Cycling Semnoz – a challenging climb to ride from Annecy

Semnoz – Tour de France Pedigree

Fans of the Tour de France will recognize the Semnoz climb from the 2013 edition of the race. Located on the western side of Lake Annecy, Semnoz is a popular climb to tackle when staying in the area. The route mapped out below is a loop so you have the option of tackling the climb from either approach. If you go the more direct option straight from Annecy, you will have a shorter but steeper climb to the summit of Semnoz, with an average gradient of 7%. Approaching Semnoz from the other side is longer however the average gradient is more forgiving.

From the top of the summit, you will have commanding views across the mountain ranges.

Suggested cycling route

Distance: 56.2km / 35mi

Start elevation: 454m / 1,490ft

Max elevation: 1,660m / 5,446ft

Metres climbed: 1,387m / 4,549ft

Metres descended: 1,387m / 4,549ft

Categorised climbs: 1

Food and water

We recommend setting off with food and water before leaving Annecy. Whilst you will ride through some small villages it is not a given that services will be open where you can resupply.

Climb statistics and gradient profile

Gradient profile of Mont Semnoz from Annecy


Length: 17.2km / 10.7mi

Average gradient: 7%

Start point: Annecy

Elevation at top: 1660m / 5,446ft


Length: 10.8km / 7 mi

Average gradient: 8.5%

Start point: La Quintal

Elevation at top: 1660m / 5,446ft

Gradient profile of Mont Semnoz from Quintal

Discover our comprehensive guide to Cycling in the French Alps

The climb of Semnoz is just one of many great cycling 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 Annecy
  • 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.