Things to do at Lac du Bourget for a successful stay in Savoie
The historic Savoie Mont Blanc region is renowned for the beauty of its lakes, the 4 main ones being Lake Aiguebelette, Lake Annecy, Lake Geneva and Lake Bourget. These lakes are known for their natural beauty, the sporting activities that can be enjoyed all year round and their rich culture. Although Lake Annecy is one of the best known and most popular, its 3 neighbours have nothing to envy it!
For a holiday away from the crowds in Annecy, we invite you to discover the other lakes in the Savoie Mont Blanc region. In particular, we'll be looking at Lac du Bourget, the largest natural lake in France! The area around the lake is perfect for a holiday in the heart of Savoie, and there are plenty of activities to do at Lac du Bourget in a wild, natural setting that's sure to amaze you! Breathtaking panoramas, forests as far as the eye can see and peaks full of legends await you! What's more, you'll find a host of outdoor activities around, on or above Lac du Bourget.
So why choose Lac du Bourget for a successful holiday in Savoie? And what outdoor activities are available at Lac du Bourget? We'll give you all the keys to help you plan your outdoor adventure near this natural lake located just 1h20 from Lyon, 1h from Grenoble and 40 minutes from Annecy!
Lac du Bourget, an ideal location for a successful holiday in Savoie
As France's largest natural lake, Lac du Bourget offers you sublime scenery as far as the eye can see and a huge playground for your outdoor activities in Savoie! The lake is 18km long and surrounded by several mountains: the massif de l'Epine, the Mont du Chat, the Chambotte, the Mont Revard and the Bauges. With such diversity, the lake offers a multitude of viewpoints, each more beautiful than the last.
Lac du Bourget is also the wildest lake in the Savoie Mont Blanc region! Its waters are home to a wide variety of fish, including perch, pike, trout and Arctic char. The shores are also extremely rich, particularly the south shore, which is made up of a variety of wetland vegetation. The southern shore of Lac du Bourget is therefore preserved to protect the flora and fauna that inhabit it.
As well as its sublime panoramas and rich wildlife, Lac du Bourget is the perfect place for a wellness break! Indeed, the town of Aix-les-Bains is famous for its thermal baths, whose natural thermal water, rich in minerals and trace elements, is renowned for its curative properties, particularly for relieving rheumatological, dermatological and respiratory problems. Just the thing to recharge your batteries after a day in the great outdoors!
What's more, the Lac du Bourget is sure to please history and culture lovers too! In Aix-les-Bains, Roman remains and old palaces will take you back in time to the birth of the Aix-les-Bains thermal baths. On the western shore of Lac du Bourget, Hautecombe Abbey, standing proudly on the water's edge, will amaze you! This majestic necropolis houses the tombs of the thousand-year-old dynasty of the House of Savoy in a Gothic-style building just waiting to be discovered!
Finally, those with a sweet tooth won't be forgotten either, and will be able to sample traditional Savoyard dishes! There's nothing like a good comfort food after your day's activities on Lac du Bourget: tartiflette, raclette and Savoyard fondue will give you the strength you need for your next adventure.
And there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure at Lac du Bourget! Water, land and air activities will give you plenty to do while taking in the superb views of Savoie! As a family, with friends or even on your own, you're bound to find something to do in and around Lac du Bourget! So take some notes and plan your next trip to Savoie now!
The best water sports activities on Lac du Bourget
Water sports on Lac du Bourget are a must for a successful stay in Savoie! In water that can reach 26°C in summer, you can swim, go boarding, boating or even stand-up paddle! What's more, the lake is ideally laid out, with numerous beaches and leisure centres along its shores.
Boating on Lac du Bourget
If you want to enjoy the different viewpoints offered by Lac du Bourget at your leisure, opt for a boat trip in Savoie! The advantage of this activity is that it's accessible to everyone, simple and relaxing. All you have to do is get on board and discover Lac du Bourget from every angle, with your family or friends.
A boat trip on Lac du Bourget is the perfect way to explore the shores of the lake while spending a relaxing moment with your loved ones and without tiring yourself out. It's also an opportunity to enjoy a breathtaking setting, share a meal from the boat, take some great photos, and learn about every corner of the lake and its history from your captain's commentary.
Finally, while a boat trip can take you to discover Lac du Bourget, it can also take you a little further afield: on the Savières canal or even on the Rhône, to which the lake is linked. So what are you waiting for? Discover Savoie via these waterways and explore Lac du Bourget on board a boat!
Packrafting on Lac du Bourget
For the more adventurous, the packraft is the ideal craft: easy to carry in a rucksack, the packraft is often combined with another sport. For example, you can combine mountain biking and packraft, as in this activity ! On this packraft and mountain bike tour, you'll travel by mountain bike from Bourget-du-Lac and the shores of Lac du Bourget to Grésine Bay. You'll then cruise along the wild shores of Lac du Bourget in a packraft!
However, if you prefer to stick to the water sports, you can also do packraft alone, as in this packraft activity on Lac du Bourget at sunset. Indeed, it's at the end of the day that the colours change on the wild and unspoilt landscapes of the south shore of the lake, offering soft orange colours that will sublimate the surroundings of the lake. A moment out of time, peaceful and therefore perfect for packrafting on Lac du Bourget!
Stand-up paddling on Lac du Bourget
Stand-up paddling (SUP) is another way to enjoy the waters of Lac du Bourget. Different, of course, but always in a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. Standing on your SUP, you can paddle freely to explore the hidden corners of this immense lake! Whether you hire one or take a guided tour, SUP paddling on Lac du Bourget will give you different views of the lake and the surrounding countryside.
Departing from Bourget-du-Lac, Aix-les-Bains or the Savière canal at Chanaz, you can discover all 4 corners of the lake with ease. Although you may find it hard to balance at first, SUP is an activity that's accessible to anyone who can swim, and once you've mastered the balancing act, all you have to do is enjoy the scenery! So don't hesitate to try SUP on Lac du Bourget in Savoie!
Wakeboarding on Lac du Bourget
If packraft and SUP are too quiet an activity for you, and you're looking for adrenalin and thrills instead, you've got to go wakeboarding on Lac du Bourget! With your feet strapped to your board, try to keep yourself upright and glide across the lake at full speed, while enjoying the exceptional setting of the Savoyard mountains!
And it's not just wakeboarding that you might enjoy, as there are other towed activities on Lac du Bourget that are just as sensational! Wakesurfing (an activity similar to wakeboarding but where your feet are not attached to the board) or water skiing (with a ski attached to each foot) are guaranteed to give you a great time! What's more, these activities are systematically supervised by professionals, so you can benefit from guidance, supervision and advice if you're a beginner.
For each of these towed activities, you'll be pulled by a boat to which you'll be attached by a rope in order to reach a certain speed and perform sliding tricks. If you're a novice, your first task will be to keep your balance on your board, but you'll still have a great time!
Kitesurfing on Lac du Bourget
Try your hand at kitesurfing on Lac du Bourget, and this time you'll be pulled along by the force of the wind! Thanks to windsurfing and sailing activities, learn to work with the wind to glide across the water! What's more, there's a huge variety of sailing water sports to choose from: kitesurfing, wingfoil, windsurfing - you're bound to find the activity that's right for you!
When you kitesurf in Savoie, you glide across the water on a board pulled by a specially adapted kite called a wing or sail. Kitesurfing lets you test your agility and balance in the water. If you want to get started in this sport, the easiest way to start is with a kitesurfing lesson on Lac du Bourget! You'll be able to discover this activity easily, with the advice and expertise of a specialised instructor.
Diving at Lac du Bourget
Wondering what the aquatic life of Lac du Bourget is like? Try diving to find out! Diving at Lac du Bourget offers ideal spots for beginners, but also for experienced divers, so it could be a good place to discover diving in Savoie.
Whatever your situation, you'll find diving centres for both your first dive at Lac du Bourget and your exploration dive. The part of the lake near the cliffs at Chindrieux is shallow, making it the perfect place to discover diving. You'll be able to admire a rich fauna and flora including grass beds, perch, tench, pike and catfish. The depths of Lac du Bourget are also home to sumptuous drop-offs, canyons and small caves in crystal-clear water. This deep area of Lac du Bourget is of course reserved for experienced divers.
If you want to explore this lake of glacial origin without diving, you can always try snorkelling or simply swim on one of the beaches beside the lake!
The best things to do on land around Lac du Bourget
The land-based activities around Lac du Bourget are just as numerous and interesting! Thanks to these activities, you can walk around the lake, get up high to admire the lake from one of the surrounding viewpoints or even discover the caves of Savoie!
Hiking on Lac du Bourget
Lac du Bourget offers the perfect playground for hiking in Savoie: with the Massif de l'Epine, Mont du Chat, La Chambotte, Mont Revard and the Bauges, you'll never run out of ideas for a hike near Lac du Bourget. If you want to discover the most peaceful part of the lake, you can take a hike along the wild coast of Lac du Bourget. On the west side of the lake, between the village of Bourdeau and Hautecombe Abbey, you'll find mountains that drop sheer into the water, leaving only a few small coves and beaches. Starting from Saint-Pierre-de-Curtille, the walk along the wild coast takes around 5 hours and covers a distance of around 18km.
For the more sporty, you can also embark on a walking tour of Lac du Bourget, which will take 3 to 4 days. With this tour around Lac du Bourget, you can take the time to fully appreciate every corner of the lake at your own pace.
Of course, there are walks for all levels of ability around the lake, and you can also enjoy a leisurely stroll through Aix-les-Bains or Bourget-du-Lac.
Snowshoeing on Lac du Bourget
Hiking enthusiasts visiting Savoie in winter will also find plenty to do thanks to snowshoe trekking at Lac du Bourget! Snowshoes are an essential part of any winter hike, making it easy to get around in the snow.
If there's one snowshoeing itinerary that's not to be missed near Lac du Bourget, it's the Lac du Bourget balconies trail. As the name suggests, this out-and-back route offers superb views of Lac du Bourget from several balconies! Starting from La Féclaz, you'll wind your way through forests and mountain pastures to the Revard lookout. With its 3 pontoons perched above the void, the Revard belvedere is the ideal place to enjoy panoramic views over Lac du Bourget. This 11km route is classified as "difficult", but that's just one option among many!
If you want more choice, you can also simply hire snowshoes in Aix-les-Bains and set off to explore the area a little further away from the lake: the Chartreuse, Belledonne or even the Bauges! In fact, a snowshoe hike in Le Semnoz is a must for a successful stay in Savoie! In short, you're bound to find a snowshoe hike to suit you near Lac du Bourget.
Cycling on Lac du Bourget
With bike hire at Lac du Bourget, you can discover a variety of itineraries suited to your level of ability. Hire an electric bike or mountain bike in Aix-les-Bains, Le Bourget-du-Lac or Chanaz and treat yourself to a moment of sporting discovery in Savoie! Lac du Bourget is bordered by several cycle paths, so it's up to you to decide which route to take!
If you like, you can cycle around Lac du Bourget. This 51km itinerary, with a difference in altitude of 480m, will take you to beaches and harbours, as well as to the lookout point on the Col du Chat climb and many other wonders. And if you prefer a more intense route, try the ascent of the Dent du Chat! This sporty cycling experience promises superb panoramic views once you've reached the summit.
Whatever your level, with bike hire at Lac du Bourget, you can choose your route, stop whenever you like and enjoy total freedom for the duration of your hire. With an electric bike, even the less sporty can cycle a good distance near Lac du Bourget!
Via ferrata on Lac du Bourget
A cross between hiking and climbing, via ferrata at Lac du Bourget is the ideal activity to challenge yourself while enjoying unique views. On your own or with a guide, you can try out two via ferrata routes at Lac du Bourget.
These two courses are located on the wild coast, at the Col du Chat, on the Roc de Cornillon via ferrata at La Chapelle-du-Mont-du-Chat. The first course, "Primevère à oreille d'ours", is named after a rare plant found on the site, and "Rocher du Cornillon" is THE perfect beginners' course. To fully appreciate these via ferrata routes, it's best not to be afraid of heights, as you'll be climbing along a cliff face!
Don't worry, though, as you'll be safe throughout the activity thanks to your helmet and harness attached to a specific shock-absorbing longline. You'll be connected to the lifeline throughout the route, so you can enjoy the activity in complete safety. From the cliff, you'll be able to enjoy unique views of Aix-les-Bains, Chambéry and the Granier without a care in the world! And if you're thinking that this sublime view of the Savoie countryside would be even more beautiful at sunrise, you're not alone: an unusual activity lets you combine via ferrata and a night in a portaldge on a cliff near Entrelacs!
Climbing at Lac du Bourget
Climbing at Lac du Bourget is a more sporting experience, but just as impressive in terms of panoramic views and heights! Once again, you don't need to be afraid of heights! Climbing near Lac du Bourget will give you an incredible view of the lake and its surroundings for an unforgettable moment in Savoie!
With rock climbing at Lac du Bourget, you'll be climbing on rocky terrain, equipped with the right gear to tackle different routes. Climbing is an ideal sport to challenge yourself both physically and mentally, but it can also be an accessible activity depending on the route you choose!
There are two climbing sites on the shores of Lac du Bourget: Baie de Grésine and Brison Grande Falaise. These two climbing sites offer routes of all levels for you to discover, rediscover or even perfect your climbing skills near Lac du Bourget. You'll be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the lake when you reach the top!
Caving at Lac du Bourget
Explore the subterranean world of Savoie caving near Lac du Bourget! To the east of Lac du Bourget you'll find plenty of caves to go caving in. However, there are 3 caves closer to the lake: the grotte de la porte cochère, the Creux de la Cavale and the réseau du Garde, for discovery, sport and exploration levels respectively. So there's something for everyone if you want to go caving near Lac du Bourget!
Thanks to caving, you can discover a totally unique universe, another world populated by an alien ecosystem. In fact, you won't just be in a cave, you'll be in a time capsule in which it's very easy to lose track of time. The landscapes will be constantly changing and will bear no resemblance to those you've seen on the surface!
Caving at Lac du Bourget is a chance for all levels to explore the caves of Savoie!
Canyoning near Lac du Bourget
If you want to go canyoning near Lac du Bourget, you'll have to head for the Bauges massif, around 35 minutes' drive from Aix-les-Bains. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Bauges Massif is a collection of peaks, meadows and forests that conceal a host of lush green canyons!
Discover canyoning in the Bauges with professional instructors in the Ternèze canyon near Chambéry! This family-friendly canyon offers all the typical canyoning obstacles: jumps, slides, swimming, abseiling, and even a siphon for those who want it! The Ternèze canyon has the advantage of being simple, short and accessible to children aged 8 and over.
For a more challenging canyoning trip, you can also choose the Pont du Diable canyon. Its course features some pretty jumps of up to 10 metres, several slides and abseiling between 2 cliffs over 20 metres high!
The best aerial activities over Lac du Bourget
If you want to enjoy the best views of Lac du Bourget, aerial activities are a must! Flying over the lake will give you a unique and totally different view of Savoie. What's more, whatever your level of fitness, there's something for everyone: paragliding, panoramic flights, hot-air ballooning!
Take a hot-air balloon ride over Lac du Bourget
Wake up early and set off on a hot-air balloon flight! You'll enjoy a poetic and serene moment as the sun rises, and you're sure to share a wonderful experience with your loved ones thanks to hot-air ballooning over Lac du Bourget. Accessible to people with reduced mobility, hot-air ballooning is a calm activity that doesn't make you feel dizzy. You'll be amazed by the magnificent landscapes of Savoie and enjoy the fresh mountain air in complete tranquillity!
For your hot-air balloon flight over Lac du Bourget, take off from Lavours, to the north-west of the lake. Whatever the season, you can take part in this activity to admire Savoie, its autumn colours, its summer sunrises or its snow-covered landscapes in winter! The hot-air balloon flight begins with a briefing, followed by the inflation of the balloon. You'll then take off for a hot-air balloon ride of around 1 to 1? hours over Lac du Bourget!
Take a paragliding flight over Lac du Bourget
Paragliding over Lac du Bourget is the perfect way to take to the skies above Savoie from the top of a mountain! Accompanied by a professional instructor, all you have to do when you take off is run a few metres and then let the wind take you! The instructor will take care of the piloting and all you have to do is enjoy the scenery!
Departing from Chindrieux, near Aix-les-Bains, you can enjoy a first paragliding experience over Lac du Bourget and take to the skies from the Col du Sapenay. What's more, different flight options are available, so you can enjoy a calm, contemplative experience or, on the contrary, a more acrobatic flight to get some adrenalin pumping! A paragliding flight in Savoie will leave you with beautiful memories, and you'll probably want to take to the skies again to discover breathtaking aerial views!
Take a paramotor flight over Lac du Bourget
If paragliding seems too traditional for you, why not try a paramotor flight over Lac du Bourget? A paramotor flight in Savoie is an opportunity to discover an activity that's not very common, but far more original! Unlike paragliders, paramotors have an engine connected to a propeller that allows the pilot to take off from any open spot. You don't need a mountain to take off, so you can try paramotoring from flat ground with no problem!
Come and discover this unique craft at Lavours and take to the skies with a professional pilot who holds a civil aviation diploma! With your feet in the air, you'll sit in front of the pilot in a harness or trolley and experience an original way of flying thanks to the paramotor above Lac du Bourget! As with paragliding, there are different flights for different experiences: discovery, sensation or adrenalin. Like hot-air ballooning, paramotoring is accessible to people with reduced mobility!
Take a microlight flight over Lac du Bourget
Also accessible to people with reduced mobility, a panoramic flight over Lac du Bourget in a microlight is sure to contribute to a successful stay in Savoie. For example, you can take a multi-axis microlight flight near Aix-les-Bains for a comfortable experience that's sure to amaze you! Sheltered from the wind in the cabin of this small two-seater aircraft, you can enjoy a superb view of the peaks surrounding the lake, such as the Dent du Chat and Mont Revard, as well as the town of Aix-les-Bains.
If you'd like to feel the wind against your skin and enjoy a more open-air experience, then a tilting microlight flight over Lac du Bourget should be just what you're looking for! With this unique craft called a powered hang glider, you'll really feel like you're flying like a bird! As with paragliding, you'll be accompanied by a state-qualified instructor who'll take care of everything! Your only job is to enjoy the view!
The panoramic flight over Lac du Bourget is a great experience not to be missed if you want to enjoy aerial views with ease!
Parachute jumping over Lac du Bourget
Not satisfied with just a bird's eye view? Do you want to experience a much more extreme adrenalin rush than you get from a sensational paragliding or microlight flight? Then you've got to try skydiving in Savoie! A parachute jump over Lac du Bourget is guaranteed to be an unforgettable, adrenalin-fuelled experience!
From Voglans, south of Lac du Bourget, you can embark on the incredible experience of parachute jumping! With a tandem parachute jump from 4000 m, you'll experience the sensation of free-falling at a speed of 200 km/h! Although extreme, skydiving is accessible to anyone aged 15 and over who wants to experience it for themselves! Once again, the activity can be adapted for people with reduced mobility.
What are you waiting for? Try skydiving in Savoie at least once in your life and experience a sensational moment you won't soon forget!
So, what outdoor activities will you be doing at Lac du Bourget?
As you can see, Lac du Bourget is full of outdoor activities to make your stay in Savoie a success! Whether it's on land, in the water or in the air, there's something for everyone! In addition to these outdoor activities, a stay near Lac du Bourget will allow you to focus on your well-being in a region with a rich history and culture, while savouring delicious Savoyard dishes!
While most water activities are ideal for the summer season, you can enjoy land and air activities all year round. The big advantage of aerial activities is that they are often accessible to people with reduced mobility, a real asset in allowing them to enjoy the incredible views over Lac du Bourget.
What about you? Do you already know which outdoor activity you'll choose for your next trip to the region? Land, water or air? Or one of each? From Lyon, Annecy, Grenoble or even further afield, plan your getaway to Lac du Bourget now. It's easy, now you know which are the best outdoor activities to do at Lac du Bourget for a successful stay in Savoie!