Hiking: Tour of Lake Annecy, right bank; Northern Alps; France - 578 m. (1,896 ft)

Sun, 20 August 2023


Minimum altitude: 444 meters

Distance: 22 km

Slope Aspect: West

Trip Reports

Vertical Climbed: 280 meters (919 feet)

Vertical Descended: 293 meters

Rating: 4


The tour of the lac d'Annecy is around 45km. Flat on the left bank, hilly on the right due to the Roc de Chère nature reserve.

We decided to tackle the tour from Doussard in the south, the nearest point to home but if you are coming by train (or bus) Annecy would make more sense. Next question, do take the left or right bank - the lake drains at Annecy into the Thiou. We decided to take the right bank to Annecy, which requires a moderately hard but short climb over the Roc de Chère but an easy descent to Menthon St Bernard and we hoped for an easy walk into Annecy where we had reserved a room in the Hotel les Muses.

Parking at 9am we picked up the cycle track at Verthier. Most of the time you can walk just to one side on the grass but sometimes you are forced to share with cyclists - who don’t seem aware that it is officially a mixed use path. The main road was already busy on this Sunday in August and temperatures were in the mid 20s. After about 2km you pick up the lake at Gliere and the air is much fresher. People were already setting up for a day beside the lake.

At Angon the road climbs a bit and heads inland but it is possible to descend to the port via a campsite and our breakfast (7km) of coffee and crepes at Monté Médio (montmedio.com) plus a little swim in the cool lake waters.

It was a short walk to the port of Talloires and we were worried we would be ahead of schedule for our lunch stop at Menthon St Bernard at 13h30. After a bit of tourism in the tres chic Talloires we need not have worried. The climb to the Roc de Chère was steep, rocky and narrow and slowed us down considerably. At the summit we were in pleasant woods with Annecy golf course on the right. We even came across “Petit Stonehenge” a tiny stone circle before descending into Menthon and lunch at the Chalet du Port and the chance for a second swim, less calm than at Angon.

The waitress was like Sartre’s garcon du cafe. Lively and forceful of gesture, a little too precise, a little too fast, she came towards us with a little too quick a step, her voice, her eyes expressed a little too solicitous interest in our order. What was she playing at? She was playing at the cafe waitress!

I had fresh fish caught in lac… Leman. Geraldine a Hot Goat Salad. Washed down with local(ish) Savoyard Apremont wine. Not a king of wines but refreshing after 14km. I’d calculated the rest of the trip as 5km but the path now turned inland and climbed. It was hot, too hot. The still air hung languidly over the lake hinterland. We hugged the edge of the road, searching for any shade. Finally at 20.5km we reached Annecy le Vieux and once again the freshness of the lake with a wooden boardwalk littered with sun bathers. A bakers on the left sold us cold, fizzer water which we guzzled with relish. Another couple of km and we reached the hotel and the salvation of its air conditioning.

In the evening we walked back to Chez Cocotte, a lakeside cafe where again I had fish - Black Bass and Geraldine, a veggie burger once again accompanied by a Roussette from the Savoy. By 9pm we were done and and collapsed into bed wondering about the return trip.

Tour of Lake Annecy, left bank; Northern Alps; France (pistehors.com)


Very hot; mid 30C in the afternoon. Lots of tourists.


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