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Cycling around Lake Annecy: 6 Stops You Can't Miss

Discover France's second-largest lake on a cycling tour. From Gothic revival castles to lakeside beaches to French gastronomy, these are the 6 must-see stops along your route.

Lake Annecy, France

by Adrianna Pouwer

15 de sept de 2023

Annecy is like the Ryan Gosling of the French Alps: it has it all. The mountains, the lake, the cute little town center with a few castles on the hill. You can rent a boat for an afternoon on the lake, stroll the farmers market to start your day off right, or explore the cobblestone streets of the historic town center. This city has a lot to offer. 

One of these incredible options is a bike ride around all of Lac d’Annecy (Lake Annecy). That may sound intimidating but I’m telling you, it’s a must-do for any level. Whether you’re looking to ride in the next Tour de France or eat your way around the perimeter of the lake, there is a great ride for everyone. 

The Route

Lac d’Annecy bike path is a 42 km loop that runs around the perimeter of the lake. There is one hill that’ll get you puffing if you use a regular road bike but beyond this, it’s a relatively flat trail. You can expect the adventure to take anywhere from 3-6 hours depending on how quickly you ride and how often you stop. 

Your Wheels

You’ll need your mode of transportation. There are plenty of bike shops to rent from in the center of town. For a regular road bike, prices range from 20€ - 40€ for a 4-8 hour rental. If you are concerned about the level of fitness this activity will require but would still like to try it, you also have the option to rent an e-bike. Remember, you can take this ride as speedy or as easy as you like. We started our ride in the direction of the path closer to the mountains. Regardless of how you ride it, here are six things I think are worth stopping to see/do.

Castle Menthon behind trees

First Stop: Castle Menthon

At Castle Menthon, you have the option to take a tour of the castle, grab a snack and lounge at the tables overlooking the lake, or roam the gardens (maybe see a peacock if they think you’re worthy of their beauty). This was one of my favorite parts of the ride - beware the massive hill to get up to the castle. Unless you are physically fit or using an e-bike, I’d leave this one for another day.

Second Stop: Plage d’Angon

Take a breather at this family-friendly beach a few kilometers down the way. Put your toes in the water, and sit awhile. The view is worth the break.

Third Stop: Tour Medievale

This historical site is located at the opposite tip of Lac d’Annecy. If you're a history geek like me, it is a cool place to stop. You’ll get some ancient history, a cute little view, and a sense of satisfaction at how far you’ve already come.

Fourth Stop: Boulangerie du Lac

By this point in the ride, my stomach was starting to voice some opinions. Lucky for me, a pastry was right around the corner. Stop by the Boulangerie du Lac for a quick snack. While you eat, you can lounge at the Plage du Chateau or the observation deck, Tentasse, and enjoy a stunning view of the Chateau de Duingt and the French alps.

Fifth Stop: Annecy City Center (Vieille Ville)

If I were you, post snack break, I’d bust my butt the final 12 km back to the town center where after dropping off your bike, you can grab a bite to eat, take a dip in the lake, or my personal choice, grab some gelato from Glacier des Alpes. So good!

A hand holding pink and yellow ice cream

Sixth Stop: European Gardens & Annecy Park

With a full day of riding on your pedals, the sixth and last stop to make is a stroll in the Jardins de l’Europe. Maybe you’ll want to cross the Pont des amours (Lovers bridge) to sit at Le Pâquier d'Annecy (Annecy Park) and watch the clouds change colors while the sun goes down.

Enjoy Annecy!

All in all, this was a great adventure day in Annecy. If you’re not convinced after reading this that at least a portion of the Annecy bike path is worth riding, there are plenty of other activities this city can offer you. I am confident that you’ll have an enjoyable trip while in Annecy regardless of whether you choose to explore by bike, foot, paraglide or bus. Happy exploring!

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