This walk, which circles Lake Annecy, is for the most part a cycle path shared with pedestrians and rollerbladers. It is 40 km long and has a 300 m difference in altitude. It is an easy ride that we recommend following our advice.
All about the cycle path
On a large part of the tour of Lake Annecy, the cycle path is independent of car traffic. Nevertheless, you should be careful, as some cyclists ride quite fast and wearing a helmet is recommended as on the road. Half of the route is on an old railway line, which was converted into a greenway a long time ago. This section is the most used.
The Syndicat intercommunal du Lac d’Annecy (SILA), which manages this facility, estimates that 1,100,000 cyclists use it every year. During your holidays, you can hire a bike to complete this essential cycling route.
One of the most beautiful cycle routes in France
This fairly straightforward bike ride takes between 1 hour and 2.5 hours to complete, covering the 36km of the tour of Lake Annecy. The scenery is magnificent, with the crystal clear waters of the lake and the Alpine peaks that surround it. Of the 36 km of the route, 30 km are equipped with cycle paths that make the loop safe, especially for children. The villages of Veyrier-du-Lac and Menthon-Saint-Bernard do not have cycle paths, but the traffic is calmed due to their configuration.
The course of the tour of the lake
First of all, we advise you to ride this route in a clockwise direction, in order to ride next to the shores of Lake Annecy after the village of Talloires. This direction will also allow you to take the Talloires hill in the right direction and to avoid too much effort.
For cyclists who wish to do the Talloires climb, you will have to leave Annecy in the direction of Sévrier. The climb represents 100 metres of difference in height over 1.5 km, with a progressive slope of 6.5% on average.
During the hot season, it is better to leave in the morning to take advantage of the cooler weather. Starting from Annecy, you will walk along Annecy-le-Vieux to reach Chavoire. You can take a dip here. A few short climbs then follow through Veyrier-du-Lac and Menthon-Saint-Bernard.
Going down the Talloires coast, you will discover a magnificent landscape on the banks of the Petit lac d’Annecy. There are numerous beaches for swimming and tables and benches for picnics.
At the old station of Bredennaz, a water point and toilets are available. Two new fountains will allow you to quench your thirst after the Duingt tunnel and at Saint Jorioz.
The tour ends with your arrival in Annecy. After the Marquisats harbour, you will cross the Jardins de l’Europe park, the Amours bridge to return to the Pâquier lawn.
For the more sporty: the Col de la Forclaz loop
When you arrive at the end of the lake, follow the direction of Faverges. At the Giez roundabout, take the direction of Montmin and the Col de la Forclaz. A magnificent view of Lake Annecy will reward this 700 metre climb over 9 kilometres at 8%.
The Col de la Forclaz is also a paradise for paragliders who take off from this site to fly over the lake. By bike, the descent is via the beautiful village of Menthon-Saint-Bernard and its castle which inspired the Sleeping Beauty castle in Disneyland. This variant adds 22 km to the initial route, making a 58 km loop.
Advice on using the cycle path
When crossing Talloires, only a cycle lane is available in the Angon-Talloires direction. You can also choose to do this cycle route on an electric bike, for more convenience.
You will find a map of the itinerary and safety instructions in the document Tour of Lake Annecy by bike. On the eastern shore of Lake Annecy, at the level of Veyrier-du-Lac, it is advisable to be particularly careful, as the cycle and pedestrian lanes intersect and you must anticipate the presence of obstacles such as bus shelters.
You can stop at Doussard to visit the Bout du Lac National Nature Reserve. Allow a good hour to visit this exceptional, totally preserved site.
We also suggest our guide: 5 routes to cycle in Annecy
Cycling clubs in Annecy
The town has many clubs for cycling in a friendly and sporting atmosphere:
- Annecy Vélo Club: Salle Sonnerat, 12 rue Louis Boch, 74000 Annecy – Tel : 04 50 67 79 14
- Annecy Cyclisme Compétition: 58 bis Avenue des Marquisats, 74000 Annecy – Tel : 06 80 87 00 78
- VTT Annecy: 22 faubourg Sainte-Claire, 74000 Annecy – Tel : 04 50 45 60 61
- CCAV 74: 6 rue de la Frasse, 74940 Annecy-le-Vieux – Tel : 04 50 51 07 72
- Étoile Sportive de Seynod: Tel : 06.71.92.37.19
- Les Cyclos du Semnoz: 54 avenue de Neigeos – 74600 Seynod – Tel : 04 50 09 82 09
- Club Alpin Français d’Annecy: 17 Rue du Mont Blanc, 74000 Annecy – Tel : 04 50 09 82 09
- Cyclo Club de Pringy: Hôtel de Ville, Place Boileau, Pringy, 74370 ANNECY – 40 96 90 62
- Cyclo Club du Pays de Filière: 1787 route des Vignes, 74370 Villaz – Tel : 06 87 23 83 58
Variant: the tour of Lake Annecy on foot
If you don’t like cycling or if you want to vary the sporting pleasures, you can go around Lake Annecy on foot. Since 2010, the SILA and the Tourist Office of Lake Annecy have set up a 43 km walking route. It will take you three days of walking, alternating between the plain, the mountains and the forest, without forgetting the magnificent beaches to cool off.
The many quality campsites will allow you to find accommodation at a reasonable price. This tour of the lake can also be done in one day, in one go, but it is preferable to take the time to appreciate the landscape of a large European glacial lake.
FromAnnecy-le-Vieux, you walk along the lake shore equipped with large wooden pontoons. From Veyrier-du-Lac to Menthon-Saint-Bernard, the pedestrian circuit passes by the ports and beaches, sometimes deviating from the lake depending on the urbanisation. To reach the charming village of Talloires-Montmin, you have to cross the Roc-de-Chère Nature Reserve. This wooded area is an example of remarkable biodiversity.
You can spend the night in one of the Talloires campsites. On the second day, take the lake shuttle to Doussard and visit the magnificent Bout du Lac National Reserve. You may be lucky enough to see a beaver.
On the way back, you will use the Voie Verte to Duingt (walking on the sides of the cycle track), to admire the castle on the peninsula. You can then spend the night in one of the many campsites between Saint-Jorioz and Sévrier.
On the third day, rather than continuing to follow the Voie Verte, we suggest you take the Roselières trail. It runs alongside the lake and will take you to Sévrier. The beach of this small town is particularly pleasant and well equipped for swimming. Finally, the return to Annecy is done by the banks of the lake. As a reward, you can enjoy an ice cream on the shady terraces or go for another bike ride.