Helen and her sister booked their first SwimQuest Holiday in the Philippines last summer, and here Helen shares her experience …

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What attracted you to this SwimQuest holiday? 

The climate (warm water!) and the location (meeting point for my sister coming from Australia and me coming from the UK).   

What was your favourite moment on the trip?  

Swimming with turtles around Apo Island followed by a delicious BBQ lunch on the boat.

We also had a surprise dinner for John’s 60th Birthday on the beach which was organised by his lovely wife Olivia and the Atmosphere Team.

What did you think about the accommodation and food? 

Accommodation – Atmosphere Resort was exceptional; the staff were so friendly and the rooms were spacious and equipped with everything a swimmer would need including a water bottle and an airer.

Food – We really appreciated the variation of the food which included traditional Filipino dishes and European style dishes. We enjoyed every meal that we had, and usually spent the boat ride or swim back to the resort thinking about our menu choice for lunch or dinner!

We particularly enjoyed the cocktail hour each evening, a new cocktail to try each day (just the one of course!).

What did you think about your tour guide/s? 

John was so accommodating and made us feel welcome from the moment that we met him. He provided us with challenge at our own level and enabled us to feel a sense of achievement in every swim, whether we were the first to get back on the boat or the last! His hospitable and personable approach put us at ease in every situation.

What surprised you most about the trip? 

That my sister enjoyed the longer swims just as much as I did, she really didn’t think she could swim that many kilometres in one swim before this holiday!

Do you think your swimming or swim confidence improved during the trip? How?

Always room for improvement, so John’s advice and videoed swim stroke analysis really helped us to refine our stroke.

What was the ‘underwater world’ like? Did you see any wildlife? 

Turtles!! The fish and coral were so vibrant! We had an excursion to Cebu Island to swim with the Whale Sharks too …

Has this holiday changed your swim goals? 

Just to continue experiencing open water swimming holidays.

Did you travel alone or with friends? How did you find it? 

With my sister, aka the Australian ‘Swim Sisters’. We really enjoyed the flexibility of the itinerary, swimming activities during the day, then relaxing by one of the three swimming pools with a book & cocktail before meeting the group for dinner later.  

Can you describe the experience in three words? 

Relaxation, Achievement, Sociable

Would you travel with SwimQuest again on either this or a different SwimQuest tour? If yes, where takes your fancy and why? 

Absolutely, the tour was so well organised and allowed the flexibility to adapt to individual skills levels and interests. If my sister is joining me next time it’ll have to be a tropical warm water destination so perhaps the Maldives or Bahamas!

Do you have any advice for someone looking to book this or a similar SwimQuest Holiday?

Don’t hesitate, you won’t regret it! SwimQuest will have a holiday to suit you!

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Apo Island Beach