Saltwater swimmers are spoilt for choice in Sydney: the city is home to 35 ocean pools, more than anywhere else in the world. Bronte isn’t the most famous (that’d be its glamorous neighbour, Bondi Icebergs Pool), but with its cliff-hugging location, natural curves and 24-hour opening times, it could well be Sydney’s most beautiful place to watch the sun rise over the ocean.
Oceans are not just our planet’s most precious resource: they’re also incredible places to take a dip. With no chlorine, no icky changing rooms and the ever-changing natural surroundings of tides, weather and sealife, swimming in the open sea is an addictive thrill. And if the water is cold, so much the better: chilly swims have been proven (by actual scientists!) to be good for your health.
But not every coastline is equal when it comes to swimming. Away from the world’s great beaches there are currents, high waves and hidden dangers that can make sea-swimming dangerous for landlubbers. Which is why savvy travellers need to know about these epic ocean pools dotted around the world’s coasts.
Filled by the tide or pumped-in seawater, some semi-natural and others manmade marvels, these bathing pools are havens for sea swimmers. They’re the best of both watery worlds, with safe, calm water plus the same jaw-dropping natural settings and views that make open-water swimming special. From the Pacific coast of Mexico to the Atlantic islands of Madeira and Tenerife, this is the definitive guide to the world’s most breathtaking ocean pools. Dive in!