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Lago Fiastra, Sibillini, Italy
Posted by NorwouldI
As you wind your way up into Italy's Sibillini Mountains, between Le Marche and Umbria, you will come across this dazzling tourquoise lake with its dramatic Mountain views.
If you arrive early in the morning you are likely to see boar and deer sipping from the shallow waters but as the heat of the day arrives you will be unable to resist the urge to dive in and sample a swim in the crystal clear pools.
In fact, if you take a snorkel and mask you can even view the medieval village and its church that was submerged during the last century.
There are also a number of beach areas one with a bar, a gelateria selling home made ice creams and a lakeside village with an osteria and pizzeria.
There are many marked walks nearby that take you around the lake, or high up onto the peaks and ridges of this dramatic part of the Italian Appenines. Great for building up a sweat before that wild swim!www.villasanraffaello.com/free-time/itineraries-in-le-marche.html
San Lorenzo al lago, Macerata, Le Marche, Italy
Lake Bled, Slovenia
Posted by damnednames
Though, during my brief stay in Bled, the weather wasn't all that consistent I would absolutely recommend going there to see the sights and swim in it's beautiful lake. While there I stayed in the affordable campsite on the lake's edge. I arrived just after dawn and, the walk down from the train station, as the morning mist curls off over a carpet of conifers which trail towards distant mountains, must be the best introduction to this painfully picturesque location. The Baroque church on an island in the blue-green lake offsets the natural beauty with an air of mysticism; this, coupled with the cliff-top castle looking over the lake, give the feeling that you're in a sublime, fantasy film set. Expect to see others swimming and rowing in the azure waters and, I urge you, don't think twice about jumping in to join them.www.bled.si/en/
Korana river, Croatia
Posted by IanR
The spectacular lakes in Croatia's Plitvice national park are firstly packed with people and secondly have a swimming ban.
But there is no ban on the Korana river that flows from the lakes. It is equally pretty with a succession of vivid turquoise pools.
This pool is just below Korana village. The river was at least 20 feet deep here, but so clear that every stone on the bottom was visible.
The locals had made a ladder on a bankside tree - a perfect diving spot.
Glendalough, Wicklow, Ireland
Posted by Suzyr
Glendalough in Ireland is one of the most serene places imaginable. A deeply glaciated valley (the water is cold!) with towering mountains, monastic ruins and an ever changing sky. Although its proximity to Dublin means it can be busy at the weekend , during the week it's usually all yours. The upper lake boasts crystal clear water and a shingle beach. We stayed in Aughavannagh Cottage, a short jaunt over the mountains in the next valley. Almost every morning we managed a swim before breakfast - the one exception was when we climbed Lugnaquilla, at just over 3000 feet, the highest mountain in Leinster.www.holidaywicklow.com
Posted by JohnHS
Feel things getting slowly wilder and woolier as you go from the sophistication of Helsinki to the tea, cakes and ice cream of waterside Ekenäs, and then get paddling in a kayak out to a small island where it's just you, the rocks, pine trees and a barbeque. Strip down to your chosen level of comfort and leap into the beautiful water, with only the remote fear of a nip from one of the resident pike. Make sure you get there in summer though, as it's frozen good and solid in winter (so you don't need the kayak). If the Rolling Pin island is not your thing, there's a cool 1297 other islands to choose from.
Kayaks from Jöns at www.paddlingsfabriken.fi. Ekenas info at wwww.ekenas.fi
Fango river, Corsica
Posted by RobNorman
The Fango River runs west out of Corsica's awesome granite mountains, and by late summer doesn't quite reach the sea. A series of "piscines naturelles" are formed as the river creeks in the dry months. Some are deep enough for diving off the sides of the little gorge carved in less tranquil seasons. By the medieval Ponte Vecchiu bridge, the pools are longest and deepest. Here the river is almost at sea level and the water is no colder than the sea, but without the heavy saltiness of the Med. The mountain setting, but with water that doesn't freeze your bones, makes this a classic swim.
Near Galeria, Filosorma, Corsica.tinyurl.com/o3wale
Grand Lac Region of Lake Geneva, Switzerland
Posted by TheRevB
Lake swimming with real diversity. The Swiss shore (north) is clean (blue flag equivalent) with deep cool water interspersed with lakeside pools for the less brave. Free changing cabins and showers at main swimming areas.
Experience swimming in water (reputedly) as deep as the surrounding mountains are high. Summer sunsets enhance the experience. Great for a young family.Head to Montreux, Switzerland as your starting point and pick up a swimming guide booklet from the Tourist Office. Public Transport (Bus, Train, Boat) will efficiently take you to your chosen lake side swim ,or, just cycle/walk along the dedicated paths.
Gothenburg's Southern Archipelago - Vrannö, Sweden
Posted by laurasnapes
Gothenburg's Southern Archipelago is a cluster of eight verdant islands not dissimilar to the Isles of Scilly. But whereas the Scillonian ferry costs around £100, the boat to Vrannö, the island we stopped at, cost the equivalent of £1.20. Situated a gorgeous cycle ride down residential Gothenburg's clapboard-clad coast toward Salthomen, the island has around 380 inhabitants (though where they were on this gorgeous Saturday afternoon is anyone's guess), a fleet of curious bicycles with huge loading pallets mounted on the front, and a crystal clear, unfettered coastline. There are designated beach areas, but if you want to escape the maddening crowd of the 15 people sunning themselves there, a little adventurous initiative takes you around the island's coastline to vast green spaces, and craggy, rocky lagoons of opalescent, crystal clear (if cool) water. It's like a mini personal paradise.In the summer season several boat excursions depart from Lilla Bommen harbour in the city center. Tickets and information: Göteborg's Tourist Information Centres + 46 31 61 25 00 or at Kungsportsplatsen and in Nordstan Shopping Centre (taken from goteborg.se)
Or, cycle down the clearly signposted coast to Salthomen and catch the ferry from there. We went in September, and the boats were running fairly regularly.