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Greek Swimming Waters Among Top Three Cleanest in Europe

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Some of the clearest swimming waters in Europe can be found in Greece, according to data recently released by the European Environment Agency (EEA). Credit: Leeturtle/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

Some of the best swimming waters in Europe can be found in Greece, according to data recently released by the European Environment Agency (EEA).

In order to determine the quality of swimming waters across the European Union, Albania, and Switzerland, the EEA collected data from nearly 22,000 water sources around Europe.

According to the EEA’s standards, swimming waters in Europe that are ranked “excellent” are of the highest quality, followed by “good,” “sufficient,” and “poor.”

In general, the data shows that the quality and cleanliness of swimming waters in Europe has increased in recent years, with 85 percent of all swimming waters receiving an “excellent” rating.

In Greece, 95.8 percent of the swimming waters are of excellent quality, meaning that the country ranks third for the best beaches, lakes, and rivers in all of Europe and ranks well above the European average.

Around 1,500 beaches along Greece’s famously extensive shoreline were subjected to rigorous analysis during the EEA’s research.

Malta, Croatia, and Austria are the only four other European countries where the percentage of high quality swimming waters comes to over 95 percent.

At the top of the list is Austria, where an astounding 97.7 percent of swimming waters are ranked as excellent quality.

The island of Malta in the Mediterranean ranks second on the list, with 96.6 percent of its swimming waters ranked of the highest quality.

Furthermore, the island of Cyprus has the fourth best waters in Europe after Croatia. A total of 93.3 percent of the island’s swimming waters are said to be of excellent quality.

The country with the least clean swimming waters is Poland, where just 44.5 percent received an excellent rating. Slovakia and Hungary ranked just above it, with 50 percent and 60 percent of the countries’ waters obtaining an excellent rating, respectively.

The full list of the top ten European countries with the cleanest swimming waters reads as follows:

  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%)

Greece Second in the World in Number of Blue Flag Beaches

A total of 581 beaches in Greece were awarded the prestigious Blue Flag award for 2022, putting the country in second place among 49 countries, according to data released on Monday by the Greek section of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).

The Halkidiki peninsula in northern Greece, renowned for its golden sand and turquoise waters, received most of the awards, earning 96 blue flags for its beaches. Attica, Crete and Rhodes follow.

A map with all the locations in Greece and elsewhere awarded this year is available at

Spain tops the list of the most Blue Flag Awards in the world.

“We are blessed as a country—our destinations are sought after worldwide,” said Deputy Minister of Tourism, Sofia Zacharaki.

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