Open waters swimming is becoming extremely popular. It’s a truly magical experience being out there in nature, exercising your body with an incredible sense of wellbeing. Imagine you combined that with an astonishing scenery. Let’s take a look at some very pleasant places to forget about the world’s worries and dive into peace, calm and happiness.
Before we get going on this open water destination odyssey, we may want to remind you or acknowledge that your dream open water destination may be just around the corner. You may have a lake or river or canal close to you that is the best place to start or end your day. We celebrate these places, making open water accessible to all.
Remember open water can be an unpredictable place. Get to know local conditions, swim with a buddy, (where possible) and use a swim buoy. For more matters on open water technique, and how to, get on over to SwimGym.com and see our very informative open water swimming tutorials.
“Different strokes for different folks,” goes the old saying, and indeed it applies to swimming as well. Not everyone likes to swim freestyle! Shocker we know. And so not everyone likes the same piece of open water. We have selected a few places that may not be on the traditional swimming radar but that presents a mix of location and swimming conditions.
Oeschinen Lake – Bernese Alps Switzerland
At 1578m above sea level, this idyllic piece of open water stays cool in the summer, between 18-20 degrees celsius. The lake is 56m deep and is approx 3.8km in circumference, perfect for swimming around in one go. The lake is small and cosy with incredible views of the mountains. Its smallness is perfect if you are wary of very big pieces of open water. One might argue that there could be no better place to swim if cool, calm water framed by the Alps is your thing.
Ullswater – Lake District, England
The second largest lake in the Lake District, at 7.5 miles long, will give you all the space you need to do short or long open water swims. The water is chilly but the scenery will make you forget that pretty quickly. The weather conditions are unpredictable. Swimming in Ullswater is not always calm or predictable. With the xtreme sport mecca of Keswick just around the corner this is a perfect spot to spend an active and event filled open water holiday.
Public Swimming Pools
Vianden Public Swimming Pool - Luxemburg
However, if you can't drag yourself away from the lane lines but want some out of the ordinary swimming experiences in the pool, we recommend going to Vianden in Luxemburg. Not only the site of the most complete medieval castle in Europe, but also of an olympic sized swimming pool overlooking the castle. Swim here early in the morning and you will have the pool to yourself. The pool is heated and provides easy and very scenic swimming. The surroundings and pool will make you want to come back again and again.
Bondi Baths Swimming Pool
Looking for a wilder swimming pool experience, head off to Australia, to the Icebergs club. Here you can swim in an Olympic sized swimming pool that gets its water straight out of the sea. When the tide comes in the waves crash in over the side and give a delightful semi-sheltered sea experience. It gets pretty wild at times which only adds to the charm of this very scenic and beautiful open air swimming pool.
We know that the last two experiences can’t technically be classified as open water swimming, but we think, with the view and openness, they might feel like it.
Sea swimming is the pinnacle of open water swimming. With these large bodies of water that stretch to the horizon, the horizon is the limit. Included in this are the amazing sights and sounds under the water. Sea conditions are very variable and challenging. Sea Swimming has something for everyone and here are two examples. Of course, there are many many places to swim in the sea around the world that are just as fascinating and beautiful.
Indian Ocean – South Africa
Umhlanga rocks – Durban
If you are looking for warm water that is rough and adventurous, then look no further than the east coast of South Africa. The coast has average swells of two metres and is teeming with Marine life. Umhlanga Rocks (pronounced um-shhhh- langa) is a great place to start. It has big, long wide-open beaches with lifesavers and Shark nets. Yes, there are sharks in the water. Great Whites. They have bad eyesight, so don’t get mistaken for a seal.
There are also strong currents which makes swimming adventurous. Before getting out there, go have a chat with the lifeguards and hear from them first-hand where and when it is safe to swim out. You will be rewarded with a great swim and maybe you will even see some Whales and Dolphins along the way.
Phuket – Thailand
If warm water swimming with no waves is your thing, why not hop over to the Thai Island of Phuket? Here you will be able to explore the incredible waters and marine life. You will see many sharks, rays and other beautiful sea animals, they remain harmless if undisturbed. There are many swimming clubs and swimming treks in this area that will allow you to have a holiday swimming around this beautiful Island. What better way to spend time in the water?
We hope that we have inspired you to get out there to your favourite open water swimming spot, respecting nature and enjoying the freedom that open water brings. Don’t hesitate to look in at SwimGym.com for open water swimming plans, technique and more.
Happy swimming to all.