Alpine Lakes

Lakes and mountains set the scene... a show-stopping sight around Chambéry

Whether it be the vast Savoie Mont Blanc lakes surrounding the destination or the lakes tucked away in the Bauges and Chartreuse Mountains, they are all places to make memories as you explore unspoilt and diverse scenery which you’ll remember your break in Savoy for.

“Nowhere else was there such perfect concord between water, sky, mountains and Earth. The salve for any of life’s crises can be found here.”
Honoré de Balzac

Bourget, the lake of a thousand colours

Aix-les-Bains Riviera des Alpes is a land of water and untamed nature whose mountains tumble into the turquoise Bourget Lake, where visitors can get away from the daily grind, take their time to explore, reconnect with themselves and others and have some real me-time.


Bourget Lake is one of the biggest glacial lakes in France and a French poetry hotspot thanks to Lamartine. It’s a unique natural site where the mountains tumble into the waters that change from turquoise to grey depending on the weather and season. Climb up to one of the many belvederes around the lake to drink in its breathtaking views.

Bourget Lake is a water sports haven with all kinds of relaxing or revitalising things to do: a romantic dinner and cruise along the untamed shore, unforgettable thrills on a sailing boat, a trip to Hautecombe Abbey, the Savoie Dukes’ necropolis, a visit to Chanaz “the Venice of the Alps” or a good old swim.

Let’s take the Mottets site: 15ha of family leisure area (beach, pontoon, picnic areas, skate park, play area etc.) and a footpath that leads you past the Lido beach to Aix les Bains. Bourget Lake is easy to reach from Chambéry whether you ride on the year-round Avenue Verte Nord bike path (12km) or take the bus in summer on the beach service stopping at every beach between Chambéry, Bourget Lake and Aix les Bains.

Aiguebelette, the emerald of the Alps

Deep in the Avant Pays Savoyard, Aiguebelette Lake has an outstanding ecosystem of listed and protected natural areas: 70ha of reed beds, meadows, wet woodlands and aquatic plants ensure ecological diversity and quality water in the lake where no motorboats are allowed.

Aiguebelette Lake is a favourite among fishermen and lined with traditional boat hangars and garages which are unique in Europe.

The surprisingly warm lake can reach 28° in summer making it an oasis of calm for children and adults. There are no less than 7 beaches on its shores which have lifeguards in summer and play host to swimmers and water sports: you can hire pedalos, canoes, kayaks, aquabikes, stand-up paddles, boats etc.

Saint André, fishermen are hooked

Saint André Lake in Porte-de-Savoie lies at the bottom of Mont Granier’s colossal 900m cliff, making it one of the highest cliffs in France. A great place for drinking in the views.

This little lake is deep in the biggest Savoy vine-growing area and is heaven for flora and fauna. Fishermen are hooked on it and hikers love its peace and quiet. No swimming allowed in the fishing area and nature area, there are no lifeguards and it is not set up for swimming in the leisure area.

Saint André Lake is an easy bike ride from Chambéry (15km) along Avenue Verte Sud to Saint Jeoire Prieuré then you take the Wine Route through the unique Abymes dotted with little lakes and scree.

La Thuile, an idyllic setting

La Thuile Lake is an Alpine lake (mainly private property) on the south side of the Bauges at an altitude of 874m. The small lake lies in a little glacier valley. It’s one of few mid-altitude lakes between the great lakes in the plain (Annecy, Aiguebelette, Bourget) and mountain lakes.

Its altitude and mountain climate. which the entire mountain range is subject to, mean La Thuile Lake is often covered in up to 20cm of ice in winter. It’s the only natural lake in the Bauges Mountains, is renowned and protected for its scenic value and is in an area that is purposefully not built up.

The reed-lined lake has held onto its wonderful wild side. You can walk around it on the signposted footpath. The ridge line along the town has stunning views of the valley. There’s a marsh beneath the hamlet of Nécuidet which was restored and is a great place for a walk too.

Annecy, the purest water

Lake Annecy is world famous for its beautiful landscape and water quality. Over 50 years of preservation work has made it the purest lake in Europe. Visitors can soak up the setting with a wide range of sports and things to do all year round.

Take your pick from water sports (swimming, sailing, water-skiing, diving etc.), cycling (on a secure bike path around the lake covering over 40km) and mountain sports (hiking, mountain biking, via ferrata, canyoning, paragliding etc.)!

Annecy has been awarded the highly sought-after “Art et Histoire” label so if you’re looking for culture, you’ve come to the right place: museums, châteaux, guided tours, exhibitions and so much more.

The lake’s pure and clear water runs into pretty flower-lined canals in the old town which has earned it the nickname “Venice of the Alps”.