Ten of the greatest activities along the shore of Lake Annecy

January, 26 2021

Lake Annecy, called Lac d’Annecy by the French, is possibly the most beautiful lake in France. The water of this glacial lake is pure and clear, and there is much to see and do around the French Alps. Anything is possible, from lazing the day away on the shore to working up a sweat in the mountains. I would love to tell you which ten activities you must certainly consider during your holiday along the shore of the lake!

At Lake Annecy, you will find many beautiful beaches, bays and little harbours like here in Talloires.

At Lake Annecy, you will find many beautiful beaches, bays and little harbours like here in Talloires.

1. Relaxing on the beaches

You are on holiday, after all, so relaxation is at the top of your list. Especially during the summer months, when the sun is high in the sky and the temperatures go up. If you are looking over the clear blue water, there’s only one thing you want to do: dive in! Luckily, Annecy, Sévrier, Saint-Jorioz and the other beach resorts have many lovely beaches. Unroll your towel in the sand or grass and let the fun in the water begin! For extra fun in the water, some campsites along the shore of Lake Annecy also have a swimming pool!

2. Surfing and sailing on the lake

Swimmers aren’t the only ones to have fun in the water. Lake Annecy is also a favourite place for sailors, wake boarders, wake surfers and kite surfers. Do you want plenty of room to move? Participate in aquatic activities in the morning or just before sunset.

3. Go for a bicycle ride

Is it possible to tour on a bicycle without having to do too much climbing in the Alps? Yes! The Lake Annecy cycle walk is a 36-kilometre ‘voie verte’ (green route) that actually takes you around the lake completely. The difference of height over the entire route is ‘only’ 300 metres. The west side of the route is more or less flat. The east side has a small climb that is fairly easy to do.

Cycling the ‘voie verte’ around Lake Annecy will not give you sore legs. But climbing one of the mountains around the lake, such as the Semnoz, is somewhat more challenging.

Cycling the ‘voie verte’ around Lake Annecy will not give you sore legs. But climbing one of the mountains around the lake, such as the Semnoz, is somewhat more challenging.

4. Test your climbing legs in the mountains

For a totally different cycle experience, all you have to do is deviate slightly from the cycle path around the lake. So take your racing bake along and test your climbing legs in the mountains. Two stiff climbs are the Semnoz and the Col de la Forclaz. With slopes going up to 15%, you will really have to work here. But the beautiful view at the top of the mountain will more than make up for all of your efforts!

5. Picnicking in the Alps

Time for some relaxation? How about a picnic in a green Alpine meadow? The only thing that might disturb your rest would be the friendly ringing of a cow bell. You can choose to put on your hiking boots and look for a picnic location during your mountain trip. Or, if you are not an enthusiastic hiker, just take the car and look for a suitable spot. If you are lucky, you may find some rare Edelweiss flowers.

Picnicking in the Alps is wonderfully relaxing. Try to stay in the neighbourhood of the lake, so that you can enjoy the view!

Picnicking in the Alps is wonderfully relaxing. Try to stay in the neighbourhood of the lake, so that you can enjoy the view!

6. Hiking in the ‘Massif des Bauges’

Impressive chalk cliffs, beautiful landscapes of mountains and meadows. The Bauges Massif Regional Nature Park is just south of Lake Annecy and is a unique hiking area. Hike to the Cascade de Piscieux between Les Aillons and Lescheraines, and don’t forget to visit a cheese factory, like the one in Val d’Aillon. Another great hiking trail is the Tannes et Glacières. This trail takes you to the Glacières du Margériaz, caves that the farmers used to gather and compress snow into blocks of ice. After the winter, large blocks of ice would be carved out, packed in straw and transported by mule to Aix-les-Bains. This allowed rich citizens to have ice cubes in their drinks.

7. The mythical Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc is the most prominent mountain peak in Europe. Its girth is imposing, and it is always on the bucket list of each mountain climber. But you need not climb all the way to the top to be able to enjoy the white mountain. A hike along the foot of this mountain is equally enjoyable. Travel to Chamonix-Mont-Blanc and go up the mountain with a cable car or the train. Enjoy breath-taking panoramas at 3,800 metres!

Mont Blanc is Europe’s most prominent mountain. Chamonix-Mont-Blanc has a cable car and a train that will take you up the mountain.

Mont Blanc is Europe’s most prominent mountain. Chamonix-Mont-Blanc has a cable car and a train that will take you up the mountain.

8. Annecy on the lake

After experiencing all of nature’s ‘violence’, you may want to enjoy some bustle and do some socialising. Annecy is an excellent place to do so. Located on the northern side of the lake, it has a charming historical centre with bridges, cosy shops and excellent restaurants. There are also castles, palaces, beautiful gardens and the famous Pont des Amours spanning the Thiou river.

9. Olympic history in Albertville

Do the names Alberto Tomba, Bjørn Dæhlie and Bart Veldkamp say anything to you? These names will probably ring a bell for sport enthusiasts since these three sportsmen won a gold medal at the Olympic winter Games of 1992 in Albertville. This city is located southwest of the lake and everything about this part of history can be found in the house of the Olympic Games. But the Europe square and the cultural centre are also absolutely worth visiting.

10. Looking for an adrenaline rush?

Two sports that were not included in the 1992 Olympic Games are paragliding and canyoning. They can be enjoyed here though – as long as you are not afraid of some action. The mountains around Doussard are a popular point of departure for paragliders. Lathuile, right next to Doussard, is the place to be for canyoning and rafting on the river.

Lake Annecy is also an ideal location for several adventurous sports. Doussard is known as a departure point for paragliders.

Lake Annecy is also an ideal location for several adventurous sports. Doussard is known as a departure point for paragliders.

Camping along the shore of Lake Annecy

As you can see, there are many reasons for travelling to the multifaceted Lake Annecy. Why did you pick this location for your holiday? Was it the countryside and the outdoor activities? Or were there other reasons that have not yet been mentioned? I’m curious!

Bram Kuhnen
  • Auteur: Bram Kuhnen
  • European cities, touristy beaches and impressive landscapes and countryside. Travelling through Europe, Bram has already visited many places, and he likes to write about his experiences and share tips.

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