Fuengirola, Spain’s most decorated beachesFor those who don’t know, Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-award program started in France in 1987. The award was given to towns that complied with the best practices in maintaining bathing water quality and proper sewage treatment on their beaches. Now an international program, Blue Flag awards are given to raise environmental awareness and boost good environmental practices in local communities, marina operators, tourists and beaches. Meanwhile, there are three other awards that a well-kept beach can snag these days
This month, the seaside town of Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol made history by receiving Blue Flags, Quality Q, Sustainability S, and Accessibility. Not only that, however, each of the town’s four beaches has received all four awards.On Thursday, July 20, Fuengirola’s Mayor Ana Mula raised the flags on a pier in the town, accompanied by tourism industry representatives and coastal staff. Speaking of the immense achievement, Mula said:
Fuengirola is a top tourist spot, known for its beautiful beaches. We now have the highest number of awards for our coastline and services. 100 percent of our beaches have been recognized, making us Spain’s best. It’s all thanks to hard work from everyone – beach businesses, bars, staff, and our dedicated team at the council.
About the award-winning beachesAll four of Fuengirola’s beaches have been Blue Flag beaches for the past four years, as well as Quality Q and the new Sustainability S beach awards. However, the flags for Accessibility will also be seen on Carvajal, Boliches-Gaviotas, Fuengirola and El Castillo beaches.
In total, Fuengirola boasts 7 km (4.3 mi) of accessible beaches, with 64 access points with showers and seating. The town also offers four boarded areas for those with reduced mobility to be able to enjoy the beach and water, supported by lifeguards.
Along the way, Fuengirola’s beaches also feature numerous zones for water sports and recreational boating. These include two zones for paddle surfing and five for paddle boats. Meanwhile, the beaches are lined by chiringuitos (beach bars), restaurants and bars, conveniently placed for beach-goers to refresh and revive after a day on the sand.
According to Sur in English, more than 150 people work to keep the beaches pristine in peak season. These include lifeguards, police officers, maintenance teams, beach patrol, and a drone unit. Moreover, each lifeguard station features “solmaforos,” equipment designed to measure the UV Ray index to warn beach-goers of the dangers of sunburn.
Meanwhile, as part of the town’s commitment to sustainability, Fuengirola’s town hall uses sustainable vehicles, beach cleaning vehicles, and “eco-islands” to separate paper, plastic and glass to be recycled.
When heading to the Costa del Sol on vacation, make sure to visit Fuengirola and its beaches, each a model of excellence and accessibility.