There are many different places in Chamonix where you can go swimming, from the mountain lakes to the Olympic swimming pool in the Richard Bozon Centre.
Two groups of lakes, both 20 minutes from Chamonix, allow all kinds of activities, as well as barbecue facilities for day-time or evening use, all in a tranquil environment. There are certain rules to follow which are written on board in the parking area, but you can just follow the lead of the locals.
The lakes are for windsurfing, fishing or swimming. The car park is well patrolled by the local police, so there are no problems with theft.
1. The Chamonix Swimming Pool
The Centre Sportif Richard Bozon in Chamonix has a swimming pool complex with four different pools: one 50m Olympic-sized outdoor pool which is open only in the summer months (see more information here), a 25m indoor pool, a kids playing pool and a paddling pool. The complex also has a hydro slide for all ages! and a sauna.
The outdoor pool has a stainless steel MIG welded basin with tiles over-laid. The makes for a more hygienic environment with lower operating costs.
214 Av Plage, Tel: 04 50 53 23 70, Schedules and Rates
Swimming in the Lakes in or near Chamonix
There are two groups of lakes, both 20 minutes from Chamonix, which offer a variety of outdoor sports as well as great barbecue sites at night - completely hassle-free.
There are rules on what you can do and where at each lake, but just do as the locals do. Lakes or areas of lakes are designated for Windsurfing, Fishing or Swimming.
Car parking is heavily police-patrolled so theft is not a problem.
2. Lac de Passy
The nearest to Chamonix and the biggest lake. Bring your beer, water wings, windsurfing board and barbecue and just hangout.
How to get here? Take the motorway in the direction Geneva. Come off at Le Fayet, turn left at the first set of lights and drive towards Sallanches. 2km after Intermarche there is a signposted right turn for the lake; before you get to Sallanches. Paid parking.
3. Lac des Ilettes
Three beautiful lakes offering all three activities and home to the "Transat" for good beach food. Les Ilettes is also the scene of several free lakeside concerts each summer, not to be missed.
How to get here? Continue into Sallanches, turn right at the lights in the centre of town. Go straight on, then cross the river Arve (over a high bridge) and turn left. Signposted St Martin and the "Lacs des Ilettes".
4. Sallanches Aquatic Centre Swimming Pool
The "Sallanches Mont-Blanc" aquatic centre is located near the centre of Sallanches. This swimming pool is open all year round, with extended hours. Various water activities are practiced here: swimming lessons, water aerobics, aquabike, etc.
The Sallanches swimming pool consists of a 25m pool, an aquatic activity pool and an early childhood pool. To relax after swimming, the aquatic centre has a wellness area with sauna and steam room.
Address: 82 rue Charly Mottet, 74700 Sallanches
T: +33 4 50 58 12 32
5. Combloux Biotope Lake
Located in the small village of Combloux, just a 30-minute drive from Chamonix, the Lac Biotope de Combloux was the first ecological body of water open to swimming in France.
Located in the immediate vicinity of the village centre, the biotope lake of Combloux offers a picturesque setting with a 360° panoramic view of Mont Blanc and the most beautiful peaks of the Alps.
You will dive into its 1900m² pool where more than 10,000 aquatic plants guarantee exceptional water quality.
In order to preserve the natural balance and ecosystem of the biotope as well as for health reasons, we have implemented a limit on the number of daily visitors.
It is strongly recommended to reserve your spot, especially in high season.
Address: Route de Prairy, 74920 Combloux
T: +33 4 50 91 21 62