Where to cool down this summer

The famous “canicule” is coming this week. One of the hottest weeks of the year. To cool down during these hot temperatures, you can chose between several options: public swimming pools, lakes, Mediterranean Sea, mountain lakes in the Pyrenees or bars/restaurants with swimming pools. Have a great summer 2019!

Lac de Saint  Ferréol (Haute-Garonne)

This is my favourite lake around Toulouse. It’s around 50min drive from Toulouse and is one of the greenest, as it has a lot of trees around. They also offer boat and stand up paddle rental, a great way to enjoy the lake in a different way.

The lake can also be reached for little money by bus directly from the Toulouse coach station (gare routière), which is great if you don’t have a car.

Lac de la Ganguise (Aude)

If you look for shade this is not the right lake for you. This lake is known for its very turquoise water and good wind for windsurfing, kayaking, paddling and catamaran. All information on rental here.

Lac de la Ramée  (Toulouse)

This lake is the closest to Toulouse. A couple of years ago the city of Toulouse tested the water to be good enough to swim in, however, in my opinion there are nicer and cleaner lakes. The lake is very convenient, though, in terms of location and has a safe watch zone in summer for kids.

Lac de Thésauque (Haute-Garonne)

This lake is accessible to swim, however, it is more known for its waterpark, which reopened yesterday, 22nd June with a new even bigger waterzone. You can pay for an hour to go on the water zone and believe me, you will be tired after one hour. So have fun!

Lac de Cavayère (Aude)

The closest lake to Carcassonne and really great in terms of beach and shade. You can reach the lake either by car, by bus from the city centre of Carcassonne or even by hike from the medieval village. You will reach the lake in about 1h30.

Le Lac de Thoux Saint-Cricq (Gers)

This is a great lake with kids as the lake is supervised in July/August. An inflatable crocodile to play is put up in summer. Close to the lake is also an aqua park with four slides and different activities. It’s great for kids. They also have a camp site there if you want to spend a bit more time.

Etang de l’Orme Blanc (Haute-Garonne)

This lake is the closest to Toulouse and has a sandy beach area where you can enjoy a real summer feeling. It is not a huge lake, so don’t come here if you think you can go for a long swim. The beach is open from 12h to 20h.

Overview of lakes around Toulouse

Mountain lakes are of course further away but you can plan a day hike with your friends and walk to one of the lakes for a nice picnic. As I haven’t tried many myself, I would like to refer to this blog that I find really useful in terms of tips for where to swim in the Pyrenees.

Nakache /Castex

This is by far the biggest swimming pool in Toulouse. With its 150m, this pool is great too cool down in summer. It is however not really deep. If you really want to swim, they also have a 50m Olympic bassin. Don’t forget your swim cap (for those who don’t need them in their own country).

14th June to 28th June from 9h30 to 19h, weekend 9h30-20h30
29th June to 25th August 9h30-20h30
26th August to 1st September 9h30-20h


Papus is a little swimming pool of 25m, that is normally not too crowded. They open half of the roof in summer, so that you can enjoy a nice swim.

12h à 19h during summer (July and August), but careful they are shut from 1st to 14th July.


Chapou is an outdoor swimming pool close to the university housing. They have a 25m pool and a small one of 9,25m for the little one’s.

15th June to 28th June: 12h to 19h
29th June to 19th July: 7h to 20h
20th July to 1st September: 10h-20h

2nd September to 15th September: 12 to 19h 


Very popular with people working in Blagnac and surroundings. They have a pool indoor open the whole year and outdoor open during the summer months. A great spot to go for a swim during lunch break or just after work.

Opening times: 8th June to 8th September: 10h to 20h

Forêt de Bouconne

This swimming pool is a bit outside of Toulouse, however it is surrounded by forest and you get quite some shade here in summer.

1st June to 30th June: 13h to 19h
1st July to 31st August: 11h30 to 19h30


You can also swim in the Ariège. If you go towards Clermont le Fort and you walk a bit along up the river, there are great places where you can chill and swim in the river. But careful there can be quite some movement in the river. So watch out!


Already mentioned by us before in our article about outdoor activities and kayaking, the Aveyron is a great river to go kayaking, but of course also to take a swim.


I really like the beach next to St Cirq Lapopie. Going for a swim in the river Lot offers you a great view on the canyon and the village and it’s the perfect thing to do after a hike.

All other spots to go for a swim can be found here (in English).


Yes, you are right. We live in Toulouse, so why not straight go to the sea? As you know, there are quite a lot of people who have the same idea in summer. So if you are really motivated to go to the beach, then do so, but don’t be surprised if you are stuck in traffic on your way back 😉

Closest places for a day at the beach:

Long sandy beaches: If you fancy long sandy. beaches, then it is best to go somewhere around from Grau du Roi à Argelès-sur-mer. The closest is Narbonne plage, but definitely not the nicest.

Small beaches: If you prefer more quite small beaches, then the coast from Argèles to the Spanish border is the right area for you. Here you will find some nice hidden beaches

All different spots to go for a swim in rivers, lakes and the Mediterranean Sea in Occitanie can be found on the official website of the region Occitanie.

There are different restaurants/bars that also have a pool to enjoy a sunny afternoon. Check out our latest blog post on open-air bars, where you will find places like Bikini, la Voile Blanche, le Canard sur le Toit and Sporting Plage that offer great music and a pool to cool down.

Have a great summer 2019 in the pink city and don’t forget to cool down in one of the many great places in Occitanie,

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