In Haute-Savoie, at an altitude of 1,266 metres, is the Lac Vert. This natural lake of about ten hectares is located in the municipality of Passy, between Sallanches and Chamonix.
Lac Vert in Chamonix
The Lac Vert offers the possibility to walk all around it during the summer period. It presents an abundance of flora and fauna and a majestic view of the Alps.
The special feature of this lake is its emerald colour, hence its name: Lac Vert, which is French for “Green Lake”.
What you need to know about the Lac Vert in Chamonix
Located in the French region of Haute-Savoie, the Lac Vert is a natural lake situated in the municipality of Passy. This listed site is in a beautiful forested setting looking towards the Fiz mountain range and facing Mont Blanc.
According to the Office National des Forêts (National Forest Authority), the Lac Vert was formed during the Dérochoir landslide in the 15th century. Later, other landslides would have embellished this lake with its numerous emerged rocks.
Local legend has it that long ago a white chamois, the king of the mountains, roamed the mountain of Platé. But one winter day, a hunter from Chamonix killed him with his rifle.
When the Good Lady of the Mountain heard of his death, she went to the place where he was killed. Deeply saddened, she shed an emerald green tear and that is how the colour of the lake came to be.
The Lac Vert is a small, quiet piece of paradise, ideal for nice walks and relaxation. It is possible to walk around it in 15 minutes in the summer, in a magnificent setting, with beautiful views of the water’s emerald colour and of Mont Blanc.
A walk around the lake allows you to see question and answer posters hanging from the trees, which will be of interest to all generations.
Visitors come with their families or friends to enjoy the lake’s shores for a picnic, to relax surrounded by greenery, to take advantage of the orientation trail or to play in the shade of the forest.
Unfortunately, swimming is not allowed, as the ecosystems of mountain lakes are very fragile.
Fishing enthusiasts can also come here to fish for trout, with a fishing permit.
It is possible to eat at the restaurant located opposite the Lac Vert. Access to Lac Vert is free and open all year round, depending on weather conditions.
Pets are allowed, provided they are kept on a leash.
How to get to Lac Vert?
The Lac Vert is accessible by car, with free parking very close to the lake. It will then take you about 15 minutes to walk to Lac Vert.
The quickest way to get to Lac Vert from Chamonix is by car, which takes 45 minutes.
From Passy, you can park at the Plaine Joux car park for a short hike or take the free shuttle bus which runs regularly.
Hiking to the Lac Vert in Chamonix
There are several hikes to the Lac Vert. Here are some of them, accessible in summer and in winter:
The Lac Vert Loop hike
A short and easy hike that can be done with your family to reach the Lac Vert. Approximately 3.7 kilometres long and taking 1 hour, this hike is open and practicable all year round (with hiking shoes or snowshoes).
From Plaine-Joux, you go down by the road and then by the paths in the forest, following the signs. You will reach the Lac Vert from above.
In the summer, the lake can be circumnavigated in about 15 minutes. You will enjoy the magical colour of the water and the reflections of the alpine peaks.
The return journey is made from the car park of the Lac Vert restaurant, go up towards the Châtelet d’Ayères refuge following the track and turn left to go above the lake and reach Plaine-joux.
The Servoz – Lac Vert hike
A beautiful and simple hike of about 1 hour and 50 minutes for 4.2 kilometres, accessible in summer and winter. Starting from Servoz, this path allows you to go up to the Lac Vert, around it and back down. All this with magical views of the surrounding mountains and Mont Blanc.
From the locality of La Côte, in Servoz, follow the path marked out in pink with the drawing of snowshoes.
For a variation, it is also possible to add 1h30 of walking by going up from the Vieux Servoz, the westernmost car park.
Plateau d’Assy to Lac Vert via the passerelle du Nant Bordon
An easy walk that can be done with the whole family, lasting 2 hours and 40 minutes for 10 kilometres. This hike combines walking, culture and visual pleasure with exceptional panoramas of Mont Blanc, in particular.
From the car park at Place Tobé, at the bottom of the Notre-Dame-de-Toute-Grâce church, a forest footpath leads to Contemporary Sculpture Route, an open-air museum which contains around fifteen monumental works.
Then you will cross the passerelle du Nant Bordon (Nant Bordon footbridge) which stands 20 metres above a stream. Continue along the old road which will take you to the Lac Vert.
Finally, retrace your steps or follow the path to the Plaine-Joux car park, before crossing the footbridge again and returning to the starting point.