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wild swimming | © gnuckx/WIkiCommons
wild swimming | © gnuckx/WIkiCommons
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The Best Holiday Swims In Spain

Picture of Esme Fox
Updated: 25 November 2016
Wild swimming is the new holiday trend, so instead of enduring chattering teeth and goosebumps along the shores of the Atlantic, why not head to the Mediterranean for cool dips in lakes and rivers under the sun? Many of these places were chosen from the book Wild Swimming Spain by John Weller and Lola Culsán, which features over 150 locations, perfect for open water swimming in the sunshine. Here are our favorite spots for a holiday dip in Spain.

Vies Braves, Costa Brava

Keen swimmers will love Costa Brava’s sea swimming lanes, known as the Vies Braves. A series of open water swimming and snorkeling tracks that follow the coastal paths, they provide a safe passage for those wanting to explore the shore from a different angle. The project began in 2014 and now comprises 25 lanes in 20 towns across the region.

GR 92 Costa Brava https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:GranRecorregut-92.jpg
Costa Brava | © GR92/Flickr

Riera de Merlès, Barcelona

Approximately 117 kilometers north of Barcelona, the river winds its way through sandstone cliffs, creating deep, refreshing pools, perfect for open water swimming. As well as pools for jumping and diving, there are protected sections of the river where you can see wildlife, such as otters, kingfishers, trout and catfish. One of the best places for swimming is close to the Càmping Riera de Merlès.

Riera de Merles | ©MariaPlanesAulet [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Riera de Merles | © MariaPlanesAulet/WikiCommons
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Lake Negratín, Granada

A lake and also a reservoir, Negratín lies around 100 kilometers northeast of the city of Granada, and just north of the Parque Natural Sierra de Baza. One of Andalusia’s largest freshwater lakes, its opal blue and turquoise waters stretch for an impressive 22 kilometers. Aside for swimming, windsurfing, canoeing and pedalos can also be enjoyed. On the edge of the lake, at the base of Mount Jabalcón, you’ll also find the Baños de Zújar, natural thermal springs that have been known for their therapeutic qualities since as far back as the Roman times.

Lake Negratin Granada | ©iha

Lake Negratin Granada | ©iha

A Fírveda, Pontevedra, Galicia

Known as ‘The Land of a Thousand Rivers’ it’s no wonder Galicia is home to one of Spain’s best wild swimming spots. Located near the famous Camino de Santiago, at the foothills of the Serra do Cando, you’ll find A Fírveda, two large, cool pools fed by the fierce cascading falls from above. Have a lazy swim around the pools or a refreshing blast under the falls themselves.

A Fiveda, Galicia | ©GabrielGonzález Flikr
A Fiveda, Galicia | ©GabrielGonzález Flikr

Salto de Bierge, Parque Natural de la Sierra y Cañones de Guara, Aragón

Located in the Parque Natural de la Sierra y Cañones de Guara, approximately 40 kilometers east of the town of Huesca, Salto de Bierge is a waterfall-lover’s paradise. A horseshoe of a single 10-meter high cascade of water surrounds you as you take a dip in the emerald green pool below. If you’re after a boost of adrenaline, why not take a jump from the top or enjoy a spot of canyoning?

Salto de Bierge, Parque Natural de la Sierra y Cañones de Guara | ©iha
Salto de Bierge, Parque Natural de la Sierra y Cañones de Guara | ©iha