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How do you choose a swimming holiday? Alice Gartland finds there are swimming trips and holidays for a wide range of budgets and swimming experience


Swim the Greek islands with The Big Blue

I’m just sitting on the dock of a bay, watching the tide roll away… no really, I am… and turquoise water is nudging the sunset resting on the horizon. It’s so good that if it was on Instagram it would come with a FOMO trigger warning. Add to that a glass of wine and an enormous sense of calm and well-being after another beautiful day of swimming over ocean forests in Formentera, and I am in my happy place.

And imagine, a few years ago I thought swimming trips were a euphemism for brutal training camps suitable only for hardcore swimmers. Since SwimTrek kickstarted the growth in swimming holidays at the start of the millennium, multiple tour operators now offer a diverse and growing range of holidays for swimmers of all abilities. The outdoor swimming and well-being revolution has taken hold and there’s now a whole range of water adventures and experiences out there from swimming with basking sharks in Scotland, to exploring the Galapagos or island hopping through Greek mythology, to swim and yoga retreats and wild swim weekends. We caught up with a range of tour operators, swim guides and guests to find out more.

Friends new and old with SwimQuest
Explore France with Swim the Riviera


Almost anyone can go on a swimming holiday. There are adventures to accommodate a range of swim abilities from beginners through to experienced distance swimmers. And increasingly, tour operators are offering non-swimmer friendly and family friendly trips that include multi activity options, helping maintain harmonious relationships across the swimmer / non-swimmer divide.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Forget about dreary March weather! The new issue of Outdoor Swimmer is a travel special, packed full of inspiring swimming stories from around the world as well as an in-depth look at swimming holidays. Wild swimming in the city; the history of swimming the Strait of Gibraltar; full event listings to plan your summer swims; plus, nutrition, technique, event reviews, news, interviews and more of your stunning photography and swim stories.