If you are an avid swimmer, swimming in natural waters likely holds a special allure for you, especially if you live in a landlocked area. Swimming around the world can open the door to exotic worlds to you. Snorkeling and diving are great to get amazing views underwater, but swimming on the surface of natural waters allows you to take in all the beauty of the natural world around you.
The following are our recommendations for the six places you need to swim!
The Maldives are a collection of over 1,200 islands. The capital is Male, but that’s not the best swimming destination. In all the surrounding islands, you will find gorgeous resorts with endless views of the ocean. Swimming in the Maldives is a singular ocean swim experience. The waters are so still. It can be easy to forget you are swimming in the ocean and not a pool.
If you also love to snorkel, there are many coral reefs you can visit via boat to experience the gorgeous wildlife who call the reefs home. The hottest temperature in the Maldives climbs to 84 degrees, and the coolest is 81 degrees. These waters are warm and perfect for an ocean swim all year long.
#2: Crater Lake, Oregon
Crater Lake is the second largest lake in the world. The blue-green waters are surrounded by cliffs of mountains. This National Park gets massive amounts of snow in the winter, so the lake is only accessible from June to September. The shockingly beautiful views of the lake while hiking on the trails around it are just as spectacular from the water in the inverse. They’re something you really have to see for yourself.
The water is too deep—1,949 feet at its deepest—to ever fully warm up. In the summer, the temperatures are anywhere from 50 degrees to around 60 degrees. If you’re looking for a cold water swim, this is definitely the place. With camping and hiking available too, it is a nature lover’s dream.
#3: Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda
Famous for its pink sandy beaches, Horseshoe Bay is arguably one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Incredibly popular with tourists, especially in the high season, Horseshoe Bay offers many areas off the beach for swimming, snorkeling, and plenty of offers of food and rentals to make your day at the beach as active or relaxing as you want it to be.
If the crowds are too much in the high tourist season, there is Port Royal Cove just west that is perfect for swimming as well. Port Royal cove is surrounded by boulders jutting into the sky, allowing you to swim up close with nature. The waters in Bermuda are crystal blue, so you have a gorgeous view above and below the water.
#4: Havasupai Falls, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Steeped in history, the Havasupai Falls is one of the most exclusive places to swim within a waterfall in the world. Reservations are required to camp in Havasupai campgrounds and camping is a must as the hike to get to the Falls is 10 miles, both ways. But when you get to swim in the waters created by the beautiful waterfall, the hike, the planning, and the persistence required to get the reservations with the Havasupai Tribe is worth it.
The rolling hills and limestone outcrops are incredible views during your swim. Remember the temperatures of Arizona can vary drastically. Highs in January are in the 50’s, while lows can be 32 degrees. In the height of summer, highs can be in the 100’s while lows still drop to the 50’s and 60’s at night. You’ll need to think about the time of year you are going and what kind of weather you’ll be in.
#5: Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland
As far as river swimming goes, there is nothing quite so magical as the Fairy Pools in Scotland. They are located at the foot of Black Cuillins on River Brittle. There is a parking area for the Fairy Pools and from there it is a 2.4 km hike to the first waterfall. There are great jumps from which you can start your swim or you can climb down to the water’s edge on natural rocky steps.
The first fairy pool is connected to the second by an underwater archway. Given that the water is generally around 6 degrees Celsius, a wetsuit and swim cap are ideal for diving under the frigid water to swim under the arch. Truly, the fairy magic here will carry you out of yourself; it’s well worth the cold to experience the swim!
#6: Honorable Mention: Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore
While this is a hotel pool and not a natural water swim, for fans of swimming, this is a must-see. The Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore features a rooftop infinity pool 57 floors above the streets of the city. The views are breathtaking and maybe even a little scary, but it’s well worth the trip to this bustling city.
If you’re planning a trip to go swimming, or just gearing up for the summer, check out our website, Born To Swim, for all your swim accessory needs.