Lakes and Swimming
Flying over the region, you’ll see a thousand glittering pools of water, from small duck ponds to huge lakes inviting you into their waters.
Le plateau de Millevaches – meaning the land of high water in the ancient language of occitane has two regional nature reserves, and because of the beautiful lakes and plentiful forest is regarded as the “lungs of France”.
Aside from the natural beauty, the area’s assets mean that that there are great opportunities for adventure (kayaking, hiking, riding swimming) or simply a relaxing day out by the waterside.
From the Chateau a trip to the Beach!
The great advantage of lake swimming is its relative safety, unlike the sea where you have to worry about currents and tides, and often strong winds and waves, the lakes of our region offer calm tranquil waters and pretty, unpolluted beaches. In ecological terms, enjoying a day at a lake has the tiniest impact versus the chemicals and heating footprint of a swimming pool.
At the Chateau, we have a small swimming lake good for a dip in the afternoon sunshine, but more suited to older children and adults. For younger children and those wanting a “proper” swim to work up an appetite for dinner, we’d recommend the Plan d’eau (swimming lake) at St Martin Terressus which is less than 5 minutes away by car. It’s lovely and has a sandy beach and a small kiosk for ice lollies etc in the summer. There is also the shady Lac Jonas near Ambazac (some 10 minutes from the Chateau) good for hotter days. It’s a larger tree lined lake which also has a nice sandy beach and picnic tables.
For swimming and water sports there is Lac St Pardoux (20 minutes away) where there are three different beaches and two large and imaginative play areas, a water slide, beach volleyball courts, tennis courts and walking and cycle trails.
A must is definitely the impressive Lac de Vassivière, one of the largest lakes in Europe, with an island and arts centre including an interesting sculpture park. The lake has a free water taxi, which is a great way to see the sights. There are several beaches and water sports bases, where you can rent equipment or have lessons, walking and cycling trails.