A last minute summer dip at Lac des Sapins – Beaujolais, France

Lac des Sapins

As the summer heat of Lyon drew to an end and because we love all things hot, sunny and water, we thought it was aptly time to visit the biological pools of Lac des Sapins in the Beajoulais hills.  We visited Lac des Sapins as a day trip from Lyon and spent an afternoon swimming. There are activities on offer such as sailing, windsurfing, volleyball, horse trekking and walks but we didn’t do these as the weather changed and it started raining.

Lac des Sapins

Lac des Sapins from the south entrance

Lac des sapins

Lac des Sapins from the north entrance

Horse trekking at Lac des Sapins

Getting there from Lyon

Neither the actual address or the GPS position of Lac des Sapins can be found on the official website, but Google Maps (thank goodness for Google Maps) reliably informed me that the road is called Meyre, 69550, Cublize, 46.011185, 4.374439.  From the northern suburbs of Lyon, it took us just over an hour to get there and was approximately 65km.

The Lake

Lac des Sapins, literally translated into English as ‘the lake of the fir-trees’, is an artificial lake which was built in 1967 to attract and develop the tourist industry after it started to decline in rural areas.  In the early 1980’s a camp site was developed which was so popular it was extended and refurbished with chalets and caravans in the 1990’s.

There are two entrances for the lake; the southern entrance gives access to walks, boat hire and petanque whilst the north entrance gives access to the bio pool and swimming areas.

At the southern end of the lake are a car park, various walks, picnic tables and petanque areas. This is where the pedalos and boats are rented from.  The car park is post-paid and is charged at 50c an hour however entrance to the park and lake is free.

The swimming area for the lake is at the northern top corner and is cordoned off to protect against the boats.  There’s a large sandy beach and volleyball area and various fast-food restaurants surrounding it. The area is mostly board-walked which can be quite hot during summer months, so make sure to take foot wear.  There are lots of natural flowers growing such as lavender and bull marshes as well as all the trees.

The lake from the north entrance

The whole area is board-walked.

Board walked area

Sanded area

Lac des Sapins

You can rent pedalo boats

Sandy beach area

The view of the lake from the fast food restaurants

Baignade Biologique

The bio pool and the lake are next door to each other, located on the northern shores of the lakes.

The bio pools are open between June and September. Opening times are here.  To enter the bio pools, you’re required to pay an entrance fee as well as parking.  Entrance for adults is €4 and children €3.

The pools are divided into depth areas which are all manned by a number of lifeguards. There is a very shallow area for small children, a waist level area for larger children and then a deeper pool of 2m.

There is a huge area of grass land where you can sit and even a few changing rooms and gendered toilets. The main pool is deep enough to jump and there are a number of diving blocks.

A very rare family photo

Rich and Imogen

Jumping in

Biological pool, Lac des Sapins

Getting read to snorkel in the bio pool

Jumping in

Shallow area of bio pool


Bull marshes growing in the bio pool

Bio pool, Lac des Sapins

Colour of the water

Lac des Sapins

Diving blocks and showers

Diving under the water


Play park

As the day progressed and the clouds moved in, it seemed a shame to go home so we spent some time playing in the park.

Play park



There are a number of restaurants and bars on site. These mostly sell pizza, baskets of chips and hot dogs etc.

We took a picnic as did many others.


All photos taken with my youngest daughter’s Nikon Coolpix S33 which is a waterproof, shockproof, 13MP point and shoot camera.


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