The EEA bathing water quality assessment looks into coastal and inland waters, Source: Depositphotos

Which European countries have the best quality bathing waters?

Which European countries have the best quality bathing waters?

At the start of the summer season, the European Environment Agency published an assessment

There’s good news coming from the European Environment Agency (EEA), which yesterday published an assessment of the quality of the bathing waters in the EU countries plus Switzerland and Albania. According to the Agency, 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 and only 1.5% of the bathing spots have been classified as ‘poor’. This means that you’ll most likely be okay wherever you choose to take a dip this summer, but still, it’s never a bad idea to check the situation ahead of heading out for a swim.

That’s why the EEA also maintains

an interactive map of bathing water status

that holidayers can consult at any time before planning their vacation or even while they are on it.

The highest share of excellent bathing waters is found in Greece, Croatia, Cyprus and Austria. In Belgium, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Malta, Austria and Romania, all officially identified bathing waters met at least the minimum quality standard in 2023.

That is indeed good news provided that many of these countries receive heavy inflows of visitors during the summer season, for whom bathing on a beach represents a large part of the reason to head out abroad. The EEA has stated that overall, sea bathing waters are of a better quality than those in rivers and lakes. 89% of the former are of excellent quality, whereas that standard is met by 79% of the latter.

The lowest rates of bathing water quality have been recorded in Poland and Albania.

The assessment for the report is based on the monitoring of 22,081 bathing sites across Europe that were reported to the EEA for the 2023 season. You can read the entire report here.



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