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Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you're a first timer or an experienced SwimTrekker, the information below gives you answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

Of course, if there is anything you can't find here, please feel free to get in touch with us to have a chat with our team.

Will I be able to swim the distances in the trip itinerary?

You may think that you could not swim these distances in the pool. This could be down to the fact that you simply get bored, when going up and down the pool. Giving yourself enough time to train before your departure, will allow you to achieve the distances on the trip. Use the SwimTrek Training Plan to steadily build up your endurance. Also, with the greater buoyancy of sea water (making swimming easier!) and the psychological effect of seeing your target destination, ahead of you, swimming the distance in the sea is generally easier than in the pool.

How many hours a day will I be swimming?

This will vary between trips and your own swimming speed, but you can estimate that you will be swimming between 2-3 hours a day.

What strokes do people swim?

Although the majority swim front crawl, we often have a number of breast-strokers as well. Having different swimming groups, means you can swim whatever stroke you want.

What swim speed will I need to go at?

The great feature of a SwimTrek trip is the range of swimming speeds that are catered for. At the start of the trip, swimmers are grouped according to their swim speed. Generally, there are between 2-3 groups depending on the individuals on each tour. Therefore everyone is put into a group of their own speed and hence, there is no need to swim too quickly or too slowly. All groups are looked after by a safety escort.

What will my fellow swimmers be like?

Swimming, by its nature is a low impact, medium intensity work out, enabling a cross-section of ages to come on our tours. They may be anything from teenagers to the retired, alone or with a friend, experienced open water swimmers or those unfamiliar to being outside the swimming pool. You can rest assured that the common love of swimming in the great outdoors, makes for a truly memorable trip.

Any non-swimming activities?

There are some great walks to and from the start/finish point of our swims, which are of an easy to moderate standard. Varied trips to local sights of interest combined with plenty of opportunities in the evening to go out in town and have a relaxing meal and drink with the group, make for an enjoyable time.

Do I have to swim all the crossings?

No. You always have the opportunity, to catch a ride on the escort boat at any time. Have a cup of tea or some juice and jump back in, if or when you want.

How are we looked after, on the swims?

You will be escorted on the crossings by a number of boats, which will provide safety cover and provide drinks and nutrition throughout the swim. The guides will also be on board to assist you in improving your technique. You can of course, at any time, get on board one of the boats.

How fit do I need to be to join a trip?

It is important at the start of the tour, that you are able to swim, at a steady pace for the average tour distance, which is stipulated on each trip's web page. This will ensure that you can complete most of the crossings and also help you maximise your enjoyment of the tour. Please take time to look at our detailed SwimTrek Training Plan to see suggested training distances to be achieved in the pool before your trip.

How long has SwimTrek been running tours for?

SwimTrek was founded by Simon Murie in 2003 after he travelled to Canakkale, Turkey to follow in Byron's footsteps and swim from Asia to Europe. Organising this proved to be be quite difficult and Simon couldn't believe that there wasn't a company who ran holidays for swimming enthusiasts. As a result, he launched Swimtrek and in the summer of 2003, the first tour ran to the Greek Cyclades. The rest, as they say, is history!

What about Marine life?

Encountering various marine life is one of the great joys of these trips. It's not simply head down and swim to the next island. From sea turtles in Greece, dolphins in Scotland, seals in the Scillies and porpoises in Turkey, the sea life will enchant you. Although generally absent from our trips, Jellyfish can theoretically be present in all of the locations that we go to. However, most of the jellyfish varieties that we are likely to encounter are of the non-stinging type.

I also want to improve my swimming technique?

There are a number of stroke technique differences between the pool and open water. Throughout the trip, we will continually work on improving your open water swimming stroke, through demonstrations and lessons where required.

Are there trips specially for faster swimmers or scenic swimmers?

Yes, there are! In some destiNations, we have both Scenic and Swift tours.

How safe are your destinations?

We constantly monitor the latest Foreign Office travel advice for each destination we visit. If, a month prior to the trip, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advise against travel to that area of the country, we will not operate the trip concerned and provide you with either a full refund of all fees paid or we will come up with an alternative trip for the same dates. FCO Travel Advice

What do I need to bring with me on a trip?

For every tour, we have detailed Trip Notes which include the itinerary, travel information and a list of essential equipment. The Trip Notes can be downloaded fro the tour page on the website. The essential equipment does change from tour to tour but standard items include swimming goggles, aqua shoes (to get in and out of the water in) , a towel, a jumper, comfortable trainers or hiking boots and of course, your swimming gear!

How often do you cancel a trip?

As we travel in small groups, 95% of our trips operate - so you can be confident of going on the trip of your choice.

What is Open Water?

Any natural body of water, i.e. rivers, lakes, seas and oceans

Am I required to have insurance to join a trip?

On all non-UK trips, we do require guests to have full travel insurance that covers open water swimming and repatriation. The information on recommended insurers here. For UK trips, while we do recommend you take out travel insurance, it is not compulsory.

When is the final balance of my tour due?

The final balance is due 10 weeks before the tour departs and we will email everyone an invoice 12 weeks before.

How can I pay the final balance of my tour?

Full payment instructions will be on your invoice which you should receive around 12 weeks before your tour starts. If you would like to pay before this, you can do so online by going to the trip details page on your SwimTrek account.

Are there any age restrictions when swimming with SwimTrek?

SwimTrek welcomes all swimmers over the age of 16, however all those under 18 must be accompanied by a swimming adult.

Can I bring a non-swimming guest?

SwimTrek welcomes non-swimmers depending on the availability of accommodation, however they are unable to join us during the day for the group activities. For safety reasons non-swimmers are never permitted on the accompanying safety craft.

To discuss further or to make a booking please contact the office on 01273 739 713.