New flags on the beaches of Pays Basque

Antiguas banderas triangulares, ahora rectangulares.
Antiguas banderas triangulares, ahora rectangulares.

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New things are coming for the summer on the coast of the Pays Bsaque: the bathing flags are changing style! The formerly triangular flags are now rectangular and the flags marking the bathing area are changing colour. As well as the flags framing the areas dedicated to nautical activities...


New bathing flags, new colour codes...

The beaches of the Pays Basque will soon be under surveillance again, but you will see new green, yellow and red rectangular flags on them. Therefore, on the edge of the beach, the colour of the flags announcing the bathing conditions will not change. Green to say that nothing prevents bathing, yellow for bathing authorised but with caution, red for bathing prohibited and purple in case of pollution.

On the other hand, new colour codes are appearing. The triangular bathing area flags, usually blue, become rectangular and will be recognisable by the red and yellow colour code. They will delimit the bathing area. The rectangular surf zone flags will be black and white chequered.


On 31 January 2022, a new decree concerning the regulation of swimming flags and nautical activities came into force. Thus, after 60 years of good and loyal service, the regulatory marking (colour, shape and size of the flames) has been revised to be harmonised internationally. In a nutshell...

Green flag: supervised bathing without apparent danger.
Yellow flag: supervised bathing with limited or marked danger.
Red flag: no swimming
Red and yellow flag: supervised bathing area during the opening hours of the lifeguard station
Orange flag: wind conditions unfavourable for certain nautical equipment
Purple flag: pollution or presence of dangerous aquatic species, marine and underwater protected areas.
Black and white chequered flag: aquatic and nautical practice area.

Nautical and aquatic practices

This is the rectangular black and white chequered flag that will become the new signposting of the nautical activity zones. It will indicate that the area is reserved for aquatic or nautical activities. Swimming is not forbidden in this zone, but it is at the bathers' own risk. All aquatic and nautical activities will be affected, such as surfing, for example. But also bodyboarding and bodysurfing.

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