Wild Swimming: Best in Europe

There seems to be something wild and unbridled about stripping down under the cool shade of verdant green trees and plunging into the very veins of Mother Nature with a spot of wild swimming. Watching the sunlight dapple on the water, feeling the shift of the willows waving in the summer breeze and seeing the dragonflies send ripples across the surface is one of those rare moments that leaves you overwhelmed with a sense of tranquility.

Whether you love to sip cocktails in the azure hues of an infinity pool or whether you prefer to immerse yourself in the sweet, salty warmth of the world’s oceans; wild swimming brings out another side and helps you reconnect with the world around you. From vast ice cold lakes to aquamarine lagoons, crystal clear streams and tumbling waterfalls take a look at these top wild swimming spots in Europe.

Riva del Garda, Italian Lakes

Picture the rising crags of the Italian Alps dressed in verdant green, the soft scent of bougainvillea clinging to the balconies and the meadows sitting prettily beside the bluest of lakes. The Italian lakes are something special especially for travelers to dream of sipping limoncello beside the shore, pulling of their clothes in the silky rays of the sun and plunging into clear cool waters.

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Walchensee, Bavaria

You would never believe that Bavaria boasts its own turquoise piece of paradise deep in the heart of the rolling hills. Known famously for its dark yeasty bread, its lashings of beer and its incredible festivals, Bavaria is also the land of lakes, black forests and a rising crescendo of mountains hiding thick walled castles. Walchensee is edged by pale gravel beaches, brilliant sparkling waters that cleanse you to the bone and majestic views.

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River Waveney, Suffolk

Not only will you be a stone’s throw from the delightful character town of Bungay where you can grab a cup of tea after your morning swim but you are also in an idyllic spot for soaking up the English countryside. Drift away in the cool lapping waters watching the banks bloom and the old oak trees shift with a sigh. If you hang around until the evening star rustles in the sky then you may even catch the local otters coming out for a moonlit splash.

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Rio Pitrisconi, Sardinia

Volcanic rich waters invite you to sink in to the steam and soothe tired muscles on the stunning isle of Sardinia. In Pitrisconi you can find a secret pool carved into the cliffs with an edge that you can swim right up to and gaze over the plummeting fall into the canyon below. The rich granite rocks blush crimson and gold in the sun and the scent of wild berries turns the air a sweeter shade making it a dream place to bliss away the day.

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Clue d’Aiglun, Alpes-Maritimes

The dramatic outdoor playground of the Côte d’Azur may boast many beautiful beaches but tucked behind the mountains you can find a magical destination carved out of chalky white cliffs with azure pools, rivers and Jacuzzis. The gorges of Clue d’Aiglun offer grottos and high limestone rock walls with crystal clear waters perfect for plunging. Whether you want to drift away or dive from the rocky ledges, a day exploring the Clue d’Aiglun will ignite your love for the art of wild swimming.

Jodie Oakes

Jodie Oakes

Jodie Oakes is a seasoned writer and an avid surfer with continuously itchy feet and a love of the finer things in life. After traveling through the continent with a touring band, living in Paris, Amsterdam and under the Auroras Borealis, she is now in Bulgaria where she attempts to piece together her first poetry collection.
Jodie Oakes