Europe’s top swim spots: 86% of beaches rated excellent

Europe’s top swim spots: 86% of beaches rated excellent. 

Europe’s top swim spots: 86% of beaches rated excellent. Image: Flystock /

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has released an assessment of bathing water quality in EU countries, as well as Switzerland and Albania.

The results are promising: nearly 86 per cent of Europe’s popular bathing spots are rated ‘excellent.’

Overall, 96 per cent of the 29 countries’ officially recognised bathing waters meet at least the minimum quality standards, with only 1 per cent classified as ‘poor.’

This indicates that most places you choose for a swim this summer are safe.

Excellent Bathing Waters

Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, and Austria have the highest share of excellent bathing waters.

Additionally, Belgium, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Malta, Austria, and Romania reported that all their officially identified bathing waters met the minimum quality standard in 2023.

This is particularly good news as many of these countries experience a large influx of visitors during the summer, many of whom are drawn to the beaches.

The EEA noted that sea bathing waters are generally of better quality than those in rivers and lakes, with 89 per cent of sea waters and 79 per cent of inland waters rated as excellent.

Lowest Rates of Quality Water

Poland and Albania recorded the lowest rates of bathing water quality.

The report’s findings are based on monitoring 22,081 bathing sites across Europe for the 2023 season.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.