Swimming in the Baltic Sea

I come from the middle of the Mediterranean; growing up the swimming season extended from June to September. And even then, I thought that the water was often cold, especially at the start of summer! So when people mentioned swimming in Denmark eye-rolling was my standard reply.


However, when a friend from Australia staying in Sonderborg said that she has been swimming and enjoyed it, and after a week of hot weather, I challenged myself and Michael to try it out in Sonderborg. The water was cold. Very cold! Definitely colder than whatever I considered ‘very cold’ in Malta! But I made it in successfully. Let’s just say that I am not ‘winter bathing‘ material as yet and leave it at that.

This year’s summer (2012) has not been good for the temperature of the Danish waters. In Vejle, four fjords from here, the average bathing temperature was 16,8 degrees. Compared to a normal average of 18.6 degrees this has been the coldest in the 16 years they have measured the bathing water temperature in Vejle. If you are interested in keeping an eye yourself DMI measures temperatures in harbours and TV2 measures bathing water temperatures on beaches at 1 meter depth.

Water Culture

One thing I have noticed though was that while Maltese people can easily stay in the water for 30mins to an 1hr and even longer, Danes tend to just go in for a very short time, maybe 10-15 minutes, and then get back out. You might think it is because of the temperature, but when Danish friends (including Michael!) visit Malta, they do just the same. I seem to think that once I have tortured myself getting into the cold water, might as well stay in as long as possible!

The picture for this post is actually from Brighton beach in UK. When we get out of the water in Sonderborg we shake too much to take pictures 🙂

One thought on “Swimming in the Baltic Sea

  1. Cecilia

    Glad to see you braved the cold and lived to see another day :). I am still yet to be convinced that I will be swimming in Ireland. Perhaps I should take baby steps. Start in Denmark then move to the beast that are Irish seas 🙂


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