Summer: a lovely time of year when neighbors organize weekend barbecues, people flock to the beaches, and the scorching sun gives everything an even more vibrant, dazzling appearance. And with summer comes another life's greatest pleasure—and one that not enough people get to really experience— swimming. In light of this, skip the pools and head to some of the world's top swimming spots, which include a variety of rivers, lakes, picture-perfect pools, enigmatic caves, and sinkholes. Sinkholes, indeed. In recent years, as more and more individuals travel the world in quest of unique swimming experiences, wild swimming has revived again.
Some of the most stunning swimming holes in the world are just waiting for you if you're sick of stuffy air conditioning or conventional summertime activities.
1. Devil’s Pool, Victoria Falls, Zambia
Even though it doesn't have the most enticing name, this breathtaking location near Victoria Falls is more likely to have angels than demons. Devil's Pool is a stunning natural pool that is only reachable by a tour from Livingstone Island and is perched right on the verge of the abyss. If you don't deliberately seek out tragedy, the entire endeavor is totally safe. Depending on the levels of the Zambezi river, the pool is open from August to January.
2. Ik Kil Cave Pool, Mexico
This deep natural hole, close to Chichen Itza, allows peaceful swimming with light filtering through from its natural skylight. Ik Kil Cenote is an open-top cenote. In contrast to some cenotes, where the swimming area is encased in a cave, this cenote's swimming area is open to the sky. It is extremely breathtaking to swim in the crystal-clear waters while watching the hanging vines tumbling into the water.
3. The Blue Grotto, Croatia
The Croatian Adriatic island of Vis is home to some very spectacular swimming spots. Small boats can enter the region through an entry on the side of the cave after a brief ferry voyage from Split or Dubrovnik. Because the cave is most stunning shortly before noon, visitors are typically brought here at that time. The sun's rays are absorbed by the water, which scatters them throughout the limestone cave to provide a captivating blue image.
4. Blue Lagoon, Iceland
It's easy to understand why Iceland's geothermal Blue Lagoon is one of the country's most popular and well-known attractions. No matter how long or short your vacation, stopping at this Icelandic lagoon in between the airport and Reykjavik is a terrific way to break up the journey. As you immerse yourself into its warm, 38°F waters rich in minerals, you'll realize that this is well worth the experience. The way silica reflects sunlight gives the water its recognizable hue.
5. Calanques National Park, France
The swim that awaits is worth every drop of perspiration shed on the climb to these stony cliffs between Marseille and Cassis. The two ocean inlets (Calanque de Port Pin and Calanque d'En Vau) that make up Les Calanques—known as the natural marvel of Provence—are about as lovely as it gets. The best time to visit is early in the day because in the summer, these remote locations fill up quickly.
6. Heaven Lake, China
The name of this swimming hole on the Chinese-North Korean border gives you a better idea of the experience you can expect. It is the highest Crater Lake in the world at a height of 7,182 feet. You can swim to the lowest point conceivable thanks to its 699-foot depth. However, due to it being covered in ice from mid-October to mid-June, you should avoid going there.
7. Monteverade Cloud Forest, Costa Rica
The adventure in the Bajos del Toro region includes more than just swimming in the Cloud Forest; it's also enhanced by breathtaking treks, authentic Costa Rican coffee, and zip lines for the more daring. Swimming under a gorgeous waterfall will never grow old, and Monteverde has enormous biodiversity.
8. Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland
On the Isle of Skye, you can start a picturesque stroll from Glen Brittle toward the Fairy Pools. It's a very well-liked location for hikers and photographers. It's perfect for any adventure seeker who dares to explore its chilly waters because of how clear they are. The Fairy Pools, which seem like they belong in a Tolkien novel, are one of Scotland's most lasting and beloved natural wonders despite being bone-chillingly cold and resembling a scene from a Scottish fairy story.
9. Las Grietas, Galapagos Islands
Las Grietas is the ideal place to take in the natural beauty and animals of Ecuador's Galapagos Islands. You'll come upon one of the most unusual swimming holes in the nation as you travel through a cactus forest, across lava rock formations, and through the woods. The Cracks is the literal name for a group of volcanic cracks formed as molten lava cooled. Visit Ecuador and swim in the breathtaking Las Grietas waters!
10. Bimmah Sinkhole, Oman
The Hawiyat Najam Park has this stunning sinkhole, which is only a short drive from Muscat. Picnic areas are available in the region to complement your visit. The water here is the absolute definition of "crystal clear," and its emerald green hue is a result of limestone reflections. Since the water is actually fairly warm, we wouldn't describe it as a location to "cool off."