Lakes in the Drôme

Drôme, a department in southeastern France located in the pre-Alps, might have been named after the eponymous river, but its indisputable highlight are lakes.

In Drôme the climate is affected both by the influx of the warm air masses from the Mediterranean south and the colder climate to the north. With average July temperatures staying at the comfortable 26 °C, the local lakes are just the perfect destination for an enjoyable mid-summer weekend. After having visited Drôme’s notable landmarks, visiting its delightful wineries and walking through its charming villages, set on exploring Drôme’s beautiful lakes.

Drôme boasts several big lakes and innumerable smaller ponds, many of which have comfortable swimming areas, beaches and are equipped with designated picnic areas – one doesn’t need to try too hard to have a great time during a camping holiday!

Here, we have come up with a comprehensive guide to Drôme’s most popular lakes, ponds, suitable for swimming, as well as water parks and leisure centers.

Vernets Lake

Located in the middle of a stunningly beautiful park, Lac des Vernets is situated in Saint-Barthélemy-de-Vals, and takes just over an hour to reach from Les Bastets campsite. It has a beach, the water quality is excellent, while the swimming area is supervised. Also available are catering services, a picnic area and a fitness trail. In summer, a leisure park opens here. Head to Vernets for incredible views and safe swimming.

Lake Champos

An impressive 9-hectare lake in the middle of wilderness. Don’t think twice about coming here with children: the lake has everything that’s needed for a comfortable stay are provided here, and the swimming area is supervised. You can also request slides for your children to have even more fun. Lake Champos is located near Saint-Donat-sur-l’Herbasse about 80 kilometers north to the Bastets.

The Pas des Ondes

The Pas des Ondes consists of two parts: a poetically shady swimming area and a fishing pond – here’s your idea for a romantic weekend. The lake known for its clear water is located in Cornillon-sur-l’Oule within one-hour drive from the Drôme Les Bastets campsite.

Pignedoré lake

Located in Pierrelate, within a 45-minute drive from the 4-star Les Bastets campsite, Lake Pignedoré is an artificial lake which has a large beach for swimming, a skatepark, a cycle path and offers health courses. Enjoy the high-quality water here and visit the crocodile farm close by.

Father Eugene’s pond

From the Drôme Les Bastets campsite, it takes a 40-minute car drive to get to Beaumont-les-Valence where the pond is located. The water here is exceptional: enjoy swimming, go fishing for trout, or play mini golf while enjoying the view over the lake.

Other popular swimming areas in Drôme include the blue lakes near Menglon, the Montmeillan lake in Montélimar and the Luc-en-Diois reservoir. Keep in mind that to access most of them you will need to pay an entrance fee.

If you are travelling with children, you will find several waterfront parks for them to swim and have fun safely. At Lac des Vernets, there is the popular Slides Park where you will find an obstacle course, a giant slide and even a climbing wall. Then, the Froggie’s Park in Châteauneuf-sur-Isère and the leisure center of Montélimar are child-friendly and safe. If you are looking for something closer to your location, remember that there also are the Sagitaire leisure center in Vinsobres and Nyonsoleïado in Nyons.