Over many decades it was not possible to swim in the Elbe because it formed the border between the two German states and it was also seriously polluted by industrial sewage.
Today, bathing in the river is becoming more and more popular again. The improvements in water quality and the long white beaches that appear at times of low water exercise a magnetic attraction on swimming enthusiasts. A German environmental organization, the Deutsche Umwelthilfe, organizes an ‘Elbe Swim Day’ every year, with the aim of diverting people’s attention to the importance of rivers as vital arteries running through the countryside.
Please note, however, that great care should be taken when swimming in the Elbe. There have been many accidents in the past, often caused by swimmers failing to take account of the strong currents in the middle of the river, the rapidly changing depths and the vortices which build up at the ends of the groynes.
You can avoid such risks and still enjoy swimming by visiting one of the public swimming pools or one of the bathing lakes in the region. In addition, the public pools are generally directly connected with other amenities for visitors.
You can avoid risks and still enjoy swimming by visiting one of the bathing lakes in the region.