In France, there are a number of amazingly beautiful lakes created by both nature and man. Some of them are tiny, with an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. You can admire such lakes for hours, so many people come to their shores for the whole weekend. There are also large lakes in France where you can surf or sail. These reservoirs are surrounded by mountains, or hilly areas with picturesque nature. Spend a few days on one of the French lakes to recharge with vitality and wonderful memories for many years to come.
Lake Salagou in the Languedoc region of southern France was created with little or no input from Mother Nature. This man-made reservoir was created after the construction of a dam on the Salagu River in the 1960s. The lake is famous for its scenery, where the blue water contrasts nicely with the surrounding reddish-orange soil. To appreciate its beauty, it is best to cycle around the lake. Salagu is surrounded by rolling hills with tidy fields behind and is popular with nude sunbathers.
Lake Gob is so beautiful that it was named twice — Gob (Gaube) is translated from Gascon as “lake”. Located in the French Pyrenees, Lake Gobe is surrounded by the highest peaks of the mountain range that loom over its glacial blue water. Most people come here for the panoramic views of Mount Vinhmal, the highest peak in the French Pyrenees. It takes about an hour to hike to this small alpine lake, but you can speed up the tour by taking the cable car from the Spanish Bridge.
Lake Capitello is Corsica’s contribution to the list of pretty lakes in France. This small round alpine lake is surrounded by rocky mountains in the Restonica Valley. It is also the deepest lake in Corsica and a good place to enjoy the scenic nature and crystal clear blue water. A visit to Capitello is usually combined with an excursion to Lake Melo. An hour-long walking tour leads from it with a more difficult route for physically prepared tourists. During the summer season, the lake is visited by about 1,200 people, so with a high probability you will find yourself at its shores in complete seclusion.
Mont Cenis is an alpine lake at the foot of the mountain of the same name near the border with Italy. It lies on a key medieval route between Western Europe and Italy. Mont Cenis with its blue waters was artificially created during the construction of a hydroelectric dam and is one of the largest reservoirs in France. The surroundings of the lake are known for their vegetation with some endemic plant species. There are several outstanding French castles in the surrounding area that are also worth exploring.
Lake Egbelet is called the “emerald pearl”, and its name is translated as “beautiful low water”. But the calmness of the blue-green waters of Aiguebelet can be deceiving. It hosts competitions in rowing and other water sports. One of the largest natural lakes in France has two islands and several hot springs. Like many other lakes, Aglebet has its own legend. One day, Jesus Christ dressed as a beggar and turned to the inhabitants of a nearby village for help. But no one helped him, except for one woman. The next day, Jesus flooded the village with the waters of the lake, leaving only the house of this woman and her daughter unharmed.
Lac du Bourget
Lac du Bourget is an elongated lake that is considered the deepest in France. Formed by glacial action 19,000 years ago, the lake is surrounded by the Savoy mountains in the Mont Blanc region on one side and cities on the other. A good place to watch the du Bourget is Den du Cate, where most walking tours start. The most popular are bike tours and hiking around the lake. Along the east coast you can go rollerblading, or sunbathe on a comfortable beach overlooking the Alps.
Lake St. Croix
The third largest lake in France was formed recently, unlike some other French lakes. It only dates back to 1973, when the Sainte-Croix dam was built on the river Verdon. At the same time, you will not notice almost anything artificial in the lake. It is as pretty as natural water bodies. Surrounded by hills and forests, Sainte-Croix has sandy beaches with a swimming area with lifeguards on duty at all times. The lake is a popular place for kayaking, swimming and windsurfing.
Beautiful Lake Geneva separates France and Switzerland, and its deep blue waters are often as smooth as glass. The largest lake on the river Rhone is surrounded by the Alps and is one of the largest in Western Europe. Geneva is popular with yachting and rowing enthusiasts. As you travel along its banks, you will be able to see the medieval Château de Challon, charming French villages, vineyards and French villas. Many celebrities have their own mansions here.
On a trip to Lake Serre-Ponçon in southeastern France, you’ll see rocky mountains plunge right into its waters. Elsewhere, this artificial lake is surrounded by gentle hills and meadows. One of the largest artificial lakes in Europe, Lac de Serre-Ponçon was created in the 1960s as part of a flood control project. Alas, some villages were flooded to make way for the lake. In addition to camping along the coast, this place is popular with swimmers, windsurfers and swimmers. Many recommend avoiding visiting this beautiful lake in September when the weather is especially unpredictable.
Lake Annecy in the Savoie region is literally created for vacationers. You can walk or cycle along comfortable routes along the coast, enjoy a meal in a cafe, or go for a swim in a rented boat. You can swim in the lake without fear of polluted water. Thanks to strict environmental regulations, the picturesque Lake Annecy is known as the cleanest lake in Europe. It is also one of the largest lakes in France, surrounded by mountains and villages. The most popular among them is the beautiful village of Annecy, also known as the “Venice of the Alps”.
To continue the topic, also read about the most beautiful lakes in the world by visiting a separate selection on LifeGlobe.