Greece’s beaches have received the second largest number of Blue Flags among 47 countries worldwide this year, behind Spain.
The results were announced Thursday by the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature (HSPN).
Greek beaches got a total of 497 flags, while 14 marinas and six sustainable boating tourism operators also received the distinction.
Most of the flags went to beaches in Halkidiki, in northern Greece, Rhodes and Crete.
Hundreds of organized beaches opened to the public on Saturday, though they operate subject to strict health and safety guidelines due to the coronavirus pandemic
The iconic Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognized voluntary eco-labels awarded to beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators.
In order to qualify for the Blue Flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained.