Thônes

Haute Savoie / France

Thônes Quick Facts

Location

Haute Savoie, 20km from Annecy, 80km from Geneva airport, 850km from Calais

When to visit

All year round

Market

Large general market on Saturday mornings

Activities

Skiing, walking, cycling, golf, watersports, riding and many more

Discover Thônes from your OVO Network property

This busy market town is in the heart of Reblochon country - the soft cheese for which this area is famous. It’s also great country for walking and mountain-biking - there’s a huge choice of paths between the Tournette Massif and the Aravis mountains.

In the winter, the Alpine pastures are transformed into great ski stations - choose from La Clusaz, Le Grand Bornand and Manigod.

Thônes is also perfectly placed to make the most of the medieval town of Annecy and its lake - reputed to be the cleanest in Europe.

Great skiing just a short drive away

From Thônes it’s less than 12km to the Aravis ski stations of La Clusaz, Le Grand Bornand and Manigod.

Skiing at La Clusaz is focused on five peaks - Beauregard, Manigod, La Balme, l’Etale and l’Aiguille, each offering pistes that vary in length, width and difficulty. Choose the peak which best suits you…

  • Beauregard is the lowest, sunniest, and is easily accessible from the Beauregard gondola up from La Clusaz, next to the ice rink.
  • Manigod offers quiet, tree-lined runs for all levels, with blue pistes outnumbering the rest.
  • La Balme is the home of world Freeride champion (and previous world Freestyle champion) Candide Thovex , and is an off-piste playground, as well as offering challenging pistes for advanced skiers.
  • l’Etale has steep runs higher up, including the famed Regine Cavagnoud red run, and easier ones lower down
  • l’Aiguille is home to the snowpark, set between green, blue and red pistes and links to La Balme.

In addition, La Clusaz and Le Grand Bornand share a great-value, combined Aravis Ski pass that provides 220km of skiing and 95 lifts with slopes suitable for all levels, including extensive off-piste areas. Take a look at the La Clusaz piste map for more information.

We also have the latest La Clusaz weather info and webcams.

As well as the downhill action, the Aravis area has a massive network of cross-country ski circuits (ski de fond). Other activities include ski joering (skiing behind a pony), speedriding areas, tandem paragliding, dog sledging, night skiing, sledging, ice skating, outdoor swimming in the heated swimming pool, and snow-shoeing

The mountains and lake are your summer playground

When you stay at an OVO Network property in Thônes in the summer you can try your hand at everything from canyoning and paragliding to tennis, yoga and watersports.

In the Aravis Massif, you can choose from mountain biking, paragliding, via ferrata and climbing. There’s also the Bun-J Ride bungy jump, high ropes, canyoning, diving, paintballing, road biking, and more. Those after a slower pace of sports can enjoy golf, mountain hiking, flora and fauna walks, swimming, tennis and yoga.

In Annecy, just 20km to the west of Thônes, the lake is the perfect place to try watersports such as canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, water-skiing, wakeboarding, diving and more. If you’d rather just kick back and relax, why not hire a boat and cruise to one of the beautiful lakeside villages, such as Talloires, for a meal, or enjoy a swim from one of the many beaches.

Discover the mountains on foot

Thônes has long been a great favourite with walkers and hikers. The French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau stayed in the town, and rumour has it that his "Rêveries du promeneur solitaire" were partly inspired by the area. Here are some of our favourite walks, many of which depart from the town centre:

  • The Waterfall walk - a beautiful 3km walk which is a good choice if you have children. Don’t miss the prehistoric site on the way round. Thônes-valsulens.com
  • Roi du Mont path - This family walk with great views takes you from the town centre into the forest. From the Mairie, take the Addebouts passage before joining the mountain path which goes up into the forest. Return along the same path. The Roi du Mont was named after a huge pine tree on the crest of the mountain, which was destroyed in a storm in 1999. Thônes-valsulens.com
  • Circuit de Cotagne - This is a beautiful hike for more experienced hikers that gives access to Tournette in a few hours.  Make a day of it and enjoy the views along the way. camptocamp.org

The tourist information office is the best place to pick up a guide to marked trails, or you can download them from the visorando website.

Also take a look at our guide to some of the local walks - click here

Days out

Annecy (20km): The medieval town of Annecy lies on the southern end of Lake Annecy, said to be the cleanest lake in Europe. The canals that run through the town are reminiscent of Venice, and in the summer the lakeside beaches are a perfect place for a swim, a picnic, or watersports. If you time your visit well, you may catch one of the many markets - local produce, antiques, or bric-a-brac. If you’ve time, catch a boat and visit one of the spectacular lakeside villages such as Talloires, Veyrier or Menthon St Bernard. https://en.lac-annecy.com/

La Clusaz - Just 11km away, the charming village and ski station of La Clusaz is well worth a visit. If you go on a Monday, you’ll be able to pick up fresh local produce at the market in Place de l’Eglise. Busy streets lead off the village square, with plenty of interesting shops, restaurants and nightclubs. https://www.ovonetwork.com/en/la-clusaz-chalets

Talloires This beautiful village on the banks of Lake Annecy is just 17km from Thônes. It’s the perfect place for a meal on a sunny day, enjoy a swim from the beach or you could hire a boat and explore other villages dotted around the lake.

Menthon Saint Bernard This pretty lakeside village, just 14km from Thônes, is dominated by its chateau, which has breathtaking views of the lake. Built in the 13th century, it was the birthplace of Saint Bernard of Menthon, the patron saint of mountain people. It is said that Walt Disney was staying nearby when he saw the castle, and used it as inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle! The castle is private, but is opened to the public from May to September chateau-de-menthon.com

Fun with the kids

Aravis Adventure Park Children from as young as three right up to teenagers and their parents will enjoy a range of tree-top adventures at this park just outside Thônes. Open from May to October, prices range from €16.50 for a junior, €23 for an adult, with discounts for groups. aravis-parc-d-aventures.fr

Go karting! Youngsters and adults with a need for speed could find their needs met at this kart park. It’s open all year round, from 10am to 7pm in school holidays, and from 2-7pm during term times. Prices start from €15 for 10 minutes, although children aged from eight to 10 karting for the first time will need an induction course (€28). http://www.kartparc.fr/

Go horseriding Whether you are looking for a full-day trek, lessons or just a pony ride for youngsters, the Thônes Equestrian Centre can help you out.  The centre also has a petting zoo with goats, sheep, chickens, geese and rabbits, which keeps young children entertained. centre-equestre-Thônes.ffe.com/

Montremont fish farm This is a unique summer experience for the whole family – quiet and relaxing. You can borrow fishing rods, and anything you catch can be prepared on site so that you can take it home for dinner, or eat it at the onsite restaurant, La Cabane. There are also children’s games, deck chairs for soaking up the sun, bowling and lots of green space. pisciculture-montremont.fr/

Get crafty On a rainy day, head for Le Monde des Art’Ravis, a craft shop which offers workshops where youngsters can try papier mache, manga drawing, graffiti and much more. Le-monde-des-artravis

Donkey trekking This is a great family day out in the Aravis. Collect the donkeys, load up their huge panniers with a picnic, drinks, binoculars, and sun cream. You’ll also be given brushes so that you can give your donkey a brush down when you stop for lunch. Keep your eyes open for a great glimpse of Mont Blanc. anesravis.com

Properties in the Aravis

Restaurants

Talinum Head for this restaurant in Rue des Portiques for excellent pizza - the pizzaiolo came runner-up in a national competition! They also do pasta, salads, Savoyard specialities such as tartiflette and fondue and homemade desserts. Many of the dishes are also available to take away. talinum-Thônes.com

El Lulo This family-owned restaurant specialises in South American food - try their arepas or corn cakes with a variety of fillings. Dishes can be ordered to take away. facebook.com/El-LuLo

La Creperie  Pop in to this simple restaurant in Rue des Clefs for a great choice of savoury galettes or sweet pancakes.  Vegetarian options are available, and dishes can be taken away. facebook.com/La-creperie-Thones

Chez Jorge There’s a great selection of tea, coffee, cakes and pastries at this coffee shop in Place Avet - why not drop in for afternoon tea?  facebook.com/chezjorge

 

Shopping

There is a small Carrefour in the centre of the town for all your everyday needs, and a larger Carrefour market 10 minutes walk away. There is also a Lidl and a Bio Monde. There are two pharmacies, banks, a medical centre, and two tabac-presse where you can buy English language newspapers and magazines. There is also a huge range of individual shops - some of our favourites are below:

Piment d'Âme A great selection of accessories and clothes from the local area and around the world - jewellery, clothes and candles. pimentdame.fr

Le Monde de Zuzu A really cute selection of toys, decorations and accessories for children in Rue des Portiques. mondedezuzu

La Pinta This "épicerie fine" stocks delicious teas, a small selection of whisky and beer, spices, oils, pâtés and syrups, etc. The staff are very knowledgeable about their products, and will be happy to create gift baskets for you. lapintathones.com

Aux Délices d'O Thônes Head to Rue de la Saulne for local specialities such as galettes and pralinettes as well as an appetising selection of bread, croissants and cakes. aux-delices-d-othones

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