Open water swimming is gaining in popularity, especially after the 10 km swim was introduced into the London 2012 Olympics.

Based on recent studies in the United Kingdom, swimming is the fastest growing national sport.

Survey shows that participation in football continues to decrease year to year to 4% of the population and that 94% of participants are male. If walking is excluded of this count, swimming is the national sport for participation, and 64% of participants are female (source Guardian). By all means, swimming should be considered an essential life skill that everyone should have.

When considering an open water event while on holiday, you should only take part in approved events. These will be events where safety levels are high, both in terms of the course and also in terms of considering swimmer welfare. It is important to know your own limits before taking part, and there will also be some events where you will be able to gain coaching advice. As in all sport, the more high profile the event, then the better the facilities should be.

Wetsuits are permitted in open water swimming events

One of the most noticeable differences between swimming outdoors to indoors temperature differences. Open water swimming can take place in rivers, lakes, and in the sea. And this is the biggest joy of the adventure, every time is different and never boring!

You will also need to pack the necessary items for your open water swimming event. As well as a swim suit and/or wetsuit you should pack a hat, towel, goggles and maybe even safety tow float devices. You may require a lubricant like body glide to prevent chaffing. We would say the important part for a great adventure in open water are comfortable, clean goggles which allow you to see well. If temperatures are lower, then the right wetsuit as well.

It will be important to get to know those involved with the open water event, and to have someone monitoring your swim. You should also listen to local advice so you can judge if the course is for you. If you are swimming in an area that you do not know, then you should take all necessary precautions. It will also be advisable to swim alongside swimmers who do know the course and who swim at your pace.

Strel Swimming Holidays Croatia

We operate professionally guided swimming tours at different locations in the Mediterranean. Our tours run from 4-8 days and are available for swimmers who can comfortably swim 2+km/h. We also welcome non swimmers to join and they could be either in a boat or a kayak alongside. Please see our available 2015 swimming trip dates at

Reference articles:

Why open water swimming is the trend of 2015

Swimming is the UK’s real national sport