top of page

Gérardmer- the lake of fantasy.

Updated: Feb 16


Are you as fascinated by the vue of a lake or a river as I am?

Let me take you on a journey where you can be in a city whose heart is a lake.

Gérardmer (You don't pronounce the r in French in the end.)

When I studied in Strasbourg, I often heard about the Vosges mountains,located between Alsace and Lorraine. I imagined this mountain ridge, white as crystal and covered with snow. And as in the fairy tales. Mostly enchanted.

People I met told me they would spend time with their family in a cottage they had rented in the Vosges, especially during holidays all through the year.

I wished to experience it once. Therefore, a few years later, I was thrilled to discover Gérardmer, a renowned town on the Haute Vosges. (the high Vosges)

In France, there are many different kinds of festivals, and what could be better than going in mid-winter to a city that celebrates the 'universe of Fantasy'?

Every year, Gérardmer opens its gates to fantasy films and literature. There was a selection of movies as panels of writers who shared their experiences and thoughts with the audience and took them on the road of fantasy.


Arriving at Gérardmer, I immediately felt the serenity I was looking for. In the few days I stayed there, I had seen it under heavy rain and sunshine. All these various "weather moods" gave it other dimensions and constantly changed the landscape, but even under the stormy rain, nature was soothing and embracing.

The lake at early evening


I started with the lake of Gérardmer. This lustrous pearl is laying by the mountains. Seeing it filled me with amazement as soon as the sun appeared ( after two days of cloudy sky and rain). The lake was sparkling. With the mountains around it, you could easily travel on the wings of fantasy.


Forests and water

Gérardmer has many great treasures to share with his visitors, such as : magnificent lakes, forests and quaint villages and other precious gifts of nature.

The city is in the Valley enveloped by tuns of green fir trees

The river Barba

River Barba. (The name is quite theatrical, as are other names in Gérardmer).

It was enjoyable to walk with the excellent guide, Frederique Zeidler. I expressed my wish to walk by the side of a stream in the forest, and throughout my stay, I discovered various rivers and waterfalls, in all kinds and mesures. All within walking distance from Gérardmer.

The sound of the water of river Barba was meditative, and I could spot how it flows all along with the trees around it, it was picturesque and very comforting.

The combination of strolling in the forest and, as a treat, having a hot tea at the end was the best.

I tasted the tea made from Vosges candies, which the guide kindly prepared and proposed to me at the end of the strol. It was so lovely. You have to try it.


La confiserie Géromoise.

Let's take a short break from nature and go on a beautiful and mainly appetizing excursion inside the factory of the brand Géromoise, which specializes in making candies from all the natural products of the Vosges. You can sense the flavours of honey or fir trees, symbolic of the landscape or eucalyptus.

Children and adults will fully enjoy the little work shop with the friendly and welcoming guide and the demonstrations, he makes in this warm, cozy establishment. I was like visiting Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. And, of course, the flavoured tea I drank- the candies tea. is one of the products they make. There are different sorts of candies and teas to purchase.


The village Valtin

This genuine village is located in the region of Gérardmer

and is distinguished by its warm-hearted colors and arty character. You can find the shop and gallery of natural herbs of Valtin. The flavors are aromatic, and the place has a zen atmosphere, like the village.

I also visited a workshop on lamps and sculptures. It was original and creative.

As it was pouring on the first day of my visit, I had to return to see it on my last day. The sun appeared and I could take advantage of this beneficial village and its lovely nature.


Fantasy in the city

In the days I spent in Gérardmer, there was a fantasy cinema and literature festival.

Being there, it just made sense. Gérardmer is the perfect location for fantasy.

Already contemplating this marvelous lake will spice up your imagination.

Listening to best-selling authors in France, such as Bernard Werber and Cedric Cire, who explore in their writing the universe of the "Twilight zone" was interesting.

I learned much about what motivates them to write and their visions.

I try to avoid horror movies, but I do like dark fantasy with humor, as in the film "dark shadows by Tim Burton. It fitted the wintery mood and the ambiance.

Johnny Depp starred in the movie and incarnated a troubled vampire. One of his most well- known roles is when he incarnated the wicked Willy Wonka, the owner of the chocolate factory.

He reminded me again ,of the delightful Confiserie Germoise

The film was presented in the House of Culture and Leisure. It also hosted the writers for the panels, and there was an exciting exhibition of cartoons.


Nature and lakes

Nature is abundant there , and one of the first things I did when the sun shone was to explore what it has to offer. There is a beautiful walk around two other famous lakes in the surrounding. Longemer and Retournemer are their names.

I especially enjoyed the stroll along the river de la Vologne- (what a poetic name for a river)Au saut des Cuves. There are various water streams and little waterfalls. At the end of the way, there is the bridge. The Fairy Bridge -its name is due to a legend of a charming mermaid seducing a young and handsome hunter.

The fairy bridge- credit image-tourism office Gérardmer

The lustrous ray of lights contributed to this river and its bridge an aura of a legend.

I could stay there forever.


The various landscapes, shapes, and colors are remarkable in the Vosges.

We went up to the summit of the mountain."Chaume" -the highest pic of the Vosges département. From afar, you can perceive the city Colmar in Alsace and even the Montblanc." The panorama was uplifting.


From nature to bedding

One of Gerardmer's trademarks is the bedding. The bedding of Vosges is renowned, and it is not that surprising. Quality and esthetic are leading the Vosges. After all mountains and good sleep are well connected.

I visited the textile factory "Garnier Thiebaut" which is close to Gérardmer

I watched the work procedure and learned how these fantastic colors are made and

fabricated. It is all being observed and taken care in the most meticulously way. There was a lot to learn,

In the boutique, at the end, you can choose from all these lovely collections of material they have.

The city center offers other shops with different brands of the Vosges. The sun shone and every one was back to the terrasses of the cafés and restaurants.

Ski station in Gérardmer

After all we are in the mountain's region. And although there is a climate change all over the world, we are still aspiring for snow in the mountain. With a bus shuttle you can arrive quickly to the ski station in Gérardmer. The views are stunning even if you do not practice ski as i am, you can enjoy the sight of a mountain in white, take a chairlift for the whole panorama from heights. ( I did it and felt like a bird) and enjoyed looking at the skiers going on the tracks skillfully.

 There was also a cute and authentique village de Skieurs in the city where I could find the ambiance of a Christmas market but the one in the mountains.


On the last day, the sun was the brightest, and the lake of Gérardmer emerged like a piece of heaven between the mountains.


I stayed in two hotels. Both very comfortable, and beautifully designed.

Hotel beau Rivage and Hotel La reserve. Both have from the room a view on the lake, and cosy atmosphere.

Hotel Beau Rivage

Quality in Gérardmer is also in the various different types of restaurants, They were all superb.

La table de Rouan for its elegant design and refined food. (vegan options and they are all delicious)

La petite Sophie- Restaurant in a purple dream atmosphere and great food the desert (chocolate fondant )was out of this world

"Au pont des Fées" -The bridge of Fairies" A restaurant that has a super cosy ambiance, and a hearty food. what more do you need,

Olac a few minutes from the lake. A restaurant that is atypical with its arty design, and delicious French food. I had a very interesting and amusing conversation with the owner.

And on the last day Collet. A wooden house that is so typical for the mountain. A hotel and restaurant. Vegan lovers will be mostly satisfied with a considerate menue for them. It was lovely to stay in this great restaurant.

I also visited an original coffee house "L'EnchanThé""for the coffee or tea time lovers. It looks like a chapter from the book Elise in Wonderland. And inside live two happy rabbits who might pop up and greet you

You should return in Spring time to see Gérardmer covers with narcissus, said a friend of mine. it is the famous flower that covers the city in dazzling yellow. Every two years there is a whole celebration . Yes I am now curious, but I am also glad to plunge in Gerardmer's wintery fantastic atmosphere.

Thank you very much Valérie Lanoé and Florence Dupont for such a wonderful welcome.

5,348 views9 comments

Recent Posts

See All

9 comentários

I have just discovered your site. Love your reports. Thanks


Chère madame. j'ai bien apprécié cet article. Tres jolies photos en plus.

18 de fev.
Respondendo a

Merci beaucoup


Wonderful report and amazing photos,i enjoyed reading it!!!

18 de fev.
Respondendo a

Thank you very much


I appreciated a lot your writing and i travelled with you to these beautiful landscapes.

18 de fev.
Respondendo a

Thank you very much


Wow. looks so beautiful

18 de fev.
Respondendo a

Thank you for this lovely comment

bottom of page