Head to these destinations if you want to have unique swims around the world
Over half (68%) of the Indian travellers* are looking to experience something a little different on their next getaway, hoping to visit somewhere that none of their friends have been to. If swimming is at the top of your next vacation bucket list, consider swapping the conventional pool or popular beachside retreat for one of these truly unique swimming spots. From ancient underground grottos to an indulgent geothermal retreat, Booking.com, the global leader in connecting you with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, unearths some sensational swimming holes that are sure to induce real #FOMO from all your friends.
Lagoon on Cola Beach, Goa, India
Cola is one of the hidden beaches in Goa, a marvel of nature that is still undiscovered by most tourists. The beach is divided into two parts with a small hill separating the two. There is a small river (khola) that creates a lagoon on the northern side, which is the highlight of the Cola beach. It’s unique because of the lagoon which is a sweet water, or freshwater lake so near to the ocean in the south of Goa. The river and its lagoon gives Cola beach a unique landscape, different from most other beaches in Goa. You can jump or dive into the lagoon and swim in its cool and fresh, sweet water. You can also do kayaking and fishing here.
Where to stay: The Dwarka Eco Beach Resort is a boutique 10 cottage resort touching both the beach and the lagoon. With a 180 degree view of both the sea and the lagoon, Dwarka offers its guests personalised guest services and a complete stress-free and soulful experience. The resort also organises treks and day trips to the museum, churches, night markets etc for the guests.
Cenote Ik Kil, Chichén Itzá, Mexico
For travelers who find themselves in Mexico, a swim in a cenote, meaning “sacred well”, is a must. The ancient Mayan civilization believed that the cenotes were portals to speak to the Gods and constructed their villages around them. Today, these underground grottos nestled in the lush Mexican jungle are famous for their jewel-tone waters. If you're travelling through the Yucatán Peninsula, a quick dip in one of these photogenic swimming spots is the perfect way to end a day spent exploring the nearby complex of Mayan ruins at Chichén Itzá. Whether you want to float on your back and ponder the meaning of the universe or jump from the diving platform carved into the limestone wall, the 85-foot descent into the deep natural pool at Cenote Ik Kil will be a memorable experience for even the most seasoned of swimming hole enthusiasts.
Where to stay: The Hacienda Chichen Resort and Yaxkin Spa is an eco-friendly resort located within the Mayan city of Chichen Itza. After spending the day visiting the impressive ruins and cooling off in one of the cenotes, take your immersive Mayan experience to the next level by trying authentic cuisine at Hacienda Chichen restaurant or relaxing at the Yaxkin Spa, which offers holistic Mayan healing therapies.
Dead Sea, Israel
At over 400 meters below sea level, the shores of the Dead Sea are the lowest dry land on Earth. Bordering Israel and Jordan and surrounded by majestic mountains, as well as the UNESCO World Heritage Site Masada and the Judean and Negev deserts, its legendary waters have such a high salt concentration, travelers can easily float on the water. The mineral-rich mud from the Dead Sea is also known for its healing properties and is highly sought after all over the world. For a truly unique experience, unwind in its pale blue waters and allow the minerals to soothe your tired muscles as you marvel at the stark natural beauty that surrounds you.
Where to stay: Set in the moshav of Neot HaKikar, Dead Sea Tamar's Cabin is an ideal home away from home, conveniently situated with just a short drive to the iconic Dead Sea. After relaxing in the salty waters, head home to your own swimming pool and hot tub, surrounding by mesmerizing mountainous vistas.
Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Experience the wonder of the geothermal Blue Lagoon in Iceland while going for a dip in the famed warm milky-blue waters enclosed by the striking black lava field. The average temperature of the waters is 39°C (101°F) all year round, so it is perfect to bathe in no matter how cold the outside temperature is, and the seawater is rich with minerals such as silica, which will leave your skin feeling smooth and rejuvenated.
Where to stay: The Northern Light Inn will leave guests feeling completely rested and restored, with an onsite wellness spa, fitness center and free shuttle buses to the Blue Lagoon. Feel at one with nature with stunning panoramic views of the mountainous vistas and the Reykjanes Peninsula’s moss covered, lava field. Sample authentic Icelandic dishes at the Northern Light restaurant and breathe in the fresh, icy air as you take a tour of the area on horseback.
Havasu Falls, USA
The stunning Havasu Falls in the state of Arizona is a remarkable waterfall nestled deep in the Havasupai Indian Reservation within the Grand Canyon National Park and is the perfect spot to cool off after a long hike in the Arizona desert. The flowing aquamarine waters are beautifully contrasted by the striking red rocks of the canyon and the unspoiled natural beauty will leave travelers questioning whether they are having a mirage.
Where to stay: Wake up to a hearty buffet breakfast at the Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon, the perfect way to start a day’s hike. The hotel also provides a hot tub for guests if your swim at Havasu Falls wasn’t enough of a splash.
The Blue Cave, Croatia
The Blue Grotto, located in the small bay of Balun, will leave travelers hypnotized by the illuminating sapphire waters. Found in a small cove on the east side of the island of Biševo and about 4.5 nautical miles from Komiža, the water has a silvery-blue color, created by light refraction of sunlight entering through a crack in the stone.
Where to stay: The charming Hotel San Giorgio is a short walk from the beach and is located in the historical island of Vis. It’s the perfect location for those wanting to explore the scenery of vineyards, picturesque villages, sandy beaches and azure waters that this beautiful part of the world has to offer.