Annecy / Destinations / Nature & Mountains

Five ‘green’ reasons to visit Annecy

Aside from its natural beauty, Annecy’s commitment to sustainable development and eco-friendly initiatives is another reason this town stands out from the crowd.

The clean air, crystal-blue lake (the cleanest in Europe), the extensive network of cycle paths, lush green parks and gardens and the selection of eco-responsible shops and restaurants are just some of the green reasons to visit Annecy.

Read on to find out more about each one…

A pontoon reaching out into Lake Annecy at sunset, with mountains in the background
Take your time and soak up the wonderful views in Annecy © Ben Peccoux Photography

1. Annecy, a town in the heart of the mountains

Nestling in the majestic mountains of the Alps, the town of Annecy is a nature lover’s paradise. Whether you’re a keen sports enthusiast or simply looking for some peace and quiet, the Alpine scenery will take your breath away whenever you visit.

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The ski resorts on Annecy’s doorstep

In winter, the snow-capped peaks of the mountains around Annecy become a playground for those who love winter sports.

The ski resort of La Clusaz, just 30 minutes away by car, is particularly popular for its wide choice of slopes, suitable for all levels. Le Grand Bornand, another family-friendly ski resort, is also nearby. And for the more adventurous, the huge Chamonix Mont-Blanc ski area is just an hour’s drive away.

Annecy’s hiking trails

Once the snow has melted, the mountains around Annecy reveal a whole new side to their beauty. The ski slopes give way to a multitude of beautiful hiking trails for all abilities.

For example, the Mont Veyrier trail offers a breathtaking view of Lake Annecy, while the Bauges regional nature park, one of UNESCO’s biosphere reserves, is home to exceptional flora and fauna.

The Alpine air

As well as sporting activities, simply breathing in the mountain air can be an invigorating experience. The vast pine forests, high-altitude lakes such as Lac du Bourget, fields of summer wildflowers and crystal-clear rivers flowing down from the peaks all contribute to this atmosphere of tranquillity and serenity.

The mountains around Annecy are an idyllic setting where you can reconnect with nature and recharge your batteries. Now is the perfect time to book your stay with OVO Network and enjoy everything this region has to offer.

Although opinions differ on the purity of the air in the mountains, the town of Annecy is constantly striving to improve it. At the moment, air quality varies between “average” and “degraded”, according to the Observatoire de la qualité de l’air in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. Annecy’s aim is to make it much better.

2. Visit Annecy, a truly green town

Annecy is a natural gem in the heart of the Alps, where preserving the environment is a priority.

For example, the town council has decided to commit to a carbon-neutral path by 2050: the aim is to steadily reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 5 to 7% each year between now and 2050. Annecy is also aware of the richness of the local environment, and every year opts to protect and encourage nature in the heart of the city, for example by planting many public spaces (including three school playgrounds every year).

Throughout the year, the town offers a wide range of walks and green experiences, making it a destination of choice for those looking to recharge their batteries and reconnect with nature.



A stroll on the Paquier

Begin your tour of the city with a relaxing walk in the Parc du Paquier. With seven hectares of greenery right in the heart of the city, it’s the ideal place for a stroll in any season. In summer, the park is a favourite spot for picnics, while in winter it transforms into a magnificent setting for a stroll in the snow. In spring and autumn, you can go and admire the changing colours of the trees.

Visit Annecy: discover the parks and gardens

Annecy is home to more than 18 parks, where you can admire the local flora and enjoy some peace and quiet away from the noise of the city.

The Jardin de l’Europe, by the lake, is particularly pleasant, with its century-old trees and colourful flowerbeds. The Parc Charles Bosson is renowned for its rose garden and exotic species. Finally, you can also visit the many châteaux around Lake Annecy, such as the beautiful Château de Duingt.

Chateaux de Duingt, near Annecy, surrounded by the turquoise waters of the lake
Visit Annecy, with its beautiful scenery and stunning castles ©Timographie 360

Traffic-free zones

Committed to sustainable transport, the city boasts more than 15 kilometres of pedestrian zones, making it an ideal place for walking and cycling. The old town, with its cobbled streets and canals, is particularly charming. You’ll find plenty of shops, cafés and restaurants where you can sample the local specialities.

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Green initiatives

As well as its parks and pedestrian zones, Annecy has a wealth of green initiatives. The town has recently planted thousands of trees and introduced measures to reduce air pollution: there are plans to plant 250,000 trees by 2050. And recently, major efforts have been made to promote public transport and cycling. For example, buses are free in July and August to allow the city to breathe, even during the peak tourist season.

Annecy is a city that is looking to the future, by offering an exceptional quality of life for both residents and visitors. Whatever the season, you’ll find plenty of places in Annecy where you can relax and enjoy the natural surroundings.

A wooden pontoon on lake Annecy surrounded by turquoise waters and green mountainsides
The crystal-clear waters of Lake Annecy reflect its natural beauty and its rejuvenation ©Yellow Korner

3. Cycling in Annecy

Nicknamed the “Venice of the Alps”, Annecy is also a very practical city for cyclists. With over 45 kilometres of cycle paths, spectacular scenery and a commitment to eco-mobility, it’s the perfect destination for (re)discovering the cycling life.

Cycling for all ages and abilities

The Tour du Lac d’Annecy is undoubtedly one of the most popular routes for cyclists, with a 42-kilometre trail that is completely safe and accessible to all. It’s a great way to enjoy the region’s breathtaking scenery. And if you want to explore further, there are plenty of routes in the surrounding mountains, offering stunning views of the Alpine peaks.

Three cyclists on a hairpin bend surrounded by meadow, with trees and mountains in the background
Enjoy the calm of the great outdoors and the busy life in the town, all by bike © Lac d’Annecy

Bring your own bike, or rent one in Annecy

If you don’t own a bike, or can’t bring your own, don’t worry! There are plenty of bike hire companies in Annecy. For example, Roul’ ma Poule, by the lake, offers a wide range of bikes, while Velonecy, a long-term hire service run by the local authority, offers bikes for all ages and abilities.

Annecy is a city that lives and breathes cycling, making it a great choice for those who love to pedal. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a beginner, Annecy has something to satisfy your passion.

4. Visit Annecy, a town with green ambitions

Annecy is not only a green town in terms of its landscape but also in terms of its commitment to sustainable development. You’ll find plenty of eco-responsible businesses in the town.

Green cuisine

Enjoying local cuisine is one of the essential pleasures of any trip. In Annecy, many restaurants make a point of offering dishes prepared using local, organic and seasonal produce.

The Bon Pain Bon Vin restaurant, for example, offers tasty, creative cuisine in an original way. Le Chalet is another address renowned for its commitment to the quality and freshness of its produce. And, of course, they all use delicious, Savoyard produce!



Relaxing with the planet in mind

Annecy is no slouch when it comes to relaxing in an eco-responsible way. The Cristal Spa, in the Impérial Palace Hotel, uses natural and organic products for its treatments.

Eco-responsible living in Annecy is not a chore, it’s a pleasure. So whether you’re a gourmet, a shopping enthusiast or simply looking for relaxation, you’ll find places in Annecy that share your commitment to sustainable development.

A tourist boat passes the Château de Duingt, overlooking Lake Annecy
A boat trip is one of the best ways to discover the “Venice of the Alps” © Lac d’Annecy

5. Visit Annecy, where sport happens all year round

As you can see, Annecy is a real paradise for those who like to keep active. Whatever the season, the town offers a multitude of outdoor sporting activities which allow you to enjoy the exceptional setting while getting some exercise.

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Spring and summer sports in Annecy

With the arrival of fine weather, Lake Annecy becomes a playground for those who love water sports. Canoeing, paddling, sailing, diving, water skiing… there’s something for everyone. And for those who prefer to stay on dry land, there’s hiking, mountain biking and climbing. Finally, there’s golf: the Golf Club du Lac d’Annecy is renowned for its exceptional course and breathtaking views.

Autumn sports in Annecy

Autumn is the ideal season for hiking, with the leaves changing colour and the temperature cooler. The forests around Annecy offer a multitude of hiking trails for all levels. For cyclists, the Voie Verte around the lake is a must.

Winter sports in Annecy

In winter, the mountains around Annecy are an ideal setting for winter sports. Downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, tobogganing… you’ll be spoilt for choice.

The nearby ski resorts of La Clusaz and Le Grand Bornand offer runs for all levels. If you’d rather stay a little closer to home, then the smaller ski resorts of Le Semnoz and La Sambuy are ideal choices. And if you like ice skating, the town’s ice rink is open all winter.

The Imperial Palace, facing Lake Annecy, covered in a blanket of snow in winter.
The snow-covered town of Annecy, with its tranquil and timeless beauty. © Annecy Ville

Sporting activities in Annecy

Finally, Annecy itself offers a wide range of sporting activities. There are many yoga classes, both in the studio and outdoors. You can also go skating or skateboarding at the town’s skate park or take advantage of the many sports pitches available (football, basketball, tennis, etc.). Whatever the season, Annecy has something to keep even the most sporty satisfied.

Renowned for its commitment to sustainable development and respect for the environment, Annecy is a town that lives to the rhythm of the seasons. It offers both residents and holidaymakers an unrivalled quality of life:

  • A town in the heart of the mountains;
  • A green town;
  • Life on a bike;
  • Green businesses;
  • Sporting opportunities all year round.

Every season, Annecy offers you new experiences and new discoveries. So why wait? Visit Annecy now!

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