According to a European Commission report, 577 Portuguese bathing areas have excellent water quality (88.5%) and 40 are of good quality (6.1%).
Of the 652 Portuguese bathing areas (coastal and inland), 577 are of excellent quality (88.5%), 40 of good (6.1%), three of sufficient (0.5%) and two of poor quality (0. 3%) – 4.6% did not receive any classification.
In 2021, Portugal had 293 more bathing areas classified as excellent quality than in 2000 and 15 more than in 2020.
In Portugal there are 502 beaches (77%) and 150 inland areas (on rivers and lakes) (23%) taken into account.
At a European Union level, the report concludes that in 2021 minimum water quality standards were met in 95.2% of bathing areas.
The assessment, prepared by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in cooperation with the European Commission, is based on the monitoring of 21,859 bathing areas across Europe throughout 2021, covering EU Member States, Albania and Switzerland.
Of course, the Blue Flag awards take water quality into account when awarding beaches with the accolade.
A series of stringent criteria need to be met and maintained to qualify for one of these voluntary awards; environmental, safety, accessibility and educational.
For more information about Portugal’s, and in particular Algarve’s, beaches that have been awarded the Blue Flag click here.