Which beaches have the clearest water?

Bathing water quality: You can swim carefree in these countries

Cyprus has the best water quality in Europe. This is the result of the annual evaluation by the “European Environment Agency” (EEA) institute. According to this, 99.1 percent of all beaches and bathing lakes examined on the island were rated “excellent”.

Malta (98.9 percent), Austria (97.3 percent) and Greece (97 percent) achieved similarly good results. In addition, all bathing areas in Greece, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Romania and Slovenia scored at least sufficient, so you can splash around here without hesitation.

Almost all bathing spots are of good or excellent quality

However, water rats in the EU don't have to worry too much anyway, because almost all bathing resorts meet the quality standards - 95.4 percent, to be precise. 85.1 percent even achieved the top grade. Only 1.4 percent could only show contaminated or unclean water. Switzerland and Albania are also included in the assessment.

This is really good news for the EEA, because the quality has improved again compared to 2017. The agency sees the consequences of better water management, for example in dealing with wastewater and industrially and chemically contaminated water.

Six poor bathing areas in Germany

A total of 21,831 bathing spots were tested. Local initiatives each took water samples, which were then examined according to official guidelines - for various bacteria and for the cleanliness of the water.

Continue reading after the ad

Which bodies of water have cut off and how can be found out on an interactive map on the EEA website.

Continue reading after the ad


In Germany, 92.7 percent of all tested waters received the top rating. This puts Germany, which also has six inadequate seaside resorts, ahead of popular holiday areas such as Portugal (91.1 percent), Italy (90 percent), Spain (87 percent) or France (78.8 percent).

Slovenia has the best sea water

At the bottom of the ranking is Bulgaria, where only 52.6 percent of the beaches are excellent. The Nordic countries did not do so well either. Denmark ranks 11th, Finland 14th, Sweden 21st.

Slovenia leads the ranking for coastal waters - here you have the guarantee that you will find the cleanest water on the beach, because all lidos have been awarded the top rating.

It is followed by Cyprus (99.1 percent), Malta (98.9 percent), Belgium (97.6 percent), Greece (97.1 percent) and Latvia (97 percent). Germany is at 85.5 percent.