If you’re like me, those YMCA swim lessons made you crazy about the water from a young age. Because hopping into el agua can be a great way to explore the culture and outdoor scene of countries around the world, I’ve been on the hunt for places that skirt the description of your average swimming pool. Swimming is not just for summer or the 4th of July, my American friends.
If you’re road tripping through the southwest USA, be sure to hit up some classic water holes along the way. Plenty pop up in Texas, Nevada, Arizona, and southern California. We’re lucky that one Matador contributor Google Mapped Lemkes Lagoon for all of us to enjoy now! Getting sticky while walking yourself crazy through European cities in summer? Copenhagen and Milan have just the oases for you.
Feel at home in your birthday suit by experiencing onsen, or hot springs, in Japan or better yet, venture into the massive Spa World to see how the Japanese have taken the term ‘spa’ to a whole new level. Yes, the famous Marina Bay Sands has its epic infinity pool but the South Pacific is not to be outdone. Its swim and splash spots are now yours to explore.
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Jardin del Eden Cenote
Jardin Del Eden CenoteSolidaridad, MexicoThis was perhaps my favorite cenote. Absolutely beautiful, as they all are, with a 12 foot jumping platform. You must wear biodegradable sunscreen as they are really strict on protecting the natural environment! You also can’t purchase food here though so be sure to pack your own. #snorkeling #swimming #ecotourism
The Marina Bar Sands Singapore Infinity Pool
Milanosport — Centro Sportivo Lido
Milanosport – Centro Sportivo LidoMilano, ItalyOtherwise known as Lido di Milano, this institution has been open since 1931. It’s open to the public and costs 5-10 Euros for a day pass. You’ll need a swim cap but if you don’t have one, you can buy one there when you pay. Cool retro architecture and an awesome looking old locker room space make it very nostalgic. Check the times online and get there when it opens because it’s really popular and sunbathing spots fill up fast! Great place to hang out and cool off in the stifling Milan summer. #milano #milan #pools #swimming #italy
Blue Lagoon, IcelandI’ve dreamt of coming here ever since my mom visited while working in Iceland years ago. People may complain about the €35-40 price tag or say “skip it” but I thought it was a YOLO experience and I loved every minute of it. I stayed for four hours indulging in the lagoon bar and the “mud spot”, talking with other tourists, and enjoying the few people there around dusk….it was then otherworldly. Do it! Hot spring and chill. #pools #swimming #iceland
Kadiyanlena FallsKotmale, Sri LankaComing from Kandy, this swimming spot is about 12 kilometers along the Nawalapitiya-Kotmale Road. There are a couple bridges around it and you can get better views of the falls from these. I think swimming is prohibited from this bottom part of the falls but you can splash around the two upper parts and the bridges will take you there. Popular with locals and they will point you in the right direction 🙂 #swimming #srilanka #kandy #waterfalls
Széchenyi Thermal Bath
Széchenyi Thermal BathBudapest, HungaryBudapest is wild. Gorgeous and profound with a vibrant underground culture. Through the old Jewish quarters and central Pest has exciting nightlife that is always going on. The thermal baths on Friday and Saturday nights also turn into wild parties. Cheers! #dancing
Polynesian SpaRotorua, New ZealandRotorua is famous for its geysers and hot springs and here you can experience them for yourself! This spa has you dipping in multiple pools of steaming water and then looking out into absolutely scalding geyser areas from afar. Lots of cool like waterfalls in the pool area, too. #pools #spa #newzealand #rotorua #nz
Spa WorldŌsaka-shi, JapanThis spa is 24/7 and has other amenities to keep you entertained! This specific Japanese onsen spa is destination themed with half of the spa area European-themed and the other half Asian-themed. One is designated for men and the other for women and each month the spa areas switch so people in the area can experience both Asian and European parts. For example, the European area features spa settings from Spain, Greece, and Finland, and Italy among others. The Asian sides features spas from Bali and East Asia. You go in nude with a small towel to these spas. The other main part of Spa World is an indoor water park and you can go in with your swimsuit on here – a good option if you don’t feel comfortable going the other route! Definitely a fun experience all around. Cost is around 2000-2500 yen for a 24 hour period. #spa #japan #osaka #swimming
Dead Sea Spa Center
Dead Sea Spa CenterEin Gedi, IsraelFloat swim at the lowest point on earth! There are numerous spas, resorts, and free beaches in this area. Just take your pick and lather on the mud! #swimming #israel #deadsea
Islands Brygge HavnebadetKøbenhavn, DenmarkOr “Harbor Baths” in English, these are literally designated swimming areas in the harbor of Copenhagen. There are a couple diving boards as well as some places for playing water polo and water basketball. Lifeguards are also on duty. Super popular in summer! #pools #swimming #copenhagen #denmark
LaugardalslaugReykjavík, IcelandIf you’re in Reykjavik, hitting up an Icelandic swimming pool is an absolute must! The pool is heated geothermally so you can go any time of the year. This one is within walking distance of the city center and also has hot tubs and water slides. Definitely, definitely go if it’s sunny outside! #pools #swimming #outdoors #hotsprings #waterparks #sports