3 European Spots For Wild Swimming This Summer

Wild swimming is becoming an increasingly popular pastime among Brits and there’s no shortage of wild swimming spots here in the UK. However, if you’re looking for something a little further afield, or fancy wild swimming in sunnier climes, here are some European hotspots for wild swimming that you won’t want to miss.

Falassarna, Crete

Falassarna Beach on Crete’s west coast has beautiful, powdery golden sands and clear turquoise waters that make it perfect for wild swimming. Depending on tides and swimming ability, it’s possible to swim out to Limpet Island.

You can also go snorkelling and explore what remains of a World War II shipwreck just off the coast. Discover the fantastic swimming locations within the beautiful waters with a yacht charter, where you can also explore plenty of smaller coves to the north and south of Falassarna, just waiting to be explored.

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Lake Bled is something of a hidden gem, nestled in the heart of the Slovenian Alps. Swimming is very much encouraged, though it’s advisable to take a towel and a bag for your clothes, as walking around uncovered after a swim isn’t permitted.

You can swim out to Bled Island in the centre of the lake, where you’ll find a church with a wishing bell and a collection of mysterious buildings that offer a glimpse into the island’s past. Alternatively, strong swimmers might opt to swim the full way across the lake (a distance of 2km or 1.2 miles). If you’re up for a challenge, there are also swimming events and competitions held here throughout the year.

Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia is the biggest island in the Mediterranean, located halfway between Spain and Italy. This Italian island is a haven for wild swimmers with crystal clear turquoise waters, glorious beaches and hidden coves to explore.

Wild swimmers often take a kayak out to explore the coastline as this allows you to navigate the many inlets and grottoes of Porto Conte. Snorkelling is hugely popular here too, with beautiful marine life below the surface just waiting to be discovered.

Or for an Italian wild swimming experience that’s a little less well known, the tiny island of Elba, off the coast of Tuscany is slightly more off the beaten track, and offers pristine, protected waters. Here, snorkelers can get up close with species including cuttlefish and lobsters.

Elba also has lots of beaches from which to explore the island, whether you opt for the rugged coastline of the north, or the sandy bays in the south, such as Innamorata Beach, which is surrounded by forest and is home to a romantic legend dating back to the 16th century. You can also swim out to the nearby Gemini islands – two tiny islands rich in marine fauna, ideal for wild swimmers to explore.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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