No black beaches in Benidorm

Lists of the best, most beautiful, amazing, and fantastic beaches are published regularly, but Ecologistas en Acción, a confederation of more than 300 ecological groups that also assesses the Spanish beaches, also likes to show the worst beaches in Spain every year.

Picture Ecologistas en Acción

These beaches do not deserve an internationally known blue flag but more a black flag because they are dirty, deserted, and polluted. Spain has nearly 8,000 kilometers of coastline and it is therefore only natural that there are some beaches and parts along the coast that are not so good. The good news is that none of these black flag beaches are located near Benidorm. The closest is a beach in Alicante, where San Gabriel beach has significant toxic discharges and the condition of the treatment plant is far from optimal.

Spain may be the country with the bluest flags in the world, but it could also quietly become the country with the most black flags in Europe. In addition to the great beaches where millions of tourists go on holiday every year, there are places along the coast where you should not go swimming and lie on the beach.

The 48 black flags are divided into groups:
  • Nineteen black flags for gray wastewater discharges.
  • Eight black flags for urban speculation.
  • Six black flags for industrial conditions.
  • Six black flags for ports and ships.
  • Five black flags for coastal erosion.
  • Two black flags for effects on biodiversity.
  • A black flag for waste accumulation.
  • A black flag for more than one specific cause.
Below you can find an overview of beaches and parts of the coast that have received a black flag or 'Bandera Negra'. You can also read the explanation for the black flags in Spanish. You can view this guide online or download the PDF.