LAKES & WATERSPORTS au Pays du Mont-Blanc

🏔 Au Pays du Mont-Blanc we are lucky to have 💦 several swimming lakes with stunning mountain views . . . while the perfect spot for strolling and biking in autumn and winter, come the balmy days of spring and summer, the water warms and the lakes start to get busy with bathers and ⛵️ watersport enthusiasts . . . at Lac de Passy and Lacs des Ilettes you’ll find: windsurfing, stand up paddle (SUP), sailing, pedalos.

We are also spoiled with 🏔 natural mountain lakes (ideal for a hike or an iconic snowy mountain reflection photo) and 🎣 some fishing lakes too.

Further afield (but not too far away) in 🇫🇷 Haute-Savoie & Savoie 🇨🇭 in Switzerland, and in 🇮🇹 Italy are more swimming lakes, some with 🏖 lovely sandy beaches.

[ see separate article here for information about 💦 LAKES & WATERSPORTS further afield in 🇫🇷 Haute-Savoie & Savoie 🇨🇭 in Switzerland, and in 🇮🇹 Italy ]

In this article, you will find information about our local 🏔 Pays du Mont-Blanc lakes :

  • 💦 swimming & watersport lakes;
  • 🎣 fishing lakes;
  • 🏔 mountain lakes at altitude;


Pays du Mont-Blanc

Chamonix Valley (Chamonix, Argentière, Les Houches, Servoz & environs) and Vallorcine

Passy, Plaine-Joux, Plateau d’Assy & environs

Sallanches, Combloux, Cordon & Domancy

St Gervais, Le Fayet, St Nicolas de Véroce, Bionnassay & environs

Megève, Praz-sur-Arly & environs

Les Contamines-Montjoie & environs


Lac de Passy 

💦 Lac de Passy  officially know as a base de loisirs  has plenty of 💦 water-based activities on offer for the whole family over the summer months: stand up paddle (SUP), 🚣‍♂️ pedalos, 🌈 wibit softplay ON the lake, aquabike, ⛵️ mini electric boats, pontoons at the criques end of the lake, ⛵️ sporadic sailing lessons . . . as well as 🚵‍♀️ a VTT parcours ludique, 🌈 playgrounds, pétanque, 🏐 volleyball, ⛳️ mini-golf, 🛴 electric trottinettes, 🏎 mini-karting nearby . . .

☕️ eating options: picnics, BBQs (in place on-site), La Buvette des Criques, La Buvette de la Plage, Ô Pied du Lac (Camping des Iles), Mont-Blanc Plage (see below), L’Ecureuil (renovated campsite restaurant, a short walk away), La Grange de Domancy (a short walk away, through the woods);

[ see MBFF article for more information about what’s on offer at 💦 Lac de Passy ]

Lac de Passy – summer beach ©
Lac de Passy – new amenities 2018 ©
Lac de Passy – Aquapark du Mont-Blanc ©
© Passy Mont-Blanc Tourisme
Lac de Passy © Camping Tohapi Les Iles
Mont-Blanc Plage (Lacs de la Cavettaz, next to Lac de Passy)

The 🏕 campsite Mont-Blanc Plage (right next to 💦 Lac de Passy) has a lovely terraced restaurant, decorated with pots of flowers, that looks out over its own private lake – Lacs de la Cavettaz (with 45 year old carp, the odd duck, and beautiful water-lilies) . . . if you eat lunch or dinner at the restaurant, then you are allowed to swim in the lake – there is a slide, a diving board and rafts to swim out to. There is a jaded grandeur to this campsite and the restaurant is very tranquil. And there is the added bonus of having a swim, a jump or a slide after eating!

Lacs des Ilettes (Sallanches)

💦 Lacs des Ilettes are located in Saint-Martin, in Sallanches, and there are 3 lakes, each offering: 🏊‍♂️ swimming, 🎣 fishing or ⛵️ windsurfing (you must bring your own equipment) / other activities: 🏓 ping-pong tables, 🏐 volleyball, parcours forme, 🚵‍♀️ VTT paths, walks (to Cascade de l’Arpenaz), 🌈 bouncy castles from Le Parc en Folie during the warmer months;

☕️ eating options: picnic tables & Le Transat restaurant (swimming beach);

[ see MBFF article for more information about 💦 Lacs des Ilettes ]

Lacs des Ilettes summertime @
Lacs des Ilettes © Sallanches Tourisme
Plan d’Eau Biotope (Combloux)

The 💦 Plan d’Eau Biotope in Combloux is a unique mountain lake with 🏔 stunning views: the water is purified by 🌱 plants, so there is no need for chemicals!

activities around the lake in summer: 🧘‍♀️ yoga, pilates, Tai Chi and more / 🎼 spectacles and events in the summer (La Comblorane, MB Race);

☕️ eating options: picnics (on blankets) or at tables in adventure playground just above, and Le Dandy restaurant on-site;

[ see MBFF article for more information about the 💦 Plan d’Eau Biotope ]

Plan d’Eau Biotope, Combloux ©
Plan d’Eau (Plaine de Cassioz, Praz-sur-Arly)

Praz-sur-Arly has a 💦 new plan d’eau near the Base de Loisirs des Belles, set to open in summer 2023

[ for more information, read an article from Praz-sur-Arly Mairie here ]

Plan d’Eau Praz-sur-Arly © Mairie de Praz-sur-Arly
© Abest / Mairie de Praz-sur-Arly
Lac de Baignade in Le Parc de Loisirs du Pontet (Les Contamines-Montjoie)

In the summertime, there is lots of fun to be had at the 🏊‍♀️ Parc de Loisirs du Pontet) in Les Contamines-Montjoie (🎾 tennis, ⛳️ mini-golf, 🏹 archery, donkeys and pony rides, 🌈 trampolines & bouncy castles, 💦 water games, 🏎karting and more; see here for more details) / within the park there is the water 💦 lac de baignade, a small artificial lake with sand and grassy areas for picnics (and an inflatable slide leading into the water) and a separate lake for pedalos paddle boarding / 🧘‍♀️ yoga and fitness classes available during the summer holidays;

☕️ eating options: picnics, buvette and the Le Chalet du Lac;

[ see MBFF article here for more information about the Parc de Loisirs du Pontet ]

Parc de Loisirs du Pontet – Lac de Baignade © Les Contamines-Montjoie
Lac de l’Etape (Les Contamines-Montjoie)

A visit to the small 💦 Lac de l’Etape in Les Contamines-Montjoie is such a bucolic affair en famille . . . you can either hike up there with older children (or take a 4×4 for non-walkers), or you can take the 🚡 Télécabine de la Gorge (this is exciting in itself for little ones; opening hours).

Once there, children can paddle or 🏊‍♂️ swim in the (cold!) lake, play with pebbles, take out the mini boats, play at the playground . . . and adults can relax with a cold beer on the terrace of the restaurant, right next to the lake!

There are options for more hikes from here. For example, you can take the 🚡 Télécabine du Signal and then hike to the Auberge de la Roselette, via the Col du Joly.

good to know if you stay overnight at the Hôtel Bar Restaurant de l’Etape (which is a great option for a mountain overnight experience with very young children!), then you can take the 🚡 Télécabine de la Gorge for free! Back in 2015, we had an overnight & dinner in the Hôtel Bar Restaurant de l’Etape  it was our luxurious take on a refuge en famille (we weren’t quite ready for dortoirs, being still quite sleep deprived with an 18 month old in tow!)

[ for more information about the 💦 Lac de l’Etape, see MBFF article here ]

Lac de l’Étape in Les Contamines-Montjoie ©
Plan d’Eau de l’Arrondine (Flumet)

This little gem is actually across the border in Savoie, but it’s still nearby and definitely worth a mention !

Just past Praz-sur-Arly, is the 💦 Plan d’Eau et base de loisirs de l’Arrondine, a lovely little mountain lake!

We have really enjoyed our visits to this little lake, located below the village of Flumet, as it is the perfect size to keep an eye on little ones, with a lifeguard cordoned-off area.

other amenites: a buvette at one end of the lake and a restaurant at the other, ⛱ a sand-pit, a playground nearby, ponies in the summer.

In July is the « Fête du Plan d’Eau », with water slides, mini boats, water games, and spectacles;

Plan d’Eau Flumet ©
« La Fête du Plan d’Eau » ©

You are allowed to 🎣 fish in sections of some of the swimming lakes au Pays du Mont-Blanc, and there are also small lakes reserved for the sport. Here are the lakes where fishing is possible:

  • 🎣 Chamonix: Lac des Gaillands & Lac à l’Anglais; Lac Cornu (2276m high);
  • 🎣 Les Houches: Lac des Chavants;
  • 🎣 Passy: Lac de Passy (trout, perch) and Lac Vert;
  • 🎣 Sallanches: Lacs des Ilettes (two of the lakes is reserved for fishing);
  • 🎣 Saint-Gervais: Lac du Vivier (newly set-up for fishing and picnics & BBQs);
  • 🎣 Le Fayet: Lac à Gannaz (next to l’Arve);
  • 🎣 Megève: Lac Javen (here, you can rent out equipment and even BBQ your catch on Wednesdays during the summer months!);
  • 🎣 Praz-sur-ArlyLac des Evettes;
  • 🎣 Les Contamines-Montjoie (Parc de Loisirs du Pontet)Lac de Pêche du Pontet (before 10h and after 19h);

[ good to know 🎣 fishing in all of France requires a permit (available from Tourist Offices) or you can book to go with a guide / for more information about fishing in Haute-Savoie see here ]

Lac des Evettes à Flumet © David Machet / Val d’Arly Tourisme

There are many 💦 beautiful high altitude mountain lakes accessible on family hikes 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, some more accessible than others! There will be an article to follow on mountain lakes to be discovered on hikes, but for now, here are some suggestions for magnificent mountain lake hikes :

  • 🏔 Chamonix: Lac Blanc, Lacs des Cheserys, Lac Cornu, Lacs Noirs, Lac du Brévent, Lac Bleu;
  • 🏔 Passy: Lac Vert (Plaine-Joux), Lac de Pormenaz and Lac d’Anterne;
  • 🏔 Les Contamines-Montjoie (Notre-Dame-de-la-Gorge): Lacs Jovet & Lac d’Armancette;

and some 💦 nearby lakes worth a mention . . .

  • 🏔 Mont-Saxonnex: Lac Bénit;
  • 🇨🇭🏔 Switzerland: Barrage d’Emosson (dam), le Vieux Emosson (old dam) and Barberine;

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