If you live at altitude 🗻 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, it can be a challenge to find a suitable path for buggy walks in nature over the ❄️ winter months: snow, ice, muddy ground underfoot . . .
Luckily, if you head down to the Arve Valley, then you’ll descend about 500m in altitude . . . and here you will find our 💦 two Arve Valley lakes au Pays du Mont-Blanc – Lac de Passy and Lacs des Ilettes (3 lakes) are stunning in ❄️ wintertime . . . and are the perfect spots for a familly stroll, with buggies, with bikes & draisiennes or with dogs . . . (or, if there is ❄️ fresh snow, then you can even pull a luge).
The buvettes and restaurants at the lakes aren’t open over the winter months, but you’ll find some good restaurants nearby (or you can take picnics and warm drinks!).
Lac de Passy
💦 Lac de Passy is a favourite haunt of locals and tourists alike during the summer months, and the beach and criques can hence be heaving . . . but during the other seasons, the lake is just marvellous (and often quite empty too!).
What to expect during the ❄️ winter months?
🍁 Autumn leaves quickly make way for bare trees, but the view of 🗻 a snowy Mont-Blanc reflected in the water remains! If it becomes really cold, then the lake may partially or entirely freeze over, and this is MAGICAL! (note – even if the ice looks solid, you are not allowed to stroll out into the middle of the lake, for safety reasons, as the ice may crack!). What you can do instead, is find little shards of ice or pebbles and throw them out onto the frozen lake!
[ ⇒ for a separate MBFF article about 💦 Lac de Passy, see here ]
On New Year’s Day, a new tradition has taken root – a group of people meet at 14h and have a dip in the icy waters! And the Poséidon Passy Plongée local diving club also ventures out . . .
Weather (and mud) permitting, you can head out with 🚵♂️ bikes, and the little bike park behind the mini-golf remains open . . . as do the playgrounds, now dotted around the lake!
❄️ Wintertime can be very photogenic – the winter light is fabulous for taking photos . . .
Occasionally, the ❄️ snow settles, and more fun can be had . . . a walk with a luge works well, and if there is enough snow, you can even sled down the hills at the criques end of the lake.
Or you can simply put on your snow boots, and tramp around the lake, or even head into the woods for an adventurous wander! (note: on the wooded side of the lake, the path can get quite icy; on days like this, it is good to have crampon attachments for your boots).
Lacs des Ilettes (SALLANCHES)
Another option for ❄️ a winter walk with stunning views, is to head to 💦 Lacs des Ilettes . . . the easier lake to walk around is the final lake, which has a section that is nature reserve, with a wooden hut for spotting birds and fish.
As a family, we’ve had some superb ❄️ winter walks here: one memorable with Oma und Opa in the snow, with luges . . .
[ ⇒ for a separate MBFF article about 💦 Lacs des Ilettes, see here ]
And also, a Christmas Day walk, when we ❄️ threw shards of ice out onto the lake . . .
And on the way back to the car, we played in the woods, along the parcours santé . . .
The ❄️ winter light can be magical . . .