Have you ever heard of wild swimming? The concept is pretty popular in Europe and people enjoy this fun summer activity that is so simple and brilliant at the same time. But wait, what is wild swimming exactly? Well, even if it sounds dangerous (“wild”), it’s a very peaceful activity that cleanses the body and the mind and it actually means swimming in lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water that are naturally formed (besides the sea or the ocean).
The name makes reference to the fact that you’re not swimming in a pool or a place specially designed with this purpose in mind. You’re simply enjoying the pools Mother Nature created. And, who knows, maybe you’ll get to have some pretty interesting swimming partners.
So, now that you know what wild swimming actually is where are the best locations to enjoy it?
ALL OVER FRANCE
While people do enjoy this across Europe, one place to do it and have a fantastic experience is France. Besides being a spectacular summer vacation destination, France has a wide network of rivers, lakes, and waterfalls that are not just very clean but are also quite warm during summer. However, if you want some peace and quiet, it’s best to head for the Alps.
First of all, you would be avoiding the craziness that is unleashed on the beaches in the summer, especially in the southern region. The coastal area is beautiful during the summer, but the plethora of tourists makes the things quite suffocating. On the other hand, the Alps are sprinkled with beautiful lakes, rivers, thermal springs, and waterfalls that will definitely allow you to feel closer to nature.
This lake is situated in the Haute-Savoie region and it is the third largest one in France. Even if it is surrounded by the snowed peaks of the Alps its waters are always warm and great for swimming due to the thermal springs that are close by.
If you are vacationing with children and you’re worried about their health while swimming in an unprepared environment, you should know that this is Europe’s cleanest lake. The French introduced strict regulations starting with the 1960s and now its waters are crystal clear.
Lac d’Annecy is quite popular among swimmers and water sportive so you will probably see other groups of tourists enjoying this natural beauty. However, it doesn’t compare with the craziness on the beach.
LAI DA PALPUOGNA
If you’re not particularly fond of France, there’s absolutely no issue as the Alps cross the border in Switzerland. Here, you’ll find a gorgeous natural lake that is just perfect to dive into after a long hike or bike ride on the mountain.
However, this is up in the mountains, close to Albula Pass (2315 m altitude) so you’ll have to actually put in some effort. If you’re just interested in swimming, maybe it’s best to stick with the lakes that surround the Alps.
THE VERZASCA CANYON
Again, a location for the most adventurous of you, the Verzasca Canyon is formed by the river with the same name, in Switzerland. The river is 90 miles long and flows into another great lake of the Alps, this time on the Italian side, Lake Maggiore.
The Canyon is well-known among tourists and outdoor adventurers for its clear water and the beautiful pools it forms from place to place. Just like with most of the great locations in the Alps, you should also expect other people along the river. Besides wild swimming, this location is also great for scuba diving and bungee jumping (from the cliffs).
As you know, the Alps are also on the Italian side and here are some amazing wild swimming locations too. Torrente Fer is a great place where you can have an entire day of fun and relaxation with the family. However, you should know that the water is quite cold even in the summer and you won’t be able to resist more than a few minutes in the pool.
The area is great due to the amazing view and the fact that you can camp there. Authorities installed picnic benches and tourists (as well as locals) can put together a barbeque and enjoy the great outdoors like a true adventurer.
The natural pool at Torrente Fer is very deep and it gets dark because of this. Also, it is fed by a high waterfall which makes the entire landscape even more spectacular than you would expect it to be.
As you can see, the Alps are amazing and they can impress regardless of season. However, they are not the only location you can enjoy during a summer vacation and you should make a list with all the locations you want to see. The world is full of wonders!