Spain black flag beaches: Warning to avoid 48 gross beaches in popular hotspots including Ibiza, Lanzarote and Tenerife over sewage pollution

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Holidaymakers are urged to avoid 48 ‘Black Flag’ beaches in Spain located in popular hotspots including Ibiza, Tenerife and Lanzarote due to sewage pollution

UK holidaymakers are being told to avoid and not swim at 48 beaches in Spain due to sewage pollution. Spanish environmental campaign group Ecologists in Action has named and shamed the country’s ‘black flag beaches’ that are the worst for problems including chemical pollution, marine waste, over-development and sewage discharges.

Beaches included in the list are located in some of the country’s most popular spots. For example, Talamanca Beach in Ibiza is featured in the list over the catastrophic damage done to underwater plants by boats anchoring illegally off the coast. The report also noted how a treatment plant pumping salty wastewater into the sea has also impacted the beach.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

El Amerador Beach in El Campello just north of Alicante also received a flag because of faecal pollution blamed on a nearby poorly-maintained pumping station. There were also two instances of human waste entering the sea at the Costa Blanca beach in March and April.

Holidaymakers are urged to avoid 48 ‘Black Flag’ beaches in Spain located in popular hotspots including Ibiza, Tenerife and Lanzarote due to sewage pollution. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)Holidaymakers are urged to avoid 48 ‘Black Flag’ beaches in Spain located in popular hotspots including Ibiza, Tenerife and Lanzarote due to sewage pollution. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)
Holidaymakers are urged to avoid 48 ‘Black Flag’ beaches in Spain located in popular hotspots including Ibiza, Tenerife and Lanzarote due to sewage pollution. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

The report went on to claim that “in Tenerife 57 million litres of wastewater are discharged directly into the sea every day, equivalent to 17 Olympics swimming pools of polluted water” with the problem “extending to all eight Canary Islands.” It adds: “Underwater outlets are discharging 24/7 365 days a year in all the islands’ archipelago. 

“More than 90 per cent of the wastewater from urban, industrial and agricultural centres reaches the sea practically without treatment. The ecological footprint of the Canary Islands corresponds to that of a territory 27 times larger. In other words we need a territory 27 times larger to satisfy all the demands of the economic model and development of the archipelago.”

Playa Blanca beach in Lanzarote also gained one of the group’s black flags because of a sewage spill which led to the beach's temporary closure in May. Pellets have also been flagged up as a problem on the Costa Dorada in Tarragona, which includes resorts like Salou. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The 'Black Flag' report identifies beaches and coastal areas in Spain. Listed below are the full list of ‘Black Flag’ beaches in the popular holiday destination.

1. La Farella, Girona, Catalonia

2. Various beaches on the Costa Brava, Girona, Catalonia

3. Comarca del Maresme, Barcelona, Catalonia

4. Sant Adrià del Besò, Barcelona, Catalonia

5. Camino de Ronda, Tarragona, Catalonia

6. Playa de la Pineda, Costa Dorada, Tarragona, Catalonia

7. Playa de L'Estany-Capicorb, Castellon, Valencia region

8. Playa de Burriana, Castellon, Valencia region

9. Beaches at the Parque Natural de l'Albufera, Valencia, Valencia region

10. Puerto de Valencia, Valencia, Valencia region

11. Barranco y playa del Amerador, Alacant, Valencia region

12. Playas de Cap l'horta, Albufera, Postiguet and San Gabriel, Alacant, Valencia region

13. Mar Menor, Murcia region

14. Portman Bay and Sierra Minera, Murcia region

15. Playa Quitapellejos-Palomares, Almeria, Andalucia

16. Playa de 'El Lancón' en Carboneras, Almeria, Andalucia

17. Playa de Castell de Ferro, Granada, Andalucia

18. Playa Granada y Poniente, Granada, Andalucia

19. Playas de Malaga, Malaga, Andalucia

20. Coast of Malaga, Malaga, Andalucia

21. Tarifa, Cadiz, Andalucia

22. Costa de Trafalgar, Cadiz, Andalucia

23. Huelva river, Huelva, Andalucia

24. El Portil, Huelva, Andalucia

25. Aldán river, Concello de Cangas, Pontevedra, Galicia

26. Arousa river and Pontevedra river, Pontevedra, Galicia

27. Minera de Galicia, A Coruna, Galicia

28. Pereiro river and Ramisqueira river, A Coruna, Galicia

29. Alcoa pond, Lugo, Galicia

30. Galician coast, Lugo, Galicia

31. Port of Figueres, Asturies

32. Villaviciosa, Asturies

33. Playa de Usgo, Cantabria

34. San Román de la Llanilla, Cantabria

35. Lamiako marsh area, Bizkaia, Basque Country

36. Gernika and Murueta, Bizkaia, Basque Country

37. Santa Clara Island, Gipuzkoa, Basque Country

38. La Concha Island, Gipuzkoa, Basque Country

39. Cala Xarraca, Ibiza, Balearic Islands

40. Playa de Talamanca, Ibiza, Balearic Islands

41. Port of Melilla, Melilla

42. Melilla Bay, Melilla

43. Monte Hacho, Ceuta

44. Playa de Desnarigado, Ceuta

45. Playa Blanca, Las Palmas, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

46. Corralejo Dunes, Las Palmas, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

47. La Tejita Beach (Granadilla), Puertito de Armeñime (Adeje), Tenerife, Canary Islands

48. Northwest coastline of Tenerife, Canary Islands

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.