Lake Monteynard-Avignonet lies between the two territories, the Trièves and Matheysine. Located 25 km from Grenoble, this artificial water reservoir with its imposing dam is an oasis for surfing and sailing activities (kitesurfing, windsurfing, wingfoil, sailing dinghies…). Its turquoise waters have made it famous, as well as the Lake’s Himalayan footbridge trail with not one but two bridges,which is absolutely  unique in Europe! Other activities on offer include paddleboarding, fishing and mountain biking…

A short history of Lake Monteynard-Avignonet

Lake Monteynard-Avignonet is an artificial reservoir that extends over 20 kilometres. Situated at an altitude of 500 metres, the Lake benefits from exceptional thermal winds which allow it to be navigated every day. It is a safe bet for fans of board sports and very accessible, not far from both Grenoble (30 minutes) and Lyon (1h30 by car).

The Lake is shaped like an upside down Y, with the Drac and Ebron rivers as its two arms. Its changing waters are an incredible turquoise blue in good weather, turning steel grey in the rain. Since 2011, the lake has been the meeting place for thousands of trail runners with the famous Monteynard Trail which takes place every year in July.

What to do at Lake Monteynard-Avignonet?

the footbridges hike

The Himalayan Footbridges Trail at Lake Monteynard-Avignonet is one of the emblematic hikes of the Isère region. You can walk around the lake by crossing these footbridges over the Ebron and the Drac. The loop is completed by taking the boat La Mira.

The Himalayan Footbridges hike

The Nautical Water Sports Centre at  Treffort

The Lake Monteynard-Avignonet is a famous spot in the Auvergne Rhône Alpes region for windsurfing, kitesurfing and wingfoil, in fact, all sailing activities thanks to the regular thermal wind blowing through its central part.

It is also a paradise for water sports and activities, such as fishing, canoeing, kayaking, paddling, motorboating, water skiing… The Treffort water sports centre is the jumpboard for all these activities, and offers water games for children in season.

The boat La Mira, whose landing stage is located in Treffort, allows you to cross the Lake and complete the loop of the Himalayan footbridges trail. La Mira also offers guided cruises on the lake to admire its secret corners.

Water activities

The Monteynard-Avignonet dam

In 1962, Electricté de France (EDF) built a dam at the foot of the Sénépy mountain which gave birth to the reservoir, Lake Monteynard, and to this overall exceptional site. The dam is 135 metres high and 230 metres long. Its width? 5 metres at the crest and 20 metres at the base! From the special belvedere viewing point, the view of the dam is exceptional!

Belvedere at Avignonet

The Mole Centre, Treffort

The Mole is a 60 m² exhibition space dedicated to the activities of EDF in the Drac valley.Here you will find everything there is to know about the Monteynard-Avignonet dam and the 3 other big dams in the Drac valley, through films, info panels and photos.

The lake information point


It is strictly forbidden to swim in Lake Monteynard-Avignonet. The multiplicity of water sports activities make swimming dangerous, as well as the changing dam water levels at the Lake.

Yes, dogs are allowed around the lake and to hike the Himalayan footbridges (just be careful, as some dogs don’t like taking the footbridges, so make sure they’re willing to walk on metal fences). Although swimming around the lake is forbidden for humans, it is not for dogs, who can take advantage of the water to cool off!

Lake Monteynard-Avignonet is the second windiest lake in Europe (the first is Lake Garda in Italy). A thermal wind, created by the difference in temperature between the surface of the Lake and the heights of  the surrounding mountains, picks up  progressively in the afternoon and dies down at the end of the day. So it is windy almost every day!

To get to the Treffort water sports centre from Grenoble, take the A51 motorway towards Sisteron. Exit at Sinard then take the direction Treffort. From the south, arriving via the Lus la Croix Haute pass, follow the RD1075 to Monestier de Clermont, then head for Sinard and Treffort.

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