A Blue Flag beach is a maritime or freshwater recreational beach that boasts quality standards in water, facilities, safety, environmental education and management. Nowadays, almost 3,500 coastal destinations - including marinas - are granted the quality indicator.
The first beach that received this eco-label (in 1985) was a coastal municipality in France with a sewage treatment system and bathing water quality required by the Blue Flag Programme called "Pavillon Bleu" in French. Since then, the Blue Flag European - and from 2001, International - Organisation has been working with both French tourism professionals and public services.
Today more than 30 countries in Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada and the Caribbean islands boast Blue Flag beaches. This environmental campaign has been managed internationally by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) since 1987.
The most renowned Blue Flag beaches in France are along the Atlantic coasts, especially in the Charente Maritime - Poitou Charentes, and Gironde - Aquitaine, departments, but the South East of France also develops sustainable facilities to match the environmental programme's requirements.
Don't hesitate to check the latest eco-labelled beaches (on the French website www.pavillonbleu.org) before your visit to France!
For further information about the foundation and programme, you can visit the official website of the Blue Flag Organisation (www.blueflag.org.uk). You may also find relevant information about all Blue Flag beaches throughout the world. Such label indicates that the beaches have high environmental standards and facilities - a valuable guarantee for tourists in France.