A blue flag marks the spot on your very own holiday hunt for a pristine place to bring your bucket and spade this summer. .
The Pavillon Bleu (Blue Flag) logo, accompanied by a public information centre, adorns hundreds of well-kept beaches scattered across France.
This badge of honour rewards towns who make sure their citizens are clued-in on how to care for their environment, while the Blue Flag programme also takes into account water quality and other environmental measures.
This year, there are a total of 382 beaches in France that have been labelled eco-friendly, and marked with a Blue Flag.
The Hérault department on the Mediterranean coast has the highest number of towns that can boast a well-maintained beach – 13 in all.
Var, a bit further east, sports 10 towns with Blue Flag beaches, earning it second place. Then comes the Finistère department at the tip of Brittany on the other side of the country, where nine municipalities have earned the accolade.
For the summer season of 2013, the programme has recognized five more cites on the French mainland, than last year.
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Map courtesy of Pavillon Bleu www.pavillonbleu.org/