By their very nature, traditional swimming holes are off the beaten path. These natural pools are quite often tourist free, accessible only on foot and sometimes offer beautiful views. Here are but a few dreamy swimming holes largely only known by the locals there.
Ananuri Fortress Complex
If you ever get to the country of Georgia and visit the capital Tbilisi, save some time for a day trip. Just an hour North of the Georgian capital is the Ananuri fortress complex. The ancient 17th-century center is perched high on a hill that overlooks the Zhinvali Reservoir and the sparkling turquoise-tinted and Aragvi River.
In fact, travelers can take in some noteworthy panoramic views of the nearby mountains and the famous Georgian Military Highway. Stroll down the old dirt trails that wind through the castle fortress complex, and see the bell tower, the domed churches, and the centuries-old frescoes. Visit in the summer and you can join the local Georgians jumping off the platform there and taking a dip in the water outside the fortress. Then dry off and warm up with some hot khinkali dumplings at one of the nearby eateries there in Ananuri, Georgia.
Krka National Park
There are tiers of waterfalls and cascades in Krka National Park. They are named Skradinski Buk. So much water from the Krka River flows there that it is said to literally thunder as it rushes over the karst landscape and lush, green vegetation.
There are ponds on the flat sections of the tiers. On a hot summer day being in the park is reported to be a great way to cool off. The water is crystal clear and swimming is always permitted in some areas and you can picnic under nearby shade trees.
There are also trails that will take you through the local woodlands where you can see glimpses of the waterfalls as you stroll. It’s a nice change from the standard visit to the Dalmatian Coast. Krka National Park is only accessible by boat.
Just get off in the town of Skradin. The boats run often and the ride is less than half an hour. Skradin is also worth a look before checking out Krka National Park itself located at 2324, Lozovac in Croatia.
Lagunas de Montebello
Lagunas de Montebello is a national park. It is located on the border of Guatemala and the state of Chiapas (Mexico). The park has several different cenotes and lakes.
Most of them are actually spring fed from waters that are deep in the mineral-rich depths of the earth itself. Each one of them has its own very individualistic color. They range from avocado and sea foam green to midnight blue or five separate shades of teal. The individual lakes can be a mere ten meters away from each other and yet their colors will be worlds apart in the color spectrum. Visitors can actually take tours of the park from Palenque, San Cristobal or Tuxtla-Gutierrez. The park itself is situated at San Cristóbal de las Casas, CHIS in Mexico.
(All photographs are courtesy of the original owners unless otherwise indicated)