If you like swimming and you are a fairly regular swimmer, you will love swimming outdoors in the open air and the Greek seas are the perfect place to do this. Open water swimming is different, as the salt water is more buoyant than pool water as well as healthier, as chlorinated pool water can irritate. Open water also involves changing water conditions and this is all part of the adventure.
Furthermore the fact that you swim within a group, have the same love for the sport and are all aiming (even if your sighting isn’t up to scratch!) for the same island or sighting point, make the swims more effortless and much more fun, especially when you are surrounded above and below the water by stunning sea and landscapes!
The training programme we have devised will help you set a minimum swimming target and build up fitness if necessary helping you feel prepared for the swims.
These vary from day to day, but you are expected to swim an average of around 5K per day, excluding the first day when we sort the week’s swimmers into speed groups. There is a slightly longer swim in the morning and a slightly shorter swim in the afternoon and the time taken to complete both distances is largely up to you and the speed of your group, but you should estimate an approximate swimming time of 2.5 hours per day.
Yes is the simple answer. You can come on board the boat escorting your group any time you feel like a rest, or just to peruse the landscape over some ice cold juice and then go back in the water to join your group. This can be done as many times as you feel necessary.
The swims are not competitive and are ‘designed’ to give you a sense of achievement and fulfilment. At the start of the trip, swimmers are split into groups by our swimming coaches/guides based on their speed. You can then swim at a faster more competitive pace or choose a more leisurely tempo, taking in the scenery as you go. In short we cater for a variety of swimmers of most capabilities and speeds.
Our trips are designed with you in mind. If you decide for whatever reason that you feel like a rest during a swim, or opt out of any of the swims altogether, then that is fine and you can board the escort boat to relax.
Buffet-type breakfast is offered at the hotel and it is part of the trip.
LUNCH: We do not provide lunch as part of the trip; we are of the opinion that you happen to be in a country that offers, freshly prepared, home-made delicious food and local specialities at extremely reasonable prices. Whether you love freshly caught local fish, a more traditional cooked dish, a freshly cut salad, or just some freshly made vegetarian dips, the world renowned Greek cuisine, is bound to satisfy you.
Furthermore, the fact that you will disembark after the morning’s swim and go straight into a traditional Greek taverna in a harbour, village or on a beach, (a different one every day) adds to your discovery of the locality. In this way you also have the chance to have a break, sometimes shower, clear your mind, see what the locals are up to and maybe have the traditional Greek Coffee, enough to give you the much needed boost, ready for the afternoon’s swim.
After each swim, a variety of snacks are provided on the main boat, to replenish lost energy.
SUPPER: Evening meals are not provided and there are numerous family run seaside tavernas and restaurants around the hotels we stay which will more than satisfy you in idyllic settings.
Each of the week’s 3 groups will be fully escorted by a boat big and fast enough for any unforeseen emergencies. There will be a swimming guide per group who apart from being an excellent open water specialist swimmer will be qualified to offer first aid in open water. All 3 guides including the boat captain are in constant radio communication between them, making sure the swims progress smoothly. The boats are fully insured and equipped with all the necessary safety gear to overcome any adverse circumstance. We have ‘energy breaks’ during every swim at which point we give you water and /or cool juice and a chance to chat about your ‘progress’.
Our native boat captains who pilot the main boats have all the necessary sailing/piloting qualifications specific to Greece and many years of experience in the locality of every swimming tour.
The Greek seas are by comparison the safests seas one can swim in worldwide! There are hardly any tides, the strong currents are rare and ‘nasty’ fishes almost non existant.
The sea around the areas where you will be swimming is generally excellent hence why we are there! Both water quality and sea temperature are very high (19c – 28c), especially during the summer months. The Ionian Sea around Lefkada is calm as it is protected by the mainland and the many islands and islets dotted around. The archipelago around south Crete is more exposed to the elements and can be affected by a certain type of wind. As the swims are mainly coastal the options are more limited but generally the tours there run very well.
The weather forecast is taken daily in order to plan ahead the day’s swim and make the crossings or coastal routes more pleasurable. In the unlikely event where the weather is unsuitable we will simply swap the swims around in which case we let you know in advance. Open water swimming can be unpredictably fascinating and the only marine life you are likely to rub shoulders with whilst swimming will be the dolphins and numerous varieties of fish. Jelly fish although do exist and from time to time there are some around, are not a likely occurrence and while sea urchins are prevalent in rocky areas we will brief you on how to avoid these.
You will be given good instructions just after booking, as to the kit you need to bring with you. Any individual questions as to any additional equipment you might need can always be asked via email and we will be happy to answer.
Yes swimmers will need to be insured. It is a requirement and the responsibility of the participant that he/she has taken out Comprehensive Travel Insurance. We will ask for a copy of insurance details/certificate (Insurance provider, policy number and 24 hr contact details) prior to the trip departing and also that these details are brought on the trip to give to swim guides during the introductory briefing. We will suggest insurance companies to get a quotation from including a small discount and your existing travel insurance company should be the first port of call.
Insurance must cover the usual loss of luggage and failure to travel but, most importantly, needs to have adequate health cover, medical and accident expenses and cover for repatriation, including air ambulance rescue costs should you become ill during the trip. You must check with your insurance provider that you are covered for ‘escorted open water swimming’. Where applicable, swimmers should possess the European Health Insurance Card.
There is no maximum age restriction. We accept people from as young as 16 years old with relevant swimming experience. Swimmers who are between the 16-18 age group must be accompanied by a parent or supervising adult.
Yes and we also offer the trips at a small discount if the group is 5 swimmers plus. Spending these trips with friends and familiar faces, enhances and adds a different dimension to the swims. Please contact us for more information if your group is interested in a particular week, we also have the ability to tailor weeks to offer slightly longer swims.
We do not offer any crèche facilities for families. We accept people from the age of 16-18 if accompanied by a supervising adult.
We aim to fill 14 places per week.
The trip starts on your arrival at the hotel at the tour’s location. On your arrival day you will be welcomed and in the evening have a chance to meet your fellow swimmers and be briefed on the week’s itinerary and safety issues over relaxing complimentary drinks.
On the first day of the trip our guides/coaches will video your swimming technique for an analysis session. We then view this with you and offer advice on achieving a more efficient, injury-free stroke. Individual advice can also be given during the swims.
Breakfast is offered every morning at the hotel and we will then travel in the traditional Greek boat to the swimming location (which is different every day). We will escort the swimming groups with the support boats and drinks will be offered at regular intervals during the swim. The boats will be manned by fully qualified first aid experienced swimmers who will keep a watch over you.
You will be given a Big Blue T-shirt, a water bottle and a swimming hat to use and keep and we have a range of snorkeling gear and fins you can borrow for exploring in caves or along coastlines.
- On Arrival: Complimentary drink, T-shirt, Water bottle
- 1st Day: Individual underwater video, Individual stroke analysis, Swimming hat
- Hotel accommodation
- 3 motorised boats (One main and 2 auxiliary)
- 3 qualified swim guides
- Local boat captain
- Cold drinks along the swims
- Variety of snacks at the end of swims
All rooms are intended for double occupancy and the price reflects this. There are twin and double rooms so you need to specify during booking which of the two you require. If you opt for a twin room and you are a single swimmer then we pair you with another swimmer of the same sex and wherever possible, age too. There are also triple rooms to accommodate 3 swimmers who travel together and this should be specified during booking.
We can also cater for single occupancy at an extra fee of £120 (Lefkada Trip) & £140 (Crete Trip) per person per week. This means a double room with one person in it.