The Ultimate Cyclists Guide to Annecy

By : Mr Mamil
Updated :

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Cycling in Lake Annecy

Annecy is the largest city in the Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of southeastern France. It is about 40km south of Geneva, Switzerland, and 50km northeast of Chambéry.

Annecy is popular among tourists and cyclists for its location near several large lakes and its Alpine scenery. In particular, it is a popular destination in the summer due to its proximity to Lake Annecy, known for its clear blue waters. Annecy is also popular in winter for its skiing opportunities in the nearby Alps.

Cyclists also often come to Annecy for its challenging rides in the mountains. Annecy is surrounded by several mountains, such as the Col de la Colombière (1,599m), Col des Aravis (1,472m), Col de la Croix Fry (1,424m), and Semnoz (1,586m).

This makes Annecy an ideal place for road cycling and mountain biking.

How to get to Annecy

Depending on your location and budget, there are a few different ways to get to Annecy.

  • By air. The closest airport is Geneva Airport (GVA), about a 1-hour drive away. The other nearby airports are Lyon Airport (LYS), Chambery Airport (CMF), Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP), and Turin Airport (TRN).
  • By car. If you’re from France, the easiest and most convenient way to get to Annecy is by car.
    • From Lyon, via A41/A43 (146km, 2 hours)
    • From Grenoble, via A41 (107km, 1.5 hours)
    • From Paris, via A6 (560km, 6 hours)
    • From Geneva, Switzerland, via A41 (42km, 45 minutes)
  • By train. There are direct TGV trains from Paris. The journey takes around 3 hours and 45 minutes.

Best time to ride in Annecy

The best time to visit Annecy for cycling would likely be during the summer months of June to September, when the weather is generally warm and dry.

Average High and Low Temperature in Annecy
Average High and Low Temperature in Annecy
  • Summers (June to August) are warm, ranging from around 14 to 26°C (57 to 79°F). The roads are clear of snow and ice, and the scenery is at its most beautiful. During this time, there are also many organized bike tours and events. However, the high season also could mean more tourists on the road.
  • Fall (September to November), temperatures drop again and the weather can be unpredictable with a mix of sun and rain. The roads are generally clear, but the leaves on the trees can make the roads slippery. It can be a good time for cycling, but it’s important to check the weather forecast and be prepared for changes.
  • Winter (December to February), the temperature typically ranges from -2 to 5°C (28 to 41°F) and there is a high likelihood of snow and ice on the roads, making it difficult to cycle.
  • Spring (March to May) brings milder temperatures, typically around 10 to 15°C (50 to 59°F), with occasional rain showers. The roads are usually clear of snow and ice, making it a good time for cycling.

Best climbs around Annecy

There are many popular climbs and mountain passes for cyclists around Annecy. Some of the most popular include,

  • Col de la Colombière is situated northeast of Annecy. The official climb starts at Le Grand Bornand and is 11.6km with a 5.7% average gradient. It’s one of the most popular climbs in the Tour de France.
  • Col de la Croix Fry. This climb starts from Thônes, about 21km from Annecy. It’s 6.6km and averages 7.8%.
  • Col des Aravis. This climb starts from Thônes and is 18.8km long, averaging 4.7%.
  • Semnoz is located just outside of Annecy to the southwest. The climb from Annecy is 16km long, averaging 7.1%.

Bike hire and rental in Annecy

There are plenty of bike hire and rental companies in Annecy, so you’re sure to find something to suit your needs.

Prices vary depending on the type of bike and the length of time you want to hire it, but you can expect to pay around €20 per day for a basic mountain bike. If you’re planning on doing some serious cycling, you may consider renting a more expensive road bike. The price starts from €35 per day.

Most rental companies will require you to leave a deposit, so bring a credit card or cash. And finally, don’t forget to wear a helmet.

CompanyAddressPhoneType of bikes
BcycletRue du Champ Blanchod 4, 1228 Plan les Ouates (Geneva)+41 22 519 00 31Road, MTB, Gravel, Kids
Cyclable13 Rue de la Préfecture, 74000 Annecy+33 450 65 09 09Road, E-bike, Kids
Basecamp Bike21 Rue Noblemaire, 74290 Talloires-Montmin+33 440 64 50 57Road, Gravel, E-bike
Roul’ Ma Poule4 Rue des Marquisats, 74000 Annecy+33 450 27 86 83Cargo, E-bike, Kids
Bike rental companies in Annecy

Cycling tours in Annecy

Tours by bicycle are a fantastic way to explore the area around Annecy. There are many different types of tours on offer, so there is sure to be one to suit everyone.

Tour prices vary depending on the length and type of tour, but most companies offer competitive rates. The services provided on most tours include a helmet, a map of the route, and occasional stops for refreshments.

When choosing a tour, it is important to consider the difficulty level. Some tours are designed for experienced cyclists, while others are more suitable for beginners. It is also worth checking the type of bike included in the price. Some companies provide mountain bikes, while others only have road bikes.

Popular destinations for cycling tours in Annecy include the lakeside towns of Talloires and Menthon-Saint-Bernard, as well as the mountain village of Saint-Jorioz. There are also many scenic routes through the forests and vineyards surrounding Annecy.