So many corners of paradise, which are wild and difficult to reach, and cannot be classified, not because of their limitless beauty, but literally because they cannot ensure, because of their very nature, the requirements and services asked for by the Foundation for Environmental Education. Sardinia's blue flag beaches make it unmistakeably, undeniably, the island of fabulously clean and crystal-clear seas and put it right at the top of everybody's summer holiday options. But it also pays attention above all to sustainability and environmental protection, services and safety, education and information on respecting coasts which are unpolluted for long sections. The recognition given by the FEE, which comes after a very strictly controlled selection process, has been awarded to 44 Sardinian beaches, located across fifteen municipalities. From north to south, it is a celebration of the entire Sardinian coastline.
Including the three splendid beaches at Trinità d’Agultu, Cala Sarraina, La Marinedda and Spiaggia Lunga, about half Sardinia's beaches which fly the blue flag are in Gallura. On the extreme northern tip of the island there is a stretch of sea that is worthy of a magazine cover, the long coast of the seaside municipality of Santa Teresa Gallura boasting five beaches that have won the award year after year: Rena Bianca, a jewel of a town, the beautiful Zia Culumba and two beaches at Capo Testa: Rena Ponente, on the 'neck' of the promontory, La Taltana-Santa Reparata in the south-western part of the 'head' and Conca Verde. Heading north-east, we find the two Blue Flag beaches at another famous tourist destination, Palau. The flags wave in the Isolotto beach and in Palau Vecchio, close to the picturesque Trenino Verde station. Opposite the national park of the Maddalena archipelago stands out as a paradise of sustainable environment and biodiversity. In the two big islands of the archipelago, eight beaches have received the award from the FEE: Bassa Trinita, Monti da Rena, Nido d'Aquila, Spalmatore, Porto Lungo and Punta Tegge at La Maddalena, Due Mari and the Relitto beach at Caprera. Aglientu, with Vignola Mare beach, keeps its flag, while the 2022's Sardinian new entry is Budoni.
There are two selection processes behind the award of the Blue Flag, one by an international jury, another from a national committee, made up of the Environment, Culture and Tourism Ministries, harbour authorities, ISPRA, ANCI and the relevant institutions. There are four years of analysis and comparisons before the choice is made. It isn't a definitive one: winning the recognition is hard work, keeping it over time is even more difficult. They have managed to achieve that in the western part of the Gallura as well, along the Gulf of the Asinara. Clear sea stretches out here along the magnificent coast of Badesi: in 2022, the blue flag is also flying at Li Mindi, Li Junchi, Lu Poltu Biancu and the Baia delle Mimose (especially in the Pirotto Li Frati section). We are at the border with the Anglona, where one of the most beautiful villages in Italy stands out, Castelsardo: here the flag flies over the Stella Maris and Ampurias beaches. Heading to the north-west of the island, in the centre of the Gulf of Asinara, the symbol of environmental quality and protection is present in as many as two different locations at Marina di Sorso. Staying in the Sassarese, indeed even in the region of Sassari, but on the western side, there are a further two award-winning beaches: Porto Ferro and Porto Palmas, to the north of the Porto Conte Regional Park (Alghero).
The assessment of water quality by the FEE, constantly monitored by continuous sampling, is more stringent that the demands of national regulations. Once the healthiness of the sea has been assessed, the checks on purification come into play, as well as recycling, the presence of green spaces and ones for people on foot, cycle paths and street furniture, as well as accessibility services. The large and welcoming Torregrande di Oristano in the middle of the western coast has all these characteristics, as well as two of the deep southwest beaches of Sant'Antioco, Maladroxia and Coaquaddus. In the forefront of the deep south of Sardinia is Quartu sant’Elena, with the celebrated town beach of the Poetto – the part that falls within the municipality – and with Mari Pintau, meaning 'painted sea', a name that is a prelude to the show that it offers. To the east, in Ogliastra, as well as Torre di Barì in Bari Sardo, there are as many as seven coastal districts in Tortolì that take centre stage with the blue flag: the huge and ‘comfortable’ Lido di Orrì, the charming Cea, the beautiful Porto Frailis and also San Gimiliano, Muxì, Cala Foxilloni and Ponente.