Discover Gérardmer Surroundings – France


Updated On: February 28, 2024 by   Ahmed SamirAhmed Samir

Tucked away in the heart of the captivating Vosges Mountains of northeastern France, the charming town of Gérardmer beckons travellers to embark on a journey of discovery. With its pristine Lake Gérardmer, lush forested landscapes, and vibrant cultural tapestry, the town and its surroundings offer an enchanting escape for those searching for natural splendour, outdoor pursuits, and an authentic taste of French culture. In this extensive exploration, we invite you to immerse yourself in the captivating allure of Gérardmer as we unravel the myriad attractions that make it an irresistible destination in the idyllic countryside of France.

Gérardmer: A Brief Overview

Gérardmer, often referred to as the “Pearl of the Vosges,” is a charming town in the Grand Est region of France. It is located in the département of Vosges and sits 670 meters (2,198 feet) above sea level. The town is famous for its stunning Lake Gérardmer, which spans approximately 1,155 acres, making it one of the largest natural lakes in the Vosges Mountains.

The town’s history can be traced back to the 14th century when it was primarily a farming community. Over the years, the town has transformed into a vibrant tourist destination while maintaining its rustic charm. It’s a place where visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of nature, indulge in delicious cuisine, and engage in various outdoor activities.

Natural Beauty: Lake Gérardmer and Beyond

Lake Gérardmer is the centrepiece of this town’s allure. With crystal-clear waters surrounded by dense forests and rolling hills, the lake provides a tranquil escape for nature enthusiasts. Whether you prefer to relax on the lakeshore, swim in its refreshing waters, or explore its surroundings by boat or kayak, Lake Gérardmer offers abundant recreational opportunities.

The lake is also a hub for outdoor activities throughout the year. In the summer, hiking and mountain biking trails weave through the nearby forests, while in the winter, the area transforms into a snowy wonderland, attracting skiers and snowboarders to its slopes. The Gérardmer Ski Resort is renowned for its excellent ski runs and winter sports facilities, making it a prime destination for those seeking cold-weather adventures.

For those interested in more leisurely pursuits, stroll along the scenic promenade that encircles the lake, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. As the sun sets behind the Vosges, the reflections on the water create a magical atmosphere perfect for a romantic evening or a peaceful escape from city life.

Gérardmer’s Festivals and Traditions

Gérardmer is about natural beauty and boasts a rich cultural heritage celebrated yearly. One of the town’s most famous traditions is the Fête des Jonquilles or the Daffodil Festival. This vibrant event takes place in April and features stunning floral parades, where locals create intricate and artistic floats covered in daffodils. It’s a feast for the eyes and a testament to the town’s creative spirit.

Another highlight of Gérardmer’s cultural scene is its annual International Fantasy Film Festival. Established in 1994, this event has gained international recognition for showcasing fantasy, horror, and science fiction films. It attracts filmmakers and fans worldwide, making it a unique experience for cinema enthusiasts.

Additionally, Gérardmer hosts a range of traditional markets where you can sample delicious local delicacies and purchase handcrafted goods. Be sure to try Munster Cheese, a regional speciality, and explore the markets for souvenirs to remember your trip.

Savouring the Flavours of the Vosges

No visit to Gérardmer is complete without indulging in the region’s delicious cuisine. The Vosges Mountains are known for their hearty, rustic dishes that showcase the finest local ingredients. Here are some culinary highlights to savour during your stay:

  1. Tarte aux Mirabelles: Mirabelle plums are a beloved fruit in the Vosges, and they are often used to create delightful desserts like Tarte aux Mirabelles, a sweet tart that perfectly encapsulates the region’s flavours.
  2. Quiche Lorraine: Originating from the neighbouring Lorraine region, this savoury pie made with eggs, cream, bacon, and cheese is a staple of French cuisine and a must-try when visiting the Vosges.
  3. Bouchée à la Reine: A rich and creamy dish featuring puff pastry filled with a succulent mixture of chicken, mushrooms, and a decadent velouté sauce.
  4. Munster Cheese: This pungent cheese is a local delicacy and a great accompaniment to crusty French bread and a glass of regional wine.
  5. Kirsch: The Vosges are known for their cherry orchards, and Kirsch, a clear cherry brandy, is a popular local spirit used in cocktails and as a digestif.

When dining in the town, visit one of the town’s charming restaurants or traditional Alsatian brasseries, where local chefs can sample these dishes and many more, all prepared with love and care.

Exploring the Surrounding Area: Outdoor Adventures

While Gérardmer is a paradise for nature lovers, the surrounding region offers even more outdoor adventures. Here are a few recommendations:

  1. Hiking in the Vosges: The Vosges Mountains are crisscrossed with hiking trails suitable for all levels of hikers. Whether looking for a stroll or a challenging trek to a mountaintop, the Vosges have it all.
  2. Biking and Cycling: The area is a haven for cyclists, with dedicated bike paths and mountain biking trails. You can rent bikes in town and adventure through the scenic countryside.
  3. Paragliding: For thrill-seekers, paragliding over the Vosges Mountains offers breathtaking panoramic views of the region. Local instructors can guide you through this exhilarating experience.
  4. Wildlife Watching: The Vosges are home to diverse wildlife, including deer, wild boar, and various bird species. Nature enthusiasts can explore the region’s nature reserves and try their luck at spotting these creatures in their natural habitat.
  5. Vineyard Tours: You can explore the Alsace wine region just a short drive from the town. Take a guided tour of the vineyards and sample some of the finest wines produced in France.

Where to Stay in Gérardmer

Gérardmer offers various accommodation options to suit every traveller’s preferences and budget. From cosy bed-and-breakfasts and charming boutique hotels to vacation rentals and campsites, you’ll find something to meet your needs. Here are a few recommendations:

  1. Les Loges du Parc: This elegant hotel near the town centre offers comfortable rooms and a serene garden where you can relax after exploring.
  2. Le Manoir au Lac: Overlooking Lake Gérardmer, this luxurious hotel provides stunning views and top-notch amenities for a truly indulgent stay.
  3. Camping Les Granges Bas: If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, consider camping at this well-equipped campsite amidst the natural beauty of the Vosges Mountains.
  4. Holiday Rentals: Gérardmer has a variety of holiday rentals, from charming cottages to modern apartments, which can be an excellent option for families or larger groups.
  5. Hostels: For budget-conscious travellers, Gérardmer also has hostels and budget-friendly accommodations that offer comfortable stays without breaking the bank.

When to Visit Gérardmer

The best time to visit Gérardmer largely hinges on your preferred activities and the ambience you seek. For those craving sun-soaked adventures by Lake Gérardmer and vibrant summer festivals, June to August offers ideal weather conditions and a lively atmosphere. From September to November, autumn ushers in a serene ambience, with its breathtaking foliage making it a haven for nature lovers.

Winter transforms the town into a snowy paradise from December to February, perfect for skiing and winter sports enthusiasts. Lastly, spring, from March to May, offers a quieter escape as the region awakens from winter’s slumber, making it an excellent time for early-season hiking and enjoying the town’s charm with fewer crowds. Ultimately, the best time to explore Gérardmer varies, but the town’s allure remains constant, ensuring an unforgettable experience regardless of the season.

Last Words

Gérardmer and its surroundings in France’s Vosges Mountains offer a remarkable blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and outdoor adventures. Whether you’re seeking relaxation by the pristine Lake Gérardmer, indulging in delicious French cuisine, or embarking on outdoor escapades, this charming town has something to offer every traveller.

From the vibrant Daffodil Festival to the thrill of paragliding over the Vosges, Gérardmer promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you with cherished memories and a deep appreciation for the enchanting beauty of this hidden gem in northeastern France. So, when planning your next European adventure, consider discovering the magic of the town and its surroundings. This destination will capture your heart and leave you yearning for more of the French countryside’s allure.


Is Gérardmer a year-round destination?

Yes, Gérardmer is a year-round destination, offering unique attractions and activities each season. Whether you prefer summer adventures, winter sports, or the tranquillity of autumn and spring, Gérardmer has something to offer throughout the year.

What are the top outdoor activities in Gérardmer?

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, swimming, kayaking, skiing, and paragliding in and around Gérardmer. The region’s diverse landscapes cater to a wide range of interests.

What is the local cuisine like in Gérardmer?

The local cuisine in Gérardmer features hearty, rustic dishes, including Tarte aux Mirabelles, Quiche Lorraine, Bouchée à la Reine, Munster cheese, and Kirsch (cherry brandy). Visitors can savour these delicious regional specialities in local restaurants and brasseries.

Is Gérardmer suitable for families and solo travellers alike?

Gérardmer suits all travellers, including families, couples, and solo adventurers. The town’s diverse activities and accommodations cater to various interests and preferences.