One of the best things about a warm-weather getaway is the thrill of throwing on a bathing suit and going for a swim. For some folks, a great swim means floating in a pool and catching some much-needed rays. Others enjoy the prospect of jumping into an ocean (or natural swimming hole) and taking in the environment around them. In putting together this list, we chose places, pools, and locales that created truly incredible, one-of-a-kind swimming experiences.
1. Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore
What It Is: A rooftop infinity pool located on the 57th floor of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in downtown Singapore.
Why It’s Awesome: Beautifully designed and vertigo-inducing, this pool offers incredible views of Singapore’s skyline while offering a little bit of tranquility from the bustling city.
2. To Sua Ocean Trench, Lotofaga, Samoa
What It Is: A natural swimming hole surrounded by lush jungle just outside the Lotofaga village in Samoa, off the coast of New Zealand.
Why It’s Awesome: Literally meaning “big hole,” To Sua is as refreshing as it is breath-taking. A little man-made intervention has made the 30-meter deep pool accessible to tourists for a quick cool-off surrounded by local flora and fauna.
3. Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, US
What It Is: A massive, clear-water lake created by thousands of years of glacial movement and melting.
Why It’s Awesome: Clear-waters aside, this lake offers incredible views of Wyoming’s mountain ranges and plenty of room to paddle a canoe (it’s estimated to encompass more than 1,000 acres). The glacial waters mean Jenny Lake is extraordinarily clear.
4. Tuerredda, Sardinia, Italy
What It Is: Tuerredda is located on the Southern tip of Sardinia, a stunning Italian island West of Naples that is sandwiched between Italy, France, Spain, and the Northern tip of Africa.
Why It’s Awesome: This Mediterranean island is packed with beaches, but Tuerredda combines relative seclusion with glorious Southern views, snorkeling, wildlife, and turquoise seas bordered-in by granite rock.
5. Lake Tahoe, Sierra Nevada, US
What It Is: The largest alpine lake in the US, Lake Tahoe lies on the border between California and Nevada and is surrounded by forests, mountains, and sprawling panoramas.
Why It’s Awesome: The views alone are worth making a visit but this massive fresh-water lake is also home to plenty of activities both in summer—swimming, boat rides, hiking—and in winter, when snowfall converts the surrounding mountains into ski destinations.
6. Ubud Hanging Gardens Hotel, Bali, Indonesia
What It Is: A luxury hotel surrounded by lush vegetation, Ubud Hanging Gardens offers two connected infinity pools that place guests in the middle of the jungle.
Why It’s Awesome. These sloping, asymmetrical pools perched up amongst the tree line offer breath-taking views and an immersive experience in the jungle surrounding the hotel.
7. Melissani Cave, Kefalonia, Greece
What It Is: A fresh-water grotto created by years of erosion—both natural and man-made—located on the island of Kefalonia, on the Western edge of Greece’s mainland.
Why It’s Awesome: Once a place of worship, the underground lake is housed within a rock formation that both protects the body of water and offers a incredible view.
8. Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon, Arizona, US
What It Is: A natural waterfall and series of pools located within the famous Grand Canyon.
Why It’s Awesome: Besides the thrill of swimming in the shadow of a massive, natural waterfall, the waters around the Havasu Falls are known to be rich in minerals leached from the surrounding rock formations.
9. Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland
What It Is: Cold-water pools collected off the River Brittle, located in the center of the Isle of Skye.
Why It’s Awesome: Stunningly clear and beautifully blue, the Fairy Pools are not for the faint-of-heart due to their consistently low temperatures.Those brave enough for a swim (or a dip), can enjoy the natural falls and rock formations that dot them.
10. Mirihi, Republic of Maldives
What It Is: One of the beach-islands dotting the Maldives, an island nation located in the Indian Ocean.
Why It’s Awesome: Known for its gorgeous beaches and rich animal life, the Maldives — and locales like Mirihi — are perfect places to go snorkeling (or Scuba diving) to get up close and personal with a vibrant array of marine life.
11. Pamukkale Hot Springs, Denizli, Turkey
What It Is: A formation of natural hot springs and pools located in the South-Western region of Turkey.
Why It’s Awesome: A popular destination for thousands of years, these hot springs are arranged in graded terraces naturally formed by the minerals contained in the water. The hot springs have since been declared a World Heritage Site.
12. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
What It Is: Known for its aquatic hotels — resorts and residences situated on stilts in the middle of the ocean — Bora Bora is a popular destination for those looking to immerse themselves in the life aquatic.
Why It’s Awesome: Where else in the world can one stay on the water? Aside from the unique setting, Bora Bora is home to excellent snorkeling and incredible, turquoise waters.
13. Hamilton Pool, Austin, Texas, US
What It Is: A natural pool created when the ceiling of an underground river collapsed, revealing the clear waters underneath and creating a natural waterfall.
Why It’s Awesome: Created by accident, Hamilton Pool has become an exciting tourist attraction and a popular spot to catch some sun and cool off in the clear waters of this pool, located West of Austin.
14. Puerto Ayora, Galapagos, Ecuador
What It Is: Galapagos is best known for its incredible reefs and marine life. Puerto Ayora is located on the Southern shore of Santa Cruz, in the center of the Galapagos islands.
Why It’s Awesome: Beautiful waters, incredible snorkeling and scuba diving, and a culturally rich history — including nearby Tortuga Bay and the Charles Darwin Foundation — make Puerto Ayora a must-see.
This post was posted by Fiona Moriarty on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on May 27, 2015