A house with a lake might seem an impossible dream in the UK, but in the affordable southwest of France, it’s not impossible – and can prove a good business idea in some cases. We explore the reality of owning your own home with a lake.
Your own lakeside home
There are two options when you’re thinking about lakeside living – either you buy on the shores of a large lake, or you buy your home with your very own smaller ‘lac’! France is absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to mountain lakes, manmade lakes, fishing lakes, swimming lakes.. If you buy near one, do note that fishing for pleasure or even to sell will normally require a permit, which you can often apply for at your local tabac or online at CarteDePeche.fr. Your best bet is to ask either at your mairie or prefecture if you plan either to fish or to set up a fishing business. Local contact is always a good idea in France and you should find your maire will be more than happy to help.
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If fishing is not your bag but you like the idea of earning some extra cash, having a French home near water is bound to be popular when it comes to rentals, particularly in the warm summer months in many parts of the country. If you have a spare room or gite, you will find it very easy to have paying guests if you are near water in France. Bear in mind also that there are several lakes which offer sailing and other water sports instruction. Being close to a lake is good for the whole family, whether it is simply sitting beside it with a baguette, a nice chilled bottle of French wine and a hunk of cheese for the adults or whether you have children who want to splash about and paddle. There really is something for everyone when you have water nearby!
Here are some of my favourite lake regions in France – and keep reading to find where you could buy your own, too!
Located in the Haute Savoie department of the Rhone Alpes region, this lake is set in a beautiful location with mountains for its backdrop. It is truly beautiful. There is a path for hiking around it and it is also popular with anglers. Swimming is possible in the summer months as well as canoeing and fishing and there is a super sound and light show organised in August. In the wintertime the lake is frozen but you can practise your Nordic ski-ing here on man-made paths through the lake.
Around Chamonix there are some wonderful mountain lakes. Lac Blanc, for example, has fantastic views over to Mont Blanc but there are several others to discover in this region.
Lake Saint Pardoux
This is a popular lake set in the heart of the Limousin in the Haute Vienne department, one of the cheapest areas of France in which to buy property. It is only 25 kms from Limoges (a lovely town with easy access back to the UK) and is extremely popular as a holiday destination with all sorts of water sports available and beaches in some parts of the lake.
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The Jura region in Franche Comté in north east France is perhaps a lesser known area for British property buyers but it really should not be missed. It is a wonderful area and offers a host of lakes of all sizes with fabulous views and wonderful surrounding countryside and mountains. Many of the lakes here offer sailing and other water sports and property is not as expensive as in the Rhone Alpes region.
Buying a property with its own lake
This might seem like an impossible dream in the UK, but it’s far from out of reach in France. Our free Resource Centre – available on – receives a number of enquiries for homes with their own lakes, and it’s no wonder. On the one hand, you have a picturesque addition to your property – nothing like being able to sit by the water on a hot summer’s day (or dive in) knowing you’re not sharing with anyone – and, on the other hand, you have what can be a great business opportunity. A well stocked fishing lake, for example, could be a great draw for a holiday let, or even, depending on the size, for swimming or boating.
Here are some of the fabulous homes with lakes currently for sale on our portal:
How about this utterly stunning country home in the lovely town of Najac in the Midi-Pyrénées? On at €495,000, it actually has its own fishing and swimming lake!
If you have a higher budget, here is a wonderful property set in 18 hectares of land, again with its own huge lake and also located near Najac. On the market at €895,000.
Here at a more affordable price we have a lovely three-bedroom stone house with outbuildings on at just €215,000 in the small village of Abjat sur Bandiat in Aquitaine. It has over a hectare of land and also its own lake.