Malta has been named no. 2 on list of Europe's best bathing spots.


(CNN) — The quality of Europe’s bathing waters has improved dramatically in recent decades, and a new report released this week by the European Environment Agency (EEA) reveals that almost 85% of its bathing sites now rank as “excellent.”

The annual Bathing Water Report monitored nearly 22,000 inland and coastal swimming spots across EU member states, Albania and Switzerland in 2021. The UK, having left the EU, was absent from the report for the first time.

The landlocked country of Austria, known for its many beautiful lakes including the Alpine waters of Achensee in Tyrol and the emerald-hued Weissensee in Carinthia, is at top of the ranking, with 97.7% of its waters declared excellent.

Just behind it at the top of the leaderboard are four Mediterranean vacation favorites: Malta, Greece, Croatia and Cyprus. Denmark and Germany are the other countries where more than nine out of 10 sites got the top grade.

Portugal is at No.10, with 88.5%, while Italy (87.9%) and Spain (87.4%) is in 12th and 13th place respectively.

Tourism hotspot France trails further down the rankings, with 75.7%, while Poland ranked lowest with just 44.5% — some distance behind Slovakia with 50% and Hungary with 60.2%.

Rising standards

Malta has been named no. 2 on list of Europe’s best bathing spots.

Efesenko/Adobe Stock

The assessment was put together by the EEA in cooperation with the European Commission. Local and national authorities took water samples during the bathing season and analyzed them for the types of bacteria that indicate pollution from sewage and livestock breeding.

The waters were then judged “excellent,” “good,” “sufficient” or “poor,” according to European Union standards.

Swimming in waters ranked poor can result in illness — if the water is swallowed, swimmers might experience stomach aches or diarrhea.

France had a total of 99 bathing spots that were ranked “poor,” which means that they had to closed throughout the following bathing season, with measures put in place to reduce pollution and eliminate health hazards.

Sites that have been ranked poor for five consecutive years have to be closed permanently — this happened to 31 bathing spots in Italy, eight in France and two in the Netherlands.

That rule is part of the Bathing Water Directive which was adopted in 2006 and has resulted in the proportion of excellent sites growing continuously from then on. The quality of EU waters is generally high with minimum water quality standards being met at 95.2% of all sites assessed.

Europe’s cleanest bathing waters

1. Austria (97.7%)

2. Malta (96.6%)

3. Greece (95.8%)

4. Croatia (95.7%)

5. Cyprus (93.3%)

6. Denmark (91.9%)

7. Germany (90.4%)

8. Bulgaria (89.8%)

9. Lithuania (89.2%)

10. Portugal (88.5%)

Top image: Achensee lake in Austria. Credit: Ralph Hoppe/fottoo/Adobe Stock

Quoted from Various Sources

Published for: Mr Blow Up

You missed

2015. The forensic lab combats cybercrime cases involving underground online marketplaces 2021 2021 in Washington. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Conservative justices seized the moment and delivered the opinion they'd long promised 2022 2022 in Washington a case about a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks a Republican-led Congress a staggeringly successful generational quest center Chet Strange/Getty Images Donald Trump's lasting legacy will now be the overturning of Roe v. Wade child exploitation contraception and even in vitro fertilization treatments day DC. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images Broad majority of Americans didn't want Roe v. Wade overturned decades in the making demonstrators and activists gather in front of the Supreme Court as the justices prepare to hear arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health haymakers on guns in Washington. Evan Vucci/AP Biden says 'Roe is on the ballot' this fall as Democrats consider options on abortion rights June 22 majority public opinion Monday Nov. 1 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Jacquelyn Martin/AP/FILE Some states move quickly to ban abortion after Supreme Court ruling on December 1 outlaw abortion not just in conservative states polling prior to Supreme Court decision shows President Joe Biden said President Joe Biden speaks about gas prices in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus Protesters ruling same-sex marriage speaks to anti-abortion activists at a rally outside the Supreme Court Supreme Court’s overturning Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton The Department of Homeland Security logo is seen at the new ICE Cyber Crimes Center expanded facilities in Fairfax Virginia July 22 WASHINGTON Wednesday

A stunning moment in American history decades in the making will reshape politics | CNN Politics