Annecy / Ski

A beginner’s guide to ski resorts near Annecy

Getting on skis for the first time is not always easy. However, your efforts will all be worthwhile with the great feeling you get skiing in an exceptional natural environment!

Annecy is only roughly 45 minutes from La Clusaz, Manigod and Le Grand Bornand, but the lesser-known resorts of Le Semnoz and Sambuy are even closer to Annecy itself, and perfect for beginners.

Here are some of our recommended pistes in Le Semnoz and Sambuy…

A young girl skiing

Skiing in Le Semnoz

Where is Le Semnoz ski resort?

Le Semnoz is the closest ski station to Annecy. Known as the ‘Balcony of the Alps’, this station sits at 1699m and has magnificent panoramic views of the surrounding mountains plus stunning views of Lake Annecy. From central Annecy, it takes around 25 minutes by car to get there.

Its gentle slopes make it a great choice for budding skiers (seven green runs and five blue runs).

How to get there

You can drive from central Annecy to Le Semnoz and it will take you around 25 minutes depending on traffic.

Alternatively, the S1 or S2 bus goes to Le Semnoz from the station in Annecy. You can find more information and timings here. (Website in French only).

Where to ski?

There are two ski lifts for beginners: Abbaye serves the green run of the same name, and Cabri will take you to the Canyon and Bûcheron green runs, where you can build up your confidence.

After that there are several lovely blue runs – try Sapinettes or Belvédère to see how much progress you’ve made.

Lift passes

Due to the small size of the resort, you will find that lift passes at Le Semnoz are cheaper than that of larger, more popular resorts.

Their website (French only) has all the up to date prices for their different lift pass offers, but beginners should check out the ‘Forfaits Espace Débutants‘ section. This gives access to the Baby, Bambi and Cabri lifts, and allows you to buy packages from 1-8 hours.

Discover self-catered properties in Annecy

Three people skiing

Skiing in La Sambuy

Ideally located between Annecy and Albertville, La Sambuy is a friendly local ski station with access to a unique viewpoint of the Alps.

It offers both fun and technical runs, which will appeal to both beginner and experienced skiers. There are about 10 runs of various levels (three blues, one green). Plus plenty of skiing through the pine trees!

From Annecy, it takes just under an hour to get there by car. A free ski bus also runs from La Thuile, linking it with Doussard, Faverges, Sambuy.

Where to ski

The green Flocon run is perfect if you want a quiet place to learn, with gentle slopes, a rope tow and a ski lift.

Then, test your ski legs on the more supported blue runs, Chevreuil et Ardennaise.

Beginners may want to consider getting a lesson with ESF to learn the basics.

Lift passes

For the most up to date lift pass packages and prices, check the website.

There are beginner passes available at a lower price too – check with the lift pass office to find out more information about what lifts you can access with this pass.

Useful resources for beginners…

Heading to the mountains for your first skiing holiday can be daunting, but luckily we have some fantastic resources to help get you started. Check out other useful posts about beginner skiing…

Heading to a ski resort near Annecy?

Check out our fantastic range of partner properties in and around Annecy for your next winter trip…

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Be the first to hear about beautiful new properties and exclusive offers