Lake Annecy cycle paths

So many bike paths to enjoy — around Lake Annecy and in the mountains

Cycling heaven — from relaxed lakeside village hopping to challenging Tour de France etaps

Annecy, at the foot of the French Alps, provides a glorious backdrop for any cycling adventure. Families love the protected lakeside promenade on the west side of Lake Annecy, which is perfect for short outings with small children. Serious cyclists have a huge number of mountain passes to choose from, or might like to challenge themselves to see how quickly they can complete a circuit around the lake. Mountain bikers aren't left out either.

Everyone's favourite — the Lake Annecy circuit

Years of effort have gone into providing a dedicated cycle path around Lake Annecy. Although some sections aren't quite finished, most of the path is now in use, making this 40-kilometre cycling track a great choice for sightseers and families with older kids. Stop along the way to cool off for a dip in the lake, and head for a celebratory ice cream in the old town when you complete the circuit! Please note that some sections of this route share the tarmac with cars.

Family fun with small kids — Annecy to Ugine

Families with small kids might opt will love the west side of the lake, with its bike path protected with a barrier from the road. From north to south, you can also continue along the old, flat, unused railway lines, which has been converted into a stand-alone and quiet bike track extending to Ugine. That's 38km of cycle track in one direction, although the cycle back towards the lake tends to be a little more challenging if there's any hint of a breeze!

Find the perfect accommodation for your cycling holiday

Steep, challenging terrain for Tour de France enthusiasts

Serious cyclists are spoilt for choice in the Annecy region, with historic Tour de France routes available in the mountains all around. To test your legs, head up the road to Semnoz — the mountain right by the centre of Annecy. From the top at Semnoz ski station, enjoy the stunning views of Mont Blanc before choosing to return on the same road, a descent into neighbouring Savoie (it's a long way back!), or the backroad down to the lake, arriving in Saint Jorioz.

The Col de la Forclaz is very popular with those cycling from Annecy, providing a long, steep ascent (718m vertical over 30km) and spectacular views of the lake and the mountains during the climb. Paragliders flock to this area, taking off from the col and landing at one of the fields around the lake, and there are restaurants and shops nearby — plus plenty of nature to enjoy such as the Angon waterfall, just a short detour away.

Head to the mountains

Not far from Annecy, know as the Venice of the Alps, is the Col des Aravis, which is a popular route for the Tour de France, being steeper and longer than the Col de la Forclaz regardless of your approach. Choose your path — from Annecy, Mègeve, Bonneville, Cluses or Uguine — or for those of us who are less fit, park the car in La Clusaz and take the short route up from there, remembering to take a selfie at the top! Which ever way up you choose, there are restaurants and cafés at the top where you can catch your breath and cool down before heading back down.

And you're up for a real challenge, the Plateau de Glières, which is one of the few modern dirt/gravel etaps of the Tour de France, is even closer to Annecy than the Col des Aravis. TdF racers first experienced this 1.8-kilometre stretch of dirt road in 2018, and it's back on the map for the 2020 Tour de France.

The perfect base for your cyling holiday

Whether you are an amateur cyclist wishing to attempt some of the challenging climbs in the region or you simply want to take in some of the beautiful scenery in the French Alps, nothing beats coming home to a private, relaxing villa around Lake Annecy. Choose a villa with a Jacuzzi and let the bubbles sooth your tired muscles, or opt for villa with a swimming pool to cool down in at the end of the day.

All our properties are self-catered, and as well as our Annecy villas, we have a wide range of chalets throughout the French Alps.

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