France’s 10 most beautiful lakes

Be amazed by the beauty of the French landscape with our selection of the 10 most beautiful lakes in France… Magnificent!

With thousands of lakes and ponds, France ranks as the European country with the largest number of bodies of fresh water on its territory!

Nestled in exceptional sites surrounded by nature, some of these lakes offer visitors exceptional landscapes that are a must-see.

Mountain lakes, wilderness lakes or city-centre lakes… Generation Voyage has selected the 10 most beautiful lakes in France!

1. Lake Monteynard – Isère

Lac de Monteynard, parmi les plus beaux lacs de France

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Dennis Wegewijs

Let’s begin our discovery of France’s most beautiful lakes in Isère, a department that’s home to a veritable treasure trove! Lac de Monteynard is a man-made reservoir created by a dam on the Drac River.

Located less than half an hour from Grenoble, the lake is very popular with nature lovers, who come here to immerse themselves in a world apart, between sky and water…

Indeed, the lake’s main attraction remains the two Himalayan footbridges, the only ones of their kind in Europe, which overlook the lake and allow hikers to discover magnificent views of the lake. An unusual and sensational experience not to be missed if you’re in the Grenoble area!

2. Lac de Sainte-Croix – Var and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence

Lac de Sainte-Croix

Photo credit: Shutterstock – kavram

Now we’re off to the Var and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence departments to discover a real gem! Regularly ranked as one of France’s most beautiful lakes, Lac de Sainte-Croix owes its formation to the construction of a dam on the banks of the Verdon in 1973.

It’s one of the region’s major tourist attractions, attracting many travellers every year thanks to its majestic surroundings and the beauty of its surroundings!

Fed by the intense blue-green waters of the Verdon, Lac de Sainte-Croix is a paradise for swimmers, water sports enthusiasts and anglers.

3. Lac d’OôHaute-Garonne

Lac d'Oô, l'un des plus beaux lacs de France

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Yoso

The majestic glacial Lac d’Oô is a must-see when hiking in the Pyrenees! Nestled in a pretty green valley, dominated by mountains at an altitude of 1,500 metres, Lac d’Oô is a marvel to behold for hours on end!

It offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and the verdant Pyrenees. The impressive 275-meter-high waterfall that feeds it completes the picture and makes for a magical moment!

It’s a grandiose sight, but not a natural one: the lake was created by the construction of a dam in 1921.

4. Lake Nino – Corsica

Le lac de Nino en Corse

Photo credit: Shutterstock – MARIEPAULE

Perched at an altitude of 1700 metres in the high Corsican mountains, Lake Nino is one of the most magical places on the island of beauty!

Surrounded by lush greenery and pastoral landscapes, it’s undeniably one of France’s most beautiful lakes.

The surrounding landscape is well worth the detour: lush green pastures, pozzines (thick grass crossed by streams, a plant formation common in Corsica), wild horses… Magnificent!

5. Lac d’Allos – Alpes-de-Haute-Provence

Lac d’Allos, l'un des plus beaux lacs de France

Photo credit: Shutterstock – NDani

Lac d’Allos lies at the heart of the Mercantour National Park in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region of France. It’s the largest natural high-altitude lake on the Old Continent!

Of glacial origin, this lake surrounded by high mountains offers a grandiose spectacle to hikers who come to enjoy the exotic atmosphere of this protected natural area. A great walk if you’re in the area!

6. Lake Geneva – Haute-Savoie

Lac Léman

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Max Travel Photo

Representing the border between France and Switzerland, Lake Geneva is the largest lake in the Alps and the largest natural lake in Europe. It’s also one of the most beautiful lakes in France!

With a surface area of almost 580 km², this crescent-shaped lake of glacial origin borders famous spas such as Evian and Thonon-les-Bains, as well as charming, authentic villages.

Enjoyable by young and old alike, Lake Geneva also offers countless outdoor activities for nature lovers and thrill-seekers alike!

7. Lake Annecy – Haute-Savoie

Lac d'Annecy, l'un des plus beaux lacs de France

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Wirestock Creators

Bordering the pretty town of the same name, LakeAnnecy is perhaps France’s best-known lake. This natural gem in Haute-Savoie covers an area of 27.5 km², right in the heart of the region.

Also of glacial origin, it is thought to have formed over 18,000 years ago when the huge Alpine glaciers began to melt!

Today, the lake attracts numerous visitors every year to admire and enjoy its splendor. The lake’s water is reputed to be one of the purest in the world. And don’t forget that a road runs alongside the lake, offering plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the exceptional view!

8. Lac de Serre-Ponçon – Hautes-Alpes

Plus beaux lacs de France : le Lac de Serre-Ponçon

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Hect

Located at the foot of the mountains, Lac de Serre-Ponçon is a perpetual invitation to take to the water! Covering an area of 28 km², it’s one of the most famous lakes in the Alps, and one of the most beautiful in France.

It owes its origins to the construction of a dam on the Durance River in 1961. This construction completely changed the landscape of the region, creating a paradise for vacationers and water sports enthusiasts alike!

For the record, 2 villages were submerged when the dam was built: Ubaye and Savines. The Saint-Michel chapel, standing in the middle of the lake, is the only vestige of these villages, which were engulfed in 1961.

9. Lac du Salagou – Hérault

Plus beaux lacs de France : Lac du Salagou

Photo credit: Shutterstock – GybasDigiPhoto

Nestled in the middle of a red earth, Lac du Salagou is an emblematic site in the Hérault department and in the south of France. The 700-hectare lake was created following the construction of a dam in 1969 to irrigate the region.

Today, it’s a delight for hikers and holidaymakers alike, who come to enjoy its atmosphere, which is unique in France! In fact, Lac de Salagou is recognized as one of the most pleasant spots in the Hérault region in summer… ideal for a rejuvenating vacation!

10. Lac du Bourget – Savoie

Plus beaux lacs de France : Lac du Bourget

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Jonathan Meddings

We round off our list of the most beautiful lakes in France with Lac du Bourget! It’s no coincidence that this lake features in our ranking, since Alphonse de Lamartine drew inspiration from it to write his famous poem  » Le Lac« .

Located at the foot of the Alps, it is quite simply the largest natural lake of glacial origin in France (since part of Lake Geneva is in Switzerland). It is thought to have been formed over 20,000 years ago!

Today, its clear waters and lush green hues appeal to sports enthusiasts, swimmers and holidaymakers alike. You can contemplate its sumptuous, protected landscapes from the many small marinas located all around the lake.

Now it’s your turn to tell us which lake is your favorite?