Property with a Lake in France

Buying a French property with a lake isn’t just for romantics – it can also provide an excellent business opportunity in a beautiful setting. Astute owners can combine business with pleasure and provide fishing accommodation for paying guests.

Carp fishing in France is big business so if your lake comes stocked with trophy carp then you are halfway there. All the better if you’ve also got tench, roach, pike and sander; you can get your hands on some small fishing boats and you can offer either gîte or chambres d’hôte accommodation. Could you get planning permission for lakeside chalets and permits for day/night fishing? Could you install holding tanks for fish breeding and create a fish farm?

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A property with a lake is not suitable for families with small children; and if you’re buying a French property with the intention of adding a lake then you should know that a lake over 1,000 m2 requires planning permission.

If you’re confused by metric measurements when comparing lake sizes remember that 4,000m2 is approximately 1 acre and 10,000m2 is a hectare. If in doubt use the French Property Centre Area Converter Tool.

Some regions of France are more blessed with lakes than others; the Brenne regional nature park in the Indre department of the Centre region has more than two thousand lakes of all shapes and sizes.

Instead of buying a property with a private lake, you might choose to buy near a publicly owned lake with watersports facilities, swimming and fishing. Close proximity to these lakes – some even have beaches and restaurants – can boost rental income considerably.The four great natural lakes in Haute Savoie – Lake Geneva, Lac du Bourget, Lac d’Annecy and Lac d’Aiguebelette offer crystal clear alpine water and, between them, every conceivable watersport. Buying a lakeside property here could be very good for business.

In the heart of Burgundy there is excellent fishing in the Lac de Pannecière and the other man-made lakes of the Morvan regional nature park. There is waterskiing and windsurfing in the Lac du Der-Chantecoq in Champagne-Ardenne - also an important centre for migrating birds. In the nearby Forêt d’Orient there are three lakes specifically dedicated to motorised watersports, non-motorised watersports, and birdwatching and fishing. Also perfect for water sports enthusiasts and nature lovers is the Lac d’Hourtin-Carcans north-west of Bordeaux in the Aquitaine region.

In the Limousin, the 1,000 hectare Lac de Vassivière straddles the Haute-Vienne and Creuse border and is a haven for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders with 300 km of footpaths and bridleways. There is sailing, windsurfing, motor-boat racing, water-skiing, canoeing and kayaking; and there are six family friendly sandy beaches. The lake is stocked with pike, sander, roach, carp and tench and it can be fished all year round. What’s more, many of the surrounding rivers and streams are stocked with trout!

Nearer Limoges is the 330 hectares of Lac de St Pardoux where the lake’s three ‘resorts’ Chabannes, Santrop et Freaudour come with sandy beaches and a host of family friendly activities. Lac St Pardoux is a mere 10 minutes from the motorway and about 30 minutes drive to Limoges airport. A little to the north is Bessines, which has a small lake with a sandy beach (supervised in summer) and excellent fishing. There are also lakes at Bort les Orgues and Lac du Causse.

The Corrèze department of Limousin has more than 30 supervised swimming areas in its numerous man-made lakes. The Lac de Miel at Beynat and the Lac de Neuvic have both been awarded the coveted Blue Flag for the cleanliness of their waters.

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