This week the European Environment Agency released its annual report on the quality of bathing waters around Europe. The report covers the EU Member States, plus Albania and Switzerland and found that in 2015 96% of tested sites met the minimum requirement for safe bathing water.
If you are scouting out your next beach holiday and want to know about the quality of water on the local beaches, you can use this handy interactive map to help you. Zoom in to see more detail, including lakes, rivers and individual beaches.
The best results –
…in excess of 90 % of bathing water sites were of excellent quality in eight Member States: Luxembourg (all 11 reported bathing water sites), Cyprus (99.1 % of sites), Malta (97.7 %) Greece (97.2 %), Croatia (94.2 %), Italy (90.5 %), Germany (90.3 %) and Austria (90.2 %).
Elsewhere, several countries had poor results from more than 3% of tested locations –
In some EU Member States, more than 3 % of the bathing water sites had poor quality: 4.9 % or 31 bathing water sites in the United Kingdom, 4.4 % or six sites in Ireland, 3.4 % or 24 sites in the Netherlands and 3.2 % or three sites in Bulgaria.
Additionally, beaches near Durres in Albania suffer from sewage pollution – something the authorities are working to address. Despite these occasional setbacks, the quality of bathing water in Europe is improving year on year and the EEA’s research helps tourists to make informed choices.
To celebrate the beautiful and clean beaches of Europe, we put together the slide show above – inspiration for your next European vacation. We checked them all against the interactive map and they are all places we would love to swim!
The ten beaches featured are –
- Voidokilia Beach by costanavarino on Flickr, taken near Petrokhori, Peloponnese Western Greece and the Ionian Island, Greece
- Dark Sky Over A Blue Sea by A Guy Taking Pictures on Flickr, taken in Carteret, Lower Normandy, France
- Just Before Sunset – La Maddalena Island by Giorgio Galeotti on Flickr, taken on La Maddalena Island (OT), Italy
- Sea from Valun 2 by Keith Roper on Flickr, taken at Valun, Cres, Croatia
- Kaladi by Nikos Roussos on Flickr, taken near Avlemonas, Attica, Greece
- Morning on Golden Cape in Bol by Nikolaj Potanin on Flickr, taken at Bol, Splitsko-Dalmatinska, Croatia
- Étretat by Pierre Laville on Flickr, taken near Etretat, Upper Normandy, France
- Xingia beach by imagea.org on Flickr, taken overlooking Xingia beach, Zakynthos island, Ionian islands, Greece
- Durdle Door by Kosala Bandara on Flickr, taken in Dorset, UK
- La plage noire de Nonza by Fr Maxim Massalitin on Flickr, taken at Nonza, Corsica, France
Featured image: La plage noire de Nonza by Fr Maxim Massalitin on Flickr