Lake Serre-Poncon visitor guide

Photo of Lake Serre-Poncon

Visit Lake Serre-Poncon, France

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The Lac de Serre-Poncon in the Alps is one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe, and surrounded by hills and mountains from which you can get stunning views over the lake. The lake is on the border between two departments; the Hautes-Alpes and the Alpes-de-Haut-Provence.

Explore the Lake Serre-Poncon

The Lac de Serre-Poncon is a huge lake which is fed by the river Durance and the river Ubaye. Much of the lake is in the Hautes-Alpes department and the lake-side villages are excellent bases for lots of water sports.

The section of the lake jutting out to the Ubaye valley in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department is more rugged with walls of rock dropping steeply into the water, resembling the rugged coastline of Corsica.

Beach on Lake Serre Poncon

There is a road running along the southern edge of the lake from Embrun towards Barcelonnette which offers some absolutely fabulous views of these two different parts of the lake so if you have the opportunity be sure to do this drive. For those of you with motorhomes there are lots of small parking areas which would make fabulous overnight stops.

At the western edge of the lake you an see the barrage (dam) which you can also  visit if you want. Near to here at Rousset there is a view point which gives some stunning views over the lake. The nearby 'Museoscope du Lac' is a museum providing information about the building of the dam which is the biggest in Europe.

The village of Savines-le-Lac, about half way round the Lake de Serre-Poncon on the southern side, is one of the main centres for water-sports on the lake. You can take a boat tour from here around the lake or you can try sailing, windsurfing, water-skiing or wake-boarding.


The villages of Crots and Chorges also offer various water-related activities.

Savines-le-lac is in fact a re-creation of the village of Savines that was flooded to create the lake. You can still see its church, la Chapelle Saint Michel, which once sat above the village on a hill-top and now sits on a small island in the lake.

Embrun on the eastern edge of the lake sits on the hillside above the lake and is a good size if you are looking for bars, restaurants or a few shops - it is an attractive small town worthy of a visit.

Lake Serre Poncon

Places to visit nearby

Just north of the Lake de Serre-Poncon you can visit the fortress-village of Mont-Dauphin designed by France's famous military architect Vauban. As well as seeing the fortress, a UNESCO site as one of Vauban's military buildings, the mountain views are stupendous.

See more scenic highlights in France. You can find more travel ideas in the Hautes-Alpes guide and the Provence guide.

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The historic centre of Embrun is usually visited at the same time as the leisure lake of Lac de Serre Poncon

Embrun guide


In the mountain village of Seyne you can see various parts of the medieval defences that once stood here, and a pretty village

Seyne-les-Alpes guide


Not a major tourist destination, in Gap we suggest you take a stroll around the attractive Place Jean-Marcellin

Gap guide


The fortified mountain town of Briancon, one of the highest towns in Europe, is dominated by its historic fortifications

Mont-Dauphin guide


Barcelonnette has an attractive town centre, and also a good number of substantial 'Mexican villas' adding character to the town

Barcelonnette guide
Vallee de l\'Ubaye

Vallee de l'Ubaye

Starting near the Lac de Poncon, the Vallée de l'Ubaye is one of the scenic highlights in the Alps

Vallee de l'Ubaye guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Hautes-Alpes

The French version of this page is at Lake Serre-Poncon (Francais)