Next to power walking, swimming is my favorite way of keeping in shape. Much as I love to swim in the sea, at my age I’m sometimes afraid that I’ll step on rocks or pebbles while walking in the waves and lose my balance. Also, I’m not a fan of jellyfish. These obstacles are totally eliminated when you do your exercise in a swimming pool, however, and the larger, the better. In a big pool, you can swim lengths that really have a beneficial effect on your fitness, all without being bothered by other swimmers.
Forget the cramped communal pools, the hygiene of which sometimes leaves a bit to be desired — there are some truly massive pools in exotic locations around the world. Read on to learn more. You’ll want to pack your swimsuit straight away!
1. Citystars Sharm El Sheikh, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
Sharm El Sheikh is a very popular tourist area located at the southern tip of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, overlooking the Gulf of Aqaba. Its dry, hot summers and warm winters together with its waters ideal for diving and other sports make it an attractive destination for thousands of visitors every year. About 312 miles south of Cairo, it’s best reached by plane, and there are direct flights there from several international destinations.
While you’re there, you might want to cool off in one of the world’s largest swimming pools. The pool at the Citystars resort hotel is the world’s largest man-made lagoon; it’s located 3 miles inland from Sharm El Sheikh in a gated community in the middle of the desert. The massive pool, which opened in 2015, covers 1,042,000 square feet. Needless to say, the resort features all the beach amenities you could desire.
2. San Alfonso Del Mar, Algarrobo, Chile
The list of super pools continues into Chile. Located in the popular summer resort city of Algarobbo, the pool at the San Alfonso del Mar resort is the world’s second-largest man-made lagoon. Covering 20 acres and bordered by a natural beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the lagoon is the length of 20 Olympic-size swimming pools. The filtered seawater that feeds the pool is kept warmer than ocean water.
3. MahaSamutr Country Club & Luxury Villas, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand
If Thailand is on your travel list, you may want to skip the better-known resort towns like Phuket and head for MahaSamutr instead. Located in the Hua Hin District on the Malay Peninsula, MahaSamutr is a 17-acre country club with a sprawling lagoon as its centerpiece. The pool’s design mimics the local sandy beach, and its vast expanse allows for water sports, even canoeing and kayaking. The tropical climate makes for hot and humid summers, so a swim in the lagoon is more than welcome.
The nearest airport is Hua Hin, which was recently expanded to receive more flights than just AirAsia. You could also reach this water paradise by taking a 4-hour train ride from Bangkok.
4. Piscine Nakache, Toulouse, France
Built in 1930, the Piscine Nakache is one of the world’s oldest still-functioning swimming pools. The location of this 1.8-acre expanse of water could not be more romantic. It’s on an island in the middle of the river Garonne near the city of Toulouse. The pool is open to the public and also offers saunas and shower rooms. While enjoying your lengths, you can admire some very fine art deco architecture. The pool is named for Alfred Nakache, the famous French Olympic swimmer and water polo player.
5. Dreamworld Resort, Hotel & Golf Course, Karachi, Pakistan
This 2-acre swimming pool on the outskirts of Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, is the world’s largest freshwater swimming pool. Filled with a whopping 2 million gallons of water drawn from nearby wells, the pool at the Dreamworld Resort also features waterslides and an artificial sea that produces waves of up to 4 feet. This is a place the entire family will enjoy.
6. Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Located between Aspen and Vail in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, the 30,000-square-foot pool at the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort is the world’s largest hot springs pool, carrying over a million gallons of mineral-infused water from underground springs. Since 1888, the peaceful and remote hot springs resort has provided health and wellness benefits to visitors. Aside from the healing waters, the resort offers a comfortable lodge, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and a poolside grill, and it’s just a short walk from historic downtown Glenwood Springs.
7. Freibad Weyermannshaus, Bern, Switzerland
Lovingly nicknamed “Weyerli” by the locals, this huge pool is located in Switzerland’s capital, Bern. Weyerli is currently closed, but it is scheduled to reopen next year. The pool is particularly suitable for those who like to do their lengths in lanes, and it’s also very kid friendly. Surrounded by huge meadows where you can spread out towels or blankets, the pool features a supervised play area for little ones so you can enjoy your swim or sunbathing without worries.