When the summer sun is at its zenith, all we want to do is get ourselves beside water. A river, a paddling pool, a puddle: we’ll take it. So it’s not difficult to see why we’re dreaming about far-off fantasy pools today. Take a look at the planet’s most extreme swimming pools and man-made water features, which we’ve gathered in one place for your viewing pleasure.
And while you’re here, check out our Extreme Water Sports gift experiences too; we’ve got hundreds of ways for you to embrace the Big Blue across the UK.
Now, with high temperatures forecast for our imminent future, wouldn’t you rather be floating serenely in one of these other-worldly aqua-havens?
The Tank at the Golden Nugget, Las Vegas
If there’s anywhere in the world that you know they’re going to super pimp the humble swimming pool, it’s Vegas. The Tank brings together a 30-foot tube slide and a 200,000-gallon shark aquarium. Zoom down the contained slide just inches away from these incredible creatures for an unmatched buzz. Once at the bottom you can dry off and head to the pool loungers or man-made waterfalls.
Insano Water Slide at Beach Park, Aquiraz, Brazil
You don’t even need to go on this water slide for it to force your heart into your stomach; just looking at a photo of the steep drop is enough. One of the wold’s highest, the Insano stands at 41 metres (as tall as a 14-storey building) and features a stomach-churning drop that feels practically vertical. Riders reach speeds of about 65mph, which means the whole high-octane experience only takes 4 or 5 seconds. If you can get past the fear at the top before taking off, you can enjoy incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
An iconic part of Singapore’s skyline, Marina Bay Sands is a multi-billion dollar resort comprising three main towers which were inspired by decks of cards. A flat roof is laid on top of the 340-metre long SkyPark. It sits atop the world’s largest public cantilevered platform and comprises an infinity pool. Guests can lounge in the pool while gazing over at astonishing views of this uber wealthy, glittering city.
Glass-bottomed Sky Pool at Market Square Tower, Houston
Here’s an extreme swimming pool that will make your tummy flip. This pool in Houston overhangs the residential block Market Square Tower from the 40th storey, allowing bathers to enjoy the skyline but also view the sheer drop below. It’s made from 20cm-thick acrylic glass and it’s a concept that has examples dotted around the globe, with further such pools planned for London and India in the future. Swimmers can imagine they’re swimming in the sky itself.
Tropical Islands Resort, Brandenburg
The title of largest indoor water park goes to Tropical Islands Resort in Germany. Within a hangar structure designed from a zeppelin, it covers 710,000 square feet and can hold up to 7,000 visitors. It features water rides, and a specially constructed beach, forest and pools. Its faux sky reminds us of Jim Carrey’s character getting to the edge of his fabricated world in The Truman Show. It’s a zany idea, but at least the rain can never spoil your beach time.
If those extreme swimming pools and water features didn’t make you sigh for distant shores, we don’t know what will. Special mention must go to some other places not shown above, including Aquaria Grande in Mumbai, which is under construction, and the Seagaia Ocean Dome in Miyazaki which closed in 2007. Check them out if you get a chance.
For water fun a little closer to home, check out our round-up of Lidos, Outdoor Pools and Lagoons around the UK.