24 October 2022
Today we’re going to take a look at some of the best wild swimming locations in all of Europe!
1. Benagil Sea Caves, Algarve, Portugal.
Benagil is a lovely fishing community on the Algarve’s southern coast with a magnificent sea cave. Despite the strong currents, you can take a boat to the cave before enjoying a swim. Alternatively, join a stand-up paddle board group and paddle your way around the coast.
2. Cala Macarella, Menorca.
This beach, known as the most beautiful secret cove on the island, is so well hidden that getting there is a little difficult. It’s a 40-minute hike on foot, or you can easily access it by boat. But once you’re at your destination? It will feel like paradise for sea swimmers surrounded by nothing but rocky cliffs and pine trees.
3. Giola Lagoon, Thassos Island.
This Greek island has some of the most beautiful beaches ever, but if you go, make sure to visit the stunning Giola lagoon. Locals call this the “natural swimming pool” because the Aegean Sea fills the rock pool with seawater every day near the village of Astris. The water in the lagoon is much warmer because the pool is separated from the sea by a rock wall. Perfect for a relaxing paddle!
4. Croyde Bay, Devon, UK.
North Devon will take your breath away with its wild moors and rippling swells. Croyde Bay is one of the area’s most beautiful beaches, and it’s ideal for surfing, swimming, and hiking along the coast.
5. Calanques d’En Vau, Cassis, France.
The hidden bays of the Calanques in the south of France—about 10 miles from Marseille—are another European wild swimming spot only accessible by boat. Bring your camera and your swimmers, because Cassis and the surrounding Park National des Calanques are THE most beautiful, wild places to visit, with 20 kilometers of coastline to explore.
6. Agios Ioannis, Mykonos.
There’s no better spot to take a dip than Mykonos, Greece’s lovely island. One of the nicest beaches is Agios Ioannis, which has views of Delos island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site just off the shore. All you have to do is relax and enjoy the green-blue waves and smooth beach before stopping by one of the family-run tavernas for a pleasant meal.
7. Seljavallalaug, Seljavellir, Iceland.
Most visitors to Iceland visit the Golden Circle, but if you travel a little farther south, you’ll find one of Iceland’s oldest (constructed in 1923) swimming pools. Seljavallalaug is an excellent site for a thorough swim because it is 25 meters long and admission is free.
8. Saturnia, Tuscany, Italy.
The Maremma region is home to some breathtaking outdoor hot springs. The ‘Cascate di Mulino’ is free to enter, and the bubbling waters seep dramatically from the Earth’s crust. This is a swim you’ll never forget because it’s rich in minerals, especially sulphur, and it’s a very comfortable 37.5 degrees. It’s one of Europe’s most spectacular wild swimming spots.
9. Achmelvich Beach, Sutherland, Scotland.
You should visit this rugged sandy beach in Scotland. Achmelvich Beach is a hidden gem and a popular camping spot. Water-skiing, windsurfing, kayaking, and wild swimming are all available here, which is why it has become a popular summer destination.
10. Isola Bella, Sicily.
Isola Bella, a small island off the coast of Taormina, is a sanctuary for wild swimmers. The beach is pebbly and wild, but it just pushes you to go in the water sooner. With so much colorful sea life below and the islet being a designated nature reserve, it’s also a great site to try diving or snorkeling.
11. Hvar, Croatia.
The idyllic Adriatic island of Hvar, appears to receive 7.7 hours of summer sun per day! If that isn’t enough to entice you, perhaps the clearest turquoise blue waters will. Dubovica beach, just outside of Hvar Town, is one of the best places for a swim. The secluded bay is surrounded by pine trees and olive groves and has a rugged, pebbly beach. Nature at its best, and one of Europe’s most magical wild swimming destinations.
12. Lake Lungern, Obwalden, Switzerland.
This natural lake is surrounded by beautiful mountains and environment, making it a delight for outdoor enthusiasts. After a swim, take a hike through the flower-filled meadows and forests on one of the hiking paths. Alternatively, take a 9-kilometer walk around the lake and breathe in the fresh air.
13. Pamukkale, Hierapolis, Turkey.
The sheer beauty of Pamukkale is hard to comprehend. The natural, mineral-rich basins formed among calcium bicarbonate deposits form a landscape that’s both serene and enchanting, with bright blue pools scattered across an all white landscape like pieces in some giant puzzle – waiting for you! It won’t take long before your eyes are drawn towards the Antique Pool on top, with its submerged Roman columns caused by an earthquake centuries ago.
14. Lake Bled, Slovenia.
This stunning freshwater lake in alpine Slovenia is warm enough to swim in during the summer – or paddle board if you prefer. If you want to swim in the clear waters, look for the Castle Bathing Area. You’ll be surrounded by mountains, and you can always challenge yourself to reach the 17th-century church perched on the central island. This place is incredible.
15. Voss, Vestland, Norway.
Voss has a lovely lake and is close to Norway’s famous fjords. From bungee jumping to white water rafting, there’s plenty of adventure to be had here, but sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and take a chance. Take a refreshing swim on the ice lake by taking a polar plunge.
Europe is a swimming paradise, with crystal clear lakes and rushing rivers waiting to be explored. What’s your favorite spot? Let us know in the comments!