Written by Bethany Hemsley,
Last Modified: 14th April 2022

Inland lakes in France present a tranquil waterside alternative to bustling beach resorts. Many even offer their own ‘beaches’ along with some truly mesmerising mountain views. Here are four of our favourite lakes in France, along with some nearby spots to buy property.

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Lake Annecy

Not only is Lake Annecy one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe, but it is also the cleanest thanks to the introduction of strict environmental regulations in the 1960s. Annecy is a brilliant place for families with plenty of activities to keep the children (and the adults!) entertained.

The turquoise waters are ideal for swimming and watersports, and the numerous ‘lake beaches’ are perfect for sunbathing and admiring the spectacular mountain backdrops.

holiday home near lake france

Annecy is a brilliant place for families

Annecy is also within easy reach of some world-class ski resorts making it a perfect summer and winter destination. What’s more, there are great transport links between Paris and Annecy via the fast TGV trains.

Some lovely villages near to Lake Annecy include Veyrier-du-Lac, Menthon-Saint-Bernard, Talloires and Duingt.



Chamonix may be well-known for its fabulous skiing, but the area also boasts many Alpine lakes with breath-taking views. However, it is important to note that there are rules about what you can do at each, such as windsurfing, fishing and swimming.

For those who are looking to swim and relax, Lac de Passy or Lac des Ilettes are ideal. Both offer a variety of outdoor sports, barbecue facilities and are only 20 minutes from Chamonix.

Lac Blanc is great for hiking. Only accessible by foot and taking around 3 hours to reach, Lac Blanc offers fantastic views over to Mont Blanc and is surrounded by snow for much of the year.

Some lovely towns and villages in Chamonix include Les Praz, Les Houches, Les Bossons and Chamonix Mont Blanc.

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Lake Montriond

Perfect for the outdoorsy type, Lake Montriond offers property buyers an extensive list of outdoor activities. Whether you enjoy swimming, hiking, fishing, or canoeing, Lake Montriond has something for everyone – there is even a swimming area for young swimmers with lifeguards present in July and August.

holiday home near lake france

Whether you enjoy swimming, hiking, fishing, or canoeing, Lake Montriond has something for everyone (ELEPHOTOS _ Shutterstock.com)

As well as wonderful summer activities, you can also try your hand at some Nordic skiing on the man-made paths through the lake in the winter.

The quaint village of Montriond is just 5 minutes from the famous ski village of Morzine and is around 80km from Geneva airport.

Lake Saint Pardoux

Situated in the popular Limousin region, Lake Saint Pardoux is the largest lake in the Haute-Vienne department, which happens to be one of the most affordable places to buy property in France.

The lake is another excellent spot for watersports and even has an outdoor waterpark with slides! Just a short drive away is the vibrant city of Limoges where you are bound to be charmed by the city’s pretty cobbled streets, ancient centre and lively terrace bars and restaurants.

Lake Saint Pardoux is easy to reach, sitting just a few kilometres from the A20/E9 autoroute that heads from Paris to the Dordogne and southwest France.

Make sure you’re prepared for a viewing trip with the tips and tricks from our Viewing Trip guide.

Buying a House in France Guide.

Buying a property in France is extremely exciting, but it can be nerve-wracking: in what ways is the process different to the UK, how do you cope with the language difference, what fees should you expect and just who is the notaire? That’s why we’ve put together our France Buying Guide, to help you through the process, step by step.

Written by experts, it covers every stage of buying, from viewing to contracts and fees. Get your copy of the French Property Guide by simply filling in the form below.

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