Win a luxurious spa weekend courtesy of Arla LactoFREE

The Global Swim Series Top 10 European Open Water Swimming Events for 2019

The Global Swim Series (GSS) is exactly what it says it is. Created in 2014 with 12 races in Canada it now consists of 175 races (and counting), in 36 countries and has more than 110,000 participants. Participation in any GSS earns swimmers points depending on their finishing time and position that are entered into a giant league, allowing swimmers to see how they compare with fellow swimmers around the world. However, it’s not really about the competition. The goal of the GSS is to promote open water swimming and a healthy, active and adventurous lifestyle. To get you started, Rob Kent, founder of the GSS, has drawn up his list of the 10 most exciting and interesting GSS open water swims in Europe. To find out more about these or other great races, visit

1. Endurace Swimming Marathon – Romania

Rob says: “A fun off-the-beaten track race.”


Glendalough National Park Swim – Ireland

Rob says: “spectacular beauty in the mountains of this national park.”


3. Liffey Swim – Dublin, Ireland

Rob says: “the oldest consecutively run open water race in the world! This year is 100th anniversary.”

Liffey Swim Bridge

Open Swim Stars – Paris, France

Rob says: “a rare chance to swim in Paris! A great destination race.”

Open Swim Stars Paris Race

Roermond City Swim – Roermond, Holland

Rob says: “the whole community in this small Dutch town has gotten behind it and it has become a big deal!”

Roermond City Swim 9

Santorini Experience – Greece

Rob says: “a big multi-day, multi-sport festival. You can also hit the Navarino Challenge, also in Greece, the following weekend.”


Swim the Island – Bergeggi, Italy

Rob says: “One of the biggest and best run races in Europe. A spectacular location too.”

Swimtheisland Bergeggi 9

The Dee Mile – Chester, England

Rob says: “one of the oldest races in the world, started in 1922. Historic, quirky and lots of fun.”

Dee Mile Pic3

The Kotlin Race – St Petersburg, Russia

Rob says: “25km solo or relay swim that allows you to compete with swimmers on other days. Beautiful city.”

Kotlin 2017

Vansbrosimmingen – Sweden

Rob says: “the second largest race in the world with more than 16,000 swimmers. A real bucket list race.”

Vansbro Swim 10

Stay up to date with The Dip, our free weekly outdoor swimming newsletter.

I created Outdoor Swimmer in 2011 (initially as H2Open Magazine) as an outlet for my passion for swimming outdoors. I've been a swimmer and outdoor swimmer for as long as I remember. Swimming has made a huge difference to my life and I want to share its joys and benefits with as many people as possible. I am also the author of Swim Wild & Free: A Practical Guide to Swimming Outdoors 365 a Year and I provide one-to-one support to swimmers through Swim Mentoring.