Posted on: March 30, 2020 Posted by: Clara Smith Comments: 0

Whether you’re a cold water cognoscente or just looking to dip your toe into this invigorating wellness activity, here’s a selection of the loveliest wild (outdoor) swimming spots in Europe that won’t cost a cent to use.

A man swims through the waters of Lake Bohinj, with mountains in the background and a cloudy blue sky overhead
Take a refreshing dip in the clear, cool waters of Lake Bohinj in the Julian Alps © Spanic / Getty Images

1. Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

The Julian Alps offer top-class swimming, including the lovely-but-costly Lake Bled lido. However, travel down the road to Triglav National Park’s Lake Bohinj and discover wilder scenery for free. The Sava Bohinjka River provides a chilly thrill for flow-swimming fans.

Find your own private plunge pool in Purcaraccia Canyon, Corsica © salajean / Getty Images
Find your own private plunge pool in Purcaraccia Canyon, Corsica © salajean / Getty Images

2. Purcaraccia Canyon, Corsica, France

The steep hike to the pools in Corsica‘s Purcaraccia Canyon is demanding, but worth the effort. Swim in – and slide between – a series of pools fed by crystal-clear mountain water, and enjoy unwinding in a nature-made infinity pool teetering on a waterfall edge.

The Baggy Point headland in England jutting out into the Celtic Sea
What sea life will you spot from Baggy Point? © tomholderimagery / Shutterstock

3. Baggy Point, England

Swim through several secret sea caves at this delightful Devonshire dipping spot, including one tide-swept tunnel hidden from lily-livered landlubbers. You may even be lucky enough to share your swim with a seal, dolphin or porpoise, which are all often spied along this coastline.

Explore offshore islands and swim in deep alpine waters in Lake Walchen © Luigi R. Viggiano / Getty Images
Explore offshore islands and swim in deep alpine waters in Lake Walchen © Luigi R. Viggiano / Getty Images

4. Lake Walchen, Germany

Bavaria is blessed with a batch of brilliant bathing spots, and Lake Walchen, located deep in the mountains south of Munich, is one of the most spectacular. Gravel beaches surround the mineral-rich turquoise water, and there are offshore islands to explore.

Mountain gazing should keep you occupied between swims in the pure waters of Lac d'Annecy © Pidi / Getty Images
Mountain gazing should keep you occupied between swims in the pure waters of Lac d’Annecy © Pidi / Getty Images

5. Lac D’Annecy, France

Heated by subterranean hot springs, this Alpine lake is unsurprisingly popular. Many beaches charge during the summer, but Plage d’Albigny à Annecy-le-Vieux and Plages des Marquisats are free. Wilder spots can be found too – some with great cliff jumps.

A view of a pathway leading down to the turquoise waters of Lago di Fiastra in Italy with green mountains in the background
Seek out a fabled submerged settlement – or just chill out on the beach – at Lago di Fiastra in Italy © Beverly Pritzi / Shutterstock

6. Lago di Fiastra, Italy

Beneath mountains on the north shore of this stunning beach-lined lake, is where you can slide into the embrace of its gin-clear water. Take a snorkel – there’s much to explore, including a legendary submerged village.

Are you wild enough to swim in Loch Lomond? © Spencer Bowman / Getty Images
Are you wild enough to swim in Loch Lomond? © Spencer Bowman / Getty Images

Leave a Comment