Tourism is the lifesaver that has kept Alicante Province afloat, even in the worst of the crisis. And from one end of the Costa Blanca to the other, tourists both foreign and domestic head straight for the beach.
That’s why each year in May, when the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) gives out its Blue Flags, resorts wait with bated breath for this year’s results, although Alicante has little to worry about.
Its beaches, ports and marinas have more of the coveted Blue Flags, awarded for clean, safe beaches and clean, safe water, than any other part of Spain.
This year saw Alicante Province scoop up 62 of the Blue Flag beaches, and 32 are in the northern section of the Costa Blanca. They start in Alicante City – where three of its four Blue Flag beaches are located this side of the city – and stretch as far as Denia, which this year has five.
Villajoyosa can once again boast five flags, after recovering the Bon Nou and Paridis flags that it lost last year, but there have been disappointments, too.
Benitachell lost its flag for the Moraig beach where nothing has changed, apart from what the FEE termed the ‘excess occupation’ of its beach bars.
All others retain those awarded last year, although there are three that have kept their flags since they first received them 30 years ago: the ever-popular Albir, La Fossa (Calpe) and Carrerlamar (Campello) beaches.