In a statement, Quercus reveals that, of the 393 awarded beaches, 327 are coastal, 56 inland and 10 transitional, with all regions of the country registering a decrease in the number of distinguished beaches.

"There is a sharp drop in the allocation of the award in coastal bathing waters", minus 32 beaches, and "inland bathing waters recorded a decrease of 16 beaches", says Quercus.

The North region is the one with the "biggest drop" and the Tagus and West region has the highest number of award-winning beaches (98).

In coastal areas, 45 beaches in the Azores, 32 in Madeira, 74 in the Tagus and West, 47 in the north, 84 in the Algarve, 24 in the centre and 21 in the Alentejo were classified as "Golden Quality".

In the interior areas, 24 from the Tagus and West, 14 from the north, 14 from the centre and four from the Alentejo were awarded.

The "Golden Quality Beach" award annually distinguishes the quality of bathing water on Portuguese beaches, based on available official public information, taking exclusively into account the analyses carried out in the laboratories of the different Regional Hydrographic Administrations, explains the environmentalist association.

To receive the "Golden Quality" beach classification, bathing water must meet several criteria, such as "excellent" water quality in the annual classification of the five bathing seasons prior to the last one and all analyses carried out in the last bathing season (2022) should show better results in several bacterial indicators.