The idyllic region of Liguria in north-west Italy, otherwise known as the ‘Italian Riviera’, has the most Blue Flag beaches in Italy for the eighth year in a row. So what’s so special?
The crescent shaped region between the French Riviera and Tuscany is dotted with stunning sandy beaches, and 25 of them have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag designation, two more than in 2015.
New beach entries for Liguria for 2016 are Ceriale, located in the province of Savona, and Levanto, one of the Baie del Levante villages in the province of La Spezia. Levanto is ideal for surfers and is home to some of the biggest waves in Italy.
Blue Flag beaches range from Bordighera in the Imperia Province to the east of the region and Ameglia in the eastern La Spezia province. The popular Final Ligure and Lerici beaches are also included on the list.
Holding this position for eight years in a row highlights Liguria’s incredible beach offering. The position is particularly impressive considering the region has a relatively small length of coastline (just 200 miles) compared to other coastal regions of Italy. Blue Flag beaches range from Finale Ligure in the west, which is Liguria’s longest beach, to Lerici Beach in east Liguria, renowned for its stunning scenery and crystal clear waters.
A Blue Flag status is granted by the Foundation of Environmental Education (FEE) to beaches that adhere to high standards of water quality, safety, environmental education, the prevision of services and other environmental management.
The full list of Liguria’s Blue Flag awarded beaches is below:
Imperia Province: Bordighera (Capo Sant’Ampelio Termini e Ratta Conigli), Taggia (Arma di Taggia), Santo Stefano al Mare (Baia Azzurra, Il Vascello), San Lorenzo al Mare (U Nostromu – Prima Punta, Baia delle Vele)
Savona Province: Ceriale (Litorale), Borghetto Santo Spirito (Litorale), Loano (Spiaggia Levante Porto, Zona Torrente Nimbalto, Tombolo Perelli, Zona Sottopasso Via Genova, Loc. Sottopassaggio), Pietra Ligure (Ponente), Finale Ligure (Spiaggia di Malpasso-Baia dei Saraceni, Finalmarina, Finalpia, Spiaggia del Porto, Varigotti, Castelletto San Donato), Noli (Capo Noli-Zona Vittoria-Zona Anita-Chiariventi), Spotorno (Lido), Bergeggi (Il Faro, Villaggio del Sole), Savona (Fornaci), Albissola Marina (Lido), Albisola Superiore (Lido), Celle Ligure (Levante) e Varazze (Arrestra, Ponente Teiro, Levante Teiro, Piani D’Invrea)
Genova Province: Santa Margherita Ligure (Scogliera Pagana, Punta Pedale, Paraggi, Zona Milite Ignoto), Chiavari (Zona Gli Scogli), Lavagna (Lungomare) e Moneglia (Centrale/La Secca/Levante)
La Spezia Province: Framura (Fornaci), Levanto (Ghiararo, Spiaggia Est La Pietra), Lerici (Venere Azzurra, Lido, San Giorgio, Eco del Mare, Fiascherino, Baia Blu, Colombo) e Ameglia (Fiumaretta).
About the Blue Flag Programme
The FEE is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation consisting of 65 organisations in 60 member countries in Europe, Africa, Oceania, Asia, North America and South America. The Blue Flag program was created with the aim of connecting the public with their surroundings and encouraging them to learn more about their environment. In order to qualify for the prestigious award, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and access-related criteria must be met and maintained.
So if you love Italy and have a thing for sand, take a look at www.turismoinliguria.it/en/liguria-en/the-sea/le-spiagge-en