Water sports are available at the most popular beaches in the area, many of which are also Blue Flag.
The water sports offered include: Jet Ski, Speed Boats, Water ski, Paragliding, Banana Ride, Catamaran, Pedal Boats and Canoes.
Sun beds and umbrellas are available, toilets and cafeteria facilities vary from beach to beach.
The Blue Flag for Beaches is valid only during the bathing season. The Blue Flag season coincides with the bathing season. Any beach is potentially eligible for the Blue Flag. Local authorities interested in participating should begin by examining the level of current use as well as projected use of the beach in the context of its existing infrastructure and services. This should be done both to assess the need for additional services and infrastructure but also to assess the long term impacts, especially in the case of natural beaches where nature and landscape protection should be high priorities.
The Cyprus Tourism Organisation's policy for sustainable tourism development focuses on people, culture and the environment. The introduction of the "European Blue Flag Campaign" in Cyprus is within this policy objective and aims to protect the island's natural and cultural identity, and to enhance and upgrade the quality of the tourist product as well as create environmental awareness among the people of Cyprus.
The European Blue Flag Campaign, which is an environmental information and education campaign, was launched in 1987 during the European Year for the Environment with the support of the European Commission, DG XI. The Campaign is coordinated by the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe (FEEE), http://www.feee.org
In 2001, the European Jury has awarded the "Blue Flag" to more than 2700 beaches in 21 European Countries. 34 flags were awarded to organised beaches in Cyprus.
The "Blue Flag" is awarded to beaches which fulfil a number of criteria, including: (i) the quality of the bathing water, which must be in accordance with the relevant European Union Directive (ii) environmental education and information and (iii) beach area management and safety. The "Blue Flag" has become a European symbol of environmental quality that serves as an incentive for local authorities and the private sector to take measures for the overall improvement of the coastal areas in accordance with the above-mentioned criteria.
Cyprus, as a Mediterranean tourism destination, has recognised the importance of this Campaign as one way in which tourism can be better integrated with the coastal environment. More specifically, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) has investigated the idea of introducing the Blue Flag Campaign with the FEEE. C.T.O., as a semi-governmental organisation, could not assume the role of the national operator and it became the programme's national coordinator instead; the Cyprus Marine Environment Protection Association (CYMEPA), as the most suitable non-governmental environmental agency, was proposed as the programme's national operator.
It was therefore with the initiative of the CTO and the cooperation of CYMEPA, the local authorities and the relevant government bodies, that Cyprus has introduced the European Blue Flag Campaign and became a full member of the FEEE in 1995. CYMEPA, is the Campaign's National Operator and CTO its National Coordinator.
The successful implementation of the Blue Flag Campaign in Cyprus has positively influenced the qualitative improvement of the island's beaches as well as the overall tourism promotion of Cyprus abroad. It is undoubtedly an important initiative within the framework of the harmonisation efforts with the European Union "acquis communautaire" and more specifically it constitutes a step further in the implementation of the Bathing Water Quality Directive 76/160/EEC. In addition, the Campaign contributes towards the improvement of our coastal areas that are invaluable national assets and vital components of the island's tourist product. After all Cyprus is the birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love who was born out of the foam caressing the island's beaches.
The Cyprus Tourism Organisation, within its role as a Blue Flag National Coordinator, also acts as a sponsor for various projects that contribute to the success of the scheme in Cyprus and the environmental awareness and education of the public. Particularly, the CTO finances the Blue Flag Campaign's promotional material in Cyprus that is published in cooperation with CYMEPA. In addition, the CTO offers financial support and technical advice to the local authorities participating in the Campaign and subsidises projects and activities relating to beach safety, cleanliness and qualitative improvement.
The European Blue Flag Campaign is an environmental campaign but its focus is on people. Each one of us has an instrumental role to play for the success of the Campaign and the awarding of the European "Blue Flag" to our communities. Everyone can make a positive contribution towards the objective of having a clean and safe environment to enjoy by participating in community initiatives and by showing responsible behaviour and utmost respect for the coastal and marine environment.
It is this valuable contribution that the European Blue Flag Campaign recognizes.
The "Blue Flag" is indeed an award for all the people and visitors of Cyprus alike!
Cyprus Tourism Organisation