Greece is among the countries in the EU with the highest share of excellent bathing waters, according to the latest annual Bathing Water report published today.

Other EU member-states with top bathing waters included Croatia, Cyprus, and Austria. All officially identified bathing waters in Belgium, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Malta, Austria, and Romania met at least the minimum quality standard in 2023.

The report showed that the vast majority of bathing water sites in Europe met the European Union’s most stringent ‘excellent’ bathing quality standards in 2023, representing 85.4% of the EU’s popular bathing waters. As much as 96% of all officially identified bathing waters in the EU met the minimum quality standards, with only 1.5% rated as ‘poor’.

All officially identified bathing waters met at least the minimum quality standard in 2023.

The assessment, put together by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in cooperation with the Commission, highlights where swimmers can find safe bathing sites in Europe this summer. It focuses specifically on safety for bathing, through monitoring of bacteria which can cause serious illness in people, rather than general water quality.

The assessment for today’s report is based on the monitoring of 22,081 bathing sites across Europe that were reported to the EEA for the 2023 season. This includes sites in all EU Member States, Albania, and Switzerland. It is based on data reported by Member States for the 2020-2023 bathing seasons.

The report is published during the Commission’s annual EU Green Week, including the conference “Towards a water resilient Europe” starting in Brussels on 29 May. At the EU Green Week, the Commission is launching the #WaterWiseEU campaign an awareness-raising campaign on the need to transform the way water is managed, used, and valued. This will encourage people to “See Water Differently” and explore solutions to the various water challenges we are facing today.

Greece this year remained in second place, worldwide, in the number of coveted “Blue Flags” awarded to its beaches, marinas, and tourism vessels, taking 625, 18, and nine, respectively, according to results announced on Friday by the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature (EEPF).