Lac de Pierre-Châtel

Matheysine, France

A stone's throw from Grenoble, this lake is part of an "archipelago of lakes" which also includes the lakes of Laffrey, Pétichet and the lac Mort. The Lac de Pierre-Châtel, also called Lac des Cordeliers, is located at an altitude of 930m. From Grenoble it only takes about thirty minutes to get there, which makes it one of the favourite places for Grenoble residents during the hot summer months.

Signs indicate that swimming is prohibited but it is completely tolerated and no one will ever tell you anything. Most of the lake is bordered by a forest except for one part which is more accessible than the rest and which has been developed. In particular the car park and the large lawn next to the campsite which is the only easily accessible place.

The water is clear and access is very easy even for children. The lake is only 11 metres deep at most, despite its surface area of about 100 hectares.

In summer, some people spend the night there and it is not uncommon to come across a few tents, trucks and motorhomes.


The lakefront is very well laid out and has everything you need to have a good time. A large lawn, picnic tables, barbecues, toilets and a petanque ground. There is also a large parking lot and garbage cans.


Navigation is prohibited on this lake. Fishing is allowed. The lake is mainly populated by Carp, Whitefish and Trout

How to get here

Access is via the national road 85, more commonly known as the Napoleon road, in about thirty minutes from Grenoble. Beware of the Laffrey ramp in summer, it is quite steep and in summer it is not uncommon to see cars stopped, smoking engine, on the side road.