There’s no better place to be on a sunny day in the mountains than hanging out by a stunning bathing lake – and Lake Montriond, near Morzine, is my favourite. The views over the turquoise lake, surrounded by steep cliffs and green forest, will leave you speechless. And there’s so much to do here it’s the perfect place for anyone to spend a full day.
Take a walk (around 40 minutes), or we often jog with the dog, right round the lake to give you a good look from all incredible angles before settling on your spot. Kayaks and stand-up paddle boards are available to hire for about €15ph. The hire office is just under the stunning Domaine du Baron – a modern looking building with a glass wall looking out over the lake that’s really popular as a wedding venue.
If you’ve brought the kids you’ll want to base yourselves around the little bathing pool. It’s separated from the lake by a path and quite shallow throughout. The water runs into the lake down a little rock pool waterfall which kids love playing in and there are a few trees for shade. In July and August there’s a lifeguard on duty.
If you want some peace and quiet to bask in the sun there are plenty of little nooks to lay your towel in all round the lake, or lovely open grassy areas. When the heat gets too much just jump in the lake to cool off! The water is cooler than that of the bathing pool, but not too cold and floating around on a lilo is bliss. Locals organise regular mass float events where groups gather to bob around on the water with a beer – great fun (though of course one must float and drink responsibly).
There are toilets near the car park and restaurants at each end of the lake. The restaurant on the far side is particularly friendly and good value – I recommend the trout or the plat du jour with a little carafe on the sun terrace. The restaurant just next to the Domaine du Baron does lovely ice creams and sometimes offers oyster and wine platters – yum! You’re very welcome in France to pull up in the camper and stay overnight and light your BBQ, which is exactly what we did last night. Once the crowds have gone home for dinner and the sun’s starting to set over the mountains, you can have the view almost to yourselves – a really special moment.
Another really stunning view is available if you drive on past the lake and a little further up the mountain to Lindaret, or the goat village. You’ll know when you’re there as you’re likely to be stopped by the goats that roam freely. Park up and walk out along a little track and just 2 minutes away, around the corner, you’ll discover this magical sundowner spot (pictured below). A huge stone table and bench perfect for picnic-ing sit beside a stunning waterfall (it runs in early season and dries up later on). The view over the valley and Lake Montriond are…well, I’m lost for words again. It’s all so Instagram-worthy with no filter needed!
If you have a dog they need to be on a lead round the lake at peak times and if it’s busy they won’t be allowed at the bathing pool – but you’ve got plenty more lake and forest to enjoy! If you’re staying in Montriond, or even Morzine, there’s a lovely hiking route up to the lake taking you through the cool, shady forest. Following signs to the lake from Montriond, when you get to the second roundabout before the hill turn right and the track is signposted on your left down the road there. Keep going on that walking route past the lake and it’ll take you to a pretty waterfall. We’ve done a really memorable hiking route that took us up around the other side of the lake too – signposted if you look on your left from the road, opposite the Domaine du Baron.