Interactive Website Shows Cleanest, Dirtiest European Beaches

It’s getting to be that time of year again. People are heading to the beaches, especially around the Mediterranean.

Now choosing one has been made easier by a new interactive website by the European Environment Agency. The agency has released its 2012 figures for water quality of 23,511 “bathing waters.” The website has them broken down by country and region. While most are beaches, popular inland swimming areas such as lakes are also included.

Some countries do better than others. Cyprus may be in economic doldrums, but 100% of their beaches have clean water. Slovenia, the subject of an upcoming series here on Gadling, gets equally high praise for its narrow strip of shoreline.

Scientists examined samples of water over several months in 2012, looking for evidence of pollution. It turns out 93 percent of sites had at least the minimum standard set by the European Union. The worst countries were Belgium, with 12 percent substandard swimming areas, and The Netherlands, with 7 percent.

Amsterdam says “we are all gay” – begs gays to visit them

The Dutch tourist bureau is reaching out to American gays by trying to convince them that “everyone is gay in Amsterdam”.

The bureau says that gays are one of the few remaining tourist groups with any disposable income left, and they are trying to paint Amsterdam as a very gay friendly city in the hope that they’ll make the trip and spend their cash in the Dutch capital.

To deliver their message, they’ll be inviting the gay community in the US to visit Amsterdam using TV commercials and magazine ads.

Gay TV channel “Here TV” is even planning to show a documentary about gay friendly Amsterdam.

Of course, the whole promotion could also have something to do with the fact that Amsterdam really isn’t as gay friendly as it used to be, and that many other European cities have bypassed them.