Famous Benidorm beach loses Blue Flag award after analysis of water and sand

Simon Calder outlines five tips for booking a staycation online

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Poniente Beach is a favourite with British tourists in Benidorm. The urban beach is the longest in the Spanish resort.

The Blue Flag award is given out by the European Federation of Environmental Education (FEE).

The programme aims to award beaches that meet stringent environmental, educational, safety and accessibility criteria.

Although Poniente Beach has been awarded a Blue Flag in the past, a test carried out in June 2021 did not meet the requirements.

Benidorm’s Beaches councillor, Monica Gomez, said: “Our municipal laboratories confirmed that there was an isolated rogue sample in one of two areas of the Poniente area analysed by the FEE.

“The localised nature of the result did not confirm the quality and excellence of the water along with the sand on the beach.”

The councillor said they would make a complaint to the FEE and said that Poniente had received ‘Q for Quality’ awards in the past.

Gomez added that beach improvements were happening all the time and new services are introduced every year.

Benidorm’s two other urban beaches, Levante and Mas Pas, were awarded the Blue Flag for 2022.

Poniente is usually quieter than Levante although it still has a large number of restaurants and bars for visitors.

On Tripadvisor, the beach has been awarded one of the platform’s Travellers’ Choice awards due to positive reviews.

One visitor from the UK wrote: “At sun rise I decided to go for a stroll along Poniente beach and was amazed by the beauty and tranquillity.

“The sand was clean and golden and the sea was warm. There were amazing views of the harbour.”

Another said: “Beautiful spacious beach. The sand is clean and soft and there is natural shade from the trees.

“If you fancy a stroll, the beach is near the Old Town and it’s easy to weave your way through the streets.”

Although Poniente Beach lost its Blue Flag, Alicante Province as a whole won awards for many of its beaches.

Alicante’s Blue Flag beaches include L’Albufereta, Postiguet, Salador-Urbanova and Tabarca.

Benidorm is expecting the resort to be busy this summer as the tourism season gets back to normal after the pandemic.

British tourists need to be fully vaccinated to travel to Spain unless they have a recent recovery certificate.

Children between the ages of 12-17 can travel to Spain if they are unvaccinated as long as they have a negative PCR result.

Britons are being advised to book early as demand for accommodation is expected to be high this year.

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