Top 5 Places in Europe For Wild Swimming

, Travel

It may be November right now, but there’s nothing wrong with longing for summer already. And if you’re going Interrailing in the summer months, you may fancy a bit of al fresco swimming. We’re not talking about going to the beach, these are some of the best lakes in the world.

1. Lake Annecy, France

Set amongst the Alps and heated by subterranean hot springs, this is a popular swimming spot. Come the summer months, many of the beaches start to charge but it’s a big lake and many wild spots – including cliff jumps – can be found. However, Plage d’Albigny à Annecy-le-Vieux – a shallow public beach – and Plages des Marquisats – a pebbly beach – remain free throughout the year. Lake Annecy or Lac D’Annecy is situated between Lyon and Geneva so it’s an ideal place to stopover while interrailing in the region.

2. Lake Bled, Slovenia

Slovenia serves up a whole host of postcard landscapes. Many Interrailers will be well acquainted to the ever popular capital city Ljubljana, and most likely Lake Bled too. Lake Bled really is as beautiful as the pictures and will provide you with a great freshwater swimming experience. Bled itself offers plenty to do, with some great hikes around the lake and up to the castle. There’s also the church on the islet and plenty of watersports. It’s Slovenia’s most popular resort so it can get very busy. However, the lake is big. Nevertheless, if you fancy a similar but quieter freshwater lake to swim in then check out Lake Bohinj, which is just 30 minutes away.

Lake Cauma or Caumsee is near Flims, in the Grisons, in Switzerland (around 1 hour and 45 minutes from Zurich). It is a mountain lake in the middle of a forest and is famous for its crystal-clear turquoise water.

4. Walchensee, Germany

Walchensee or Lake Walchen is in Bavaria in the south of Germany. Bavaria is blessed with hundreds of natural lakes in amongst the mountainous Alps, just south of Munich. With summer temperatures reaching 30℃, Walchensee is the perfect place to soak up the sun. If you head to the gravel beach on the south shore, then it’s perfect for swimming in and you’ll be able to enjoy Bavaria’s purest and clearest lake, with a quite beautiful hue from the natural minerals. There’s also a secret island to discover…

5. Lake Faak, Austria

Austria has many great lakes but Lake Faak or Faakersee – which is righ on the border with Slovenia – is considered to be the lake with the cleanest, most drinkable water. It’s no surprise then, that the water quality is supreme. There are plenty of beaches dotted around the shore, where you can sunbathe and go swimming.