Taking the Plunge with Greece’s Swimming Pigs

Pigs beach Greece
Pigs and humans mix and seem to enjoy each other’s company on Atokos Island, Greece. Credit: Sea Kayaking Kefalonia

The swimming pigs of Greece have become an internet sensation with dozens of videos posted on TikTok and other social media.

Bathers on the little island of Atokos in the Ionian Sea, next to Ithaca, are for the experience of a lifetime as they swim next to feral pigs who seem to enjoy the human presence. Their natural buoyancy and paddling instincts help them move around in the water.

It is a mystery how the pigs ended up on the uninhabited 4.5 square kilometers island that belongs administratively to Ithaca. It is also part of the Natura 2000 network because of its rich and rare marine life.


THE SWIMMING PIGS ADVENTURES #bucketlist #swimmingpigs #adventuretime #fyp #follow

♬ Good Day – Nappy Roots

The island is privately owned by the shipping magnate Panayiotis Tsakos. It is uninhabited except for a few goats that roam freely around the island. These animals appear to be tended by a shepherd who visits and tends to the flock every fourth day as part of an agreement with the current owner.

The island was on the market in 2015 for €44 million with potential for hotel development, but as the island is inside a Natura 2000 area and is close to the island of Oxia, which was sold in 2013 to Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, for €4.9M, this price may not be reached easily.

Swimming pigs are the ultimate attraction on Atokos, Greece

In recent years, a herd of black pigs has appeared on the beach of the island and it has become the ultimate attraction.

Imagine gliding through clear water. Beside you, a pig paddles along, its pink body surprisingly streamlined. Their curly tails might bob above the water with each powerful kick of their trotters.

You might hear the contented snorts and snuffles of the pig enjoying the cool water. If there are other pigs around, there could be playful squeals or the rhythmic chomping of their snouts rooting around the seabed.


They are cute until they chase you into the water. Did you know there is a Pig Beach in Greece? #pigisland #greekbeach #greekpig #pigbeach #greekisland #ioniansea

♬ I Had Enought – Liza Mo

These beautiful creatures love the sea and never miss an opportunity to swim. If you happen to be there, you will have the opportunity to swim with them – always from a distance – in the deep blue waters, which is truly a unique experience.

For this very reason, this beach is now known as Greek Pig Beach.

Experts warn that it’s important to be respectful of the pigs and their environment. Avoid feeding them human food or anything that is not good for them, and be gentle when interacting with them.

The pigs are wild animals, so it’s important to keep your distance and avoid surprising them.


#swimmingpig #lefkada #atokos #greece #greecetiktok #fyp #swimming #pig video credit: aravanis_a

♬ original sound – Lefkada-Rentals

Pig Beach in the Bahamas

There’s also a famous beach in the Bahamas called Pig Beach where feral pigs are known to swim out to greet boats. A small island in the Exuma Cays of the Bahamas is known for its colony of feral pigs that enjoy swimming in the clear turquoise waters. The pigs are the main attraction of the island, and tourists flock there to see them waddle out to greet incoming boats and take a dip in the ocean.

The exact origin of the pigs on Big Major Cay is unknown. Some theories suggest that they were shipwreck survivors, while others believe they were left on the island by sailors who intended to come back for them later. Regardless of how they got there, the pigs have thrived on the island and have become a popular tourist destination.

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