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 (outside this area, swimming is unsupervised). The beach end 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! There are a couple of buvettes/restaurants at the lake; see below for more details.
Over the last few years, Lac de Passy has optimised its title of Base de Loisirs and there are plenty of activities available to keep the whole family entertained all day long!
Eating Options at Lac de Passy
As mentioned above, 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 the lovely, friendly Buvette des Criques, run by Jérémy and his team – the spot is lovely, there is place to rest your bikes & buggies and the food (burgers, grillades, salads, home-made desserts) is copious! There are sometimes concerts in the evenings during the summer months, so do check the FB page! / tel: +33 (0)6 61 97 59 81;
- at the beach-end of the lake, next to the Mont-Blanc Kids bouncy castles and Passy Accro-Lac, is the Buvette de la Plage, with ice-cream, crêpes, sandwiches / tel: +33 (0)6 67 53 28 87;
- there are restaurants at the campsites Tohapi Les Iles (behind Parking de la Plage) and at Camping Village Mont-Blanc (Le Restaurant Ecureuil);
Walks & Strolls
Lac de Passy is a popular place for a stroll, whatever 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 older son and I regularly opt for this route for an adventurous cylce to the lake from home (it is often VERY muddy after rain!).
*NEW FOR 2017/2018* – 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.
Fitness Circuit (Parcours de Santé)
There is a fitness circuit in the woods on the northern side of the lake. Our kids love this!
Beach Volleyball & Pétanque
At the beach end of the lake, you will find areas to play beach volleyball and pétanques.
Passy Accro-Lac & Trampoline Elastique
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 website for current prices and exact opening hours. Enquire at the Buvette de la Plage for the trampoline elastique.
Mont-Blanc Kids bouncy castles
For a few years now during the summer and early autumn, our kids have been enjoying the odd bounce on the inflatable structures/bouncy castles 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.
Aqua Park du Mont-Blanc
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. Wibit Sport 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 tried it out last summer and had great fun!* 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.
Pony rides with Les Ecuries d’Antan
*New for Summer 2017 are the pony rides offered by Les Ecuries d’Antan. You will find them in the shady area next to the First Aid hut / tel: +33 (0)6 14 34 17 22;*
Aquabike Lac de Passy
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.
Windsurfing, Paddle Boarding & Yoga
The lake is a popular spot for windsurfing (with the bise blowing, there is certainly enough wind!), paddle boarding (SUP) and yoga!
You can rent out paddle boards from Aqua Park du Mont-Blanc.
Yoga classes during the summer months:
- try Murmure Yoga for yoga lessons;
- check with Ananda Yoga Studio (Chamonix) for Stand Up Paddle & Yoga sessions;
Festivals & Events at Lac de Passy throughout the year
Lac de Passy – a beautiful lake with Mont Blanc mirrored in the water – attracts lots of wonderful sporting events/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 last year!
- «Mont-Blanc Festilac» – a festival with music, fireworks and fun for the whole family, it runs in July;
- «La Traversée du Lac» – the swimming event on Lac de Passy’s calendar, run by Mont-Blanc Natation! The event runs in July;
- «Mont-Blanc Triathlon International» – the triathlon event of Lac de Passy; it runs in July;
- La Fête du Sport – in September . . . a chance for the whole family to come and find out the sports/clubs on offer in the area!
Map of Lac de Passy
Toilet facilities at Lac de Passy
There are several public toilets at Lac de Passy; 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);
*Over the summer months, in July & August, cars must pay 2€ to park in these car parks!*