July 22, 2021
THE BEST ROUTES TO HIKE AND END UP SWIMMING
A good way to get to know and explore new places while traveling in Europe is to hike along mountain or coastal paths. But, if you also finish the route with a swimming session in a lake or on a beach, as long as it is allowed and does not harm the environment, the experience will be perfect.
There are many undiscovered places where nature amazes us for its beauty and immensity, but here we have a small selection of some areas scattered throughout the old continent where it is possible to swim before or after a good hiking expedition.
1. LAKE HALLSTATT, HALLSTATT, AUSTRIA
This lake, located in the small Austrian village of Hallstatt, is in a dream location that was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997. The lake is surrounded by mountains more than 3,000 meters high with hiking trails on which to contemplate the natural environment at a leisurely pace. To the west of the village, the Waldbachstrub waterfall can be found, as well as several alpine trails that lead to the Echern valley, full of glacial hollows. The lake is a small treasure for lovers of open water swimming and other water sports. Being able to practice your favorite sport in a fairy-tale setting such as Lake Hallstatt can be an unforgettable experience.
2. LAKE BOHINJ, SLOVENIA
This is the largest lake in Slovenia and one of the most beautiful in the country. It is located in the valley of the Triglav National Park and surrounded by high mountains that invite you to explore the peaceful wilderness. The valley was created by a glacier that made its way across the earth more than 14,000 years ago. Without a doubt it is a place to visit and get lost on its pathways, ending your hike with a swim in the turquoise and crystal-clear waters of Lake Bohinj.
3. LAGO DI BRAIES (SOUTH TYROL, ITALY)
This lake is one of the most spectacular places in the Dolomites. For lovers of cold waters, this incredible Alpine lake is located in the heart of the Fanes-Senes-Braies Nature Park. An authentic gem surrounded by Dolomite mountains more than 2,000 meters high such as Croda del Becco (2,810 meters), Monte Nero (2,123 meters) and Sasso del Signore (2,447 m). The area is full of trails to explore. After a walk around the perimeter of the lake which takes between two and three hours, and a final stop to swim and relax in a majestic environment, no one is left unmoved.
4. LAKE NEGRATÍN (GRANADA, SPAIN)
Just an hour's drive from Granada, there is a lake at the foot of Mount Jabalcón, within the Sierra de Daza and Sierra de Castril natural parks. It is a place worth visiting on foot before enjoying an open water swimming session in the Negratín reservoir. As a grand finale, after swimming we reccommend visiting the Zújar Baths, with hot springs just above the shore of the lake, where you can end the day in quiet and relaxation, surrounded by nature.
5. TRAIL FROM ROSES TO CADAQUÉS (COSTA BRAVA, GIRONA)
This hiking trail, on the Costa Brava, connects the town of Roses with the picturesque village of Cadaqués following part of the GR-92. It is an ideal trail, better known as Camino de Ronda, on which to enjoy stunning views of the Mediterranean with the opportunity to swim in one or more of the beautiful coves along the way, such as Cala Montjoi, Cala Murta, Cala Rostella, Cala Calitjás and Cala Pelosa, among others. It is a unique way to discover and explore the Costa Brava.