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Jump into summer!

As the mercury finally starts to rise, heralding the long-awaited return of summer, many of us are dreaming about soaking up the sun and maybe taking a dip in cool waters.

If you haven’t already decided what you’re going to do this summer, why not forgo the leisure centre for a bit and go for a dip in a natural pool instead? Taking the time to hunt out some hidden gems of natural wonder can reap rich rewards, both by avoiding the usual tourist spots and creating unique memories in the process!

The Flexicover Team looks at some natural swimming spots that are the perfect place in which to let your hair down and unleash your inner merfolk!

Grotta della Poesia; Roca Vecchia, Italy

Roca Vecchia is located 15 miles east of Lecce on the south-eastern peninsula or ‘heel’ of Italy and home to this stunning limestone pool known as the Grotta della Poesia (“Cave of Poetry”). According to legend, a stunning muse or artistic spirit once bathed here; however, another school of thought is that the name comes from the Ancient Greek term posià which loosely translates to “source of freshwater”. After splashing around in the sun relax with a gelato but you may want to resist the bakery-warm cornetti - you’re here to cool off after all!

Blue Lagoon; Grindavík, Iceland

You might not necessarily jump in this one to cool off, but we couldn't look at natural pools without including Iceland’s Blue Lagoon, one of the country's most popular visitor attractions. This geothermal spring attracts thousands of bathers every year and is a little more commercial than other natural swimming spots but it is nonetheless spectacular. The water temperature is constantly between 37°C and 39°C and the lagoon holds six million litres of water! Not only is the water relaxing, it’s rich in minerals like silica and sulphur, reputed to help clear skin ailments.

Cenote Ik-Kil; Chichen Itza, Mexico

If you are visiiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chichen Itza in Mexico, be sure to include a visit to Cenote Ik-Kil (cenote means “natural well” in Spanish). The Yucatan Peninsula’s unique composition of porous limestone has resulted in several of these water-filled sinkholes and Cenote Ik-Kil is one of its most famous. It sits about 90ft from the surface and is a perfectly round well-type pool, 196ft wide and about 130ft deep, surrounded by tropical vegetation and waterfalls. The ancient Mayans not only used the waters of this sinkhole for recreation purposes but also for human sacrifice to the rain god Chac. Thankfully, it’s a different story today and you can rest in peace, assured that the only thing you’ll be sacrificing here is stress!

Giola Lagoon; Thassos, Greece

Giola is located on the southern part of the island of Thassos, near the village of Astris. A beautiful, clear, natural salt water lagoon is carved into the rocks looking like a swimming pool and surrounded by white rock which forms natural steps. It’s not particularly easy to access but those willing to make the journey are rewarded with an incredible pool to soak in and enjoy an exhilarating view of the Aegean Sea. There are a couple of legends connected to it – one says the pool is the Eye of Zeus and he used it to spy on his mistress while another says Zeus created Giola for Aphrodite to bathe in, which is why Giola is also known as "Aphrodite’s tear".

Blackmoss Pot; Cumbria, United Kingdom

Closer to home, the Lake District is famous for two things: hiking and, obviously, lakes. One of the hidden gems of the area is located approximately an hour’s walk from Stonethwaite Village in Borrowdale. The demanding trek will seem totally worth it when you reach the secluded Blackmoss Pot. This is a deep, Olympic-sized, crystal-clear pool bookended by two waterfalls. Situated within yards of a well-used path, scores of walkers still pass by oblivious to this gem. This spot is particularly pleasant in the summer when the rocks of the valley warm it to bath temperature. Don’t forget to pack lunch as the area around the pool is perfect for a peaceful picnic!

Whatever watery playground you choose to visit on your trip, Flexicover, the travel insurance specialists are committed to providing you the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away.