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.

beautiful lakes in france

Entry relat­ed to loca­tion: France

Lake Salagu

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.

greenhorn

Lake Gob

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.

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gob

Lake Capitello

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.

capitello

Mont Cenis

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.

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Lake Aiguebelet

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.

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agbelette

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.

Lake Geneva

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.

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lake geneva

Serre Ponson

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.

lakes france

Lake Annecy

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”.

lake annecy

To con­tin­ue the top­ic, also read about the most beau­ti­ful lakes in the world by vis­it­ing a sep­a­rate selec­tion on Life­Globe.