Life’s a beach: Finland’s swimming water quality rated “excellent” by EU

A new research project looked at hundreds of swimming beaches on the coast and inland as well.

File picture of Yyteri beach in Pori / Credit: iStock

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, it probably is!

Finland’s summer swimming spots have been rated “excellent” by the European Environment Agency in a new research study.

The country has 301 public beaches in total, with 224 of them inland and another 77 on the coast. Just eight beaches, or approximately 3%, were put into the lowest water quality category of the study.

The report looks at inland lakes and coastal beaches separately and finds that 96% of the country’s lakes and 80% of sea beaches are ranked in the highest category for safety and bacteria.

Coastal waters are subject to a stricter limits of cleanliness when it comes to bacteria.

“In Finland, the coastal bathing waters are not only low-salinity, but the shores are often shallow as well, which may weaken water circulation at the beach and affect the classification of bathing water quality” says Outi Zacheus, Senior Planning Officer at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.

And where can you find the best places to swim in Europe? Based on the EEA’s findings Cyprus, Austria and Malta have the most beaches classified as “excellent.”