With thousands of lakes and ponds, France is listed as the European country with the most freshwater in its area. Some French lakes have become virtual tourist attractions. Also, they are home to the most expensive and luxurious campgrounds in the country. A blessed place for diving, hosting sea sports, or other activities, these bodies of water are often an unmissable highlight of any vacation. French lakes surrounded by magnificent forests, mountains, and hills will leave unforgettable traces on you. The French Lakes, each of which has a different beauty…
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12 Most Beautiful French Lakes
Do not plan a vacation without checking out our list of the most beautiful French lakes.
1. Lake Annecy
You can stroll or bike along the paved road along Lake Annecy in the Savoie region, dine at a lakeside cafe, or take a boat ride and swim in the lake with a rental boat.
Thanks to its strict environmental regulations, Lake Annecy is known as the cleanest lake in Europe. A glacial lake origin 18000 years ago was formed from the melting glaciers of the Alps. Its pure water spreads over an area of 27.5 square kilometers in the Haute-Savoie mountains.
Lake Annecy, one of the largest French lakes, is quite natural. It is surrounded by beautiful towns and mountains, also known as the “Venice of the Alps”.
2. Lac du Bourget
Lac du Bourget, the deepest French lake, was formed by glacial action 19,000 years ago. Cycling and hiking on the lake are popular activities. Due to the different climates, it lives in, it is home to many fish, bird, and plant species. Fishing for consumption and marketing purposes is prohibited, but it is allowed to do the sport at leisure.
Swimming and water sports are accessible from recreational centers such as Aix-les-Bains, or Chatillon. While some beaches charge entrance fees during the summer months, there’s nothing stopping you from choosing a free beach. You can still enjoy the water with a temperature of 25 degrees in summer.
Finally, there are enough monuments and attractions where visitors can stay for a few days without getting bored. For example, you can visit the abbey of Bourget-du-Lac and its beautiful garden, the church of Saint-Laurent, or the Chambotte mountain belvedere with a magnificent view of the entire lake.
3. Lake Geneva
Coming from the glacier, this lake is located between France and Switzerland. At 580 square kilometers, it is the largest alpine lake in Central Europe and the largest natural lake in Western Europe. To stay in France, you will need to stick to the south coast. The northern coast is on the territory of Switzerland. Despite its natural origin, only a small part of the coast is still wild, the rest has been built. Along its banks, a number of marine activities are offered, including boating, fishing, and swimming. Visitors can also sunbathe or visit different attractions such as Chillon Castle, Harp island, or the fortified village of Yvoire.
4. Lac de Serre-Poncon
When drive along the Lac de Serre-Poncon in southeastern France, and you’ll see steep mountains dropping steeply into the water. One of Europe’s largest artificial lakes, Lac de Serre-Poncon, was created in the 1960s as part of a flood control project. Unfortunately, some villages were flooded to make way for the lake. Camping is possible along the lake, which is popular with swimmers, windsurfers, and sailing enthusiasts.
5. Lac de Sainte Croix
The third-largest lake in France, Lac de Sainte Croix, began to form in 1973 when the Sainte Croix dam was built. Although technically considered artificial because it is a dam lake, this is one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe. The lake, which also has sandy beaches, is also popular for kayaking, sailing, or windsurfing. Only electric motor boats are allowed on the lake.
6. Lac d’Aiguebelette
This blue-green lake with a peaceful atmosphere is one of the largest natural French lakes, with two islands and several hot springs. According to the legend, Jesus Christ disguised as a beggar and asked the villagers for help, but no one helped him except one woman. The next day, Jesus flooded the village with lake water and leaving only the house of the woman and her daughter unhurt.
7. Lac du Mont Cenis
Lac du Mont Cenis is an alpine lake located in the shadow of Mont Cenis. The lake, which is very close to the Italian border, welcomes many tourists with its beautiful blue waters. The lake also draws attention, with some plant species found only here.
8. Lac de Capitello
Lac de Capitello is Corsica’s contribution to the list of the most beautiful French lakes. In Capitello, Corsica’s deepest lake, travelers enjoy the deep blue waters. A visit to the Lac de Capitello is often combined with a visit to the Lac de Melo. Lac de Capitello is about an hour’s walk beyond Melo; This route is more challenging than the Melo trek.
9. Gaube Lake
This beautiful lake is actually called Lake Lake, as Gaube translates as “lake” in Gascon. Located in the French Pyrenees, Gaube Lake is surrounded by the chain’s highest mountains suspended above the glacial blue water. Most people come here especially for the panoramic views of Vignemale, the highest peak of the French Pyrenees.
10. Lac du Salagou
The lake is a reservoir that was created when the Salagou River was dammed in the 1960s. The lake offers very beautiful views for visitors. The blue water contrasts beautifully with the reddish-orange soil that surrounds it. You can drive around the lake, but if you have time, you would better appreciate its beauty by walking or biking. This lake is surrounded by hills with regular fields behind it. The lake is popular with visitors who naturally enjoy sunbathing.
11. Lac Pavin
It is the only meromictic crater lake in France, meaning that surface water does not mix with deeper depths. Located in the Puy-de-Dôme region, between the village of Besse-et-Saint-Anastaise and the Super Besse ski resort, Lac Pavin is a volcanic lake at an altitude of 1,197 meters. With a depth of 92 meters, Lake Pavin is listed as the deepest lake in the Auverge and one of the bottomless lakes in all of France. It sees around 200,000 visitors each year.
12. Lac de Grand-Lieu
Lake Grand-Lieu is the largest natural lake on the French plain in winter (its surface area varies between 35 and 65 km² depending on the season). It has an area of exceptional wealth. The Nature Reserve of approximately 3400 hectares makes it an iconic site both ecologically and culturally. Moreover, Lake Grand-Lieu is the only National Nature Reserve in the Loire-Atlantique, although it is exceptionally well equipped in terms of wetlands.
The region has always focused on the importance of its natural and agricultural areas, so the Loire Atlantique is the second-largest division in France in terms of wetlands. At its best, with 72,000 hectares of Bouches du Rhône. It is the second-largest ornithological reserve in France after the Camargue. A real biodiversity reservoir with about 270 bird species, its unique fauna and flora delight both ornithologists and nature lovers. White Spoonbills, Great Egrets, Gray Herons, or Otters are all over Lake Grand Lieu.
That’s all about the French lakes. Also, you can read our other article about California.
Which of the French lakes do you like? Please don’t forget to write a comment.