Guide to cycling around Lake Annecy
It is possible to cycle around Lake Annecy, a 38km/24-mile loop on a mix of bike paths and on-road cycling. The loop is flat for most of the way, although there is one hill that will be challenging to less experienced riders. With stunning views and plenty of villages along the way, this is a must-do if visiting the area. The 2009 Tour de France even chose to showcase this route for an Individual Time Trial stage.
You can choose to cycle around Lake Annecy in either direction given the ride is one big loop of the lake itself. Whilst the route is mainly flat, there is a small amount of climbing which is steeper if tackled in a clockwise direction so do keep this in mind. This route also incorporates the Lake Annecy rail trail cycle path which is extremely popular with cyclists of all levels. You will find the closer you are to the town center the busier the path will be, but it is a fantastic piece of infrastructure utilized by many local keen cyclists as well.
We have put together a travel guide to Annecy for anyone considering visiting this part of France. Here you will find lots of practical information to help you plan your stay. We have also created a list of cycling routes from Annecy to show you what other types of cycling are available here.
Lake Annecy Cycle Path extension
Some exciting news – the local French council has approved an extension of the current Lake Annecy cycle path so it will eventually go all the way around the lake. This means the entire ride will soon be able to be done without having to be on the road. Separated cycling infrastructure in France is growing with each year and this addition will be very welcome by many cyclists.
Distance: 38km / 23.6mi
Start elevation: 453m / 1,486ft
Max elevation: 557m / 1,826ft
Metres climbed: 328m / 1,076ft
Metres descended: 328m / 1,076ft
Categorised climbs: 0
Cycling around Lake Annecy in Summer?
Be aware that in the summer months the temperatures can be quite hot in the valleys so make sure to put on liberal amounts of sunscreen and keep hydrated. Whilst there are some shaded sections on this riding loop, quite a lot of it is exposed.
Food and water
There are several smaller villages dotted along Lake Annecy which offer up a good place to refuel with food and water.
- Circumnavigating the entire lake in one ride.
- Riding through the disused railway tunnel which has been incorporated into the cycle path.
- Taking the opportunity for a mid-ride swim in the lake during summer is highly recommended!
Discover our comprehensive guide to Cycling in the French Alps
The ride around Lake Annecy is just one of many great cycling routes near the city of Annecy that 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 whilst on your cycling holiday
- cycling hotels and lodges
- bike hire outlets
- overview of transport links to the main areas in the Alps
- non-cycling attractions and activities in the region