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International Gold Distinction for Ierapetra, Alonissos and Samothrace Beaches

A Gold Medal was awarded to Ierapetra  (Crete), Samothrace as well as Alonissos and  islands by the Quality Coast Association. This year’s ceremony took place in Torres Vedras, Portugal. It was held under the auspices and the financial contribution of the European Union beaches and coastal areas (EUCC) on May 18.

The EUCC awarded Europe’s Top 100 beaches, under the environmental, natural, cultural and economical criteria. Azores beach in Portugal ranked 1st on the list, followed by the Cretan beach of Ierapetra and the Gozo & Comino beach in Malta.

The Top 20 of Europe’s most beautiful, clean and pleasant beaches included Samothrace (in 7th place) and Alonissos (in 17th place). Another key-criteria for the juries’ decision was the preservation of the surrounding natural area of the beaches.

The results were based on extensive policy evaluations of almost 800 beaches in almost 30 countries and the beaches’ Sustainability Status (the situation as experienced by citizens and visitors) and their Sustainability Policy (planning, control and enforcement system).

According to the Quality Coast organization, the list indicates the greenest, cleanest and most sustainable coastal destinations of Europe.


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