UK tourists at Canary Island and Balearic beaches warned over 'status'

Popular Spanish beaches have been stripped of Blue Flag status - including in Majorca and Alicante. Uk tourists who visit beaches in the European Union holiday hotspot's mainland and also its islands have been warned over the move.

The Olive Press reports that three beaches in Andalucia lost the title, four in the Balearic Islands, three in the Canary Islands, one in Cantabria, seven in Catalonia, six in the Valencian Community, four in Galicia, and two in Murcia.

Beaches are awarded Blue Flags based on a number of factors including excellent water quality, compliance with Coastal Law and essential services such as lifeguards and toilets - hence the warning to UK tourists to exercise caution.

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Alicante lost the status for five of its beaches including La Cala, L'Alfàs de Pi, Playa del Albir, Casa Estaca beach, Santa Pola, and Teulada beach. Mallorca also lost the status for four of its beaches including Cala Ferrera in Feltantix, Can Picafort in Santa Margalida, Cala Lombards in Santanyi and Es Port in Ses Salines.

Alicante gained three new Blue Flag beaches including Dels Torres, Pobla Marina and Rabdels. Spain was followed by Greece in second place in the global ranking of Blue Flag beaches, with the country having 596 Blue Flags.

Out of 694 applications for the awards, 638 beaches were awarded the status representing an impressive 91% approval rate. Marbella’s Adelfas Alicate and Cadiz’s Tres Piedras-La Ballena in Chipiona were also stripped of the status.

Spain’s Secretary of State for Tourism, Rosario Sánchez Grau, said this week: "We have been the country with the most blue flags in the world for three uninterrupted decades and will continue to do so this year. 15 percent of the blue flag beaches in the world are in Spain."

He added in a statement in the wake of the decisions over the beaches: “This is a collective success because it is only possible thanks to the work of all administrations. We are a world tourism power and we must also be so in sustainability.”