In the same week as World Ocean Day (June 8th), the latest Blue Flag awards confirm that Cyprus punches well above its weight as a global destination for quality beaches. Let’s take a closer look at how this small, precious land mass in the Med scores so highly with the world’s marine experts!
Finding a home near an attractive, well-maintained beach where you can bathe in super clean water is refreshingly easy in Cyprus, and that is official! Announced this week (June 6th), the 2023 Blue Flag awards cement Cyprus’s profile as one of the world’s finest beach destinations when you consider its relatively small size. Here are key findings, which should be reassuring for anyone looking for a Cypriot home in a prime coastal spot.
Blue Flag beaches in Cyprus
Things just get better for Cyprus, after the island achieved 79 Blue Flags this year compared to 76 in 2022. Of its 123 designated beaches, 77 now carry the internationally recognized accolade – an impressive 62 per cent – while two marinas have it too. The criteria for gaining a Blue Flag, which are universal worldwide, assess standards for quality, safety, environmental education and information, the provision of services and general environmental management. The scheme is run by the Copenhagen based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).
For the best choice of clean beaches on your doorstep head to the east of Cyprus, home to the highest concentration of Blue Flags and the district with the highest number, namely Paralimni with 19. Ayia Napa next door isn’t far behind with 16, while Larnaca has three and Oroklini and Pervolia, also in the east, each have one. The island’s remaining 37 Blue Flag beaches are spread evenly between central and western districts, as follows: seven in Agios Tychon, six in Paphos, three in Geroskipou, Peyia and Neo Chorio, two in Limassol, Polis Chrysochous, Pentakomo and Pyrgos, and one in, Zygi, Parekklisia, Yermasoyia, Agios Athanasios, Episkopi, Pissouri and Lemba.
Marinas with Blue Flags
The two marinas with a Blue Flag are Ayia Napa and Limassol. Both offer world-class yachting facilities combined with luxury residences and multi-purpose leisure and commercial venues. Ayia Napa Marina only opened last summer and development of the project’s commercial and residential real estate is on-going. Meanwhile the island’s first super-yacht marina in Limassol opened its harbour facilities 10 years ago, with the final phase of its high-end residences completed only two years ago. It has become a flagship lifestyle resort in the Cyprus and wider Mediterranean.
“The cleanest waters in the EU”
Not only are the beaches pristine in Cyprus, but when you step into the sea you can be sure you are bathing in the finest waters in Europe. Cyprus is one just three countries to be rated as having the cleanest waters in the European Union, according to the latest Bathing Water Quality report by the European Commission. The other two countries are Malta and Luxembourg (it has lakes!).
“Cyprus recorded a compliance rate of 99.2 per cent, with 119 out of 120 bathing water areas deemed of excellent quality,” said Petros Xenophontos, Cyprus’s Agriculture Minister. “The collective effort is decisive for the protection of our most precious resource, the sea, as its environmental value adds to the quality of life of our fellow citizens while, at the same time, it contributes substantially to the economic progress and development of our country.”
Earlier this year, Nissi Beach in Ayia Napa (above) was voted as the world’s 22nd best beach in TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choice Awards for 2023. Around 500 metres long, this famous stretch of glorious white sand is named after the islet linked to one end of the bay and reachable on foot. Around the beach are tropical gardens, swimming pools, terraces and choice of bars.
Lesser-known beaches in Cyprus
Looking for a home near one of Cyprus’s quieter, hidden away beaches? Here are two with a Blue Flag and two that are too off the beaten track to qualify for one! Yiannakis Beach (also known as Asprokremmos-Yiannakis) is just west of picturesque Latsi, looking out across Chrysochou Bay and about an hour north from Paphos town. Much closer to Paphos town, but far enough to have a more chilled vibe is Pachyammos, which is only a couple of kilometres south of central Paphos – you’d never know it was there. Our two picks that do not have Blue Flags are Alaminos Beach with its own little fishing harbour, hidden away and barely visible from the main road leading to Larnaca, 20 minutes east. Or try sniff out Zapolo, a small beach tucked beneath cliffs 35 minutes west of Limassol.