The great lakes of Savoie Mont Blanc

STORY BY Emmanuelle 19th April 2019

Savoie Mont Blanc has four large lakes: Lake Geneva, Lake Annecy, Lake Bourget, and Lake Aiguebelette. The lakes are an all-year round destination. The four great lakes of Savoie Mont Blanc have an average temperature of 24ºC in the summer.


Lake Annecy

Maybe the most famous of the four great lakes, Lake Annecy is often described as the most beautiful lake in France, encircled by stunning mountains, reflected in crystal-clear waters. It is the purest lake in France. Some of the finest hotels in France have bagged prime locations along its eastern bank, notably in stunning Veyrier-du-Lac and Talloires. The western side has family-friendly resorts, and gentler sandy beaches with equally good mountain views.

Annecy adventure organises ‘aqua tours’ on the lake to discover the fauna and flora of the lake. The tour is two hours long and includes around one hour in the water. It costs €35 per person, all equipment included.


La Compagnie des Bateaux has a new hybrid boat. This new eco-friendly boat is 21m long and can seat 148 people. This is the perfect way to discover the lake.


Le Festival des Cabanes: 12 temporary wooden huts are built for this festival. They are spread out on a beautiful territory, from the sources of Lake Annecy to Lake Aiguebelette.

Lake Aiguebelette

The smallest of the four is a wonderfully well-kept secret of a lake, hidden by small mountains west of Chambéry. It’s quieter than the other great lakes, mainly because motor boats aren’t allowed on its waters. Fishermen slip out silently on their barques. Little boathouses line its reedy sides.

Its beaches have excellent facilities, so they’re ideal for family holidays. It is also a good place to practice rowing.


Trott’e-Xperience organises tours on electric scooters by the lake and above the lake.

1hour discovery tour costs €25 per person. A 2-hour ‘contemplative’ tour is €40, and a sporty tour is €70.


The campsite Huttopia has had a make-over. With its new swimming pool and direct access to the lake, it is a great place to stay with children. The campsite boasts permanent accommodation as well like the Chalets Alps which have beautiful views of the lake and a 10m2 terrace.

The Voie Verte linking le Sougey-Saint Alban de Montbel (on the west shore) to Combe in Aiguebelette-le-Lac (on the east shore) has been extended of 3km. This safe cycling track is the perfect way to go from one beach to another.


Lake Bourget

Lake Bourget is France’s largest natural lake and its main settlement, Aix-les-Bains, slopes up from the south-east corner.

Its wild, untouched shores and pretty, developed beaches offer a combination of romantic idyllic spots and busy water sports destinations.


Local Joaquim Torres has opened a fishing centre in the ‘Petit Port’ of Aix-les-Bains. He organises boat outing to fish brochets, sandres, perchs and lavarets. It is open to all levels, from complete beginners to experts, and to children from 10 years old.

Joaquim is fluent in English and gives individual and group lessons.

A half-day individual lesson costs €120 (€200 for a full day). A group lesson (up to 5 people) costs €100 for a half day (€180 for a full day). He can also provide a Savoyard picnic for €15.


Aqualis is a new museum dedicated to the lake.


Lake Geneva

Savoie Mont Blanc shares Lake Geneva, the largest lake in Western Europe, with Switzerland but most of the southern banks are French.

There are two major towns by the lake: Thonon-les-Bains and Evian. Both have natural spa and sailing facilities.

All the lakeside villages have very pleasant beaches.


Yvoire, a medieval village classified among the ‘Most Beautiful Villages in France’ has a unique garden. The ‘Jardin des 5 Sens’ is a sensory garden where visitors can of course smell beautiful flowers and plants, but also touch and eat some of them. The garden has 1,500 types of plants, herbs and flowers – and a new one will be introduced this year.

The Nautical Centre in Thonon-les-Bains is launching Pilates Paddle lesson. Give your core a real work out while enjoying the beauty and peace of the lake.


The Evian Championship is back in July. Evian Resort hosts the Championship from 25 to 28 July 2019. This tournament is a member of the highly select club of 5 Major tournaments on the women’s world golf tour.

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