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Annecy lake weekend
France, The Alps
295€/person (including taxes)
1 Leisure level
Annecy and its famous lake are a real haven of tranquility. Crystal clear water, small quiet mountain roads that snake up from the lake front, Annecy old town with its quaint restaurants and easy access from Geneva airport, all make for a fantastic weekend get away.
Day 1 Arrive in Annecy and discover the town
Bcyclet welcomes you in the early afternoon, leaving you time for a ride along the lake front or for a walk in the old town. You may have dinner (not included) in a small wine cellar that only the locals know or in a more traditional local restaurant.
Night in Annecy
Day 2 Tour of the Lake
Leisure: you can ride 80% of the way around the lake entirely along a dedicated tarmacked cycle path, allowing you to ride with zero traffic, free to enjoy the beautiful lake and mountain scenery. We have our own variation on this classic route, allowing you to really take full advantage of the idyllic environment.
40km and 200m+
Pro: This is a climber’s stage. The Semnoz looms large just to the West of Annecy and will be your first challenge of the day. The climb starts just outside the city centre at 450m above sea level and culminates at 1699m after some 18km. It is tough climb but most of it is through beautiful protected forest, so even in the middle of summer it never gets too hot. Once at the top you will be rewarded by a magnificent descent back down to the lake, followed by a short section along the cycle path before tackling the famous Col de la Forclaz. You will climb from the quieter but tougher Southern side, which was ridden in the 2016 Tour de France. The climb is only 8.5 km long but with sections at 11% this is a will be a proper test for your climbing legs. At the summit the views of the Lake and the surrounding mountains are breathtaking, as is the spectacle of the paragliders jumping off the cliff edge. A beautiful winding road will take you back down the opposite side to the lake front and Annecy. This is a must-do loop for any cycling enthusiast.
80 km and 2100 m+
Night in Annecy
Day 3 The Bauges Massif
Leisure: Today you head into the Bauges mountains, still famous for their pastoral traditions and great local cheeses. Your first stop will be the pont de l’Abîme (literally the Abyss bridge) which is tarmacked but suspended some 100m above the Chéran river gorge. Once across you will climb the bucolic road to the small Col de Leschaux 897m), before taking a loop back to the lake and Annecy.
45km and 500m+
Pro: After crossing the pont de l’Abîme (as above) you will tackle another famous local climb, the Mont Revard. (1538m) At the top you will be overlooking the town of Aix les Bains and its lake De Bourget, which is France’s largest natural glacial lake. On your way back you will again meet up with the route taken by the Leisure tour, via the Col de Leschaux (897m) before descending back to Annecy lake and the centre of town. Another great climbing stage with spectacular scenery and very quiet roads that seemed designed with cyclists in mind.
90km and 2200m+
End of your trip by mid-afternoon. An extra night in Annecy is available on request.