Going around the lake by bike or scooter is the best way to enjoy views over lake Annecy. Some lakeshores are only accessible via the cycle path. In addition, traffic is terrible in summer, especially in Sevrier, Saint-Jorioz and Duingt. Below are my recommendations for the most beautiful views of Lake Annecy: from a pass, a mountain or simply a beach.
Cycling around the lake
Annecy is perfect for the occasional cyclist, as a means of transport, but also for training. Indeed, the Tour de France passes through Annecy and near the lake. The cycle path was built around Lake Annecy (and continues on to Albertville). On the west bank, it is in fact an old railway track rehabilitated into a cycle track. The tour of the lake is 42km and is done more or less in 2h30. When leaving Annecy, prefer going clockwise.
Start from Veyrier-Menthon, you will then get to Talloires (the slope is quite steep!) with a beautiful view. The cycle path is still being developed and it can be quite narrow in some areas. On the Semnoz side (from Doussard to Sevrier), the cycle path is practically flat to reach Annecy.
Sevrier is the first village after Annecy. It is located between the lake and the Semnoz mountain.
Le clos du Berthet – small beach
The Clos Berthet in Sevrier offers a beautiful views of the lake and mountains. There are of course a lot of beaches around the lake but this one is qyuietr. It is located in Sévrier opposite the campsite and accessible by the cycle path (GPS coordinates: 45.855819, 6.146220).
Sevrier municipal beach
Descend the road close to the church of Sevrier, you will have a first glance at the lake. When you reach the bottom, a sandy and grassy beach awaits you. Admission is free all year round but parking is chargeable.
Summer and winter, I never tire of admiring the lake from the pier. Close to the sailing club and the diving club.
Similar to that of Sevrier, it offers a very beautiful view of the Roc de Chère, the Tournette and the Teeth of Lanfon.
Saint-Jorioz municipal beach
Saint Jorioz has a large white sand beach with a very beautiful view of the Roc de Chère and the Dents de Lanfon. Unfortunately the access isn’t free in Summer (end of June – end of August).
Notre-Dame du lac & la crête du Taillefer
Accessible from the village of Duingt, the path to the Notre-Dame du Lac cave offers a very pretty view of Duingt, Ruphy’s castle and Lake Annecy. The walk is about 10 minutes following a path marked out by 12 buildings relating the life of Christ. The arrival is on the belvedere where there is a cave sheltering Notre Dame du Lac. A little higher, another path goes to the belvedere of Saint-Michel and then continues on the Crête du Taillefer to Entrevernes. It is worth going all the way to enjoy the beautiful views over the lake, the Roc de Chère and the Tournette.
Length: 10 minutes
The 3 crosses of Sévrier (les 3 croix)
The hike is a pleasant walk offering great panoramas of the Lake and the mountains. The path leads to the foot of three crosses, the Croix de Chuguet, the Croix du Crêt and the Croix du Chef-Lieu. All 3 allows you to enjoy the beaitiful views of the lake. However if you are looking for a shorter trip, the cross of the Chef-Lieu offers a loop trail from the center of Sevrier. The climb is quite steep but the path continuously in the cool of the forest, perfect iwhen it’s very hot. In Summer, the water of the lake is even more impressive: the blue water brings out the turquoise close to the edges.
Altitude: 784 meters
Elevation: 333 meters
Easily accessible from Angon or from the village of Talloires, the Angon waterfall will dazzle you with its great waterfalls, especially in spring, where the flow is at its maximum. Avoid going there after the rain because the trail is already very slippery. A slight drop still allows beautiful views of Lake Annecy, the Tournette and the dents de Lanfon. Impressive from its 60m high, many canyoning enthusiasts abseil there. For more information, see the article dedicated to Angon waterfall.
Elevation: 120 meters
Altitude: 645 meters
Mont Veyrier (via Contrebandiers pass)
A short mountain hike with a beautiful view of the lake. 30 minutes from Annecy, it offers a clear view of the lake and the Bauges range on one side, and the Aravis range on the other. This hike is accessible from Annecy le Vieux or Veyrier but also from the Col des Contrebandiers (accessible by car with a parking close by). The upper part of Mont-Veyrier is clear with aerial passages and much more sparse vegetation. The end offers a panoramic view of lake Annecy and is located on the site of the old cable car.
Length: 1 hour return
The Semnoz plateau is easy to access. The crest of Châtillon (1699 m) as well as the crest of the Eagle (1646 m) offer a beautiful 360-degree panorama. The view never shows Lake Annecy in its entirety, but you can also see Lake Bourget. Several lookouts have different views of the lake. The first is on the last few bends before the summit. At the top, and on a clear day, the Mont Blanc is visible.
Every season, many activities are possible: in winter, the Semnoz massif offers dozens of km of alpine and cross-country ski trails. It is also ideal for snowshoeing. In summer, mountain biking (with a trail going down to Annecy) hiking, climbing, trail or even paragliding.
Altitude: 1646 m
Le col de la Forclaz and paragliding
To enjoy one of the most beautiful views of Lake Annecy, I recommend the Col de la Forclaz: the setting is amazing! Annecy is one of the best paragliding spots in Europe and regularly hosts the world championships. It is the runway for paragliders and offers a beautiful view of the lake as well as an air show. In summer, it’s better to arrive at the end of the day when the sun is lower: the colours are beautiful.
Length: The first lookout is accessible by car. Allow 15-20 minutes to climb the the paragliding runway.
For more information, read the full article
It’s a proper hike: the highest mountain around Lake Annecy offers a 360-degree view of the lake, the Aravis massif and Mont-Blanc. It takes about 2h30 of ascent and 2 hours of descent (on the side of Annecy). The hike is not difficult but it’s pretty steep (900m drop) but you will be rewarded with one of the most beautiful views of Lake Annecy. You will share the summit with photogenic ibexes!