• About Us
  • Meet the Head Office Team

SwimTrek is the world’s first open water swimming operator. Our passion is to share the joys and rewards that open water swimming can offer so many. Whether you are an experienced open water swimmer or looking at taking those first strokes in the outdoors, we have the right trip for you.  It’s also a great way to see a new location or revisit an old one.

Our commitment to you:

  • Swimming – We are here to offer you a wonderful swimming experience and an unforgettable trip. On many of our trips you will be swimming in some of the best water in the world. Each tour has a selection of swims, some of which may challenge you and others which will undoubtedly enthral you.
     
  • Safety – There is simply no safer way for you to swim in open water. With our qualified and experienced guides and sufficient safety escort boats, we will look after you every stroke of the way and work with you on getting the most out of the trip.
     
  • Quality - We stay in good quality accommodation, details of all of which you can find on this website.  We realise that at the end of your day, somewhere nice to relax after the adventures of the day is important.
     
  • Satisfaction - We rely heavily on word of mouth and repeat custom for our trips, consequently it is imperative that we give our clients the best experience possible. We believe that our over 6 years of operation and our extensive programme throughout the Northern hemisphere illustrate our success.
     
  • Financial security - We provide complete financial security for all our clients and adhere to all government regulations concerning the safety of our clients’ money.
     
  • Feedback - At the end of every trip, we provide our clients with a questionnaire that we urge you to fill in. We rely very heavily on our clients’ feedback to maintain and improve the quality of our holidays.
     
  • Accuracy - We do our utmost to make sure that the information provided in our brochures and on our website is accurate. However things can and do change due to circumstances beyond our control.

See our guides

 

 

Simon Murie

Simon Murie, the enterprising founder and long-term visionary behind SwimTrek Swimming Adventure Holidays, is a very well-traveled marathon swimmer. He's done hundreds of swims including the English Channel, Strait of Gibraltar (Spain-Morocco), Hellespont (Turkey), Robben Island (South Africa). Simon leads on business strategy and is our 'man abroad' scouting exciting new swims!

 

Kate Todd

Kate is Swimtrek’s Operations Manager, responsible for trip logistics, swim guides, and our overseas partners, including boat pilots and hotels. A swimmer all her life (and previous Swimtrek guest!), Kate completed the Lake Zurich 26.4km swim in 2012. Kate has many years experience in the travel industry and brings that expertise and knowledge, as well as a passion for long-distance swimming, to our Brighton office.

 

Yves Watt

Yves from Sydney, Australia is an experienced SwimTrek employee having visited the majority of destinations over the last three years as both a guide and now working as our operations co-ordinator. Yves deal with all guide related issues, trip logistics, health & safety, hotels & boat pilots.

 

Reuben Westwood

As the Customer Relations Manager Reuben is responsible for dealing with hotel allocations, customer communication and generally making sure that all Swimtrekkers are happy before and after taking a tour. Before joining SwimTrek in 2010 Reuben had previously spent 5 years working in similar roles within the travel industry and he uses this valuable experience to enhance the SwimTrek team.

 

Mark Burgess

Mark is the events manager who has responsibility for running each of our races and charity events. He has been running events for corporate clients and charities for the last 8 years and his experience has brought a new angle to the marketing and events team. Mark is an extreme sports enthusiast who loves tying out new sports, while continuing the competitive cycling he has enjoyed since the age of 8.

 

Derek Koh

Heading up the finance department, Derek is the finance dynamo that keeps the accounts of the company in order. Known around the office for his immaculately tidy desk and green tea drinking habits Derek exudes a sense of order within the SwimTrek team. He has a passion for travelling and being a foodie enjoys exploring the world through experiencing the local food and culture. 

 

Elena Sabelnikova

Elena brings her knowledge and skill to the finance department where she spends most of her time nagging guides to get their expenses in on time. You will also most likely receive an invoice email from her reminding you when it is time to pay for your SwimTrek Holiday. Elena enjoys hanging around with her young family and spends as much of her spare time as possible in Italy loving the laid back life style. 

 

Laura Sajnog

Laura joined SwimTrek after spending two seasons working as a Brighton Beach Lifeguard. Working in the operations department she is responsible for making sure all of the required equipment is out on location ready for each trip. Having grown up by the beach Laura brings a depth of local knowledge and passion for Brighton sea swimming to the office.

 

 

About Us

It all started back in 2000 when SwimTrek’s founder, Simon Murie wanted to celebrate his 30th birthday.  He took himself off to Turkey to attempt to cross the fabled Hellespont which divides Europe from Asia and was made famous in Greek mythology by Hero & Leander and later by the poet Byron.

What with this area being heavily militarised, it took Simon almost a week to get all the permissions in place and just over an hour to actually swim it! This huge imbalance between administration and swimming gave Simon the idea that there surely must be other swimmers who want to do all these great swims but don’t have the time to organise everything. Hence SwimTrek created a new branch of activity travel…

Years later we run trips to over 25 locations worldwide offering all sorts of open water swimming experiences from seas, lakes or rivers to choices of various adventures.

Nothing beats arriving at a location, under your own steam as it allows you to appreciate the area in a way that no one else can.

As the world’s first open water swimming operator, and with over a decade of tours under our swimsuits, we still love sharing the fun, the adventure, and the rewards that make our trips such an amazing and unforgettable experience.

“This was one of the best days of my life – great location, great company, great weather and best of all great swims – fantastic.” Robert 

Whether you’re a seasoned open water swimmer, or looking at taking those first tentative strokes in the great outdoors, whether you’re flying solo or a on a group holiday, or 16-years-old or 70-years-young, we have the right trip for you.

The Important Stuff:

  • Our Trips – For ten years we’ve been travelling the world searching for perfect open water swimming locations, so we’ve now got a trip to suit all standards of swimmers.
  • Our Guides – Our guides are as important to the success of a tour as the location itself, so we make sure we’ve got the right people for the right trip – and we’ve succeeded. They’re passionate about open water swimming and highly experienced, they’re also all trained to our exacting standards.
  • Our pilots – They are local and have grown up knowing these waters for years. They will take you to hidden spots well off the beaten track and make your trip simply unforgettable.
  • Your Safety – It goes without saying that your safety is paramount, and with our qualified and experienced guides, local skippers, and latest safety escort vessels, we will look after you every stroke of the way.
  •  Your Comfort – At the end of the day you’ve earned the chance to relax and unwind in comfort, which is why we make sure you stay in good quality accommodation, which are generally family owned, small hotels – you can check out where we stay with each tour’s details.
  • Your Opinion – Yes, your enjoyment and opinion is really important to us, as is word of mouth, so if you had a great time let us know and tell all your friends – but if you have any issues, tell us so we can improve things next time. 

An adventure holiday you’ll enjoy from the start, you’ll be the envy of your friends and family, and you’ll want to do it again, and again, and again… so take the plunge, and immerse yourself into the experience of a lifetime, you won’t regret it – or forget it!

“The tour was fantastic, challenging in places, but an excellent experience. I was new to open water swimming and the guides and the group ensured I had a brilliant first experience. I'm now hooked!” Laura 

Meet our guides

 

 


Simon Murie

Life before SwimTrek

Simon was a Mining Engineer spending months and even years working in some inhospitable locations around the world. In fact in a lot of these places, he probably couldn’t have been any further away from water. It was probably this that drove him to become an open water swimmer!

Life at SwimTrek

While heading up the company, Simon continues to focus on the future direction of SwimTrek by scouting out new locations and swims across the world.

Most memorable swim moment

Has to be my swim crossing across the Hellespont in Turkey. A lifetime ambition fulfilled.

Favourite SwimTrek location or event

My next one. I love travelling the world and literally swimming in it. I am always searching for the next great swimming location.

Interesting fact about you

Simon’s mum appeared in the James Bond film, Thunderball.

Why I love working at SwimTrek

What’s better than working at something that you love doing?

 


Kate Todd

Life before SwimTrek

Hotel Management, Banking and Travel.. Have been in the travel industry for over 16 years - at a ski tour operator, luxury tour operator and finally SwimTrek.

Life at SwimTrek

I am the Commercial Director (ie I look after things when Simon’s gallivanting, er, ‘recceing’)

Most memorable swim moment

Quite a few - amongst them are doing my first 6-hour swim, finishing the Lake Zurich swim with a duck entourage quacking loudly, and every time I’ve been to the Hellespont!

Favourite SwimTrek location or event

Our Slovenia lakes trip which is set in the Alps and offers crystal clear water, beautiful scenery and a packed-full itinerary. And the Hellespont - I love love love this event, it’s the United Nations of Swimming!

Interesting fact about you

I have been in a lift with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and I have an Olympic swimmer brother (he was blessed with the speed genes!).

Why I love working at SwimTrek

the SwimTrek team, the fact that there is always someone to swim with, and the opportunity to keep developing new interesting products for open water swimmers – what’s not to love?

 


Reuben Westwood

Life before SwimTrek
I have worked in many customer service roles which have given me a great grounding in understanding how to deal with customers. From dealing with angry customers on the Argos customer service desk to working out in resort my formative years of employment were certainly heavily focused on making sure the customer was always happy! On returning to the UK I started working for a small independent travel company and headed up there customer services team for 3 years before coming over to join SwimTrek. 

Life at SwimTrek

My day can vary wildly from working on new and exciting location information to updating our customer email system to blowing up inflatable bouys! I also guide the customer team in their daily duties which still gives me the contact with customers that I enjoy so much.

Most memorable swim moment

As a child I spent a couple of summers cycling to the west coast of Ireland and hanging out on the beaches of the Dingle peninsular. The swims I did in those Atlantic waves are still the best I have ever done!

Favourite SwimTrek location or event

The Monster Swim in Loch Ness! I swam the mile event in the inaugural event in 2010. I then worked on the event ever since and I look forward to my trip to Inverness every year.  

Interesting fact about you 
I’ve never been a patient in the hospital – not even as a baby!

Why I love working at SwimTrek

The people. We have a really close-knit office team which makes coming to work every day a complete joy.  But even more importantly speaking to the guides and the customers on the phone is always a pleasure! 

 


Mark Burgess

Life before SwimTrek

Before working at SwimTrek I spent the majority of my working life in the third sector and at local authorities setting up youth activities and creating events to encourage people to become physically active and live healthier lifestyles for both young people and adults living in areas of deprivation. 

Life at SwimTrek

I am the Marketing and Events Manager, I can be found tweeting, Facebooking, preparing Newsletters and updating the website, In between I lead with the organising SwimTrek events on behalf of charities.

Most memorable swim moment

After a few days of working at SwimTrek, Simon took me on my first real open water experience by swimming round the West Pier in Brighton. It felt like a real achievement and seeing the Brighton seafront from a new perspective was fantastic.

Favourite SwimTrek location or event

My favourite location has to be the Turkish Lycian Way, the waters are crystal clear, the landscape is stunning and the swims were amazing. Oh and not forgetting the amazing food prepared by the boat pilots wife.

Interesting fact about you

I represented Britain in the Flanders World Cup Cyclo-Cross race in Belgium.

Why I love working at SwimTrek

Firstly the company ethos fits into my love for keeping active and going on adventures. The team is really dynamic, hardworking but know how to have fun.

 


Derek Koh

Life before SwimTrek

Working for an Australian company which sold e learning platforms to schools and education authorities a few doors away from the old Swimtrek office (very handy for the interview)

Life at SwimTrek

Overseeing the finances of the company including management accounts and financial reporting

Most memorable swim moment       

Not a swimmer so nearest thing would have to be Paddle boarding as part of a Swimtrek get together.

Favourite SwimTrek location or event              

It's got to be Paddle Round The Pier

Interesting fact about you

Decided to drive a Landrover at the age of seven.

Why I love working at SwimTrek       

 A superb bunch of people to work with,  fun and friendly atmosphere, my job is challenging and varied.

 


Elena Sabelnikova

Life before SwimTrek
Before  SwimTrek I used to volunteer at East Sussex Credit Union. I loved the idea of helping people as well as having the opportunity to learn.

Life at SwimTrek
As an Accounts Assistant I am responsible for processing invoices, payment runs and reconciliations. I am also here to make sure that our guides submit their expenses on time. 

Most memorable swim moment
I love south of Italy because of its stunning waters and amazing sceneries.
  
Favourite SwimTrek location or event 
I am very excited about SwimTrek’s new family trips to Greece. Being a parent I love watching my son swimming.
 
Interesting fact about me 
I used to speak 4 languages. 

Why I love working at SwimTrek
I enjoy being part of the SwimTrek team as it has a variety in age, past experience and talents.

 


Laura Sajnog

Life before SwimTrek 

Before SwimTrek I worked for 2 summer seasons as a Brighton and Hove Beach lifeguard, and in the winter months I worked as a receptionist/membership advisor in the local leisure centre.

Life at SwimTrek

I work in the Operations department at SwimTrek as the Team Assistant. My role consists of many things but during the season I coordinate the guides travel, making sure equipment is on location and in working order, overlooking all the guide qualifications and dealing with hotels and suppliers.  

Most memorable swim moment

Doing my first open water sponsored swim. Was not a long distance (only 2.5k) but I raised loads of money and battled though large swell and  with the British summer being what it is also heavy rain and hail. I loved every minute!   

Favourite SwimTrek location or event

Montenegro, this trips is great for all abilities of open water swimming. You are based in a stunning location encased by a mountain landscape with beautiful water. Great local community within the town, which provides a vast verity of restaurants. Also being able to swim in Lake Skadar for a day is a real high point of the trip.

Interesting fact about you

I have trained in dance since the age of 3, having done many shows in my time the highlight for me was being given the chance to audition for Disney.  

Why I love working at SwimTrek

Not only is it a fun and family like environment to work in, I get to work for a company that is based around something I love, Swimming. 

 


Laura Campbell

Life before SwimTrek

I've been working for the ASA in the East Midlands as a development officer where my main priorities were supporting swimming clubs with gaining and keeping swim21 accreditation (a quality mark for clubs) and running training courses and events for volunteers. I discovered open water around 2008 after many years as a pool swimmer during which I was a national champion in butterfly. I also teach and coach and am an all-round swimming geek!

Life at SwimTrek

I will be deal with all guide related issues, trip logistics, health & safety, hotels & boat pilots and assisting at events. 

Most memorable swim moment

As a Swim Trek guest, I will always remember swimming into a submarine bunker and singing happy birthday en masse to one of the other guests, Rich. It was eerily quiet and calm (until we all swam in!) and it was a special moment hearing our slightly off-key singing echoing around inside. Probably one of the most unique happy birthday sing-alongs in history!

 Favourite SwimTrek location or event

I went on the inaugural Montenegro trip as a guest, which was my first experience of warm open water swimming. I loved the unique location - I would never have thought to have visited Montenegro otherwise, and I'm glad I got to experience such a beautiful place as Perast. 

Interesting fact about you

Outside of work I compete in triathlon, but with balance not being a strong point of mine I spend a lot of time trying to stay upright on a bike!

Why I love working at SwimTrek

It’s exciting to be working for a company who are world leaders at what they do, alongside like-minded, motivated, interesting people, and in the sport I love. 

 


Carmen Danahar

Life before SwimTrek

After leaving college I spent a year rotating between travel and work. I managed to fit in a lot of beautiful places and met even more amazing people. After that I completed a year of nursing in Cardiff, I soon realized that this wasn’t the path for me and went back to my familiar pattern of work, travel and writing. Slowly it dawned on my two true passions in life were travel and the documentation of it. This bought me to my current and most content stage in life, studying English through the Open University and working full time at Swim Trek.

 Life at SwimTrek

I work under Reuben in the sales team, I am in direct contact with the customers 

My most memorable swim

Swimming across Lake Garda, it may not be the biggest swim, but it was my first solo swim, and something about the tranquil calmness of the lake and majestic backdrop of mountains means it is a swim I will never forget.

My interesting fact:

I once explored and traveled over the border of 16 countries in 5 weeks.

I love working at SwimTrek

There  is a not a corporate feel about the company. Every swim is discovered, adapted and created through passion and not a drive for corporate gain. It a pleasure every day talking to satisfied and ardent swimmer both new and experienced, older and younger, people from all walks of life and all parts if the world., who are coming together united through a mutual love of swimming.

 


Shaun Yates

Life before SwimTrek

After moving to Brighton, I worked as a barista (attempting to perfect my coffee art), before joining SwimTrek at the beginning of 2014

Life at SwimTrek

As Travel Administrator, my job largely entails responding to customer queries, communicating with suppliers and creating client paperwork

My most memorable swim

My most memorable swim moment would probably be a week spent on the Greek island of Gavdos, camping on the beach and exploring the deserted coastline

My interesting fact:

I worked briefly on a farm in Scotland, where I was responsible for the care of a family of emus

I love working at SwimTrek

I'm excited to be working for a company that is the leading provider of such a unique experience