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Best places for a watersports holiday in the Alps

Most people associate the French Alps with sports such as skiing, snowboarding, hiking or mountain biking. But have you ever thought of a summer watersports holiday in the Alps? There’s a fantastic range of lakes and rivers with watersports in the French Alps, all ready to welcome watersports enthusiasts of all abilities. And perhaps best of all, wherever you do watersports in the Alps you’re surrounded by spectacular scenery! Activities include:

  • Wakeboarding
  • Sailing
  • Stand up paddleboarding
  • Canyoning
  • White water rafting
  • Diving
    And more!

Read on to discover the best places for watersports holidays in the Alps…

1. Lake Annecy

Just a short drive from Geneva airport, Lake Annecy is an idyllic spot, attracting couples, families, friends and plenty of watersports enthusiasts! Here you can practice a fantastic range of water based sports, and it’s possible to take lessons in most of them. 

Hugely popular with locals and visitors is stand up paddleboarding – a great way to explore the lake, with rentals available at various places around the lake. Enjoy real peace and tranquility out on the lake – some people even practice yoga on their boards!

Also worth trying, are motorised watersports such as wakeboarding, waterskiing or wakesurfing. There’s a range of instructors who can give lessons for complete beginners, get you mono skiing, or help you develop the skills needed for wakesurfing. 

If sailing is more your thing you can hire a boat or a catamaran and explore the lake. Sailing lessons are also available for kids – try Menthon sailing club for regular courses through the summer. There are so many watersports to try here – you can even give diving a try in Lake Annecy!

If you’re looking for a more relaxing getaway, Annecy still has plenty to offer! With lakeside beaches, boat and pedalo trips and a stunning historic quarter, you won’t be short of activities to choose from.

Read our blog on 10 amazing Lake Annecy Water Sports to try on your summer holiday to find out more!

Lakes with watersports in the Alps: Lake Annecy
With stunning mountain views, clear blue waters and plenty of activities, Annecy is one of the best lakes with watersports in the French Alps. © Lita Ruza

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2. Aix les Bains

Only 30 minutes from Chambery, Aix les Bains has a fantastic range of activities for your next watersports holiday in the Alps. Canoeing, sailing, fishing and ‘Baby ski’ are just some of the family friendly activities on offer in Aix les Bains. For more information, take a look at their website.

If you fancy more of an adventurous activity, then canyoning is a must! If you fancy scrambling, climbing, jumping and swimming down mountain streams, rivers and waterfalls, then this one’s for you. An experienced tour guide will accompany your group along the way to ensure your safety at all times. Click here to browse the tours and prices on offer near Aix les Bains for canyoning.

Lakes with watersports in the Alps: Aix les Bains
Breathtaking views and great family activities make Aix les Bains one of the most popular lakes with watersports in the French Alps. © Simon Mercier

3. Lac de Tignes

The popular resort of Tignes has just as much to offer in summer as winter! With pedalos, canoes, sailing boats, kayaks and stand up paddle boards available, there’s a generous variety of summer activities for groups of all ages! Head over to their website to find out more about the facilities at the Lake and the prices of the activities on offer.

Lakes with watersports in the Alps: Lac de Tignes
With a wide range of activities to try, Lac de Tignes is a fantastic place to visit for a watersports holiday in the Alps © Caroline M

4. Plan d’eau Biotope, Combloux

Although a traditional ski village at heart, Combloux is a great spot for families in the summertime. Situated close to the centre, the Plan d’eau Biotope Lake’s high quality, natural waters make it a perfect spot for swimming. Thanks to a special flooring, the water temperatures reach highs of 19-26°, so you can enjoy a relaxing swim while taking in the stunning views of the Mont Blanc Massif. Find out more about this ecological lake here!

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5. Lac aux dames, Samoëns

Families looking for fun activities in – and out of – the water will find them at Lac aux dames. The leisure centre is built around two lakes with three swimming pools, a slide, tennis courts, an adventure trail and paragliding! You can learn more about the facilities available via their website

If you’re after a high action experience in Samoëns, the Giffre river is a great spot to visit. Rafting, hydrospeed, canyoning, canoraft and airboating are just some of the adrenaline fuelled experiences! You can also try water skiing on a private lake. Take a look here to find out more about their rafting descent.

Lakes with watersports in the Alps: Lac aux dames, Samoëns
Family fun awaits on your next watersports holiday in the French Alps! Lac aux dames, Samoëns. © Christian Martelet

If you are keen to try other activities, why not take a look at our blog on Our top spring activities in the Alps?

Fancy heading to one of these fantastic lakes with watersports in the French Alps? If so, head to our website to find your perfect property to stay in while you are there!

Follow @ovonetwork on social media and use #ovonetwork to share the best moments from your watersports holiday in the Alps!

About Author

Hi I’m Amy and I work on the Social Media Team at OVO Network. I have spent winters in the Alps since 2016 and I am now based in the beautiful town of Annecy. I love making the most of being surrounded by the lake and mountains with my dog!