Le Lac des Chavants (LES HOUCHES)

The 💦 Lac des Chavants in Les Houches is a relaxating destination for families throughout the year (note -please note that 💦 Lac des Chavants is NOT a swimming lake!)

These days, the lake is referred to as a Base de Loisirs, as there are so many activities available there: you can 🎣 fish (with a permit) and you will find: 🍏 picnic tables and BBQ facilities, 🌲 walking paths through the woods (suitable for buggies and bikes) & a parcours orientation, a playground & climbing net, 🎾 tennis courts, 🧗‍♂️ a fabulous rock climbing area, pétanque, ☕️ La Guinguette café & restaurant (and cross-country skiing and 🛷 sledging in wintertime).

Base de Loisirs Lac des Chavants © montblancfamilyfun.com
Lac des Chavants in autumn @ montblancfamilyfun.com

There is even 💦 a little jet d’eau that shoots up from the lake . . . and an old telephone box used now as 📚 a book exchange (you’ll find mainly French and English books).


Playground

There is a lovely little playground here with a climbing frame, and there is also a spider web climbing net.

Les Chavants playground © montblancfamilyfun.com
Les Chavants playground
Les Chavants playground in wintertime! © montblancfamilyfun.com
Spider net, Lac des Chavants © montblancfamilyfun.com

La Guinguette

There is a ☕️ lovely café called La Guinguette, right by the water’s edge. It is well-equipped for children, with high-chairs and some toys available. It is 🗓 open from the end of May to the end of September, 11h to 21h (shut on Mondays), and in ☀️ summertime, you will often find 🎵 concerts and special events happening here. In ❄️ winter it is open from December until April, ⏰ 11h to 19h, every day.

La Guinguette during winter season
La Guinguette during winter season © montblancfamilyfun.com
La Guinguette during summer season © montblancfamilyfun.com
La Guinguette during summer season © montblancfamilyfun.com
La Guinguette – summer season © montblancfamilyfun.com
© La Guinguette

Picnic tables and BBQs

There are at least 🍏 a dozen picnic tables dotted around 💦 Lac des Chavants, and I even spotted one in the forest on my walk . . . you’ll find some in the sun, some in the shade and some sol y sombra, depending on the time of day! There are also a couple of BBQ sites, and plenty of green grass to put your picnic blanket!

Picnic table Lac des Chavants © montblancfamilyfun.com
BBQ Lac des Chavants © montblancfamilyfun.com
Lac des Chavants forest – picnic table @ montblancfamilyfun.com

Climbing at Les Chavants

There are 🧗‍♀️ 10 climbing routes on this slab of rock, ranging from 3 to 6A. The access is FREE and the site is 🗓 open from April until December. It is a superb spot to climb on ☀️ hot summer’s days, as the rock remains in the shade in the morning.

Rock climbing at Lac des Chavants © montblancfamilyfun.com
Rock climbing at Lac des Chavants © montblancfamilyfun.com
Rock climbing at Lac des Chavants © montblancfamilyfun.com
Rock climbing with Vallogrimp © montblancfamilyfun.com
Rock climbing with Koala Grimpe © montblancfamilyfun.com

Fishing

From 🗓 mid-June to mid-September, you can 🎣 fish at Lac des Chavants, every day (except Monday) from 9h to 12h and from 14h to 19h / licence required.

Fishing at Lac des Chavants © montblancfamilyfun.com

💦 Lac des Chavants is also the perfect place to come to watch the 🦆 ducks (note: remember that bread is not good for ducks; it fills their tummies quickly, and then they think they are full and yet haven’t got the proper nutrients that they need!) or to look for 🐟 fish and 🐸 tadpoles (season dependent!).

Lac des Chavants © montblancfamilyfun.com
Lac des Chavants lilypads © montblancfamilyfun.com

Walking & Biking

💦 Lac des Chavants is the perfect little loop for small children on foot, or with push-bikes or pedal bikes (just be careful that they stay away from the water’s edge!).

And you can head into 🌲 the forest for a longer walk, to make a cabane or to seek some shade. The 🐎 Chemin des Diligences (the old horse-drawn carriage route, which extended to Martigny) heads towards Servoz, where you can get to the forest and the ruins of the 🏰 old 14th century castle of Saint-Michel easily by bike or on foot. In summer the woods will provide you with some cool relief, with 💦🚵‍♂️ streams running through, and in 🍁 autumn you’ll have the beautiful colours!

Chemin des Diligences Lac des Chavants © montblancfamilyfun.com
Lac des Chavants woods © Baby-Cham
Lac des Chavants woods © montblancfamilyfun.com
Lac des Chavants forest @ montblancfamilyfun.com

I noticed on my last visit that some youngsters had put in place in the woods, 🚵‍♂️ some bumps for VTT bike fun!

Lac des Chavants forest – bosse for bikes @ montblancfamilyfun.com
Lac des Chavants – a walk in the woods in autumn © montblancfamilyfun.com
Lac des Chavants – cabane-making in autumn © montblancfamilyfun.com

There is also 🌲 a sentier botanique that heads up the path behind the climbing rock . . . this short hike is not really advertised anymore, but it is fun to do with children (note: children MUST be accompanied, as beyond the wooden barriers are the climbing rocks, and a sheer drop!), as there are some explanatory pannels and you’ll hike through myrtilles bushes. You’ll eventually come to a covered picnic table, located on a rock, and you’ll notice that this seems to be a popular destination for young adults (be careful, as there are pieces of glass beer bottles). You’ll get super views down over the 💦 Lac des Chavants from up here!


Orienteering course (Parcours d’Orientation)

There are 18 different points (balises) to find on the 🗺 « Parcours d’Orientation » at 💦 Lac des Chavants. See here for more details, download a pdf copy or pick up a copy of the fiche from your Tourist Office in Les Houches (there are several other orienteering courses in the Chamonix Valley; see here).

Parcours d’Orientation at Lac des Chavants © leshouches.com

MBFF had a lot of fun doing 🗺 this parcours orientation in autumn – the colours and the light were just wonderful! To read about MBFF’s experience on this parcours d’orientation (we LOVED it!), see here.


Tennis Courts

There are 🎾 six tennis courts available and you can rent these out by the hour . . . in the summer, there are lessons and stages for children from 4 years.

Tennis courts and club at Lac des Chavants © montblancfamilyfun.com
Tennis wall Lac des Chavants © montblancfamilyfun.com
Tennis wall (the back side!) Lac des Chavants © montblancfamilyfun.com

Children’s leisure club 

During the school holidays, 🌈 the leisure club at Lac des Chavants accepts children from 18 months to 11 years in the winter, and in the summer from 3 to 5 years. Thanks to the large exterior area, games and workshops take place both indoors and outdoors.  See the Tourist Office for information and forms to fill out to sign-up.

address: Club Enfants des Chavants, allée des Diligences, 74310, Les Houches;

Accueil enfants Lac des Chavants © montblancfamilyfun.com

Summer Events

In the summertime, there are 🎵 special concerts at La Guinguette, 🎆 fireworks as part of FestiVallée, and entertainment for children . . .

Here are some of the activities this summer 2020: weekly treasure hunt, après-midi jeux, golf, concert . . .


ESF Piou Piou ski club & sledging

In ❄️ wintertime, the lakeside area becomes home to the ESF Piou Piou club for tiny skiiers, and there is a 🛷 sledging area nearby. The sledging is 🗓 open from December to March (depending on snow conditions), and there are two sledging areas available: the Petite Tortue for 2-6 year olds and the Petit Lièvre for 6+ year olds. Children must be accompanied by an adult, and it is recommended that they wear helmets. Ski boots are NOT allowed in this zone.

Piou Piou at Les Chavants
ESF Piou Piou at Les Chavants © montblancfamilyfun.com
Sledging at Lac des Chavants © montblancfamilyfun.com

Cross-country skiing & snow-shoeing

Depending on ❄️ snow conditions, the cross-country skiing route is 🗓 open from December until March. There are two loops of about 3km, which head around the lake and into the forest;

Domaine Nordique Lac des Chavants © montblancfamilyfun.com

Practical information
address: Le Lac des Chavants, 148 allée des Dilligences, Les Chavants, 74310, Les Houches

website: for more details see here

🚙 parking: lots of FREE parking on-site (very busy during the winter season as skiers using 🚡 Prarion lift fill it quickly!);

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