Exploring France's most beautiful lakes

Immerse yourself in the turquoise waters of Sainte-Croix. Bask in the endless expanse of Lac du Bourget in Savoie. Paddle across Lake Gérardmer in the Vosges mountains. There are a thousand and one sublime lakes in France that invite you to recharge your batteries. These are the jewels in the crown of year-round freshwater dreams.

Lake Bourget (Savoie)

A classic, to be sure. But what a classic! Also known as the "Lac d'Aix-les-Bains (External link) ", it is the largest glacial lake in France. The lake has been in existence for 20,000 years... It's in Savoie, but not far from the Jura mountains. With water temperatures reaching 25°C in summer, there's plenty of room for a dip. Water sports enthusiasts are also very welcome. There are 16 spots and numerous beaches.

Sainte-Croix lake (Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur)

A must after descending the famous Gorges du Verdon. Measuring 10 km long, 3 km wide and covering an area of 2,200 hectares, Lac de Sainte-Croix (External link) is simply not to be missed. Too turquoise. Too flamboyant. Too admirable to ignore. Too irresistible an invitation to take a dip. As well as its crystal clear waters and myriad water sports, this freshwater paradise is also renowned for the 'blue gold' that surrounds it. Above the water, the hilltop village of Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon (a must see) boasts bunches of lavender scattered across the surrounding plains. A real local gem to admire in June.

Guerlédan Lake (Brittany)

At the confluence of the Côtes d'Armor and Morbihan rivers lies the largest artificial reservoir in Brittany. Le lac de Guerlédan (External link) was created in the 1930s and is now a prime water sports spot in Central Brittany. Beau Rivage in particular is an ideal beach for swimming with family and friends. For lovers, Anse de Sordan in Saint-Aignan is a small cove bordered by the Quénécan forest.

Lake Geneva (Haute-Savoie)

You already know it well. And we love it just as much. Lake Geneva (External link) is a vast freshwater lake that borders France and Switzerland. It is the biggest lake in the Alps and the biggest natural lake in Western Europe. Its colour shifts from blue to grey to slate, depending on the time and the season. You can enjoy its beauty by visiting the two spa towns of Evian-les-Bains and Thonon-les-Bains. And don’t miss this: on the south shore of Lake Geneva, in the Coudrée Bay, there is a real natural beach of white sand. The water is clear and inviting. It’s a delight!

Nino Lake (South Corsica)

Tourists visit the Isle of Beauty not only for its turquoise sea but also for its lakes. Among them, the most beautiful in Corsica is the Nino lake (External link) . This lake, located in the Rotondo massif, has a wild appearance and is surrounded by forests, mountains, and pastures. It's common to encounter horses, goats, pigs, and foxes during the day. To complete the picture, there are the 'pozzines': thick green grasses that are typical of the Corsican landscape.

Lake Gérardmer (Vosges)

The reason why it's called the 'Pearl of the Vosges' is not a coincidence. The magnificent Gérardmer Lake (External link) , which is of glacial origin, is situated at a height of 666 m in the heart of the Vosges mountains and is the largest body of water in the valley of lakes in the region. During summer, visitors can swim on its beaches, go kayaking or windsurfing, and hikers can follow its many signposted footpaths. It is truly a haven of relaxation.

Allos lake (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence)

Located in the heart of Mercantour National Park, Europe's largest natural high-altitude lake, Lac d'Allos, rises to an altitude of 2,228 metres. Covering 54 hectares and with a depth of 48 metres, the lake is accessible via a mountain road open from mid-June to mid-October. The walk from Val d'Allos (External link) takes an average of 6 hours round trip. Once you arrive, it takes just an hour to walk around the entire perimeter of the lake. Take care as the source is fragile. Contemplate without restraint, but always exercise caution.

Recommendations and advice:

These lakes are beautiful natural wonders located in stunning surroundings, providing a feast for the eyes and a plethora of activities to enjoy. Although they are particularly popular during the summer months, they can become overcrowded. Therefore, it is advisable to visit outside peak times or during quieter periods, such as before 11am or after 4pm. To ensure the longevity of these treasures, take care of them. Choose zero-waste holidays and use environmentally-friendly means of transport to reduce your carbon footprint. Enjoy your visit!