We discovered another lake on our return to France this year, the Lac de la Ganguise. It is only about twenty minutes from our house by car, and we were surprised that it had never been on our radar previously. I discovered the existence of this lake by reading another blog – illustrating the power of the blogosphere?!

I have written before about my love of walking, especially near water. We enjoy exercising Zeph, our Blue Merle Border Collie, at two other lakes that feed the Canal du Midi. These are the Lac de Saint Ferréol and the Bassin du Lampy. I have linked my two posts in case you haven’t read them yet!

The planning for the Lac de la Ganguise began in 1951, but the dam or ‘Barrage’ wasn’t built until 1979.

Originally designed for agricultural irrigation, the reservoir covers 500 hectares. It is a beautiful stretch of water and as we approached, my breath was taken away by the stunning turquoise-blue colour of the water.

It is a popular attraction and picnic spot with both locals and tourists. On the day we visited. there was hardly anyone else around but I imagine it would be very different in high summer. In season you can enjoy a wide range of water sports, including sailing, windsurfing, and kayaking. Pedaloes are available for rental, too.

Le Club de voile de Castelnaudary, the local sailing club, is based here. The lake is equally perfect for fans of fishing and bird-watching. When we visited, it was mainly about giving Zeph a chance to explore somewhere new. Did you spot him in my second photo? Zeph took the opportunity for a quick swim whilst we were there. It was very windy!

Unfortunately, the whole area is suffering from a serious drought. The water levels in the main reservoirs that feed the Canal du Midi are extremely low. They are 55 percent full compared to 85 percent at the same time in 2022, This led to a delay in opening the Canal after the winter closure, although it is open now, with some restrictions in place.

I think the photo below illustrates how low the water is by the dam.

On a more positive note (?!) there has been unprecedented rainfall since we returned to France, at the end of April. Although this isn’t the weather we are used to, or would normally wish for, I just remind myself how much it is needed.

Below is a video clip that was taken a couple of years ago and shows the lake in its full glory.

I do hope you have enjoyed strolling around the Lac de la Ganguise with me and that you will let me know if you have discovered anything recently!