💦 Lac de Passy, officially referred to these days as a Base de Loisirs (due to the numerous leisure activities on offer), is the 💦 largest lake in the Pays du Mont-Blanc. Ideal for a 🏊♂️ swim and a splash during the summer months, it is also frequented by 🚵♀️ cyclists,🏃♀️ joggers, buggy-walkers, 🎣 fishing enthusiasts, ⛵️ windsurfers, paddle-boarders and dog-walkers (note: 🐶 dogs are not permitted at the beach or criques ends of the lake during the summer months!).
It is truly magical to look up from a swim and to see 🏔 Mont-Blanc twinkling in the background!
A spring or summer visit to Lac de Passy
A visit to 💦 Lac de Passy during the ☀️ summer months is – for locals – pretty much de rigueur; but do be warned that on certain days during the summer months it can be heaving! During the school summer holidays, an area of the sandy beach is cordoned off, with lifeguards on duty (note: outside this area, swimming is unsupervised).
The 🏖 beach end of the lake is soft for the feet and great for sandcastle fun, but do be vigilant with little ones as the water gets deep quite quickly in certain areas. There is also plenty of grass down at the beach end, so lots of space for lounging and picnics, but those needing more shade will find respite in the 🌳 wooded area by the ⛑ First Aid hut, which is also equipped with picnic tables and BBQ facilities (you are not allowed to bring your own BBQs, for safety reasons).
Alternatively, you can find a little more shade and seclusion in the series of criques at the other end of the lake. There are no lifeguards down here and it is a pebbly entrance into the water, so water shoes for little ones are useful! Teenagers and young adults like to hang out at the wooden jetty by the criques, with a netted area for lounging!
Opposite the criques, you will find even more seclusion and now, with the 3 wooden jetties that have been put in place, you have a nice spot to sit and get into the water.
🏖 a busy summer beach . . .
⇒ 🌳 more seclusion in the grassy criques:
. . . and a teenage hang-out!
⇒ and across on the quieter side ofthe lake: the wooden jetties . . .
Eating Options at Lac de Passy
💦 Lac de Passy is well-equipped with picnic tables and on-site BBQ facilities (you just need to bring your grill, charbon and food!), so you will see families setting up shop for the day in the shady spots!
If you would rather be cooked FOR then . . .
- down by the criques there is 🍔 Les Criques (2020 – now under new management!) – the spot is perfect, with a lovely wooden terrace and then shady terrace in the woods. There is place to rest your bikes & buggies and the food (burgers, grillades, salads, pizzas, home-made desserts) is copious! / spring to autumn opening / tel: +33 (0)4 50 91 96 08;
- at the 🏖 beach-end of the lake, next to the Mont-Blanc Kids bouncy castles and Passy Accro-Lac accrobranches ®, is the 🍔 Buvette de la Plage, with ice-cream, crêpes, frites, and sandwiches / spring to autumn opening / tel: +33 (0)6 67 53 28 87;
- there are also 🥗 restaurants: at the nearby campsites: at the ⛺️ Camping des Iles, you have the Restaurant ô pied du lac / ⛺️ Camping Mont-Blanc Plage – if you eat here, then you can have a dip in their private lake, Lacs de la Cavettaz! / and at ⛺️ Camping Village Mont-Blanc (🥗 Le Restaurant Écureuil – a short walk round the corner from Camping Mont-Blanc Plage; it has a lovely terrace and its own little lake with fish to spot, and a small playground);
- if you are 🚵♀️ cycling or having a stroll, then you can access the super 🥗 La Grange de Domancy restaurant on bike or on foot (over the Bialle stream, by the horse stables, through the woods) / open all year, apart from Tuesday evening and Wednesdays / address: 820 route de Sallanches, 74700, Domancy (located next to main, busy road from Le Fayet to Sallanches; when arriving from the quiet woods next to the lake, take great care if arriving with small children) / tel: +33 (0)4 50 53 97 84;
Walks & Strolls
💦 Lac de Passy is a popular place for a stroll, whatever the season. Depending on the season, you will see buggy walkers, dog walkers, Nordic walkers, joggers, children on push bikes, parents pulling sledges . . .
As well as the obvious loop around the lake, 💦 Lac de Passy links up with other cycle routes and there is an area for 🚵 VTT exploration (with lots of bumps and tree roots) behind the mini-golf, or across the 💦 Bialle stream! My boys and I regularly opt for this route for an adventurous cycle to the lake from home (it is often VERY muddy after rain!).
🚵 ESPACE VTT – there is now an 🚵 Espace VTT set up behind the mini-golf! Bridges, bumps, a slalom and tilted turns, lots of fun! For children 4+ years (and wearing helmets, clearly!). There is a panel highlighting the rules and safety.
Trot’Top (trottinettes électriques)
Over the warmer months, there are 🛴 electric trottinettes to hire, by the accrobranches ®;
Fitness Circuit (parcours de santé)
There is a 🌳 fitness circuit in the woods on the northern side of the lake. Our kids love this!
Summer 2018 saw the opening of so many new amenities at 💦 Lac de Passy!
- 🌈 playground – near the beach end of the lake, with a stylish wooden enclosure and lots of sand! / though hot on a sunny day, there is still a little shade for playing in the sand (so bring buckets and spades and diggers and go BAREFOOT!) / MBFF particularly likes to head there in the evening, when it is cooler and there are fewer people;
- 🌈 new climbing frames – les massettes and barrage des castors on the southern side of the lake;
- 🌈 slide & climbing zone – in the criques area;
- 🐸 ponton des grenouilles and 3 wooden pontoons – criques area and quieter side of lake;
Beach Volleyball & Pétanque
At the beach end of the lake, you will find areas to play 🏐 beach volleyball and pétanque.
[ note: despite what you see in the photo below, MBFF does not encourage or condone making sandcastles on the 🏐 volley ball pitch; these children had just been set loose after confinement! 🤣 ]
Passy Accro-Lac accrobranches ® & Trampoline
From April until September, 🌳 Lac de Passy’s accrobranches ® is open for children (2+ years) and adults alike, with different parcours to try out / see their FB page for current prices and exact opening hours / enquire at the ☕️ Buvette de la Plage for the trampoline elastique / new air bag and zone for tiny ones!
Mont-Blanc Kids bouncy castles
For a few years now, from late spring until early autumn, our kids have been enjoying the odd bounce on the 🌈 inflatable structures down at the beach end of the lake. There are different price packages on offer, and recently a water slide was added to the fun! See their website for opening hours and prices.
Aquapark du Mont-Blanc (wibit)
A relatively new addition to the 💦 Lac de Passy scene are the 🌈 inflatable structures in the water (Wibit Sport) on the northern side of the lake. 🌈 Aquapark du Mont-Blanc is open during the summer months from 10h to 20h and costs 8€ for 45mins; children have to be 8+ years to try it out on their own, and from 6+ years, they can go with an accompanying adult! The children wear life-vests while they are on the structure, but it is still a good idea to keep a watchful eye on them! Our older son and friends have tried it a couple of times now and have loved it! There are also paddle-boards to rent out for 10€/hour.
Electric Boats, Pedalos & ⛳️ Mini-Golf with Loisirs Détente
On the southern edge of the lake, children can enjoy being captain of their own choice of ⛵️ motorboat (children from 9+ years can captain the boats on their own, otherwise they must be accompanied by an adult) in an area cordoned off for the activity. And right next door is the ⛳️ Mini-Golf / NEW for 2017: pedalos for hire! / see the website for more details;
Karting du Mont-Blanc
🏎 Karting du Mont-Blanc is open from March to November, for all 7+ years / see website / FB page for more details and opening hours / tel: +44 (0)6 80 14 68 19 or +44 (0)4 50 93 75 37 / it is located right next to the 🅿️ Parking des Criques.
Aquabike Lac de Passy
Open every day during the summer months (except Sunday), 💦 Aquabike Lac de Passy offers fitness classes IN the lake;
FB page for more details and prices / tel: +33 (0)7 68 81 56 48
Windsurfing, Paddleboarding, Sailing & Yoga
The lake is a popular spot for ⛵️ windsurfing (with the bise blowing, there is certainly enough wind!), paddle boarding (SUP), sailing classes for children and 🧘♀️ yoga!
You can rent out paddle boards from 🌈 Aquapark du Mont-Blanc and the ⛳️ Mini-Golf & Electric Boats;
⛵️ Voile Optimiste sailing courses for children in June with L’Ecole de Voile Itinérante 74:
Like its Sallanches (St Martin) neighbour 💦 Lacs des Ilettes, 💦 Lac de Passy is a popular place for 🎣 fishing. Fishing licences must be obtained from the Tourist Office.
This 20kg, 1,55m silure (catfish) was fished from 💦 Lac de Passy back in 2014 by Arnaud Beaufils! (Le Dauphiné). After a 20minute struggle to get the fish out of the water, he realised it back into the water!
💦 Lac de Passy plongeurs (divers) often come across these cat fish as they are exploring the depths of the lake! (see here for an article and video).
The 🏖 large sandy beach at 💦 Lac de Passy lends itself well to sandcastle building, water channels and more all year long!
Festivals & Events at Lac de Passy throughout the year
💦 Lac de Passy attracts lots of wonderful sporting events and festivals throughout the year . . .
- 🚵 Rando VTT – « Dré dans L’Darbon » – a fabulous family biking event that runs yearly at the end of May. It leaves from the Tour Carré in Domancy, and the parcours aimed at children and families runs around the lake and into the woods / the MBFF team had a great time participating a few years ago! / website;
- 💦 La Traversée du Lac – the swimming event on 💦 Lac de Passy’s calendar, run by Mont-Blanc Natation / the event runs in early July;
- 💦 Mont-Blanc Triathlon International – the triathlon event of 💦 Lac de Passy, it runs in August / FB page;
- ⚽️ « La Fête du Sport » – in early September, just after La Rentrée . . . a chance for the whole family to come and find out the sports & clubs on offer in the area!
Campsites at Lac de Passy
There are ⛺️ 3 campsites located around 💦 Lac de Passy, each with its own restaurant on-site:
- ⛺️ Tohapi Les Iles – located directly behind 🅿️ Parking de la Plage / cabins to rent;
- ⛺️ Camping Mont-Blanc Plage – with its own, private lake (Lacs de la Cavettaz);
- ⛺️ Camping Village Mont-Blanc – a short walk away with a super restaurant on-site Le Restaurant Ecureuil / cabins to rent / a good spot to have a family event or party as the room and terrace can be rented out;
Map and flyer for Lac de Passy
🚾 toilet facilities at 💦 Lac de Passy :
There are 🚾 several public; see the above map for exact locations!
🅿️ parking at Lac de Passy : there are 🅿️ THREE car parks at 💦 Lac de Passy:
- 🅿️ Parking des Granges (this serves the criques end of the lake, and is the first car park you will arrive at, if arriving by car);
- 🅿️ Parking des Criques (the second car park if arriving by car, right by Karting du Mont-Blanc);
- 🅿️ Parking Plage (at the beach-end of the lake);
[ note – over the summer months, in July & August, cars must pay 2€ to park in these car parks! ]
For more about family walks arounc 💦 Lac de Passy, see separate MBFF articles:
- 🍁 Buggy Walks & Family Strolls: lakes in autumn au Pays du Mont-Blanc;
- ❄️ Winter buggy strolls: Lac de Passy & Lacs des Ilettes;
⇒ and a chilly ❄️ New Year’s dip for some courageous folk!