8 Gorgeous Natural Swimming Spots Around the World

Swimmers bathe in the clear waters of Skradinski buk in Croatia

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In the heat of the summer, nothing beats taking a dip in a cool, natural swimming pool. Whether at the base of a waterfall, like Mooney Falls in the Grand Canyon, or at the very top of one, like Devil’s Pool in Africa, these outdoor swimming locales are perfect for relaxing and taking in the beauty of nature.

Here are eight natural swimming spots around the world that offer gorgeous views and reprieve from the heat.

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Kravice Waterfalls

The cascading Kravice Falls flow into a pool with a boardwalk across it

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Located in a nature preserve along the Trebižat River in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kravice Waterfalls is one of Europe's lesser-known natural treasures. With a height of 80 feet and spanning more than 390 feet wide, the semicircular waterfalls made of tufa, a kind of limestone found near mineral springs, flow out from behind a wall of green poplar and willow trees into a gentle pool below. The summer months are typically best for swimming in the water at the base of the falls due to optimal water levels. And yes, Kravice Waterfalls has a rope swing.

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Hamilton Pool Preserve

The cavern like grotto at Hamilton Pool Preserve with a waterfall flowing down opens up to a bright summer sky
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Formed by water erosion over thousands of years, the collapsed grotto known as the Hamilton Pool Preserve fills with water by way of a 50-foot waterfall from Hamilton Creek. The popular swimming destination first became a recreational hotspot for folks living in and around Austin, Texas in the 1960s. Due in part to the wildlife found in the area, like the golden-cheeked warbler and chatterbox orchid, the location was designated as a preserve in 1990. Swimming at the Hamilton Pool Preserve is by reservation and access is dependent upon bacteria levels in the water.

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Devil's Pool

The rushing water of Victoria Falls flows by swimmers at Devil's Pool

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Devil’s Pool sits at the top of the 355-foot-tall Victoria Falls, located on the Zambezi River on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Between the months of September and December when the water levels are just so, thrill-seeking swimmers jump into the river and float to the very edge of the falls where a rock barrier retains them in relative safety. Although injuries are rare, professional guides are available for hire to assist those daring enough to swim in Devil’s Pool.

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Skradinski Buk

Swimmers enjoy the blueish-green pool at the base of Skradinski Buk cascading falls

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Skradinski Buk, a stunning cascade of 17 individual falls, is situated on the Krka river in Croatia’s Krka National Park. The crystal clear, natural pool at the base of the falls is among the most popular attractions at the park and is ideal for swimmers looking to cool off in heat of the summer. Skradinski Buk is an impressive 147 feet tall at its highest point.

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Palea Kameni

People swimming in the waters on the volcanic island Palea Kemini

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Formed by a series of volcanic eruptions, the small Greek island of Palea Kameni is located within the Santorini caldera, or volcanic crater. Although not many people live on the islet, visitors frequently come by boat or swim from a nearby island to enjoy the relaxing warm waters of the hot springs. The hot springs contain iron and manganese and are believed to be of therapeutic value to swimmers.

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Jellyfish Lake

Hundreds of translucent pink jellyfish swim at Jellyfish Lake

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Jellyfish Lake, a saltwater lake on Eil Malk Island in the South Pacific nation of Palau, is a popular destination for swimming and snorkeling and, as the name suggests, is teeming with jellyfish. The lake contains two jellyfish species: golden jellyfish and moon jellyfish. Each day, the jellyfish swim across the lake in order to follow their food source — algae. Luckily for swimmers on the lake, the jellyfish don’t sting.

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Caldeira Velha

A waterfall flows into the hot springs at Caldeira Velha

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On São Miguel Island in the island group the Azores, about 870 miles off the coast of Portugal, sits the gorgeous Caldeira Velha hot springs. The mineral-rich springs are accessed by a hiking trail through a lush, green forest and are fed by a picturesque waterfall. The pool is retained by a reddish-brown rock wall over which the water slowly spills into a creek below.

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Mooney Falls

The rushing water of Mooney Falls flows into the pristine pools at the base of the Grand Canyon

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The swimming hole at the base of Mooney Falls is just a short hike (less than a mile) from the Havasupai Campground in the Grand Canyon, but the path is not easily traversed. To reach the epic swimming spot, hikers must climb down the face of the canyon wall by way of ladders and chains. The pool at Mooney Falls is worth the difficult hike, though, as swimmers are treated to scenic views of the 200-foot waterfall and the cool, blue waters shaded by a collection of cottonwood trees.