Summer is fast approaching, and many holiday makers are flocking to the coast of France. Besides the bustling coastline, France has many azure lakes, fresh springs and flowing waterfalls for a refreshing summer break. We’ve compiled a list of our very favourite wild swimming spots in the most beautiful corners of France.
Wild swimming Provence
Provence is more than lavender fields, old towns and vineyard visits. The turquoise lakes of Provence are ideal for refreshing afternoon dips in the heat of the summer.
Lac de St Croix
The stunning lake of Saint Croix is situated in the Verdon Gorge, the most beautiful river canyon in Europe. Scattered with Lavender fields and the classic smell of Provence, the gorge is over a thousand years old and 25km long. The turquoise Lac de St. Croix is at the centre of the Verdon Natural Regional Park and is surrounded by the villages of Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon, Bauduen and Les Salles-sur-Verdon. Stay at the gorgeous Villa’s du Verdon and explore Europe’s most beautiful river canyon.
The clear pools of Clue d’Aiglun are just a short drive from the glamorous coast of the Côte d’Azur, meaning you’ll probably be able to enjoy them all to yourself. This series of pools are characterised by the incredible rock formations and clear blue waters. Overhead, ferns provide shade for those wanting to sick back with a good book. Beware, however: these pools are still high up in the Alpes-Maritimes, and are still mild in the heat of winter. Only for seasoned wild swimmers!
Sillans-la-Cascade is the pearl of provence’s waterfalls. Just 50km from the glamorous resort of St-Tropez and boasts milky-blue pools of water and dramatic falls surrounded by luscious green foliage. While it’s actually not advised to swim in the Sillans-la-Cascade, although locals do, you can find another pool further down which is safer. Still, the waterfall is the perfect place to visit for a picnic and a nice walk.
Wild swimming Brittany
Brittany is perfect for family-friendly swimming holidays. Of course, the coast offers plenty of long stretches of sand for family fun. For those who want to explore a little further inland, there are plenty of lakes.
Lac de Guerlédan
Lac de Guerlédan is the biggest lake in Brittany, and perfect for long hikes and relaxing afternoons. Situated deep in the Argoat forest, this lake is the perfect family-friendly break, with plenty to do in the area. Enjoy a stay at Happy Tent Camping Le Ty Nadan and spend a day at Lac de Guerlédan.
Lac du Drennec
Lac du Drennec is situated near Commana and is perfect for families who want to combine hiking and swimming. Deep in the forests of Brittany, the reservoir has a clearly marked 7km circular hike with two white sand beaches with picnic areas, outdoor tables tennis and children’s playgrounds. Dogs can swim everywhere on the lake besides the two sand beaches.
Wild swimming Dordogne
The Dordogne Valley is characterised by meandering river banks, green meadows and hilltops punctuated by beautiful castles. Swimming in the Dordogne River is for holiday makers who look forward to a bit of adventure.
Cingle de Trémolat
This part of the Dordogne is where the river is at its most wild and wonderful. It can be quite difficult to access, but once you arrive, you’ll be met with sheer beauty. Enjoy the view above of the high cliffs and the beautiful blue skies. Enjoy your stay in Country Camp Le Clou, right next to the Dordogne river and just a 20 minute drive from the village of Trémolat.
Directly beneath a chateau, Lacave is a clear-turquoise pool in a luscious green area of the Dordogne Valley. Downstream, you can enjoy the rapids of the river and even go tubing. Souillac Golf & Country Club is nearby and excellent for a relaxing and luxurious family holiday.
Les tours is another beautiful stretch of the Dordogne which is ideal for families. It’s mainly shallow and relatively easy to access. The small gravel islands provide resting places and the overhanging ferns make the perfect shade for swimming and exploring.
Did we miss any of your favourite wild swimming spots? Let us know in the comments below!