Cycle Travel Guides
Why Annecy is a must to visit: Amy Beattie
Why Annecy is a must to visit: Amy Beattie
Annecy is often referred to the Venice of the Alps and when you visit here it’s easy to see why.
Cobbled streets, winding canals and pastel coloured houses surrounded by Alpine meadows and glistening peaks makes for a spectacular setting.
How to describe such a beautiful place through words can be difficult, however I am going to give it a good go! Imagine its 8am and you are enjoying your morning coffee watching the sunrise above the smooth blue water, with the collection of spectacular villages reflecting in the water. There are, off course, many keen cyclists getting their early ride in, before everyone else!
Cycling in and around Annecy is a must, whether you are a beginners or an elite athlete. There is something here for everyone.
If you enjoy an easy flat ride with some great views and the option to stop and take a dip in the lake, the cycle path is for you. The cycle path runs 30km south of Annecy on the western side of the lake, with cafes, restaurants and beaches the entire way. The cycle path itself is exciting, whilst enjoying your ride you will come across rollerbladers, tandems and many other extraordinary ways to travel. That being said don't be worried about getting yourself stuck in traffic, everyone knows the rules and will be out of your way as soon as they hear you coming.
If you are looking for something more challenging then Annecy is surrounded by a variety of sall and large cols. One of the easiest is the Col de Bluffy is a 5.5km climb (avg 4.7%) and is the perfect col to start and get your legs warmed up. To the north of the lake we have Col de Tamie which is a 10km climb but with relatively easy gradients (avg 4%) The Col de Forcaz, 8km climb but is a steeper and tougher challenge but offers the best view of the lake at the summit and a café serving wonderful French cakes! (avg 8%). If this is still not doing it for you, why not try Col de Semmoz a 17.5km climb (avg 7%). Then if you are still not satisfied then challenge yourself, and see how many you can do in one day!
There is a lot more to Annecy than simply cycling and I would recommend the following. Taking a boat trip is a lovely way to see the surrounding villages and beaches on the lake. The food is very alpine influenced with a wonderful selection of local cheeses, ham, breads and off course local freshwater fish. The choices of restaurants are never ending!
Annecy offers something for everyone, whether it’s purely for cycling or a family adventure holiday where cycling comes into it. There is accommodation to suit all budgets, great camping sites, beach side chalets through to top level hotels in the town centre.
This article was provided by Amy Beattie from the Alpine Chain Gang who organise cycling holidays in the Auvergne - Rhone - Alpes region of France. To find out more visit their website