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And it has been since 1987.

Talia Avakian
May 10, 2017

Spain is once again the leader when it comes to the highest number of quality beaches in the world.

A total of 579 beaches along the country's coastline have been awarded a blue flag by the Blue Flag International Jury, which is based on factors that include hygiene, sanitary conditions, safety, accessibility, and lifeguard provisions.

Spain’s Association for Environmental Education and the Consumer (ADEAC) broke the news, announcing that the country continues to maintain its top spot since the awards started back in 1987.

Spain accounted for 16 percent of the total number of blue flags awarded, meaning that one out of every five Spanish beaches will have a blue flag this summer, according to the ADEAC.

Valencia was the region with the highest number of blue flag beaches at 129, followed by Galicia with 113, Catalonia at 95, and Andalusia at 90.

Beaches awarded the title include spacious Ocata beach in Barcelona and El Socorro Beach in Tenerife, known for its top-notch waves for surfers.

Though Spain came out on top, it had seven less beaches than last year. The country also won 100 flags for its marinas and five flags for its cruise ships.

Greece came in at second place for the number of blue flag beaches, followed by France, Turkey, Italy, and Portugal.

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