A Blue Flag certification is one of the leading voluntary eco-labels in the world, awarded by the Denmark-based Foundation for Environment Education (FEE). It is awarded to any beach, marina, or boating tourism operator that meets FEE’s stringent environmental and quality standards. In Visakhapatnam, Rushikonda is the only beach to have had this flag hoisted on its shores, which took place in December last year. After that, 2 more beaches in India have received the Blue Flag label.
Apart from Rushikonda Beach, here are the other nine eco-friendly beaches, promoting sustainable tourism in India, that have the Blue Flag certification:
#1 Golden Beach, Odisha
Puri Beach, widely known as the Golden Beach, is one of the popular beaches in India, having significance as a tourist attraction as well as a sacred place. But it’s mostly known for its sand art, drawn by Sudarshan Pattnaik. Last year, this beach received the Blue Flag tag.
#2 Eden Beach, Pondicherry
In the colonial town of Pondicherry lies a sustainable beach that has preserved its French legacy. It is one of the latest beaches in India to receive the Blue Flag certification. Eden Beach has wowed everyone with its finely sanded shores and greenery. For any Vizagites planning a trip to Pondicherry, this beach is a must-visit.
#3 Padubidri Beach, Karnataka
Falling in the Udupi District of Karnataka, the Padubidri Beach depicts the fun side of the religious town of Udupi. Apart from being a place to relax, and catch a mesmerising sunset, this beach is also known for the many water sports that are available here. It’s one of the most popular beaches in the state, owing to the Blue Flag tag it received last year.
#4 Radhanagar Beach, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
For those seeking peace in the lap of nature, Andaman and Nicobar Islands is usually the answer. This group of islands hosts many tourist attractions and makes for a memorable trip. But the best one of all is Radhanagar Beach, with its pristine blue waters, cream-coloured sands. It’s widely considered to be one of the best beaches in India.
#5 Ghoghla Beach, Diu
An alternative to the beaches of Goa, Diu has long been a hub for budget-friendly partying and adventures. But Ghoghla Beach is paving the way for sustainable tourism in this union territory. Receiving its Blue Flag last year, this beach has bio-toilet blocks and changing rooms for its visitors. Much like Rushikonda Beach, Ghoghla also has an open gym and park for children.
#6 Kovalam Beach, Tamil Nadu
For those who don’t want to visit the forever-crowded Marina Beach in Chennai, there is Kovalam Beach which is only 40 km away from the Tamil Nadu capital. Here, visitors can indulge in water sports, like windsurfing, or visit a Dutch Fort which is situated nearby. Its scenic shores and rocks are a pleasing sight to many.
#7 Shivrajpur Beach, Gujarat
Located near the holy site of Dwarka in Gujarat, this beach is ideal for those who want to spend a peaceful day with their families. On a rare day or two, a dolphin is also spotted near these shores. In the evening, people like to take long walks along this beach, taking in the beautiful sunset.
#8 Kappad Beach, Kerala
If you’re going to Kerala for the beaches, then, Kappad Beach should be on your list. This place is of great historical significance as it was the place where Vasco da Gama landed in 1498, on his voyage to India. What separates this beach from the others is its backwaters which can be explored on a houseboat cruise.
#9 Kasarkod Beach, Karnataka
Unlike most other beaches, Kasarkod Beach was developed specifically to promote eco-friendly tourism in the state of Karnataka and is one of the early beaches in India to receive the Blue Flag certification and has been a benchmark ever since then for all other beaches in the country. One of the hidden beaches in the country, it’s well-protected and surrounded entirely by nature.