Tourists and holiday homeowners looking for pristine beaches and clean water to swim in should have Turkey on their radar, after the country was ranked third out of 51 countries on the 2014 Blue Flag scheme.
Turkey now has 387 Blue Flag beaches, putting it ahead of France with 379 Blue Flag beaches and Portugal (298). Ahead of Turkey were Greece (408) and, at the top of the table, Spain (571).
This year, eight more beaches in Muğla province were added to the steadily increasing number of Blue Flag beaches along Turkey’s Aegean and Mediterranean coastlines. They are located in Icmeler in the district of Marmaris.
Even more impressive is the fact that Antalya now holds a record for the highest number of Blue Flag beaches in a province. Antalya now has 197 beaches and six marinas awarded Blue Flag status.
Antalya's regional Blue Flag co-ordinator Lokman Atasoy told a news agency that the city's aim was to sustain the quality of the certified beaches and increase the number of beaches that deserve a Blue Flag.
“Tourists visiting Turkey care more and more about the water quality and eco-friendly beaches,” he said, adding the Blue Flag had an increasing role in the preferences of tourists. Antalya is home to the pretty resort of Kalkan, which has its own Blue Flag beach beside its harbour but is also a short bus ride from the stunning Blue Flag beaches at Kaputas and Patara, adding to the appeal of owning a property in Kalkan.