Europe's bathing water excellent, except in Albania - agency

The European Environment Agency says holiday-makers can trustfully take dips at bathing sites across the continent.

The Copenhagen-based agency said Wednesday that water quality was excellent at 87 percent of the more than 21,000 coastal and lakeside bathing sites it measured last year.

It said aquatic quality has consistently improved since 1991, when only 56 percent of sites had excellent water.

Luxembourg topped the list, with excellent water quality at all of its 11 bathing sites. It was followed by Cyprus, Malta, Greece, Croatia, Italy, Germany and Austria.

Albania was at the bottom of the list, with the highest number of sites with poor water quality.

The EEA said that overall, only 1.6 percent of sites were deemed unsuitable for bathing, down from 1.9 percent the previous year.