The Lac du Der
Created in 1974 to regulate the River Marne, with an area of 4,800 ha, this is one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe.
A paradise for birdwatchers
Office de Tourisme du Lac du Der (Tourist Office)
51290 GIFFAUMONT-CHAMPAUBERT Tel: 03.26.72.62.80
to learn more
Der comes from the Celtic word for "oak", the tree that abounds in the surrounding forests and was long used to build half timbered houses and churches. When the reservoir was filled, three villages were swallowed up by the water: Chantecoq, Nuisement-aux-bois and Champaubert-aux-bois.
This site, which was quickly adopted by a very rich birdlife, is classified as a National Hunting and Wildlife Reserve and is managed by the ONCFS. The mudflats which appear in late summer attract migrating shorebirds and the vegetation which covers these mudflats in the autumn and the great stretches of water attract thousands of ducks for the winter and spring.
The warm autumn colours which gradually spread over the landscapes of Lac du Der seem to announce the arrival of the great migratory birds. Whether they are coming to spend winter on our shores or are simply passing on their way south, the birds arrive in their thousands: Cranes, Greylag geese, White-fronted Geese and Bean geese, White-tailed eagles, Whooper swans and Bewick's swans, Goldeneyes, they are all there!
This natural and beautifully preserved setting is home to over 200 species of bird, some of which are rare and endangered, 40 species of mammals, 45 varieties of dragonflies, 20 kinds of amphibians and more than 200 different plants.
A paradise for leisure
There are many hides set up around the lake. If you fancy it, and your legs can take you there, you can climb up to the viewpoint on the Giffaumont-Champaubert water tower. From the height of 30 metres, with a view over the lake and surrounding grasslands is simply stunning.
But more than anything else, the lake is the ideal place for all manner of water-based activities and sufficient (carp and predators).
There are also 6 sandy beaches and lifeguarded bathing spots in July and August.