Mother Nature at her best
In summer, we crave one thing: a cooling swim! But we're not talking about a pool filled with eye-stinging chlorine; we want a paradise created by nature.
So, grab your bikini, and let's take a dive into the world's most beautiful natural swimming pools.
“Between every two pines there is a doorway to a new world”
– John Muir, writer and conservationist
Laguna El Dudu, Dominican Republic
Where: Cabrera, on the north coast of the Dominican Republic
Why visit: The Dominican Republic is known for azure blue seas and white beaches, but many of the country's hidden gems go unvisited or overlooked. . Head north and you will find Laguna El Dudu, or the Dudu Lagoon: a place of true natural splendour. The zinchole – created by the collapse of soil – is over thirty meters deep and the water is sparkling clean all year round. If the sun is favourable, it is just as beautiful under the water as it is above!
To Sua Ocean Trench, Samoa
Where: Upolu island
Why visit: This nine-meter deep trench is the dream spot for nature and swim-lovers alike! A steep wooden ladder leads you down to clear green water, which has the perfect temperature at any time of the year. After visiting this pool paradise, you can take a walk and enjoy the surrounding plant life, or just lean back and relax on the white-sandy beach just a few minutes drive away.
Grotta Della Poesia, Italy
Where: Puglia, on the Adriatic coast
Why visit: The name 'Caves of Poetry' is enough to lure anyone into checking out this wonderful place. 600-square meters of crystal clear water, tropical temperatures – all in Europe! According to an ancient story, this pool is the seaside resort of a beautiful Italian princess. She was a source of inspiration for many poets, hence the caves' moniker. It is believed that she owed her beauty to the water, which is why many people flock to swim its waters.
Pamukkale Thermal Pools, Turkey
Where: Denizli, southwest of Turkey
Why visit: Despite its snow-white walls, this is not a winter wonderland. Parmukkale is Turkish for 'cotton castle'. The limestone barriers enclose 17 different hot springs that cascade above and next to one another. The relaxing waters have even been used since the second century to treat skin afflictions!
Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Where: Grindavík, 45 minutes from Reykjavik
Why visit: The Blue Lagoon did not originate naturallythe Icelanders themselves created it.. The water filters up from holes of up to two-kilometres deep and looks blue by the light of the sun. However, collect some in a glass, and a milky cloud replaces that vibrant blue. If you visit the Lagoon, be sure to take enough money with you. A visit (without extras) costs you about £40 per person. Fun fact: the water is 40-degrees Celsius on average, and is also used to provide heat energy for the environmentally-friendly power station (Svartsengi) and villages near the Lagoon.
Ik Kil Cenote, Mexico
Why visit: The Ik Kil Cenote gives you the feeling that you’re on another mysterious planet. You have to climb quite a bit to reach this beautiful place, but what a stunning spot it is! The lianas, which grow over the edge of the rocks, reminds you of a scene in Disney’s The Jungle Book. The water is colder than most natural pools because the sun struggles to reach between the deep rocks. nsider tip: make sure you are there before noon to bypass the coaches full of tourists.
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