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Bathing Waters

European Countries with the Best Quality Bathing Waters

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has released an encouraging assessment of the quality of bathing waters in EU countries, plus Switzerland and Albania. The report reveals that almost 86% of the continent’s popular bathing spots are classified as meeting ‘excellent’ standards.

Overall, 96% of the officially identified bathing waters in the 29 countries meet at least the minimum quality standards, with only 1.5% of the bathing spots classified as ‘poor’. This indicates that most locations are safe for swimming this summer. However, it’s still advisable to check the water quality before heading out for a swim.

To assist holidaymakers, the EEA maintains an interactive map of bathing water status, which can be consulted at any time to plan a vacation or during the trip.

Key Findings:

  • Top Performing Countries: The highest share of excellent bathing waters is found in Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, and Austria. Additionally, in Belgium, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Malta, Austria, and Romania, all officially identified bathing waters met at least the minimum quality standard in 2023.
  • Sea vs. Inland Waters: Sea bathing waters generally have better quality than those in rivers and lakes, with 89% of sea waters classified as excellent compared to 79% for inland waters.
  • Lowest Quality Rates: The lowest rates of bathing water quality were recorded in Poland and Albania.

The report’s findings are based on the monitoring of 22,081 bathing sites across Europe, which were reported to the EEA for the 2023 season.

For more detailed information, you can read the entire report on the EEA’s website.

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