By Alice Todd, SwimQuest Co-Founder

You’ve been semi-convinced by your wild swimming friends (you know, the crazy ones who think it’s a good idea to get a quick dip in a freezing lake before breakfast) that a swimming holiday is the perfect way to combine activity with a restful break. They’ve told you about the buzz you get from being so ‘in touch’ with nature, and rave about the sense of satisfaction you get from arriving at an island under your own steam. They’ve even managed to convince you that your swim speed doesn't matter, and explained that if you get tired you can simply hop back on a boat and rest.

But you’re not 100% convinced. Somehow the thought of swimming between islands or across that deep cavernous blue is still worrying – and really, you’ve no idea what to expect.

Time to bust some of those myths about swimming holidays, address some of the reasons why you’ve never ‘taken the plunge’ and answer some of the most common questions. 

Circle of swimmers holding hand in the water

What is the difference between a swimming holiday, and just going swimming on holiday?!

Instead of just taking a dip in the sea, or maybe for the more adventurous donning a hat and goggles and plodding up an down the coastline whilst your partner dutifully watches over your bag on the beach - a swimming holiday will empower you to complete swims you wouldn’t be able to complete on your own. You'll adventure safe in the knowledge that you will be fully escorted, accompanied by swim guides (either in a boat, kayak, or in the water) who will be able to advise you on your stroke, as well as look after your wellbeing. Many swims you complete on a swimming holiday give you unique access to parts of the world you would never normally be able to experience in such a way. For example, swimming along the gigantic remote atolls in the Maldives, crossing between the Diapontia Islands off the coast of Corfu, or swimming under towering black volcanic cliffs in Fiji. SwimQuest holidays also provide video analysis and swim coaching, so that by the end of the week you'll leave feeling refreshed, revitalised, but also having made a little progress with your swim stroke and confidence.

I don’t want to be the last in the group, what if I’m not fast enough?

It really doesn’t matter how fast you swim, anyone can enjoy a swim holiday, just as anyone can enjoy a skiing holiday – whether you are new to the slopes/ocean or an old timer. The most important thing is that you are ready for a little adventure, and to experience somewhere from a unique new perspective. Our guides are there to help you to get the most out of your week, and can provide additional swimming lessons or support should you need it.

Group of swimmers in a vast ocean

How far do I have to be able to swim?

For most of our holidays, we advise that you should be able to swim 800m without stopping (that’s 32 lengths of a 25m pool). This doesn’t have to be front crawl though, there are lots of breaststroke swimmers on our holidays too!

During the week you're welcome to swim as much or as little as you like. With ample boat support, you can swim just part of a swim and simply hop back on the boat if you get tired. Your swim guides, along with your boat pilot, are there to look after you and will ensure that you are swimming within your capabilities and at your own pace, whether that be fast or slow. If you are a complete swim beginner, and 800m sounds like a long way, there will still be trips to suit you. Our Beginners and Improvers trips for example are a great way to build your confidence and open water skillset.

SwimQuest guide taking a photo of a swim group

What if I don’t want to swim every day?

It’s not uncommon for swimmers to feel tired after a couple of days, especially if you’re taking part in two swims a day, plus the optional swim coaching. There is no pressure at all to swim every swim. You can either join and spectate from the boat, or simply stay at the hotel and relax on the beach with a book. It’s your holiday.

Hopefully that will calm a few nerves and inspire a few of you to make your next holiday a swimming holiday! We hope to see you on one of our SwimQuest holidays soon.

Is a bit of sun and a bit of swimming sounding quite good? Aspire's summer River Arun Swim could be exactly what you need to put yourself in the mood for your swim holiday!

River Arun Swim

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