Croatian beaches among the cleanest

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Croatian beaches among the cleanest

01 July 2012

The European Commission and European Environment Agency have recently published a guide on water clarity of European beaches. Croatian beaches and swimming areas are famous for their clean seas and beautifully preserved beaches, with more than a hundred marked with a blue flag, which earned them, since recently, the second place in Europe as far as water purity is concerned.

In 2011 more than 93 percent of coastal and slightly less than 90 percent of inland bathing areas met the minimum standards prescribed by the directives of the European Union. While the coastal swimming areas reported better results than last year and were a whole percent higher, the inland ones had slightly poorer results. Only 1.5 percent of coastal and 2.4 percent of inland swimming areas did not meet the criteria in 2011. The rest of the beaches remained unrated due to the lack of data.

The ranking of countries compiled on the basis of more stringent criteria is led by Cyprus, in which 99.1 percent of beaches met the stringent standards. Cyprus is followed by Croatia and Malta with 97.7 percent, Greece (94.1 percent) and Germany (87.8 percent). In Cyprus, samples were taken from 112 beaches and in Croatia from 910 beaches. 906 of them were coastal and 4 were inland. In Croatia, 889 met the strict criteria for swimming areas. The remaining 21 met the minimum requirements, and thus there were no beaches recorded with water that is unsuitable for swimming.

The highest percentage of swimming areas that do not meet minimum water quality criteria are in the Netherlands (10.1 percent), Latvia (6.5 percent) and Belgium (5 percent).

When coastal beaches are concerned, Croatia has outperformed all competitors, except Cyprus and Malta, with which it shares second place. It is followed by Greece, where 94.1 percent of coastal beaches with excellent water quality were recorded, followed by Portugal with 88.2 percent, Spain 84 percent, Italy 83 percent, Montenegro 72.8 percent and France with 65.1 percent.

Research of cleanliness of bathing waters was performed in the countries of the European Union and Croatia, Montenegro and Switzerland. It has been conducted since 1990 with an aim to improve water quality, and thus tourism and tourist visits. This year over 22 000 beaches were included, of which about two thirds were coastal beaches, and a third were lakes and rivers.

European Commission

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