Annecy Cycling – Col de la Forclaz

This climb to the top of the Col de la Forclaz will reward you with some of the most magnificent views of Lake Annecy. It is also popular with paragliders due to its brilliant launch site facilities, so you are sure to see the odd glider circling in the air above you. In fact, it has even been used as the site for the paragliding world championships!

A man riding in the French Alps on a quiet road

You can access the climb from the Annecy bike path which is what we advise when riding directly out from town. It leaves you with a pleasant, traffic-free start to the ride. Of course, as the route is a loop you can choose to ride the climb in either direction. The anti-clockwise loop is a slightly shorter climb so you will encounter some steeper gradients on your way to the top.

Suggested cycling route

Distance: 50km / 31mi

Start elevation: 451m / 1,480ft

Max elevation: 1,157m / 3,796ft

Metres climbed: 934m / 3,063ft

Metres descended: 934m / 3,063ft

Food and water

You can resupply with food and water at Menthon Saint Bernard. Alternatively, there are also a number of Auberges along the route if a sit-down meal takes your fancy.

Climb statistics and gradient profile

Gradient profile of Col de la Forclaz from Menthon

Col de la Forclaz (clockwise)

Length: 10.6km / 6.6mi

Average gradient: 6.3%

Start point: Menthon Saint Bernard

Elevation at top: 1,157m / 3,796

Col de la Forclaz (anti-clockwise)

Length: 9km / 5.6mi

Average gradient: 7.5%

Start point: D42 turnoff

Elevation at top: 1,157m / 3,796

Gradient profile of Col de la Forclaz from Vesonne


  • The most magnificent views of lake Annecy from the summit.
  • Once at the top take some time to watch paragliders launch off the mountain.

Discover our comprehensive guide to Cycling in the French Alps

Cycling the Col de la Forclaz climb is just one of many great riding routes near the city of Annecy which you can enjoy. This area of the French Alps is very popular with cyclists year-round owing to the great weather and variety of terrain on offer.

If you are not familiar with this region then, our comprehensive guide will help you plan everything you need for your cycling holiday. The guide includes information such as:

  • a map of the French Alps with climbs and towns marked
  • where to base yourself whist on your cycling holiday
  • cycling hotels and lodges
  • bike hire outlets
  • getting to and from the French Alps
  • non-cycling attractions and activities in the region

Click here to see a list of cycling routes available from Annecy. Our cycling route suggestions start in Annecy as we know from experience the majority of people visiting the area will stay in, or close to the city.