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.
1. 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.
2. 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".
Chamonix Swimming Pools
The Centre Sportif Richard Bozon in Chamonix has a swimming pool complex with four different pools: one 50m outdoor pool (summer only), a 25m indoor pool, a kids playing pool and a paddling pool. The complex also has a hydro slide for all ages!