We invite you to come and explore the waters of Grenoble Alpes, at the rivers, streams and lakes in the area.


calm and turbulent waters

The rivers and streams of Grenoble Alpes have shaped the area, from the plains to the mountains. People then built the town in this vast plain surrounded by staggering peaks. Since then, the waters have been under control and the city has expanded. Three rivers cross through the area: the Drac and the Romanche which flow into the Isère.

There are also countless streams winding around the mountains and valleys. The mountain lakes glisten in the sun and are beautiful additions, dotted all over the area.

vue ville rivière verdure entre les immeubles montagnes verdoyantes
Soleil couchant sur l'embarcadère d'aviron Isère


This river whose name was given to the department, crosses through the Grenoble valley and provides the city with its strategic position between the 3 surrounding massifs: Vercors, Chartreuse and Belledonne.

The Isère has shaped Grenoble Alpes with its winding path, and to admire it up close, we suggest going canoeing down this natural river. This activity is only available during the summer season.

If you come to visit Grenoble, you will most definitely have to cross the Isère at some point, either by gliding up over it in the cable car, or walking over one of the bridges to get to Saint-Laurent dock. Come and experience Grenoble’s version of ‘La Dolce Vita‘ in this historic part of Grenoble, with its colourful buildings and countless restaurant terraces, many of them Italian.




Whether you are in the plain or the mountains, why not take a walk along the smaller waterways? In the summer, these waterways are popular with visitors looking to cool off, and the comforting sound of running water and the gushing waterfalls provide a festival of sounds along the way.



Here the natural environment is a bountiful one, with bodies of water of all shapes and sizes, including ponds, marshland, lakes, mountain lakes, peatland, etc. Some of them have been transformed into leisure complexes, beaches, relaxation areas, and picnic areas. Some are natural, others are man-made, some can only be admired from a distance, but at all of them, you’re guaranteed to have a great time.

Plan d'eau de Valbonnais © Matheysine Tourisme
Bois Français © Grenoble-Alpes Métropole Franck Crispin

Just for fun, come and try the water sports available on the Lac de Monteynard , the second windiest lake in Europe, and let yourself be carried away on a windsurf or kitesurf.

Go for a swim at the Bois Français leisure complex. Here, every lake has its activity. Go canoeing, kayaking or rowing on Lac Vercors, fishing and bird watching on the Lac de Belledonne and water skiing (with jumps), slalom and wakeboarding on the Lac de Chartreuse.

There are other lakes that offer leisure activities such as the Lac de Laffrey , at Cholonge leisure complex. You can go for a refreshing swim in most of the lakes.

Come and see for yourself the crystal-clear waters of the Lac de Paladru or Valbonnais . They are very different, one is a lively place with campsites, restaurants and boats, and the other is a peaceful haven of greenery.


Discover the lakes around Grenoble



Most of them are not as easy to access but they are treasures that should be protected, and they are just as beautiful, nestled in the mountains. Getting to them might be an effort, but you will most definitely be rewarded.

Mountain lakes in the Belledonne massif


Before setting off into the mountains, make sure you check the weather forecast and leave well-equipped.

Find out more about tips for a successful mountain outing

Lacs du plateau Matheysin © Images et Reves
Lac des Cordeliers



The riversides of the Isère, of the Drac and the Romanche are partly arranged in bike paths or lanes, you can chose one of the cycle loops. Follow the rivers on easy routes without steep incline. The most motivated could tear up the kilometres on the Belle Via.  



Waters rolling down the mountain torrents have shaped gorges into limestone crags in which the canyon enthusiasts experience sensations: waterfall jumping, rappelling, basins (big natural pools)… Close to the city, come and test this living waters sport.

Start carefully with the help of a guide.

Canyoning © Inspiration Vercors Alexandre Gelin