From tropical beaches to chilly mountain lakes, the world is full of breathtaking open water swimming destinations, and today we’re sharing some of our favorites!
Without further ado, fasten your seatbelts, like this video, and let’s dive in!
1. Barton Springs Pool, Austin, Texas
First, we’re traveling to the southwestern United States. Tucked away in the middle of busy Austin, Texas, you’ll find the 358-acre Zilker Park. It is home to the Barton Springs Pool, a must-see freshwater pool that’s a favorite of both locals and tourists.
Fed from 4 natural, underground springs, Barton Springs is open year-round, and is great for those new to open water swimming. The water temperature hovers between 68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which is perfect for a refreshing dip!
The pool stretches up to 18 feet deep, and is about 275 meters long and 45 meters wide. And, since it’s an enclosed pool, you don’t have to worry about boat traffic or other safety concerns you would experience in lakes or oceans. Keep an eye out for the springs’ famous salamanders, too!
Related: The 12 Most Beautiful Pools in the World
After your swim, lounge on the grass or stop by the visitor center to learn about Barton Springs’ unique ecosystem.
2. Noosa Main Beach, Noosa Heads, Australia
Listed among UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserves, Noosa is packed full of beautiful beaches and wildlife. One of our favorite spots in this area is Noosa Main Beach!
This beach is one of the only north facing beaches on Australia’s east coast, meaning it usually has gentle waves that are perfect for open water swimming. The beach can get busy during the summer months, so we recommend swimming early in the morning to beat the crowds.
Noosa Main Beach is home to numerous open water races, including the Noosa Summer Swim festival, which offers races ranging from 300 meters to 5 kilometers.
If you want even more open water fun, check out the rivers and lakes in the area! Or, take a walk in Noosa National Park to explore more secluded ocean bays.
3. Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman Islands
From its warm, turquoise water to its pristine white sand, Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman is consistently rated as one of the world’s best beaches. And once you visit, it’s easy to see why!
Despite its name, the beach measures about 6 miles long. Perfect for a long open water swim! The crystal clear water provides incredible visibility, and calm conditions ensure your swim goes smoothly.
If you finish your swim in the early evening, stick around for sunset. It’s spectacular!
Related: How I Swam from Asia to Europe | Bosphorus Cross Continental Swim
For swimmers looking to race, the Flowers Sea Swim is held in the summer each year, with 1-mile, 3k and 10k race options. If you’re feeling speedy, try the mile. There’s a $10,000 cash prize for any swimmer who can break the record for the fastest ocean mile!
Most of the island’s luxury resorts are located along Seven Mile Beach, so no matter where you stay, you’ll have easy access to the water!
4. Lake Tahoe, California, USA
California may be known for its beaches, but we’re heading inland for our next spot. Located on the border of California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America — and it’s a distance swimmer’s paradise.
Surrounded by tall pines and mountains, the views are incredible everywhere you look. Inhale the crisp, mountain air and get ready to explore the lake’s many beaches and secluded coves.
Lake Tahoe is the second deepest lake in the United States, measuring 501 meters at its deepest point. Because the lake is so deep, the water is chilly year round, but that doesn’t stop swimmers from venturing out for a workout. At Sand Harbor Beach, you’ll likely run into other swimmers training for one of the lake’s marathon swims.
There are 3 popular marathon swims in Lake Tahoe: A 21-mile swim that covers the full length of the lake, a 12-mile swim across the width of the lake, and a 10.6 mile swim across the lake’s southern region.
5. Maracas Beach, Trinidad and Tobago
Next, we’re headed to Trinidad and Tobago for a swim at one of the most idyllic beaches in the world.
Nestled in the Maracas Bay, this beach is exactly what you’d expect from a tropical paradise: blue-green waters, wide, sandy shores and palm trees as far as the eye can see.
The beach stretches 2 kilometers, so there’s plenty of space for a long swim! Each year, swimmers compete in the Maracas Open Water Classic, choosing from 1,000-meter, 3,000-meter or 5,000-meter distances.
The water is relatively calm in Maracas Bay, but waves can reach about 1 meter high. Take advantage of the swells and practice bodysurfing!
After your swim, soak up some sunshine on the beach or try the local street food, known as bake and shark.
6. Loch Lomond, Scotland
From the warm tropics, we’re traveling north to the Scottish Highlands for our next must-see spot. The largest stretch of inland water in Britain, Loch Lomond is one of 22 lochs in Scotland’s Trossachs National Park.
At 24 miles long, the loch is surrounded by rolling hills and sprawling oak forests that make for dramatic views.
Open water swimming is massively popular here. You’ll find lots of swimmers donning wetsuits, bright colored caps and safety buoys at Milarrochy Bay in East Lomond.
Each summer, the Go Swim Loch Lomond race draws swimmers from far and wide. With race distances ranging from 250 meters to 10,000 meters, the race is great for open water newbies and seasoned veterans.
Loch Lomond is also home to 30 small islands, making for lots of fun exploring between swims!
7. Lake Geneva, Switzerland
The last spot on our list is truly breathtaking. Lake Geneva is Switzerland’s largest lake, measuring 73 kilometers long and 14 kilometers wide.
But its size isn’t what draws tourists and swimmers to its shores. This crescent-shaped lake is surrounded by mountains, including the Alps and the Jura Mountains.
Depending on where you swim, your views could include lush landscapes and castles, rugged mountains or forested, alpine terrain. Be prepared for a cold plunge, though. The average water temperature in Lake Geneva is 55 degrees Fahrenheit!
During the summer, swimmers can take part in various open water races, including the 70-kilometer swim from Chillon Castle to Geneva!
We hope you loved these swim spots as much as we do! Which destinations are you adding to your travel list? Let us know in the comments!
How about the Maldives? I swam from island to another a few years ago. Beautiful
Oh wow, I bet that was beautiful!
Awesome information! Is there a race between Corsega and Sardenha? Which length is it? Where does it start? Thank you all!!!
Looks like it! https://waterworldswim.com/wws-international/italy-bonifacio-channel/
32 mile long, crystal clear Lake George in the Adirondacks of upstate New York should have been at or near the top of your list. Definitely better than Lake Tahoe. LG is where US Masters nearly always has at least one of its Open Water Swimming Championships.
Great addition! It was tough to keep this list to just seven spots…there are so many beautiful places to highlight!