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While open-water swimming used to be a physical activity practiced mostly by athletes or eccentrics, it is a trend that is surging in importance nowadays. And as a country whose perimeter is almost entirely surrounded by water, it is not surprising that the offers for swimming-specific holidays are on the rise. To make things easier, here is a list of the best spots to enjoy open-water swimming in Greece.
Spetses has already proven itself to be a great open-sea swimming destination, as it has successfully hosted many swimming-related events including the triathlon known as the Spetsathlon. The famous tracks include the cross-channel route from neighboring island Kosta to Spetses, but you can also enjoy some swimming sessions along the coast.
Lefkada has much more than stunning beaches and magnificent landscapes to offer; the island is also an excellent base from which to enjoy some open-water swimming. Explore tiny unknown islands nearby and discover another facet of this beautiful place. The waters between the mainland and the island offer a multitude of micro-islands, that make fascinating destinations for swimming sessions.
The most cosmopolitan island of the Argosaronic archipelago is a perfect spot for coastal swimming. Blessed with clear and cool waters, Hydra offers a great playground for any swimming enthusiast. And the rugged and rocky coastline of the island will hug you all the way to your destination. Vlichos beach, paradise for scuba divers and snorkelers, makes an ideal departure or end point.
The Caribbean-like island of Elafonissos is located at the southeastern tip of Peloponnese. Attracting numerous visitors with its gold sand beaches and clear, turquoise waters, the island is another ideal spot for open-water swimming. One of the main and best itineraries for beginners is following the coastline of Simos beach, which stretches over 3 kilometers. The calm, clear waters offer you a relaxing escape – make sure to soak up some vitamin D on a beach afterwards for the ultimate experience.
The island where Luc Besson’s Big Blue was filmed, in the Cyclades, is another coastal swimming paradise. With spectacular landscapes, wild beauty and crystal clear waters, Amorgos offers a plethora of swimming paths, though one of the most scenic you could do is the Hozoviotissa monastery to Agia Anna swim, a coastal itinerary of 3 kilometers. Beware of windy days however, as the strong waves may destabilize any beginner lacking experience. But you will surely be rewarded, as the view over the monastery and the coastline all along are simply fascinating.
Mostly known as a paradise for rock climbing aficionados, Kalymnos and its nearby micro-islands (Telendos, Kalavros, and more) are perfect open-water destinations. The crossing to Kalyntos for example is only 900 meters away, perfect for any open-sea beginner. The route allows you to discover Telendos, a rocky gem virtually unspoiled by any form of tourism.
Greece offers various open-sea swimming options, but the abundance of lakes makes it a great destination for swimmers of all levels, probably used to open-water swimming in closed bodies of water. If this is your case, you can also try the Plastiras lake, a man-made lake covering a surface of 24 km2. Blessed with religious monuments of cultural and architectural interest and stunning biodiversity, the lake attracts countless tourists, including swimmers as it is starting to be recognized for the many options it offers. High altitude swimming adepts may find swimming at Plastiras lake, with a mere altitude of 800 meter, a bit too easy but all will agree that the landscape is impressive and the whole experience relaxing. Let’s see what you think.