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 43 Sardinian beaches, located across thirteen municipalities: the eleven which already had a Blue Flag last year have been joined by Bari Sardo, with the Bucca ‘e Strumpu and Planargia beaches, and the celebrated Torre di Barì, and Trinità d’Agultu with La Marinedda and the Lunga beach, both of them pearls of the seaside village of Isola Rossa.
Including the two splendid beaches at Trinità d’Agultu, 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 four 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 and La Taltana-Santa Reparata in the south-western part of the 'head'. Heading north-east, we find the five Blue Flag beaches at another famous tourist destination, Palau. The flags are distributed across the beaches at the mouth of the river Liscia, in Palau Vecchio, Fronte Saline, Isolotto and at the surfers' paradise, Porto Polo, also known as s'Isuledda. 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, six beaches have received the award from the FEE: Bassa Trinita, Monti da Rena, Spalmatore and Punta Tegge at La Maddalena, Due Mari and the Relitto beach at Caprera.
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 2018, the blue flag is also flying at Li Mindi, Li Junchi 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 three 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. While in the deep south-west the unmissable Teulada distinguishes itself by lining up three jewels of unrivalled splendour which are also models of water clarity and service quality: Tuerredda, Porto Tramatzu and is Arenas Biancas in Porto Pino. 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 Bari Sardo, there are as many as six 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 Muxì, Cala Foxilloni and Ponente.