London Tooting Bec Cold Water Swimming Championships 2017Cold UK Ice Mile SwimmingMontenegro swimmers meeting gold olympian from Rio 2016Swimming holiday locations captured by droneGreece - Swim and Sail Cruise HolidaySwim and Sail Cruise PhotosBest Lakes to Swim in EuropeSwimming Lake Powell CanyonsStrel World SwimHuman Limits presents Martin Strel, the Marathon SwimmerSwimming Croatian Islands from the AirMediterranean Turkey TripsSpring´s Best Fitness RetreatsSwimming around Obonjan island in CroatiaOlympic swimmer about Swimming and Sailing in TurkeySlovenia ranks top Greenest Countries in the WorldSwimming in Slovenia Customer ReviewAustralian Swimmer Talks about Swimming in CroatiaTravelling from Venice, Italy to SloveniaMartin Strel amongst top 10 extreme world stuntsSwimming the Yugoslavian submarine tunnelsTestimonials About Montenegro SwimmingSwimming the Mississippi RiverNew Swim and Sail Turkey VideoMartin Strel International Marathon Swimming Hall of FameTurkish Gulet Swimming Adventure InterviewSwimming trip guest reviewsCroatia Sea SwimmingMediterranean Turkey Swimming HolidaySwimmers with disability on holidaysSwimming in Tenerife Sea Canary IslandsLake Swimming Trip in SloveniaMontenegro Fort Mamula island swimmingBest Deal Swimming HolidaySwimming holidays for singlesLake Bled Winter Swimming Event 2015Chill Swim Winter Swimming on WindermereBest Fitness Holidays in EuropeLondon 2015 Cold Water Swimming ChampionshipsTrying Out Open Water SwimmingLake Swimming SongSwimming Turkey - week long trip itinerarySink or Swim feature article about Slovenian Lake Swimming AdventureArticle by Telegraph Swimming in Dalmatia (Croatia)Boxing Day Swimming at West Midlands Water-ski CentreMartin Strel member of International Marathon Swimming Hall Of FameFive days of Croatian island-hoppingInspiring story from our Croatian swimming tripIn the swim: Article from our guest about Croatian swimming tripGuest reviews and blog article from Croatia swimsMontenegro swimming holiday reviewStrel Montenegro swimming songSwimming at the Lulworth Cove, Man Of War and Durdle Door beaches of the Jurassic CoastMartin Strel swimming with Sheikh from Saudi Arabia to BahrainWorld´s Winter Swimming Championships in Rovaniemi, FinlandWinter swimming at Big Chill Swim on Lake Windermere 2014Montenegro holiday reviews by our customersNew mobile app about Slovenia´s Top 50 places to visitMartin Strel 5 Times Guinness World Record HolderThe Lake Powell Swimming ExperienceCroatia Underwater Swimming Top QualityLake Powell Article: Aquatic swimming adventure with Martin StrelOur guide and coach Giovanna RichardsLake Powell Swimming - Crawl through the desertLake Bled Winter Swimming Cup 2013Winter Swimming Championships in Tooting Bec Lido in LondonLake Swimming TestimonialsNick Ward reports about our Sea Swimming in CroatiaLake Powell Best Swim VacationLiving Swimming Legend Visits Page, Arizona and Swims Lake PowellStrel swims from Statue of Liberty to Freedom TowerVirtual Open Water Swim ChallengeA Strel Swimming Story From Croatia10th anniversary Mississippi River SwimSwimming Smiths blog about Slovenia swimming tourWhy Go for Open Water SwimmingOpen Water Swimmer Show premieres on National GeographicH2open Swimming EventH2Open water swimming event at Reading Lake, UKMartin Strel´s Epic Amazon Swim celebrates 5 year anniversaryH2Open Water Swimming NominationHow to swim the Amazon river by Martin StrelWhy is swimming so great for your healthSwimming with sharksLake Bled Winter Swimming CupSouth African Swimming TourNEW-Croatian short swimming holidayLake Bled swimming in the winterSlovenian lake swimming holiday ON SALEMartin Strel Swimming Article: Incredible EndeavoursOur teamWhy swim with usNewsReviewsPress/MediaBrochureInsuranceGroup bookingsTraining planFAQsOur storeSeeschwimmenSpeaking in SwitzerlandWork with us
Best Lakes to Swim in Europe
Fancy something a bit different for your next best summer holiday? Here´s an idea. Why not trade crowded sands and salty seas for calm, sparkling waters and glorious mountain views?
Picture this: sun-dappled lakes fringed by beautiful olde worlde towns, flanked by forests and overlooked by majestic mountain ranges. That´s the scene that awaits you at some of Europe´s top lake destinations, and it´s a far cry from the usual run of the mill package holidays you´ll find in the Med. There are thousands of lakes across Europe offering all the beach activities you have come to love, and plenty more besides. Swimming, bathing, snorkelling, diving, canoeing, windsurfing, sailing... the list goes on.
Many lakes offer pristine waters fed by springs or glaciers, with flat beaches and bathing platforms. Everyone has their own set of criteria for what makes the perfect swimming lake, so here are a few of our favourites. Some are great for families, others are remote and serene - yet all of them offer a refreshing dip in spectacular surroundings. Dive in, the water´s lovely!
Lake Bohinj: Triglav National Park, Slovenia
Think Slovenia and Lake Bled may spring to mind. As beautiful as it is, it´s quite a tourist trap and can become busy in summer. Just half an hour´s drive from Bled is Lake Bohinj, a serene and unspoilt spot that´s nothing short of spectacular. The calm, glassy lake is fringed by mountains and pine trees and makes a beautiful, relaxing spot for mid summer swimming. Take to the water or join a guided swimming trip. Development is limited thanks to restrictions within Triglav National Park, providing a truly unspoilt oasis, although families may benefit from a trip to nearby Bohinj Water Park. When you fancy a change of scenery, take the forested path which runs around the lake and offers glorious scenery.
Beautiful drone aerial clip from Lake Bohinj, Slovenia
Bathing Lake Going: Tirol, Austria
A cracking spot for families. Fed by the mountain springs of the Wilder Kaiser range, this beautiful lake has it all: pine forests, mountain views, a flat white beach, oodles of activities and of course, fantastic lake swimming. It´s no wonder it was named Tirol´s most beautiful natural swimming lake. Keep the little ones entertained with a 100m water slide, tunnels, a Kids´ Park and Pirate Ship, or take to the sunbathing lawn to catch up on some precious R&R. Talk about watery family fun!
Lake Garda: Italy
There´s nothing better than diving into the pristine waters of the enormous Lake Garda to cool off from those searing summer temperatures. Located in Northern Italy under the Alps´ Brenta range, Lake Garda is Italy´s largest lake with 143 square miles and 90 miles of shoreline. Steer clear of areas like Torbole that become busy with windsurfers, and don´t swim near the boat docks - other than that, there are stacks of superb swimming opportunities. The water is generally warm enough for swimming from May to September, although you may be able to swim a little earlier or later with a wetsuit.
Lake Cauma: Grisons, Switzerland
Lake Cauma is a tranquil emerald gem flanked by woodland with an island in the middle. It´s quite the spectacle at any time of year, but particularly in summer when you can swim in its pristine waters. Based south of Flims, the lake is based on the location of the prehistoric Flims Rockslide, where the landscape is completely forested and undeveloped. Keep an eye on the water levels as they can fall quite low, but swimming is usually possible from April.
Lake Annecy: France
One of the most famous swimming lakes in France is Lake Annecy. It´s a glorious spot with mountain views and lush green forests, and dozens of beaches and little bays from which you can enter the water. You can also swim in the River Fier which feeds the lake. Approximately 10km west of Annecy is the Fier Gorges, a stunning place with a spectacular canyon and natural beaches.
All of these lakes are generally easy to reach, particularly the larger spots like Lake Garda and Lake Annecy. Some of these destinations can also be visited as part of a swimming holiday package. We offer a 4 day lake swimming holiday on Slovenian lakes and you have several options to get there (flights are not included in our trip). Locations like France are also easily accessed by car from the UK, via the Eurotunnel or a ferry crossing.
Which European swimming lake gets your vote?