Officially known as Base de Loisir des Ilettes, the Lacs des Ilettes actually consist of three lakes and this is a popular place year-round for locals to come for a stroll en famille, for a bike ride, a dog-walk (permitted around the 3rd lake), fishing, or a jog and workout. In summertime, the middle lake is a popular choice for swimmers and the 3rd lake for windsurfers.
- Le Lac de Pêche – the first lake (coming from St Martin) is reserved for fishing (trout, perch, carp, pike, crayfish . . .) / fishing permits can be obtained from the Sallanches Tourist Office / this lake is a good destination for small children as there are often ducks to watch!
- Le Lac de Baignade – the second lake (middle lake) is reserved for swimming during July and August, and there are lifeguards stationed at the cordoned-off area at the northern end of the lake / here you will also find a small beach, grassy areas with picnic tables, BBQs, showers and Le Transat restaurant;
- Le Lac de Promenade – the third lake is the designated windsurfing lake (no swimming allowed) and a nature reserve / the path around the third lake is most adapted for a buggy walk/push-bike, and there are plenty of informative panels explaining the local flora and fauna / at the far end of the lake, there is also a fish/bird-watching cabin.
Walking & Strolling
Lacs des Ilettes is the perfect place for a family stroll . . . we are regular visitors all year round! You can simply opt for a short stroll around one of the lakes, or Sallanches Tourisme has an excellent, fun treasure-hunt/walk available as a free leaflet from the tourist office, or in pdf format: «Circuit des Ilettes» (randoland.fr) – a walk that also takes in the pretty village of Luzier and the Cascade d’Arpenaz.
As a family, we are yet to try this thoroughly modern Smartphone/GPS activity! And there is one to do at Lacs des Ilettes & La Cascade d’Arpenaz (also available as a free leaflet from the Sallanches Tourist Office, and comprising other circuits around town, to keep you amused on another walk!).
Lacs des Ilettes is a great destination to do VTT en famille as it is relatively flat! Children on push-bikes can have a good work-out too! For an interactive family bike trip at Lacs des Ilettes, Sallanches Tourisme has a leaflet available for free or to download called: «Circuit Ilettes -VTT»! The cycling route is about 9,8km, takes about 2h, and leaves from Parking Saint Martin (where there is a fabulous playground!). For the more hardened cyclists, you can continue along the Arve river up to the Cascade d’Arpenaz and then head uphill onto one of the VTT pistes.
Parcours Forme Santé
Between the Lac de Baignade and the Lac de Promenade – in the woods – is a fitness circuit . . . we’ve tried it out and it’s fun for the whole family and makes the walk back to the car (if you’ve arrived by car!) much more fun (and it’s in the shade, perfect for HOT summer days)!
Ping-pong & volleyball
There are ping-pong tables and a volleyball area (bring your own gear!) at the lakes.
Cabane d’Observation – Bird & Fish Watching
At the far-end of the third lake, Le Lac de Promenade, is a little bird and fish-watching hut with lots of informative panels!
Site d’escalade (climbing)
There is a climbing rock a short walk from Lacs des Ilettes / to book lessons – Bureau des Guides et des Accompagnateurs de Sallanches: www.guides-sallanches.com;
The Arve river runs down beside Lacs des Ilettes, and there are several companies offering thrills nearby (Passy, Chamonix . . .)!
Eating options at Lacs des Ilettes
There is a friendly restaurant called Le Transat, at the beach-end of the middle lake, open from May to September (tel: +33 4 50 58 24 64).
There are also several picnic tables and on-site / *NB – the old BBQ facilities were removed in 2018, deemed too rusty and dangerous for public use*
- Le Parc en Folie – sets up its outdoor bouncy castles each summer season at the swimming lake.
Free Summer Shuttle Buses
There are FREE electric shuttle buses running from the centre of Sallanches to the Lacs des Ilettes / see here for more details/timetable;
Events at Lacs des Ilettes
- weekend 20th to 22nd July 2018 – «Fest’ilettes» – music and sport aplenty at this summer festival at the lakes! / Le Vieux Campeur and Sessionraft will be supplying equipment to try out for free – kayaks, paddle boards / rock-climbing, tyrolienne & slackline to try out nearby too with Les Guides des Carroz / concert from 1 Shot 2 Sherriff in the evening;
- 16th September 2018 – «Tac à Ding» – an obstacle course for families! / from Ski Club Sallanches;
- September – «La Tac’athlon» – in September . . . this is a relay race for teams of three (cross-country running, road bikes & VTT) / there is also be a biathlon for children (FREE!) / organised by the Vélo Club Mont-Blanc / tel: +33 (0)6 08 78 63 83 (Yann);
Lacs des Ilettes all year round
A late spring paddle . . .
The colours reflected in the Lacs des Ilettes are sensational in autumn . . . / see Family strolls with small children: lakes in autumn au Pays du Mont-Blanc.
and the afternoon light is sublime during the wintertime . . .
There are public toilets at the car parks of the Lac de Pêche and the Lac de Baignade.
There are free car parks at the Lac de Pêche and also between the Lac de Baignade and the Lac de Promenade.
Ancienne route impériale