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BEYOND BENIDORM

There’s more to Spain than package holidays and crowded beaches. John Weller and Lola Culsán, authors of Wild Swimming Spain, reveal the best wild swimming locations

For years, people have flocked to Spain to swim in the Mediterranean’s balmy waters and worship the sun on its increasingly crowded and built up beaches. But just a few kilometres inland, a wealth of rivers, mountain lakes and reservoirs offer wilder settings for long swims. Unspoilt villages, bars and historical monuments are just waiting to be discovered along the way by adventurous holidaymakers. Here is our pick of Spain’s best swimming spots, many within easy reach of the main tourist resorts.

Galicia – Praia do Coba, o Saviñao, Río Miño

Dive from this stunning hidden cove on a wide sweeping bend of the spectacular Río Miño and follow its curve as it snakes seductively through the gorgeous Galician valleys. Swim for miles through the warm, glassy waters, past banks of trees and occasional pretty white houses or small villages clinging to the valley sides. Highly recommended.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

As spring finally arrives, it is time to start planning your summer swims. We have features on wild swimming in Spain and Florida and full event listings for races in the UK and around the world. Plus, we report from Russia and the UK on the final flurry of the season’s cold water swimming competitions. In this issue’s performance zone, as well as all the usual training and nutrition advice, we teach you how to master easy butterfly. This issue we celebrate a true pioneer of the open water: Mercedes Gleitze, the first British woman to swim the English Channel, was an independent working class woman who promoted open water swimming to a new audience.
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