Tourism authorities have highlighted Murcia’s continued growth in quality services after the region was awarded 34 “Blue Flags” for its beaches and marinas.
The flags were formally presented to municipal representatives during a special ceremony at Castellar de Mazarrón. Minister for the presidency, tourism, culture and sport Marcos Ortuño expressed his appreciation to the recipients – 27 beaches and seven marinas – for offering “maximum levels of quality and security, and maintaining your beaches and marinas in optimum state”.
He noted that the region “continues to improve the quality of services we provide to tourists who choose this destination every summer… (and) this confidence is one of the most important factors in consolidating tourism’s reactivation, a confidence that these ‘Blue Flags’ help us generate”.
Murcia received two more “Blue Flag” distinctions than last year. The beaches are located in the municipalities of Águilas (nine), Mazarrón (seven), Cartagena (six), San Javier (two), San Pedro del Pinatar (one) and Lorca (one), plus one for a joint candidature between San Javier and Cartagena.
The seven marinas are Club Náutico and Puerto Juan Montiel (Águilas), Club de Regatas and Puerto Deportivo (Mazarrón), Real Club de Regatas and Yacht Port (Cartagena) and Marina Salinas (San Pedro del Pinatar).
In total, Spain was awarded 729 “Blue Flags” for summer 2022 (six more than in 2021), including 621 beaches, 103 marinas and five sustainable boating tourism operators.
In order to qualify for the “Blue Flag”, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained. According to the Foundation for Environmental Education, which operates the awards, “Central to the ideals of the Blue Flag programme is the aim of connecting the public with their surroundings and encouraging them to learn more about their environment. As such, environmental education activities must be offered and promoted in addition to a permanent display of information relevant to the site in terms of biodiversity, ecosystems and environmental phenomena.”
Calblanque Named One of Europe’s Top Beaches
Meanwhile, travel writers for The Guardian newspaper have included Calblanque in a ranking of their 40 best beaches in Europe. The beach is located about six kilometres from the more widely known tourist area of La Manga and Mar Menor.
“From Los Belones village,” reports The Guardian, “head south towards the nature reserve of Calblanque Monte de las Cenizas y Peña del Águila (there’s a car park, but also a shuttle bus service). Dirt trails meandering across the arid slopes behind the coast lead past a series of sandy beaches and coves, each wilder than the last, from surf-tastic Playa Larga, the biggest and busiest, to Playa Parreño and remote, lonely Playa Negrete. Supplies of water, a snorkel and a sun umbrella are vital, and there is lots of wildlife to spot – the reserve is a refuge for sea turtles, badgers, foxes and flamingos.”
In addition to stunning beaches, the Murcia region is also internationally renowned for its Costa Cálida diving areas.