Anyone can build an impressive swimming pool, but we reckon nothing beats those pools that mother nature created herself. From hidden beachside gems to breathtaking pools in the middle of the rainforest, we’ve scoured the world for some fascinating swimming spots, so you can make your next splash somewhere off the beaten track. Go ahead and dive in…
1. Goldiggins Quarry, Cornwall
One of Cornwall’s favourite wild swimming locations, this quarry is also in a sublime area for picnics and sunbathing, as it’s rocky walls shelter it from the elements. The flat rock ledges make it a popular place for making a splash, and the quarry is nestled on Cornwall’s open moors, away from the busy beaches. When it’s time to dry off you’ll find plenty of walking spots nearby, make sure you pack some sandwiches in case you work up an appetite!
2. Ik Kil, Cancun
After just one look it’s not hard to see why Ik Kil is one of the world’s favourite natural spots for enjoying a dip. It’s just over a two-hour drive from the tourist hub of Cancun and en route to the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza, making it an easily accessible choice for a day out. Head down the atmospheric limestone staircase which is shrouded in hanging vines before jumping into the sparkling blue waters below. Once you’ve worked up an appetite you can head to the restaurant for a bite to eat. That’s not all, there’s even a gift shop so you can commemorate your visit with a magnet!
3. Charco Azul, La Palma
Located in San Andrés y Sauces on the pristine Canary Island of La Palma, these naturally formed swimming pools are nestled amongst the rocks on an unspoiled stretch of beach. The rocky pools have become popular with bathers as they are protected from the waves, so you can experience the sea in complete tranquillity. The crystal-clear waters can be enjoyed whatever the time of year, and you’ll find plenty to do in the surrounding area as well, including paying a visit to the nearby prehistoric forest.
4. Puertito de Lobos, Fuerteventura
Hop on a boat in Corralejo and in around 20 minutes you’ll find yourself surrounded by the mesmerising turquoise waters of Puertito de Lobos. This stunning island used to be a haven for seals instead of people, and today it remains virtually unpopulated, so you can expect pristine views as far as the eye can see. The island boasts plenty of natural blue pools of sparkling water, just waiting to be bathed in. With only one restaurant on the island and few tourists, this is the place to be to get away from it all.
5. La Charca Verde, Spain
Tucked away in the granite outcrops of La Pedriza in Cuenca Alta del Manzanares regional park, roughly an hour away from Madrid, lies La Charca Verde. This stunning natural swimming spot is formed in the Manzanares River and is surrounded by lush forests and the breathtaking Sierra de Guadarrama Mountains, so you can expect to be blown away by incredible views. It’ll take some hiking to reach, but the journey will be worth it when you reward yourself with a dip in the pleasant clear waters that lie inside a mesmerising labyrinth of smooth rocks.
6. Laguna el Dudu, Dominican Republic
There’s no better way to take a break from the tropical heat of the Dominican Republic than with a thrilling dip in Laguna El Dudu. This relatively unknown lagoon is located in the north of the island and is surrounded by natural cliffs on all sides – so be prepared for the dive of your life! Fear not though, the faint-hearted can access the water via the handy zipline cable or the staircase, and still get a thrill watching the divers cause a mighty splash.
7. Lake Bohinj, Slovenia
The peaceful shores of Lake Bohinj make a stunning place for some sunbathing, with the lush green mountain forests of Triglav National Park dominating the skyline. The crystal-clear waters are popular with locals, so head here for an authentic Slovenian experience. You’ll have to hike your way to the lake of course, but you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with a much quieter and secluded location than its popular rival Lake Bled, and the views of the majestic Julian Alps are sure to make everything worth it. If you’re looking to enjoy some unspoiled wilderness, then Lake Bohinj is the place for you.
8. Giola, Thassos
It was the Sirens who lured people to Thassos in the myths of ancient Greece, but we reckon the biggest draw to the island is the incredible Giolo pool. The pool is naturally carved into the coastal rocks near the village of Astris, so bring your camera to capture the incredible views out over the Aegean Sea. The pool is free to enter too, so you can while away an entire afternoon relaxing in the warm water, peacefully floating or climbing the rocks and diving right in.
9. Erskine Creek, New South Wales
Head west out of Sydney and you’ll find yourself at the breathtaking Blue Mountains, wherein lies the enticing Erskine Creek. You’ll feel a world away from the city in this verdant hideaway, where the green of the bush seems to melt into the peaceful water. Erskine Creek benefits from being relatively easy to reach compared to other swimming spots in the mountains, so you don’t have to worry about an arduous hike in the heat – simply turn up, pitch a tent and enjoy the sounds of the birds in the trees and the water trickling downstream.
10. Las Salinas de Agaete, Gran Canaria
Just down the coast from Puerto de Sardina you’ll find the impressive pools of Las Salinas de Agaete. The three pools are naturally sheltered from the open ocean and are linked by impressive volcanic tunnels. The whole family can enjoy a swim here, with plenty of stone walls for easy diving and views of Gran Canaria’s rugged north west coast. They also benefit from a convenient location close to the harbour and the pretty whitewashed town of Agaete, so after your swim you can treat yourself to a meal at a nearby restaurant or a tipple at one of the local bars.