New data and an easy-to-use map show where bathing water is safe in Europe.
Fortunately for expats who like to swim in the sea or inland waters, the majority of European bathing sites have excellent water.
Only two percent of European bathing sites have poor quality bathing water; France and Italy have the most sites that are poor’, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA).
Every year, the EEA and the European Commission analyse inland and coastal bathing water at 21,000 sites across Europe, Switzerland and Albania.
Local authorities analyse bathing water for two types of bacteria from sewage or livestock. The level of the bacteria is then reported as ‘excellent’, ‘good’, ‘sufficient’ or ‘poor’.
This year’s findings for the samples, taken and analysed in 2014, show that 83 percent of bathing sites met the ‘excellent’ level and only 409 out of 21,000 sites were assessed as having poor quality bathing water.
The best quality bathing water
Cyprus and Malta had excellent water quality at 100 percent of their coastal sites. The next highest ratings for coastal water was given to Greece (97%) and Croatia (94%).
Cyprus has the highest number of CYPRUS BLUE FLAG BEACHES, with 57 in total awarded by EU again in 2015. Which makes Cyprus again the leader for the last 10 years.
In Luxembourg and Bulgaria all inland bathing sites had ‘excellent’ water, followed by Denmark (95%) and Germany (90%).
An interactive map shows all 21,000 sites that were analysed and each site’s water quality information. Open link to see map.
Poor quality bathing water
The highest numbers of bathing sites with poor water quality were found in Italy (107 bathing sites, 2%), France (105 bathing sites, 3%) and Spain (67 bathing sites, 3%).