We propose an unusual bike ride. Starting from the beautiful city of Annecy, you will cycle around the Semnoz to discover and taste the richness and diversity of the cheeses of Haute-Savoie.
A beautiful cycling trip between the mountains and Lake Annecy
You will have to cover 55 km to cycle around the Semnoz. This tour is labelled ” Vélo & Fromages, la France sur un plateau ” following a national project in 2019 to help people discover and taste the cheese heritage in France. Cycling allows you to take the time to discover the Bauges massif and its cheese dairies.
The difficulty of the route is medium, with 650 metres of positive difference in altitude. Most of the change in altitude is on the ascent of the Col de Leschaux with an average gradient of 4% for 12 km. This pass is a good training for starting to climb the mountain. If you are a beginner, we advise you to use an electric bike.
The best time for this ride is from May to September, as the snow comes in during the winter. Much of the route is wooded so the temperature in summer is between 20 and 25° C. If you come at the beginning of August, you can see the big fireworks of the Lake Annecy Festival.
Details of the route of the Cheese Route in Semnoz
The route starts in Annecy. Before that, you can visit the colourful old town and its canals. You drive along the lake shore to Sévrier then Saint Jorioz, at the traffic lights, turn right, direction the Bauges massif.
You ride on the beautiful cycle track of Lake Annecy for the first ten kilometres of the route. The rest of the route is on small mountain roads that are not very busy with cars. The route is not signposted, so it is useful to have a map or a GPS to do the loop.
This is the start of the ascent to the Col de Leschaux at 900 metres. If you are a keen cyclotourist, you can add another difficulty by continuing the climb to the top of the Semnoz at 1660 metres over 17 km at 7%. The reward is the beautiful panoramic view of the mountains including Mont Blanc.
It is time to descend into the Chéran valley. Arriving in Lescheraines, in the middle of the Bauges massif, you visit the dairy cooperative which offers its production of: reblochon, chevrotin, raclette de Savoie, tome des Bauges AOP and tomme de Savoie. It’s time to fill your bags and bring back these delicious cheese specialities.
You then have to take the road to Allèves which follows the Chéran. You can admire the large Pont de l’Abîme by adding another kilometre. When you arrive in Gruffy, the Semnoz dairy will allow you to bring back some excellent Abondance cheese which looks like conté. Direction Viuz-la-Chiésaz (pronounced Viu-la-Chaise to make you understand if you ask for your route), then Vieugy below the Semnoz massif. The Cheese Route loop ends with your return to Annecy.
To vary the pleasures of cycling, we also recommend the unmissable tour of Lake Annecy.