Portugal has 286 excellent quality beaches

National nature conservation association ‘Quercus’ has said that there are 286 gold quality beaches in Portugal this year, 17 more than in 2010 and the majority of them in Albufeira municipality.

“Albufeira is the council with the greatest number beaches with gold standard water quality (with 18 beaches), followed by Almada and Vila Nova de Gaia (15), Torres Vedras and Vila do Bispo (10),” read a Quercus statement released for the start of the official bathing season on 1 June.

The council with the greatest number of non-coastal beaches with gold standard water quality is Proença-a-nova, with two beaches.

The association also revealed that it evaluated the bathing areas based on data from the past five years.

“Quercus’ aim is to highlight the guarantees of beaches throughout several years (five in this case), that they are systematically of good quality, and so as we understand it, they offer better water quality,” read the statement.

Beaches with less than five years of quality data were left off the list, including those that had only recently resolved any pollution problems and those with water analysis results that were below excellent quality during the last bathing season.

The association also said that of the 515 bathing areas in Portugal (432 coastal and 83 non-coastal), 92 percent are categorised as excellent.

As such, 447 beaches are excellent, 32 are considered good, seven are acceptable and one is bad (located in Castelo do Queijo, Oporto).

Quercus’ beach classification is based on information provided by the Water Institute, through the National Water Resource Information System (SNIRH), and respects the new European rules regarding beach water quality.

In its statement, Quercus laments the fact that some interior water sources “continue to be vulnerable to pollution, especially through faults in basic sanitation and problems with the management of the hydrographical basin.”


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