The 8 Best Lakes In France For Swimming [2023]

The 8 Best Lakes In France For Swimming [2023]

Do you enjoy swimming in the river but prefer the soothing calm of the lakes? Wondering what are the best lakes in France for swimming? Thus, this article will guide you to the most beautiful lakes where you can swim in France!

When we explore the beautiful hexagon (France), we can only be captivated by its magnificent places. Between thousand-year-old mountains, green landscapes, and many rivers, France is one of the most exceptional countries.

But our country stands out all the more for the multitude of lakes it shelters.

When the mercury rises a bit too much in summer, it is always lovely to go swimming in a lake. Far from the torments of a river and its constant course, taking a dip in a watering point is as refreshing as soothing. 

We have therefore prepared a small selection of the best swimming lakes in France. Between dream landscape and bubble of relaxation, let yourself be charmed by these most unusual places!

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The 8 Best Lakes In France For Swimming

1. Lake Vouglans, Jura

Best Lakes In France For Swimming

Let’s go to the Jura to start our tour of the most scenic lakes to swim in France. This region is home to Lake Vouglans. The lake is one of the dam lakes of the Jura massif and the third-largest artificial lake in France. It is nearly 35 kilometers long and was built in the 1970s.

Being a mountain lake, its waters are clear, almost turquoise, with a heavenly appearance. The landscape that surrounds it is entirely natural, and the flora of the Jura is most fascinating. 

If you go around this water point by boat, you might even come across some ashes or pike. Also, Lake Vouglans offers many family activities besides swimming. It is, therefore, an ideal place to spend a beautiful summer afternoon!

2. Lake Bourget, Savoie

We move a little away from the Jura for Savoy and its beautiful Lake Bourget. It is the largest natural lake of glacial origin that is located entirely in France. It dates from the last ice age of the Alps, more than 19,000 years ago.

Lake Bourget is today one of the jewels of the region. In addition to its many beaches and leisure centers, it is also home to the superb Hautecombe Abbey. Still, in operation, this magnificent Gothic-style building was built in the twelfth century.

But the most beautiful spectacle remains the landscape. The turquoise waters of the lake are most magnificent, and its surroundings are breathtaking! It undoubtedly has its place in our list of the most picturesque lakes to swim in France.

3. Lake Annecy, Haute-Savoie

Head to Haute-Savoie to discover the famous Lake Annecy. This one, unique in its kind, is located in the French Alps, almost five hundred meters above sea level. 

The wildlife of this magnificent lake is exceptionally varied. Pike, carp, trout, mollusks, snakes, ducks, voles, and many more will be seen on site.

Thus, you are likely to come across many visitors if you take a boat to visit the lake. As for the landscapes around it, there is something to take your breath away from! 

This waterpoint offers a unique view of the French Alps. And in particular, the summit of the Tournette and the Bauges massif.

Also, Lake Annecy is reputed to be the cleanest urbanized lake in Europe. Its waters are incredibly clear. 

So, this is one of the best lakes to swim in France! It has also inspired many painters throughout history, such as Jean-Francis Auburtin and Paul Cézanne. Don’t forget to do the best hiking in Haute-Savoie.

4. Lake Saint-Cassien, Var

Lake Saint-Cassien is located in Provence, in the Var department. The lake was created in the 1970s as a result of a dam. Its water is mostly cloudy and deficient in oxygen.

Also, it shelters very little fauna and flora ten meters deep. The lake is filled with fish, mollusks, and sedentary birds. It is also a favorite place for carp fishing. Due to its particular shape, the forests that border it have a flora as varied as it is interesting.

Though Saint-Cassien is one of the most amazing lakes to swim in France, it is not supervised. Despite this, you will be able to enjoy a multitude of other water activities. 

You can sail on the Saint-Cassien to walk and row on its splendid waters. If you have a valid fishing license, you can even fish on the lake!

5. Lake Pareloup, Aveyron

This reservoir was created following the construction of a dam in the 1950s. Pareloup is located on the plateau of Lévézou, between the cities of Rodez and Millau, at nearly eight hundred meters above sea level

The peculiarity of this lake is the fact that it has several small islands. In summer, it is very popular with fishers who are looking for big catches such as pike.

A unique fauna abounds around the lake, located in the middle of natural scenery! Thus, it is a lovely area for bathers while also providing them with a chance to relax in nature. 

This makes it one of the eight most beautiful lakes to swim in France. So, do not hesitate to take a short walk or a picnic with family or friends.

6. Lake Salagou, Hérault

The Salagou is the reservoir of the eponymous dam. It is located in the heart of the Hérault department. This reservoir is a tourist attraction easily accessible from Béziers, Montpellier, or Sète. 

It is distinguished by the island located in its center and is more than a hundred meters above sea level.

Also, the magnificent mountains and plateaus of the region border this water point. In particular, from its paradisiacal beaches, you can admire the Carels, to the west and Mount Liausson, further south. 

Besides, this reservoir has the particularity of having soil made up of “ruffe.” It is a kind of clay of bright red color. One can also find in Salagou many volcanic rocks. These testify to the intense volcanic activity of the region several million years ago.

Nowadays, Lake Salagou offers many water activities. Including swimming, boat rides, as well as windsurfing. 

This unique place is one of the most wonderful corners of the Hérault and offers some of the best swimming spots in France! It will undoubtedly provide you with an unusual experience in a splendid landscape.

7. Lake Oô, Pyrenees

Most of the most beautiful French lakes are located in our mountain ranges. They, therefore, have the advantage of being cut off from the world and offering a unique moment of swimming. 

The downside, however, is that it can’t be accessed so easily. The lake of Oô is no exception to the rule for the most beautiful places to swim in France.

You will have to walk almost six kilometers to access this lake. The latter nestles at nearly 1,500 meters above sea level. It, therefore, offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains and the green nature of the Pyrenees. It looks heavenly, and you may be quickly captivated by this unusual lake!

8. Lake Hourtin-Carcans, Gironde

This lake is located in the heart of the Landes and is one of the largest natural lakes in France. It is located between its two eponymous cities, Hourtin and Carcans. 

In the north, the inhabitants call it Lake Hourtin, while it is called Lake Carcans in the south. It stretches for more than eighteen kilometers, parallel to the Atlantic Ocean, and is nearly five kilometers wide.

But Lake Hourtin-Carcans does not only stand out for its immensity. Indeed, it has the advantage of having preserved its natural environment almost entirely. 

Its white dunes, the forests surrounding it, and wild marshes give it an undeniable charm. It is, therefore, one of the most attractive lakes to swim in France! In summer, you can also enjoy many water activities on this unique water point.

I hope you find the article “The 8 Best Lakes In France For Swimming” helpful. So, ready to enjoy the best lakes to swim in France?

Al Amin Sagor

Hi, I'm Al Amin Sagor. Join me as I share travel tips, personal insights, and amazing experiences that have shaped my adventures. Let's explore together and make lasting memories.

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