skinny dipping

The bare essentials: 10 natural pools for skinny dipping

In Travel Inspiration, Water by Kai

Private pool

There are times – court; graduation; church – when clothes are a definite advantage. There are other times when they’re just an impediment.

We don’t don frumpy trunks and bathing suits because we want to: we do it out of respect for our fellow swimmers. Take the public out of the equation and swimwear becomes optional.

Throw caution and swimwear to the wind 

We don’t care whether you favour a burkini or a birthday suit: we’re just here to give you that option, because nothing feels as good as skinny does.

The following holiday homes are within arm’s reach of stunning natural pools. Go on, jump in – no one’s watching.

Note: just because these pools are secluded, doesn’t guarantee privacy at all times. You might want to keep your trunks on standby, just in case.

1. Swim free at the River House

Swim free at the River House

There are all kinds of reasons why you might want to stay at this Portuguese villa, like its river beach, boat, mountain bikes, huge lawn and promise of “total privacy”. River House’s pièce de résistance, though, is surely the natural pool complete with plunging waterfall. (All waterfalls plunge, you know. That or cascade.) If you can convince 17 mates to look the other way – or better still, to throw caution and swimwear to the wind and join in – the pool is your playground. Get your kit off and get in.

Learn more about River House

2. Make a splash in the Hawaiian jungle

Make a splash in the Hawaiian jungle

Acres of tropical garden give way to a jungle walk that leads to a secret waterfall. This stilted cottage is blessed with a treetop view of the jungle; you’ll spot birds and other wildlife but don’t count on seeing human life. Out here, it’s just you, nature and a jungle pool that’s whispering your name.

Learn more about this Huelo cottage

It may look like a pond, but this one’s too nice for ducks

3. Less is more in the south of France

Less is more in the south of France

What makes a pool natural? In this case it’s a swimming pool that merges into the landscape and is surrounded by aquatic plants which clean the water, avoiding the need for chemicals. It may look like a pond, but this one’s too nice for ducks. Dip a toe in the water and then fight the urge to strip off and plunge right in. Go on then – it’s not like you’ve got an audience.

Learn more about Perigourdin Farm

4. Streak across the lawn and jump off the jetty

Streak across the lawn and jump off the jetty

When the pool is larger than the house, it stands to reason you’ll be spending the bulk of your holiday in the former. It’s not that this Portuguese villa is pokey, but rather that its natural pool is generously proportioned. Kick back on the porch while you watch the sun set, then catch the last rays as you splash about in the pool. When the final flash has slinked over the horizon, warm up in the outside shower before slipping back into your evening wear.

Learn more about Monte Dos Pegos

Swim languidly as the scent of rosemary and lavender drifts across the garden

5. Take the plunge under the Tuscan sun

Take the plunge under the Tuscan sun

Another Mediterranean land, another gorgeous pool. This all-natural number can be found in Tuscany, a region better known for its rolling hills and rich produce. You won’t find skinny dipping mentioned in the holiday brochures, but when you set eyes on this natural pool, you’ll know what to do. A separate area filled with water plants acts as a regeneration zone that cleans the water. Slip in and swim languidly as the scent of rosemary and lavender drifts across the garden.

Learn more about Il Chiusino

6. Hang loose in this Ibizan saltwater pool

Hang loose in this Ibizan saltwater pool

Pine trees carpet the hills of North Ibiza, where this sun-dappled villa nestles snugly. If its high ceilings and cosy fireplaces are charming, its natural pool is utterly inviting. Set amidst a beautiful garden replete with chill out areas and ocean views, this saltwater pool will have you shedding your threads in record time.

Learn more about this Ibicencan villa

7. Get back to basics on the farm

Get back to basics on the farm

With its three-metre high ceilings and huge fireplace, everything about this Valencian farmhouse feels epic – and with prices starting from €73 per night, it’s possible to live large on a budget. While the cavernous old house is impressive, it’s what’s outside that sells it: a shaded porch gives way to a natural pool that’s fed by spring water – the very same water that also feeds the kitchen garden.

Learn more about El Corralot

Out here in the boondocks, it’s just you and a big bunch of nature

8. Soak it all up at The Old Mill

Soak it all up at The Old Mill

A historic building, a sprawling garden, a natural stone pool and a mountain spring. The Old Mill sounds just like every other property on this list, but to recite its features would be to only scratch the surface. Situated in the north-west of Italy, this exquisite villa is a haven of tranquility. Birds chirp, a brook gurgles merrily, fish dart about the river and a weeping willow sways gently. Out here in the boondocks, it’s just you and a big bunch of nature. Unwind or party hard: it’s your call. Whatever you get up to, the birds won’t tell tales.

Learn more about The Old Mill

9. Enjoy the silence in the peaceful Pyrenees

Enjoy the silence in the peaceful Pyrenees

Listen. Did you hear that? Of course you didn’t – there’s nothing to hear, not even a breeze. It may be quiet out here in the Pyrenees, but there’s nothing to stop you from breaking the silence. Shout, splash and turn up the tunes if you like. Plunge into the natural stone pool, streak through the meadow and shriek with joy if you must. There are no neighbours to rustle; just you and a luxury 18th century hamlet. That’ll do nicely.

Learn more about Le Hameau du Quercy

10. Ditch everything and go Brazilian

Ditch everything and go Brazilian

Let’s face it: you’re probably not going to haul ass to South America just for the pleasure of swimming sans swimwear. If you’ve been eyeing a Brazilian jaunt for some time however, we might just have found the perfect place. Two cosy cottages (one per couple) with a natural pool right outside that’s fed by a miniature waterfall. It’s very beautiful and very secluded: the perfect spot for bathing and catching the sort of all-over tan that normally only sunbeds can provide.

Learn more about Maromba chalets
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KaiThe bare essentials: 10 natural pools for skinny dipping