I had been wanting to go on a SwimTrek holiday ever since I had been told about it by a friend and had stumbled upon an article in a magazine. Originally my friend and I had planned to go together, but for a few years we could not agree on a date, so I decided to go on my own.
I love swimming, but I am a very slow swimmer. I did not even know how to do front crawl and had only started swimming with goggles a few months ago. But I wanted to do it and so I called the SwimTrek office for advice on which trip I should choose, they explained very patiently how the trip is structured and assured me that I would probably not be the only slower swimmer. They recommended a Short Swims trip to start with and I chose the Kornati Islands, Croatia.
Getting from the airport in Split to the ferry port in Zadar takes a while and I have since learned that flying directly into Zadar is a much better option. There might even be time to sit down and listen to the music from sea organ in Zadar.
The ferry ride to Dugi Otok is easy and short and I got to meet a few of my fellow swimmers on-board and we walked to the hotel together. The hotel is on one side of a small bay and all the rooms have a sea view. It is wonderfully quiet and the smell of pines is everywhere. I felt relaxed instantly.
On our first evening after the safety briefing and introductions of the guides and fellow swimmers we did our acclimatization swim in front of the hotel and I already loved it. The water was beautifully dark blue and very refreshing.
They next few days we spend on the boat and in the sea. The swims were amazing. We did crossings (swimming from island to island) and coastal swims. The water is crystal clear and warm enough for me to swim without a wetsuit even at the end of September. The guides and the captain did a fantastic job. I felt wonderfully secure and looked after and was so happy to be able to swim at my own pace and never felt rushed despite often being the last of my group. I even got an introduction to front crawl and it was the perfect situation to start practising. After this first trip I felt ready to try “normal” distances instead of short swims and I loved it just as much and never felt like I could not make it.
I had been very afraid of having to swim in choppy water, but most of the time it was very calm and peaceful. The most impressive swim was the one along the huge cliffs, which we had got to see from the top on our walk the day before.
Another thing I love about the location is the quietness of the hotel even though it’s only a 5 minute walk from the harbour where after a day of swimming you can choose between a number of beautiful restaurants serving delicious seafood, pizza and other treats. There is also an ice cream shop and a little bar, both of which invite you to sit and enjoy the evening. To get back to the hotel you can also choose to walk on a small path next to the water. You can even go for a little night dip if you feel like it, because the water is so nice and quiet.
This holiday got me completely hooked to SwimTrek. I have met a wonderful people on every single trip and I had some of the best holidays of my life with SwimTrek. I have since gone to Prvic, Tenerife and Oman with SwimTrek, but also have come back to Sali once a year, because I simply love being there.