Top lakes in France

Top Lakes in France

Lakes have been enchanting humans since the dawn of time. Numerous stories were told and songs about their bewitching beauties or dangers lurking in the deep. Nowadays, they are known as destinations where many go to relax and reconnect with nature. Of course, lakes in France are no exception to this. One might be overwhelmed with their number in the country – as there are around 380 lakes scattered across the French land

Because of this, we have prepared a list of top lakes in France for those who wish to experience the best of the country’s lakes offer. 

Lake Annecy

Europe’s cleanest lake is one of the major tourist destinations in France. It lies in the Haute-Savoie department, close to the Alps. This breathtaking, clean body of water is surrounded by rich nature and makes a wonderful getaway destination. Of course, as a beloved tourist destination, it has many activities visitors can experience. Some of them are cycling, paragliding and cruising. Additionally, Lake Annecy lies in proximity to the town of Annecy. Before or after their relaxing visit to the lake, visitors can walk the town’s medieval, cobblestone streets and explore the town’s enchanting medieval castles. 

Lake Annecy

Lake Annecy

Lac du Bourget 

The largest lake in France is a popular summer destination for both national and foreign visitors. The reason for that lies in its many beaches and clean water and the view of the mountains surrounding the lake. Moreover, Lac du Bourget is the largest lake in France and has many ports on its shores. Along with ports and beaches, there are numerous activities visitors can enjoy. Some of them include, of course, swimming, sailing and scuba diving. There are also beautiful panoramic views from the three viewpoints surrounding the lake. 

Lac du Bourget

Lac du Bourget

Lake Geneva 

The largest Alpine lake in Europe stretches through two countries – France and Switzerland. In France, it lies in the Savoie region and is one of its most popular lakes. The river Rhone provides much water for this lake, which is of glacial origin. Interestingly, there are many villages, towns and castles scattered along its French shores. Also, there are many boats that offer cruises and transportation, but which also serve the local community as fishing boats. Likewise, there are many water sports to enjoy. Namely, swimming and sailing stand out as the most popular. 

Chateau de Chillon at Lake Geneva

Chateau de Chillon at Lake Geneva

Lac d’Aiguebelette

Lac d’Aiguebelette lies in the Savoie region of France. Interestingly, it is a privately owned lake, but the owners have allowed the local community to manage the lake. Furthermore, Lac d’Aiguebelette is known for its aquamarine waters. As such, it is a great photography destination. The beautiful natural scenery only makes the location ever so more interesting and attractive. But, the beautiful sights and photos are not the only virtues of this lake. Its many beaches also make it a popular summer destination of many. Furthermore, visitors can enjoy various activities like hiking, guided excursions and horseback riding and swimming

Lac d'Aiguebelette

Lac d’Aiguebelette

Gaube Lake

The impressive French Pyrenees surround the clean, egg-shaped Gaube Lake. Because of its location in the heart of the mountains, visiting Gaube requires a bit of good physical condition. In fact, the lake is known for its hiking and trekking trails with amazing views of the mountain range and the lake. Once at the lake, visitors can enjoy a cup of coffee or any other drink at the cafe nearby. Gaube Lake is popular among families with children and solo travellers alike. So, whether you wish to go on a family trip, go on a hike with friends or explore this jewel on your own, Gaube Lake is the right place to go. 

Gaube Lake

Gaube Lake

Lac de Serre-Poncon 

One of the biggest lakes in the west of Europe is in fact an artificial lake! The waters of two rivers flowing through the Alps in the southeast of France supply the water of Lac de Serre-Poncon. Interestingly, the authorities created the lake to reduce floods and control the rivers’ water levels. Today, Lac de Serre-Poncon is a base of 16 hydroelectric plants and a frequent day trip destination. The lake and its surroundings offer beautiful views throughout the year, with treetops deeply green in spring and flaming orange in autumn.

Lac de Serre-Poncon

Lac de Serre-Poncon, aerial view

Lac de Capitello

Lac de Capitello lies near another famous lake in this area, Lac de Melo. Hence, many visitors often decide to visit both locations on the same day. Interestingly, Lake Capitello lies in the mountains, about an hour of an uphill hike from the start of the trail. The lake’s waters are blue and clear, surrounded by nearly barren rocks. But, the lake is not famous only for its clean blue water. Instead, it is known for the stunning view from the surrounding cliffs and as a fantastic photography location. 

Lac de Sainte Croix 

This man-made lake in Provence attracts many visitors eager for a good swim, beautiful beaches and calming nature. Lac de Sainte Croix is large, which means that there are many hidden gems along its shore. Furthermore, a small, picturesque village called Les Salles-sur-Verdon stands proud near the lake. Its offer includes accommodations and restaurants, ideal for those who wish to spend more time away from the city hustle. Additionally, Lac de Sainte Croix is also famous for various water activities. So, visitors can enjoy sailing, kayaking and paddling among other water activities.

Lac de Sainte Croix

Lac de Sainte Croix

Lac de Gerardmer 

Although this lake is not as big as some of the others on this list, it is still rather popular among both locals and tourists. Lac de Gérardmer is of glacial origin, and it lies in the Vosges mountain range near the town of the same name. People who come to Lac de Gérardmer enjoy pedal boats, camping, walking trails and picnicking. Also, the sunsets at Lac de Gérardmer are especially beautiful. Unfortunately, swimming is designated to small areas due to the fact that the ammunition used to be stored here, and some of it still remains at the bottom of the lake.

Lac du Salagou

One of the most visited lakes in France is Lac du Salagou, another man-made lake on this list. Its size and qualities make it an ideal place for all types of visitors, from friends to solo travellers to families with children of all ages. Furthermore, it is famous for its hiking and cycling trails. However, what makes Lac du Salagou most notable are the strikingly red sandstones that take the centre of every well-known image of it. The red stones against the blue surface create a striking visual of colours. Activities at Lac du Salagou also include swimming, picnicking, and fishing. 

Map of top lakes in France

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