5 Unique Swimming Spots

To truly experience any foreign destination, you need to venture into the water as well as on the land. Finding hidden lakes and seas full of beautiful wildlife makes any trip an adventure to remember. 

Whether you are a dedicated open water swimmer, or just love to wade through foreign waters, we have made a list of five of the most unique swimming spots around the world where you can dip your toes.

Ready to jump in? Here are our top 5 unique swimming spots.

1.Praia Do Camilo, Lagos. Portugal

The Algarve is known for its stunning beaches bordered by dramatic rock faces. Lagos is a hub of hidden beaches with stunning views. Praia Do Camilo is a unique location where you can venture into the water and explore neighboring beaches and caves which can only be reached by the water. 

As the beach sits on the European edge of the Atlantic ocean, currents can be strong. Swimming around the rock face is recommended for confident, strong swimmers. When the tide is in there are plenty of covered rocks to navigate around, so goggles or a mask and snorkel can be useful. 

You are sure to spot plenty of sardines in these coastal waters. The water remains relatively cold year-round in Lagos, with highs of 66F/18°C and lows of 60F/15°C in the winter. During the summer you can swim in regular swimwear, but a thin wetsuit might be more comfortable in the winter months. 

Exploring the natural architecture in the water surrounding Praia Do Camilo is a truly awe-inspiring swim, especially if you head down for sunrise. Watch the world come alive from this beautiful secluded location. 

2. Cenote Suytun, Yucatan. Mexico.

There are only a few locations with cenotes in the world. The highest concentration is located in Mexico, and venturing into a cenote is a truly unique swimming experience. Cenotes are natural freshwater pools and each one is distinctively stunning. Suytun cenote stands out as it is underground, and truly is one of the most unique swimming spots in the world.

The crystal clear water of Suytun is lit up by sun rays shining through a hole in the roof. This appears most dramatically in the afternoon. The temperature of the water is around 75°F/24°C and the water is calm and still, so it is suitable for all swimmers. 

At its deepest, Suytun is 16.5ft/5m deep, and everyone is required to wear a lifejacket if they wish to swim. Whether you are floating on your back or snorkeling, you will find stunning rock formations and small fish. This distinctive swimming spot can be very popular with tourists, but the Yucatan region is full of other gorgeous aboveground cenotes which also make for an equally unique experience, if you fancy going somewhere a little less busy.

3. Los Charcones, Lanzarote. Canary Islands 

The Spanish Canary island of Lanzarote is packed full of wonders of nature waiting to be discovered. This includes many natural swimming pools scattered around the coast. On an island which is popular with tourists, the natural pools remain a quiet escape from the crowds with some of the best surrounding scenery. 

Los Charcones is a particularly remote and quiet location that offers crystal clear waters and pools of all sizes to be discovered. To access these pools you will need good mobility as they are surrounded by rocks, but half the fun of this location is scrambling to get there. The best time to visit is during low tide when the pools are full and there is no risk of incoming waves. 

The water temperature mirrors that of the surrounding ocean at 70.5 °F/21.5 °C, but on a hot day the smaller pools will warm up with the sun. The pools of Los Charcones vary in size, and while you should easily be able to see their depth, you should proceed with caution. Be confident you can climb out of the pool again before getting in. 

You will be fine to swim or float in regular swimwear, but it is wise to wear swim socks to protect your feet. These natural pools are suitable for beginner swimmers, and for the deeper pools you can use a snorkel and mask to discover the underwater life. There are natural pools to explore all over Lanzarote, the vibrant blue waters and thriving inhabitants make these remote spots some of the most unique swimming spots.

4. Villa Järvelä, Turku. Finland

A swimming spot that is only for the brave! Once winter truly sets in, Finland boasts temperatures as cold as -58F/-50°C... and ideal conditions for ice swimming. Ice swimming is a popular pastime in Finland so there are many locations both in lakes and in the Baltic sea.

Arguably one of the most stunning locations for ice swimming is Villa Järvelä, just outside of Turku. A section of the frozen Littoistenjärvi lake is cleared for ice swimmers to access, with surface temperatures of 41°F/5 °C or lower. The water is calm so any swimmer who can handle the cold is welcome. 

Locals swim in regular swimwear, as feeling the icy temperature is all part of the health-boosting experience. There is plenty of room to swim for an extended period of time, but if you are new to ice swimming you should start with short swims to adjust to the temperature. 

Part of what makes this unique swimming spot so unique is its additional facilities at the location, including traditional Finnish saunas and warm water pools overlooking the lake. When you are having a break from swimming you can relax in the warm and enjoy the breath-taking panoramic view. 

5. Three Sister Springs, Florida. USA

Florida offers plenty of unique experiences, but when it comes to swimming nothing can beat the opportunity to interact with an endangered species in their natural environment. Three Sister Springs is the only location within Florida where it is legal to swim with manatees

Manatees are an endangered species who head to the Floridian waters to escape the cold. You can swim with the manatees during the springtime. Swimmers can access the springs via Crystal river, which can only be reached by swimming. 

The swim is suitable for beginners who are confident, but the water is generally calm so the main consideration is the distance from the entry point. You will want to wear a wetsuit to help with your buoyancy, and do not forget your snorkel so you can enjoy watching these gentle giants in their natural environment. 

If you are new to swimming, check out our top ten reasons why learning to swim can change your life.

With all of these unique swimming spots around the world, it is hard to choose which one to visit first! Wherever you decide to go, you will have a blast… do not forget to pack your swimsuit!