While Aube is famous for its champagne vineyards, the department is also known for its 3 large lakes nestling in the heart of the immense Orient Forest Regional Nature Park. Swimming, water sports, birdwatching - the possibilities are endless and full of surprises. What to do, what to see? Follow the guide!
Lake Orient / Port-Mesnil
Less than 30 minutes from Troyes, not far from our Aube campsite, Lac d'Orient is the largest of the three lakes in the Aube region. It is part of the Orient Forest Regional Nature Park, from which it takes its name. A real oasis of cool in summer, it covers 2,500 hectares. It's a great place for swimming, with three sandy beaches (Mesnil-Saint-Père, Géraudot and Lusigny-sur-Barse).
The area is also ideal for all kinds of water sports, including sailing, windsurfing, paddle-boarding, canoeing, fishing and scuba diving. In summer, guides from the Regional Nature Park offer kayak trips to discover the submerged forest, a veritable "mangrove" in the Aube. Birdwatchers can go in search of the White-tailed Eagle, one of Europe's largest diurnal birds of prey. An observatory has been set up between Géraudot beach and the Maison du Parc in Piney.
Lake Amance / Port Dienville
Lac d'Amance, sometimes known as Lac de Dienville, is the smallest of the Grands Lacs de Champagne (480 ha), which in no way detracts from its charm, quite the opposite in fact. Like its neighbour, it is a great place for swimming, family leisure activities and motorboating.
As soon as the fine weather arrives, Dienville beach becomes one of the favourite places for summer visitors to relax. Swimming is supervised throughout the summer, much to the delight of families. Right next door, the water sports centre attracts holidaymakers looking for a refreshing change of scene. Here you can hire motorboats, take your boating licence, jet-ski and water-ski. At the marina, there are bars, restaurants and entertainment on summer evenings.
Lac du Temple / Brévonnes
Situated between Lac d'Orient and Lac Amance, in the commune of Brévonnes, Lac du Temple covers 2,000 hectares, part of which is classified as a nature reserve. It owes its name to a legend that the Knights Templar hid their treasure there.
Surrounded by wild, unspoilt nature, the Lac du Temple is considered one of the best fishing spots in Aube, with plenty of fish and a reputation for carnivorous fish. Carp fishing at night attracts many enthusiasts. Fishermen share the area with a large population of migratory birds. At the end of August, Black Storks, a rare and protected species, can be seen. From October to December, Grey Cranes take centre stage on Lac du Temple. The Valois observatory, accessible from a path starting from the Maison du Parc, offers a unique view of the lake.
DID YOU KNOW? The three lakes in the Forêt d'Orient are man-made, created from scratch to prevent flooding from the Seine. In winter, these large reservoirs are virtually empty. They gradually fill up until spring before reaching their maximum level in early summer.