The Forclaz Pass

The Forclaz pass culminates at an altitude of 1,496 m in Haute-Savoie. Overlooking Lake Annecy, it is the lowest crossing point in the Aravis mountain range.

A unique panorama of Lake Annecy

Lac d'Annecy depuis le col de la ForclazThis pass is known for the view it offers over Lake Annecy. Geographically, it stretches from the eastern shore of the lake from the village of Talloires to that of Montmin. The word “forclaz” in Savoyard dialect means passage through the mountain. In this case, the passage is in the direction of the Faverges valley. The road is pleasant.

It alternates between forest passages and open passages, which allow you to discover magnificent views of Lake Annecy, the Semnoz and the Bauges massif. The neighbouring mountains are the Dents de Lanfon and the Tournette.

The Forclaz de Montmin pass by bike

Col de la Forclaz à véloFor enthusiasts who have cycled around the lake, the Col de la Forclaz is a monument in the Alps. The Tour de France has included it four times in its programme. The ascent can be made from the north side, starting from Talloires or Menthon-Saint-Bernard. On the southern side, the route starts from Vesonne. Whatever side you choose, this pass is reserved for cyclists of a good level.

It is necessary to climb 700 m of difference in altitude over ten km with slopes averaging 7% to finish with a nice wall of 700 m at a maximum of 11.5%. On the south side, a small 200m section even has a 15% gradient. On the north side, the first few km allow you to warm up with the passage of a small tunnel.

Some good restaurants

This very touristy site allows you to eat and enjoy excellent Savoyard specialities in the following restaurants:

  • L’Edeweiss hotel-restaurant: A translational cuisine to be tasted on the panoramic terrace with a view of Lake Annecy or in the glassed-in room. Some rooms allow you to enjoy the view.
  • La Ferme: With a view of the mountain and the cows in the mountain pastures, you can taste the cheese made on the spot as well as the excellent potato fritters. Gite accommodation is also available.
  • Le Chalet de la Pricaz: A beautiful view over Lake Annecy. Tartiflette and Savoyard fondue are a must at this gourmet address.

The best rated hotels

Depending on your budget, we have selected five hotels near the Col de la Forclaz which offer excellent value for money and have very good customer reviews.

Les Grillions

Hôtel des Grillions à Taloires

Close to the Col de la Forclaz, on the shores of the lake, this large family-run hotel offers 32 well-equipped rooms. You can enjoy the swimming pool with jacuzzi, a beautiful terrace with palm trees that benefit from the mild climate of Talloires. The restaurant serves traditional cuisine made with fresh products.From € 104 per night.

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Beau Site Talloires

Hôtel Beau Site à Talloires

This beautiful hotel is also located in Talloires. It features 32 rooms with contemporary decor. To relax, you have access to a private beach, an indoor swimming pool and a spa. The restaurant is run by Daniel Leyendecker and offers tasty cuisine using seasonal produce.From €187 per night.

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Villa Riva

La Villa Riva Veyrier du Lac

In the commune of Veyrier-du-Lac, this beautiful establishment with typical Haute-Savoie architecture offers well-decorated rooms. Free underground parking is available nearby. The restaurant serves fine Italian cuisine. The view of the lake is magnificent.From € 99 per night.

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Le Palace de Menthon

Le Palace de Menthon lac d'AnnecyThis superb 5-star hotel dates from the beginning of the 20th century. Built opposite the lake, you can enjoy top-of-the-range facilities such as private gardens, an indoor heated swimming pool and a private harbour landing stage. The restaurant offers refined cuisine featuring regional products.From €160 per night.

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Le Pavillon des Fleurs

Hôtel Le Pavillon des Fleurs Menthon-Saint-BernardThe hotel offers excellent value for money. It is located opposite the lake in the port of Menthon-Saint-Bernard. You can go hiking in the Tournette and Aravis mountains. Cycling enthusiasts can tackle the Col de la Forclazfrom € 85 per night.

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Summer sports activities

The Col de la Forclaz can be the starting point for beautiful hikes:

La pointe de la Rochette

Pointe de la Rochette Col de la ForclazThis pretty family hike lasts about 2 hours with a 340 m difference in altitude to the highest point at 1,491 m. You can then enjoy a complete view of the Bauges and the Tournette. You have to go towards the paragliding launch area, then the path goes into the forest behind the launch area. The slope is steep at the beginning then gentler. The access to the Pointe de la Rochette is on the left. On your return, you can admire the paragliders taking off.

The Angon waterfall

Cascade d'Angon Lac AnnecyThis beautiful walk will allow you to discover a large waterfall over 50 m high. The access path passes through a climbing site suitable for beginners. It is not uncommon to come across canyoning enthusiasts because the Angon waterfall is a famous canyon.

The Aulps chalet

Le chalet de l'AulpsStarting from the Col de la Forclaz, it is necessary to count 500 m of difference in altitude to arrive at this authentic alpine chalet. You can enjoy a real mountain meal with local products at an altitude of 1,424 m. The more athletic can then climb the Tournette with a further 928 m of ascent.

The accrobranches park of Planfait

parc d'accrobranches de Planfait lac d'AnnecyFor young and old alike, there are numerous tree climbing courses that allow you to climb trees and do zip lines in complete safety. The site also offers a course to discover and awaken your five senses in the forest. Afterwards, you can admire the paragliders taking off over Lake Annecy.

Winter sports at the Col de la Forclaz

Station de Montmin Col de la ForclazThis pretty family winter sports resort is located 40 minutes from Annecy. Montmin offers a ski area suitable for beginners with 5 slopes including 2 green, 2 blue and 2 red. Two ski lifts, a boarder cross and a sledge run complete the facilities. Numerous marked trails allow you to enjoy beautiful snowshoeing trips.

Paragliding take-off area

Parapente à Planfait col de la ForclazThis is the most famous paragliding spot in Europe. Take-offs are made at the Col de la Forclaz at an altitude of 1,250 m. You can also take off from the Planfait site at an altitude of 950 m. The flight over Lake Annecy is a magical moment for paragliding enthusiasts. We particularly recommend a first flight for a unique souvenir of the region.

Video of Forclaz pass by drone 4 K