A total of 393 Portuguese beaches have been qualified as “Golden Quality” by the environmental association Quercus, with the majority of those being coastal.
According to Quercus, out of the 393 awarded beaches, a total of 327 are coastal, 56 inland, and the other ten are transitional. In general, all regions have recorded a drop in the number of such beaches across the country, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“There is a sharp drop in the allocation of the award in coastal bathing waters, minus 32 beaches, and inland bathing waters recorded a decrease of 16 beaches,” Quercus points out.
The North region has recorded one of the biggest drops, and the Tagus and West regions were awarded for having the highest number of award-winning beaches, a total of 98 such beaches.
As per coastal areas, around 45 beaches are in the Azores region, 32 in Madeira and 74 in the Tagus and West. North has 47 golden quality beaches, while 84 are in the Algarve and 24 in the centre. In addition, 21 beaches of such quality are recorded in the Alentejo region.
The environmentalist association clarifies that the “Golden Quality Beach” award is granted every year to recognize the excellence of the water for swimming purposes of Portuguese beaches. This recognition relies on official public data and considers the results obtained from laboratory tests conducted by various Regional Hydrographic Administrations.
The “Golden Quality” beach classification is granted for beaches that have bathing water of higher quality, such as “excellent” water quality, which is evaluated in the annual classification of five bathing seasons, with the latest one being in 2022.
The bathing season in Portugal was officially announced on May 15, with the government including 589 bathing beaches – four more than in the previous year.
The Faro district was the first one to open its doors for the bathing season, whereas, on June 1, beaches in the centre and the south of the country are expected to reopen. Beaches in the north of the country, on the other hand, will open the latest – by June 17.
About 29 rescue stations, 29 marine rescue motorcycles and more than three dozen boats will be available for the National Maritime Authority to guard holidaymakers. Portugal is known for having some of the most exquisite waters, but there are also some of the highest waves in Portuguese coastal waters.
Zero, the environmental association, has estimated that the poor quality of the water detected in 22 beaches in Portugal has caused these places to be closed for bathing season.