Officially known as the 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.
🎣 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!
💦 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 (ice creams available to rake away!);
🥾 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 or push-bikes and pedal bikes, 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 and bird-watching cabin;
Hiking & Strolling & Geocaching
💦 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 🗺 treasure-hunt & geocaching leaflet available from the tourist office.
You can also do a longer boucle, that also takes in the pretty hamlet of Luzier (with its 18th century chapel and fountain) and the stunning 💦 Cascade d’Arpenaz.
🌳🔍 NEW for summer 2020 (wiating to see if this is put back for summer 2021) from le Centre de la Nature Montagnarde: Parcours nature des lacs des Ilettes – connect with 🌳 nature, and also discover or rediscover le patrimoine naturel with 🔍 2 new parcours from the Centre de la Nature Montagnarde at Lacs des Ilettes and another in Burzier! A 1 hour boucle with explanatory pannels and games and challenges along the way! / download the booklets (or collect from OT Sallanches), and remember to take a pencil along with you to answer the questions and solve the puzzle! / prizes to be won! / departure at the beach, near the restaurant Le Transat (I saw this pannel just the other day!);
🐝 Les P’tits Experts de la Nature workshops, run by the CNM are often run during the school holidays around 💦 Lacs des Ilettes:
Cabane d’Observation – Bird & Fish Watching
At the far-end of the third lake the, 💦 Lac de Promenade, is a small wooden cabin for 🦆 bird and 🐟 fish-watching (there are lots of informative panels!). Children will enjoy this!
VTT (mountain biking)
💦 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.
Sport & Parcours Forme Santé
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;
⚽️ green space – there is plentiful green space next to the 🎣 fishing lake, so perfect for ball games . . .
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;
You’ll also find some 🧗♂️ boulders to climb if you walk around the 3rd lake:
The 💦 Arve river runs down beside 💦 Lacs des Ilettes, and there are also some explanatory pannels stationed at the third lake, near the cabane d’observation:
There are also several companies offering thrills nearby on 💦 Arve river (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, where you can also get 🥤 drinks and 🍦 ice cream to take away (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;
Summertime at Lacs des Ilettes
🏊♀️ swimming fun & sandcastles – a sandy beach and lifeguards in the designated zone!
🍏 shady picnic spots – if you are looking for shade, then you’ll find lots of grassy spots around the swimming lake, undert the trees (note: swimming is not checked by the lifeguards here, so swim with caution).
🏰 bouncy castles – Le Parc en Folie – sets up its outdoor bouncy castles each summer season at the swimming lake / MBFF celebrated (belatedly, post confinement) 🎂 Mr 6’s birthday party here – fabulous and highly recommended for a summer bday party!
🚌 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 and timetable;
Aérodrome – Club Aéro Sallanches
[ 2021 – this no longer exisits! ]
Lacs des Ilettes – across the seasons . . .
💦 Lacs des Ilettes is a fabulous destination all year-round . . .
a 🌷 late spring paddle . . .
☀️ summertime swimming . . .
The colours reflected in the 💦 Lacs des Ilettes are sensational in 🍁 autumn . . .
[ ⇒ see MBFF article Family strolls with small children: lakes in autumn au Pays du Mont-Blanc ]
. . . and the afternoon light is sublime in ❄️ wintertime . . .
[ ⇒ to read about 💦 Lacs des Ilettes for a buggy stroll in wintertime, see MBFF article here ]
🗺 map & leaflet – here;
🚾 toilets – there are public toilets at the car parks of the 🎣 Lac de Pêche and the 💦 Lac de Baignade;
🅿️ parking – there are free car parks at the 🅿️ Lac de Pêche and also between the 🅿️ Lac de Baignade & Lac de Promenade; (when it is busy in summertime, you can park along the road by the 💦 Lac de Baignade);
address: ancienne route impériale, 74700, Sallanches