The 11 best outdoor activities in Serre-Ponçon

Baptême de parapente

An exceptional setting between sea and mountains. Discover the most emblematic and unforgettable outdoor activities in Serre-Ponçon!

Located in the heart of the Southern Alps, Lac de Serre-Ponçon is a not-to-be-missed destination for leisure and water sports enthusiasts. With its wild creeks and landscaped beaches, its mountain setting and 80 kilometers of shoreline make for an incredible natural environment.

Did you know that it’s the lake’s rich mineral and sediment content that gives it its distinctive colors? France’ s largest man-made lake and Western Europe’s second-largest earth dam, the lake’s 2,800 hectares offer a wealth of possibilities.

And the region’s exceptional sunshine means you can make the most of the outdoor activities on offer in Serre-Ponçon. Discover our selection of the best adventures to be had on the lake!


1. Rafting

Activités outdoor à Serre-Ponçon : rafting

Photo credit: Facebook – Apache Rafting

Lac de Serre-Ponçon is fed by powerful torrential rivers such as the Durance and Ubaye. So it’s not surprising that one of the lake’s most popular activities is rafting. This inflatable craft offers a thrilling experience.

You’ll be able to take between four and twelve people with you. The descent is sporty, but above all great fun. It’s an outdoor activity to be enjoyed in Serre-Ponçon, whether as a group or as a family.

2. Hydrospeed

Activités outdoor à Serre-Ponçon : hydrospeed

Photo credit: Facebook – Crazy Water Rafting

Hydrospeeding, also known as whitewater swimming, is an exhilarating sport to be practiced in the great outdoors and on rivers. You’ll be equipped with flippers, a reinforced wetsuit and a float to cut through the river’s rapids.

Suffice to say, you’re going to feel the full force of the current, and experience the speed right through your body. What’s more, you’re often required to provide proof that you can swim 25 meters and immerse yourself to practice.

3. Hot-air balloon flight

Vol en montgolfière

Photo credit: Facebook – Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Tourisme

Fly at an altitude of over 780 metres above Lac de Serre-Ponçon. At this altitude, you’ll have a view of the Southern Alps, including the Écrins massif, the Po plain and Mont-Blanc, as well as the Saint-Michel chapel and the magnificent Serre-Ponçon dam.

You’ll be able to take part in every step, starting with the preparation of the balloon. An activity to be enjoyed at least once in your life, in an extraordinary natural setting.

4. Cano-raft


Photo credit: Facebook – Jour de Raft

The cano-raft is an ideal mix between rafting and kayaking. This hybrid craft is usually suitable for two or three people. Try your hand at this activity on a trip down the Durance, and enjoy the thrills.

5. Kayak

Activités outdoor à Serre-Ponçon : kayak

Photo credit: Instagram – motoexplorerfrance

When you think river, you think kayak. An experience to be enjoyed from April onwards on the lake, it’s hard to imagine a better setting for kayaking. Whitewater enthusiasts will be delighted by the lake’s numerous rapids, classified up to category III. The navigation is therefore rather sporty, with over 60 rapids and 52 kilometers of courses.

6. Stand Up Paddle

Activités outdoor à Serre-Ponçon : Stand-up Paddle

Photo credit: Facebook – Serre-Ponçon Aloha, The experience. Stand UP Paddle at Serre Ponçon

While the Ubaye river that feeds the lake is rather energetic and creates the lake’s famous rapids, the other river, the Durance, is much calmer. This way, water-lovers who don’t want too much excitement can also enjoy the lake’s cool waters, thanks to this outdoor activity at Serre-Ponçon.

Paddleboarding can be done standing or kneeling, depending on your ability. You’ll glide smoothly over the water and enjoy the surrounding environment.

7. Electric mountain bikes

Faire du VTT à Serre-Ponçon

Photo credit: Facebook – Ride The Track

It’s the big cycling trend of the moment. Worried you won’t be up to the task on a bike outing? Forget that fear and try an electric mountain bike. Thanks to electric assistance, tours become accessible to everyone, whether you’re an enduro enthusiast or not.

Explore the Serre-Ponçon lake between mountain and lake, with its exceptional scenery.

8. Paragliding baptism

Baptême de parapente

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Leon van Schie

How about flying directly over the lake, thanks to one of the best outdoor activities in Serre-Ponçon? That’s what a paragliding flight is all about. You choose the flight time to suit you. It could be 20 minutes, 30 minutes or 1 hour. You’ll be at an altitude of around 1,400 meters, so you’ll have plenty of thrills.

Note that this activity is also available in winter. In winter, you’ll be treated to a completely different view of the lake.


9. Snowshoes

Faire des raquettes dans les Écrins

Photo credit: Facebook – Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Tourisme

Lac de Serre-Ponçon lies at the heart of a vast area between the Écrins massif and the Parpaillon mountains. To discover this incredible, white-coated natural environment, set off on a snowshoe hike.

Some itineraries offer 360° panoramic views of the lake. Snowshoeing is a must-do outdoor activity in Serre-Ponçon, for individuals, families or even groups. You can take a half-day, full-day or even private tour.

10. Off-piste skiing and snowboarding

Faire du ski à Serre-Ponçon

Photo credit: Facebook – Serre-Ponçon

Who hasn’t dreamed of being the first to hit the powder? No one’s been there before you, and now you can take to the off-piste slopes of the mountains around Lac de Serre-Ponçon. This outdoor activity around Serre-Ponçon is aimed at all nature lovers and ski tourers with an average level of off-piste skiing.

There are no ski lifts here. You’ll pass through the forest off-piste, taking side roads or wilderness itineraries. You’ll be helped along by your own hiking equipment.

11. Icefall

Cascade de glace dans l'Ubaye

Photo credit: Facebook – PGHM Jausiers

Feel like you’re in Game of Thrones and climb the ice wall. Climb with ice axes and crampons with a certified guide on the wall. There are several beginner-friendly ice falls in the vicinity of Lac de Serre-Ponçon.

There are no prerequisites or levels required. You’ll start the day with a basic introduction to ice climbing equipment. Everything will be explained to you according to the specificities of the waterfall to be climbed.

So which outdoor activity in Serre-Ponçon are you going to opt for?