way to pay homage and integrate while living in Cadiz, Spain. I swat a fly off my thigh, drunk off of the sun, and my hand moves much slower than I intend. The tide is coming in, and the waves are creeping up the beach, feet away from my bamboo beach mat….
Getting to Playa La Caleta is relatively easy as the most popular beach in the municipality. Grab bus number 2 or 7 from out front of the train/bus stations. Or park the car in the designated lot named Varcárcel and walk over.
Pack a beach mat or thick towel, as the sand can be warm in high temperatures, and plenty of sea-friendly sunscreen. Pass on packing the umbrella, as the region is known for its strong winds, and if not correctly anchored, that’s your umbrella, gone.
The beach is wheelchair accessible and has recycling and trash bins near exit platforms. The cove is home to a massive ecosystem of tide pools, making it perfect to explore during low tide. Take a stroll down to the Castillo de San Sebastian for sea and coastal views of the cityscape that are out of this world.
Feeling hungry? Grab a bite at Quilla or stroll through the historic neighborhood of La Viña to grab a seat at a cafe for refreshing cerveza y tapas. If not pressed for time, head North toward Parque Genoves. This Botanical Garden is free and houses over 100 imported tree species.
Not a single visitor isn’t enchanted by the ancient history, lively neighborhoods, and unique Andalusian culture of Cádiz. When you visit it, you’ll understand why.
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Prai da Rainha, Cascias, Portugal
By: Sydney from Sydney to Anywhere
Photo contributed by Sydney
As a country, Portugal provides tourists and locals with 432 different blue flag-designated swimming areas. Praia da Rainha, a gorgeous beach in Cascais, Portugal, is one of the world’s best sustainable Blue Flag beaches, thanks to its water quality and preservation of its stunning natural beauty. Praia da Rainha, which translates to “Queen’s Beach,” was named for Queen Amelia, who favored this spot in the 20th century when the Portuguese royal family began vacationing in Cascais.
Nestled in a picturesque cove, this beach is known for its stunning natural beauty and commitment to environmental preservation. Praia da Rainha is hailed as having some of the best water quality of any beach near Lisbon, thanks to its sheltered cove and regular monitoring conducted by the city of Cascais.
As you enjoy Praia da Rainha, help locals upkeep sustainability initiatives by bringing a reusable water bottle and avoiding single-use plastics. In 2022, Cascais introduced a series of inclusive drinking fountains that cater to individuals of all physical abilities. These specially designed fountains were created with accessibility in mind and also serve as a friendly reminder for people to refill their water bottles. When visiting, be sure to contribute to the reduction of disposable plastic bottles and help make a positive impact on the urban environment!
After swimming in the crystal-clear waters, take a walk along the Cascais-Estoril Promenade, where you can enjoy incredible views of the pristine shoreline and rugged cliffs. As you follow the trail, look out for local signage about the local flora and fauna to better appreciate this unique coastal ecosystem.
The most sustainable way to reach Praia da Rainha from Lisbon is to take a 20-minute train ride from the Cais do Sodre station to Cascais. From there, it’s a short walk to the beach. You can also find a level 3 sustainable property in Cascais.
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Egmond Aan Zee Beach, Netherlands
By: Callie from Counting Our Footsteps
Photo contributed by Callie
Egmond Aan Zee is a very popular beach among locals in the Netherlands. Located on the country’s northwest coast, it is an ideal day trip from Amsterdam.
Egmond Aan Zee is known for its beautiful wide stretches of pristine sandy beach that stretch as far as the eye can see. It guarantees excellent water quality for swimming, making it a very family-friendly beach. They even have special beach markers placed along the beach to help children avoid getting lost.
Not only is Egmond Aan Zee family-friendly, but it is also incredibly safe for solo travelers and accessible for people with disabilities, including wheelchair users. Thanks to many access points, including ramps and wooden walkways.
The local authorities prioritize cleaning the 5km long beach every day during the busy summer, but the beach has plenty of bins for guests to place their rubbish.
Some of the main attractions of Egmond Aan Zee are the protected sand dunes that run the whole length of the beach. They allow for sea birds to nest and are also a part of the countries flooding defenses.
The beach can be easily accessed by public transport in around an hour. You just need to take the Intercity train from Amsterdam Central Station to Alkmaar. Then from Alkmaar bus station, hop on bus 165 all the way to the beach.
In Egmond Aan Zee you will find plenty of restaurants and terraces to enjoy a meal in the sunshine. The village is also home to a wonderful lighthouse worth visiting. Egmond village or the nearby city of Alkmaar would be the ideal places to stay to enjoy time on the Beach. The best time to visit is spring and summer, April – October.
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Whitesands Bay, Wales, U.K.
By: Lucy and Dan from Thoroughly Travel
Photo contributed by Lucy and Dan
Often heralded as one of the most beautiful beaches in Wales, Whitesands Bay is an expansive stretch of golden sand, overlooked by the dramatic craggy hill, Carn Llidi. Nestled in the heart of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Whitesands Bay offers views of the protected RSPB site, Ramsey Island. As well as a variety of unique seabirds, this stretch of pristine coastline is also home to seals and cetaceans, including porpoises and dolphins. Whitesands Bay is not just one of the UK’s most beautiful beaches, but it’s also one of the most sustainable in the world.
A popular spot for sandcastle building, picnicking, and walking, Whitesands Bay features 2km of fine white sand. The northern end is popular with water sport fanatics, while the southern end boasts sheltered bays and hidden rockpools. Those who brave the brisk UK waters will be pleased to know that the crystal-clear ocean at Whitesands is perfect for paddling, swimming, bodyboarding, and surfing. At the same time, history buffs can discover the story of the 6th-century chapel to St Patrick that is buried beneath the dunes behind the beach.
Whitesands Bay is wheelchair accessible, with a convenient slipway and beach-friendly wheelchairs available for hire.
Britain’s smallest city, St. Davids, is also the closest city to Whitesands Bay. St Davids is the perfect base for visiting Whitesands Bay, featuring boutique shops, independent eateries, and an impressive 12th-century Cathedral of the same name. Twr y Felin Hotel is conveniently situated on the city’s outskirts, just a ten-minute walk from the coast and the city center. A former windmill, this eco-friendly art hotel is carbon neutral and runs on green energy. Whitesands Bay has a generous car park, while the Celtic Coaster shuttle bus runs from St Davids during the Summer months and is a more environmentally friendly way to visit.
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Praia de Faro, Algarve, Portugal
By: Ana from We Travel Portugal
Photo contributed by Ana
Praia de Faro is the main beach of Faro City in the Algarve. Praia de Faro, like the city from which it gets its name, is closely tied to the coastal lagoon the Ria Formosa—an incredibly diverse national park recognized as an international RAMSAR site.
Praia de Faro (officially listed as Faro-Mar on the blue flag website) is a beach on the peninsula that separates the lagoon system of the Ria Formosa from the Atlantic Ocean. Faro-Mar is the central beach facing the ocean on the peninsula called Ilha de Faro. This peninsula offers nearly 10km of beach and 6 accessible, life-guarded sections. From the central part of Praia de Faro, you can walk in either easterly or westerly directions to explore the peninsular and the lagoon and oceanfront sides of the beach.
Praia de Faro’s most notable feature is its proximity to the Ria Formosa Natural Park, a protected area renowned for its biodiversity and ecological significance. The park encompasses a labyrinth of channels, marshlands, and barrier islands, creating a unique habitat for numerous bird species and marine life. Nature enthusiasts can explore the park through guided boat tours, kayaking, and hiking.
If you head toward the far east or west of the peninsula, the built-up area of central Praia de Faro fades into rows of fisherman’s cottages before merging into a landscape of beach dunes, salt marsh, and gently lapping lagoon waters. Long walks in either direction connect you to nature, and it’s an incredible place to experience the unique wildlife of the Ria Formosa.
Boosting its connection to the Ria Formosa was the commission of a sculpture by the world-famous Portuguese artist Bordalo II, known for creative art installations made from recycled rubbish. A large seahorse is installed on the side of a water tower – emblematic of the Ria Formosa, its natural habitat. A second seahorse can be found on the nearby University of the Algarve campus. Seahorses are both a protected and a rapidly diminishing species in the Ria Formosa. Praia de Faro is a great Blue Flag beach to reconnect you to nature and explore a unique habitat.
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Burriana Beach, Nerja, Spain
By: Cristina from My Little World of Travelling
Burriana Beach, located in the town of Nerja in Malaga, is recognized as one of the best beaches in Nerja.
The beach is situated at the eastern end of the town, and it is the only beach in Nerja that has been awarded a Blue Flag year after year. The town hall strives for sustainability and also launched a project to protect Nerja natural spaces, including this beach.
There are many reasons why locals and tourists love this beach; not only has excellent facilities, but the beach is incredibly beautiful – with its fine golden sand and turquoise water, there is no doubt you will fall in love with this beach too.
Burriana Beach has all the amenities you could ask for public toilets, showers, restaurants and bars, sunbed rental, lifeguard, car park, and more. In addition to this, it is also adapted for people with disabilities.
If you wonder what activities you can do in Burriana Beach, you have many options, from swimming in its crystal clear waters and taking a kayak tour run by a local or having a meal at Restaurante Ayo, known for its wood-fired paella.
On top of its fantastic amenities and beauty, it is close to Nerja’s old town, so you can also visit this enchanting part of the town known for Balcón de Europa, a beautiful viewpoint offering breathtaking views of the sea and mountains.
If you want to stay close to Burriana Beach, MB Hostels Premium ECO is a fantastic option, especially if you want to stay in eco-friendly accommodation. They serve delicious buffet breakfasts and offer bike rental, and the hostel is a few meters from the beach.”
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Porto Moniz, Madeira, Portugal
By: Kiki from Rooki Explorers
Photo contributed by Kiki
Porto Moniz, a small town in Portugal’s Madeiran archipelago, is known for its rugged coastline and crystal-clear waters. Swimming in the waters at Porto Moniz is a unique experience because, unlike other beaches, Porto Moniz has natural swimming pools formed by volcanic settlements from thousands of years before. The lava from the volcanic eruptions cooled down to create stunning rock formations along the coastline, forming natural pools filled with seawater that circulates continuously (Mother Nature’s way of pool cleaning).
Porto Moniz’s natural pools are perfectly safe for adults, children, and less experienced swimmers who can stay in the shallow area. You can access the pools through a beach complex that is well-equipped with changing rooms, showers, sun lounges, and first-aid stations. Also, coast guards are available on duty.
The entry for using the pools through the beach complex is €3 per adult. There are a few nice restaurants next to the pools where you can enjoy local delicacies after a nice long swim. The place is well-maintained and trash free, and the water is crystal clear.
Porto Moniz is located on the northwest coast of Madeira, which is around 50 km from Funchal, the capital of Madeira. The best way to reach Porto Moniz’s natural pools is to drive or visit them as part of northwest island guided tours, which start from Funchal and are convenient for solo travelers or people who do not want to drive. Public transport access to Porto Moniz is available but would take a long time to reach, and they are not very frequent.
The water here remains relatively warm most of the year and slightly cold during winters. Access to the pools might be restricted during severe weather conditions. The best time to visit is from March to September when the water is perfect for swimming. Since Madeira has warm weather all around the year, the sun can be a bit strong, so do not forget to apply reef-safe sunscreen before entering the pools.
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Myrtos Beach, Kefalonia, Greece
Photo contributed by Tess
It can be rare to find a world-class beach in Greece that isn’t covered with beach beds and umbrellas. However, the stunning and surprisingly undeveloped Myrtos Beach has managed to retain its natural charm. Located on the lesser-touristed Ionian island of Kefalonia, Myrtos Beach boasts shockingly blue waters, dazzling white cliffs, and the clearest water on the island. It has been awarded the Blue Flag for its excellent water quality and cleanliness, solidifying its reputation as one of the best beaches in Greece.
There are plenty of activities to enjoy on Myrtos Beach. You can snorkel in the crystal-clear water, take a leisurely walk along the 800-meter stretch of beach, or explore the cave located at the southern end of the beach. Thanks to its west-facing orientation, Myrtos Beach is also one of the best spots in Kefalonia to watch the mesmerizing sunset as it sinks below the water’s edge. For the more adventurous souls, consider embarking on a sea kayaking tour with a local company that has been organizing tours on the island since 2003.
To reach Myrtos Beach, you can utilize the public KTEL bus network, which offers daily departures from Argostoli (the capital of Kefalonia) and the small village of Fiskardo in the north of the island. Apart from a small canteen on the beach, facilities are limited, so consider packing a picnic lunch with local products. Alternatively, you can visit the nearby family-run Taverna Café George, which serves generous portions of homemade Greek food at great prices.
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Zlatni Rat Beach, Bol, Croatia
By: Sara Rodriguez from Mindful Travel
Photo contributed by Sara
Zlatni Rat Beach is one of the best Blue Flag Sustainable beaches to visit if you want to explore Croatia’s stunning coastline.
Located in Brac, one of the most beautiful Croatian islands near Split, and has been awarded the Blue Flag for its commitment to sustainable practices and environmental protection.
The beach features crystal clear waters, tiny-pebble sand, and a unique shape that changes with the tide – making it one of the most special beaches in Croatia. With its calm waters, Zlatni Rat Beach is perfect for families looking to spend some quality time together.
When visiting this blue flag beach, there are several sustainable activities and highlights worth exploring. Take a pedal or sailboat tour around Brac Island and take in the stunning views, or explore some of the nearby caves that are home to a wide variety of wildlife. You can also visit the nearby seafood restaurant where you’ll find locally sourced produce.
The best time to visit Zlatni Rat beach is during the spring months when temperatures are warm and comfortable and not as crowded as in summer – perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
As an eco-friendly traveler, it’s important to pack reef-friendly sunscreens when visiting Zlatni Rat Beach. Remember to always pick up after yourself and dispose of your waste in designated bins. This will help keep the beach beautiful and preserve its natural beauty for future generations.
If you are looking for accommodation near this beautiful beach, I recommend you to stay in the picturesque seaside village of Bol. Belado Residence Bol is a small family hotel where they take care of every detail and where you will feel at home
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Golden Bay, Mellieħa, Malta
By: Linn Haglund from Briany Backpackers
Photo contributed by Linn
Golden Bay Beach is one of the most stunning beaches in Malta and should be added to your list of Blue Flag beaches in Europe. Environmental awareness, clean water, sustainable beach management, and accessibility make this a fabulous beach for everyone.
The beach is set in a wonderful location surrounded by wilderness and some of the most beautiful hikes in Malta taking you along the jaw-dropping cliffs. In fact, you can walk all the way to Popeye Village. The bay is also a fabulous location for kayaking to explore the cliffs from the water. You can rent kayaks straight from the beach.
In the high season, there are lifeguards patrolling the beach for safe swimming. It is wheelchair accessible too and sunbeds and umbrellas are available on the beach in summer. The golden sand spreads wide, making space for the summer crowds.
You can reach Golden Bay by bus from all over the island, making it easy to get there on low emissions. But if you decide to drive, you find plenty of parking on the roads nearby. There is also a great 5-star hotel right by the beach where you can conveniently stay, the Golden Sands Resort & Spa. You also find a restaurant overlooking the beach where you can grab lunch or relax over a coffee or cold drink when you need a break from the beach. But there are also kiosks where you can get ice cream, snacks, and cold drinks.
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Pikakari Beach, Tallinn, Estonia
By: Susanna from Curiosity Saves Travel
Estonia might not be the first place you would think to head for a beach vacation, but just outside of Tallinn are plenty of sandy beaches along the Baltic Sea. One of these beaches is Pikakari Beach, which has received the Blue Flag status. Visiting Pikakari Beach is an excellent alternative thing to do in Tallinn for those looking for a quiet escape into nature.
The shores of Pikakari Beach are sandy, perfect for beach picnics or laying out to enjoy the sun. Surrounding the beach are natural sand dunes covered with native sedge grass – a sign of a healthy beach! As we’ve come to expect from Blue Flag beaches, Pikakari has accessibility ramps, bathrooms, a lifeguard on duty in summer, trash-free shores, excellent water quality, and more facilities. A playground and outdoor gym are also in the area, perfect for families or those looking to get their gains in a lovely outdoor setting. Though families should be cautious, there is a steep drop off several meters into the water, and passing boats can create waves.
The best part about Pikakari is its close proximity to Paljassaare Nature Reserve. The reserve is a wetland and coastal habitat that offers a safe haven for many migrating birds and other native species. The area is excellent for bird watching with plenty of observation decks, so don’t forget to pack your binoculars and camera. A network of walking trails and boardwalks allows you to explore the nature reserve in depth. Be mindful of the sensitive habitat and species by remaining quiet on the trail.
It is best to stay in downtown Tallinn at a sustainable container hotel. Public transportation quickly reaches the beach, with several bus and tram options to get you there in around 30 minutes. I suggest hopping off the bus close to Põhjala Brewery & Tap Room on your return to the city to sample Tallinn’s incredible craft beer. You can walk back to the city from there, exploring some of the hipster highlights of Tallinn in the Kalamaja District, such as the Telliskivi Creative Center.
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