Cyprus, along with Malta and Luxembourg, rank first for the purity of their bathing waters, according to National Blue Flag Programme Judge CYMEPA.
During a ceremony, 79 Blue Flags were awarded to 77 of the country’s beaches and two marinas.
Blue Flag criteria include standards for quality, safety, environmental education and information, service provision, and general environmental management.
Agriculture and Environment Minister Petros Xenophontos congratulated the 77 local authorities and the two marinas that secured this year’s distinction.
He said the Blue Flag is the most recognised and widespread ecological symbol of quality globally, which rewards organised beaches that achieve high-quality environmental goals.
“An important achievement for Cyprus is the fact that 77 beaches out of 123 bathing water areas and two marinas meet the criteria.”
According to the report sent to the European Commission for 2022, Cyprus follows the most stringent requirements of the Bathing Water Quality Management Directive.
Cyprus receives a 99.2% compliance rate, with 119 out of 120 bathing water sites classified as excellent quality, while only one site has not yet received classification due to a limited number of samples.
Deputy Ministry of Tourism official Annita Demetriadou said it is no coincidence that the number of beaches in Cyprus that meet the European program “Blue Flags” criteria increases yearly.
Authorities introduced the Blue Flag institution in Cyprus in 1994.
“As National Coordinator, the Ministry of Tourism has the Blue Flag programme high on its priorities.”
Chair of the National Blue Flags Judge, Dr Michael Ierides, announced that Cyprus is ranked first among EU countries, together with Malta and Luxembourg, in terms of water purity, with a 100% rate, while Greece is in second place with 97% and Germany in third place with 94%.
During the ceremony, Paralimni received 19 Blue Flags, 16 to Ayia Napa, seven to Agios Tychon, six to Paphos Municipality, three each to Larnaca and Geroskipou Municipality, the Municipality of Peyia and Neo Chorio, two each for the Municipality of Limassol, Polis Chrysochous, Pentakomo, and Pyrgos, and one Blue Flag for Oroklini, Pervolia, Zygi, Parekklisia, the Municipality of Yermasoyia, Agios Athanasios, Episkopi, Pissouri and Leba.
The marina of Ayia Napa and the Limassol marina was also awarded the Blue Flag.