Lac de Serre-Ponçon is France’s largest man-made body of water, formed by the Durance and Ubaye alpine rivers. Its construction in 1961 submerged a viaduct and several villages - which regularly reappear at low water – and left an ancient hilltop chapel marooned as an offshore island. During the summer, as the waters recede, over 50 miles of wild beach form around the lake shores, making this one of the longest beaches in Europe. It’s a perfect area for wild camping, swimming and exploring. The south-west tail of the lake, near the Cimetière d’Ubaye (D954), 6km west of Le Lauzet-Ubaye, is one the least populated with grassland, silver shale beaches, warm water and cliffs and gorges for snorkelling and jumping (44.4644, 6.3580).
EXTRACT FROM: © Wild Swimming France: discover the most beautiful rivers, lakes and waterfalls of France, by Daniel Start (May 2012) available from http://www.wildswimming.co.uk/france.html