The number of ‘blue flag beaches’ or resorts with great water and facilities rose to 183 this year from 175 last year, the Danish-based Foundation for Environmental Education announced.
Liguria led the way with three new entries for a total of 30, followed by Tuscany with 19, Campania with 18, Marche with 15, Sardinia with 14, Puglia with 13, Calabria with 11, Abruzzo with 10, Lazio with nine and Veneto with eight.
Even without its beaches, Barcelona would be one of Europe’s coolest destinations thanks to its groundbreaking food scene, unique architecture and legendary nightlife.
But the cherry on the sundae is the three-mile strip of nearly continuous golden sand, which is so wired into its heart that it’s like the entire city’s backyard, CNN Travel suggests.
Much of the seafront buzzes with a carnival atmosphere year-round, with hawkers tiptoeing around sunbathers to sell cold cans of beer, beach blankets and chintzy trinkets.