Cypriot Beaches Make a Splash With Record Number of Blue Flag Awards
When the Blue Flag Award was first introduced in France in 1985 it wasn’t realised at the time how important the scheme would come to be. This award, initially borne out of the cleaning up of sewage waters and recognising good quality bathing water, was soon rolled out across European beaches through the FEEE (Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe) during 1987, the “European Year of the Environment”. When the programme became Europe-wide, the Foundation included a wider range of criteria to make the Blue Flag scheme more thorough – including coastal planning and protection and waste management as well as making the scheme applicable to marinas too.
From a 1987 figure of 10 countries involved and 452 beaches and marinas being included in the Blue Flag programme, the scheme has come a long way to reach the 2008 figure of over 3200 beaches and marinas in 37 countries. Featuring countries as far-flung as Bulgaria, Italy, Morocco, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and Puerto Rico, the continued growth of the Blue Flag Award scheme – with more and more flags being awarded every year – is excellent news for locals, tourists and investors alike. Recognising safe beaches for families and clean waters for children, where the Blue Flag is evident, people can be assured that not only will the beach be of excellent quality but the coast and environment is also being protected.
This is an attractive prospect for those looking to buy properties on or near to these beaches too, either for personal use or as a rental property and Cyprus is one destination featuring in the Blue Flag Awards where this is evident. Joining the scheme in 1995, the island has seen a significant growth in the numbers of Blue Flags being awarded annually for its beaches. From 25 beaches awarded in 1998 to 52 beaches in 2008, the Cyprus Tourist Board is very proud of its country’s achievements saying on Visitcyprus.biz,
“It is our contribution that the European Blue Flag Campaign recognises. The “Blue Flag” is indeed an award for all the people of Cyprus!”
Recognising the country’s hard work and commitment to the scheme, Cyprus is benefiting from the increased numbers of Blue Flags, especially given the importance of beaches to a holiday – with 41% of those polled in a Kayak.co.uk survey saying that their perfect winter getaway would be a beach holiday. This all adds up to good news for those buying property in the country, with beautiful, clean beaches a huge draw for those visiting, as Martin Pearce UK Sales Manager of Aristo Developers, property specialists in Cyprus, explains,
“Cyprus has a huge amount to offer both those holidaying in the country and those looking to invest in a property – from a rich history and stunning architecture to beautiful scenery and the crystal clear waters lapping pristine beaches. It is these clean beaches that are recognised by the Blue Flag Awards and it is excellent to see the numbers awarded to Cyprus increasing year-on-year, proving that buying property on or near these beaches is a safe and wise choice.”
Protected by cliffs, Pissouri Beach is one that has seen the impact of a Blue Flag award, with the mix of colourful pebbles and sand combined with clean beaches creating a great lure for locals and tourists alike. Pissouri Pine Bay is one development that has taken full advantage of this beautiful beach, situated in a hillside location overlooking the sea with stunning views of the surrounding mountains; 2 and 3 bedroom apartments are available, with prices ranging from EUR183,000/ £145,500 to EUR362,500/ £288,250.
Taking advantage of Paphos’ beautiful Coral Bay, another Blue Flag winner with its white sand and clear seas, is Coral Bay Village 13 where a 3 bedroom apartment is available just a step from the beach. Close to the Akamas Peninsula, the property is available at EUR466,300/ £377,914 plus VAT.