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Looking for a sustainable and scenic way to cool off during the hot summer months? Chlorinated pools may have a large carbon footprint, but there are plenty of dreamy natural swimming spots around Europe that are perfect for a more eco-friendly adventure. Byway, a flight-free travel company, has curated a series of train journeys to some of the continent’s most beautiful destinations where you can enjoy refreshing dips in natural waters without the need for flying.

One such destination is San Sebastián, Spain, known for its delicious cuisine and as a popular surf town. La Zurriola Beach offers reliable Atlantic swells and surf schools for beginners, making it a great spot to surf all summer long. To reach San Sebastián, you can take the Eurostar from London to Paris, then transfer to the TGV to Bordeaux. From there, travel to Hendaye and finally to San Sebastián for a memorable and sustainable beach getaway.

For those looking to swim in the bracing British sea, Cromer on the North Norfolk coast is a fantastic option. Life-guarded beaches in Sheringham and Cromer provide ideal spots for sea swims, with plenty of coffee spots nearby to relax post-dip. Traveling by train from London, you will need to change in Norwich before arriving at the coast in Cromer, allowing you to enjoy the scenic journey and be environmentally conscious.

Slovenia’s Lake Bled offers a picturesque setting for a summer swim at Grajsko Kopalisce, a designated public bathing spot with natural pools and chestnut trees for shade. Byway offers a seven-night adventure that includes a ride on the EuroNight sleeper from Stuttgart to Bled, allowing you to experience the beauty of Lake Bled in a sustainable and immersive way.

In Bern, Switzerland, you can enjoy urban floating in the River Aare as part of the city’s thriving swim scene. Join the locals at Eichholz Park and let the river carry you to the Marzili open-air pool for a unique and relaxing swimming experience. Traveling from London, you can stop in Basel to explore art galleries before continuing by train to Bern for a refreshing dip in the city’s urban waters.

For a unique and historic swimming experience, Penzance’s Jubilee Pool is set to reopen in 2024 as the largest seawater pool in the UK. Designed in the 1930s, the Art Deco lido is now run by a community enterprise and features a new geothermal pool and updated facilities. Take the Night Riviera sleeper train from London to Penzance for a memorable and sustainable beach getaway at this iconic swimming spot.

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