Places to swim near Bordeaux

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Do you want to swim near Bordeaux, without having to face the ocean waves? In the rivers and lakes of the Gironde, you will find an alternative to the sea.

The leisure centers are little paradises for having fun and enjoying the water with your family. Swimming is often supervised there, facilities are provided for all ages and the environment is idyllic for relaxing by the water. We take you around the freshwater bodies in Gironde.


Opening photo: ©   Drew Dau Unsplash


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Cool off on the lakes of the Bordeaux conurbation

If you are staying in Bordeaux, spending a day in Bordeaux-Lac is a very exotic nature outing. You can swim in the demarcated area reserved for swimming. The Sailing Center gives you the opportunity to introduce yourself to this activity. The forest path that goes around it is also a very pleasant walk.

Lac de Bègles opens during the summer season. Swimming is supervised there. You have the choice between a sandy beach and a lawn to relax. On site, you benefit from all the necessary comforts: sanitary facilities, cabins, sports fields, canoe rental, paddle boarding, etc.

Have fun at the leisure centers of the Grands Lacs du Médoc

A series of lakes and ponds runs along the Gironde coast. From north to south, the lakes of Carcans-Hourtin, Lacanau and the lake of Cazaux are part of the great lakes of the Médoc. The Lac de Carcans-Hourtin is a beautiful natural lake. To swim, go to the beach at Port d'Hourtin. Nautical and leisure center, restaurants and sanitary facilities, it is very comfortable. A space with water games is also reserved for children. On Lake Lacanau, the beaches of Moutchic or Grande Escoure are well equipped, with water sports clubs. The southern part of the lake is wilder and more natural. On the pond of Cazaux and Sanguinet, there are plenty of activities: swimming, water sports, fishing spots... During the summer, the beaches of Cazaux-Lac and Laouga are equipped with games and activities for the children.  

In the Arcachon Basin, in Gujan-Mestras, the Magdeleine lake is a family place. Out of season, it is a fishing lake, with ducks and swans. At the edge of the lake and in the undergrowth, you will find a shaded play area and a picnic area, with sanitary facilities. In summer, children will love the Mini Port Pirate, which offers boat trips on the lake.


Lac Carcan Hourtin
Lac Carcan Hourtin

Lac Carcan Hourtin © Guide Bordeaux Gironde

Bathing in the river on the Isle and the Dronne, in the Libournais

The Libournais is a country of fresh water! L'Isle is a tributary of the Dordogne, which winds quietly through this wine-growing territory. In Saint-Seurin-sur-L'Isle, the Charbonnière leisure center has a beautiful beach, for wading in the river. On site, you have access to a picnic area, a play area for children and you can go canoeing on the Isle.

Coutras is the seat of the confluence of the Isle and the Dronne, a sub-tributary of the Dordogne. The Dronne is a river with very green surroundings. The Coutras nautical base benefits from this privileged environment. You will practice various board sports: canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding. To have fun with your family, we recommend that you visit the “ Au P'tit Cro-Magnon ” multi-activity site.

The Dagueys Natural Site is an International Nautical Pole, equipped for competition. You might be able to break swimming records there! During the summer, it hosts a leisure center, with a supervised swimming area. It is also a famous fishing spot. While strolling on its discovery trail, you will have lots of information on this protected natural space, its fauna and flora.


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Take a river trip on the Dordogne and Garonne, in Entre-deux-Mers

To discover the Dordogne or the Garonne, nothing like a boat trip. You will see magnificent landscapes, while enjoying the gentle freshness of the water. You can take a boat trip from Libourne. The Bec d'Ambès is the confluence of the Dordogne and Garonne rivers. There is no better point of view to admire the mouth of the Gironde and observe the Tidal Bore, an exceptional phenomenon. You can soak your feet in the water, but swimming is not recommended due to the currents. To swim or practice nautical activities, you have to go to the Beaujet leisure center. It is located in Ambarès-et-Lagraves on the lake of the Blanche.

A little further in the lands of Entre-Deux-Mers, the Domaine Département de Blasimon is a green setting that frames a large lake. A water sports base is set up there during the summer. The site is preserved, with different wetlands: reed bed, charmaie, meadow… that you can walk on a discovery trail.


Boat trip from Libourne

You can take boat trips from Libourne. © Guide Bordeaux Gironde

Relax by the lakes of the south of the Gironde and Haute-Lande

The Valley and the Gorges du Ciron are characterized by lush vegetation. The forest cover extends over the river. Thus the banks are always shaded and the setting is bucolic. It is a very pleasant place during the hot summer days.

To find a more Landes atmosphere, the Domaine des Lacs d'Hostens is located in the heart of the pine forest. At Lac de Lamothe, you can swim, canoe or take a pedal boat ride. Swimming is supervised and you can relax on its sandy beach, in peace.


Hostens Lake

Hostens Lake and its beaches. © Larrousiney CC BY-SA 3.0

Enjoy the natural spaces and lakes of Blayais

In the Blayais, in Saint-Christoly-de-Blaye, the “ Lacs du Moulin Blanc ” site is a very pleasant natural area for a day out with the family. In a forest estate, you enjoy a fishing lake and a leisure center. Swimming is supervised and swimming lessons are organized there. It is very well equipped, with picnic tables, a playground, a pétanque court, a sports course... You can also rent a pedal boat to go around the lake.


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Here is our tour of the water bodies of the Gironde which ends. We hope to have made you want to swim and have fun with your family around Bordeaux.


Did you like our article? Find more on our Blog. Follow us on the Bordeaux Gironde Guide Facebook page and on Instagram @guidebordeauxgironde


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