From the crystal clear waters of Lake Annecy - known as Europe’s cleanest - to the picturesque villages circling the lake and its surrounding mountains, visiting Annecy in summer is like having multiple holidays in one. Hit the water by paddleboard, pedalo, boat or wakeboard, head up into the hills for views and explore the winding cobblestone streets of Annecy before heading into one of its breweries, bistros or fine dining restaurants. At the far end of the lake is the peaceful Talloires, a village with an ancient history; ideal for escaping the action and discovering the area’s quiet side.
Lake Annecy’s summer beach scene
As well as the city, lake and mountains, you’ll also get a taste of beach life on the shores of Lake Annecy, with over a dozen to choose from for a lazy day: Plage de La Brune and St Jorioz have sandy shores, while the Menthon-Saint Bernard is more of an outdoor swimming pool complex but in a natural setting and with fresh lake water, floating walkways, lifeguards and showers. Albigny beach, with its grassy sunbathing banks, is one of Annecy’s most popular, just a 20-minute walk from town. The Talloires bay is sheltered from wind, with paddling pools for kids, as well as beach volleyball and bowls. The list goes on…
From easy strolls to walking in the hills
Wander along the meandering canals in Annecy’s old town and you’ll understand why it’s called the ‘Venice of the Alps’, packed with colourful houses and medieval architecture. Discover more about the flora and fauna of the lake along family trails Sentier des Roselières or Réserve Naturelle du Bout-du-Lac. And, if you’re feeling sporty, head high on the Parmelan pathway, or take the trail to the Glières plateau, for the full mountain-panorama effect.
Visit the city of Annecy for a day of culture
For a city, Annecy is tiny in size and easy to explore on foot; making it the ideal place for some sightseeing. From Annecy Castle, which dates back to the 13th century, to the Pont des Amours (lovers’ bridge) covered in padlocks, to 12th-century prison Palais de l’Ile, or exhibition space Bonlieu, Annecy is packed with history. When you’ve had enough history, dive into the food and drink scene. The seven Michelin stars in the region just go to show what a focus food is here, with the local bistros and cafés serving up equally as excellent un-starred plates and great value Savoie wine. Join the locals in strolling along the lake’s edge to digest…
For another history hit head to Talloires, a village based around a 9th century abbey with a more recent history of artists and writers (we’re talking the likes of Cezanne and Mark Twain) who came to Lake Annecy in search of beauty and inspiration.
Cycle the long but gentle lakeside bike path for the views, or head up high for a challenge
Pedal around the lake on the mostly-flat 26-mile cycle path, or take out the hardest work and do it on e-bike. Serious riders can discover the numerous Tour de France stages that have passed by Annecy over the years, with Col de Leschaux a fantastic introductory climb. Mountain bikers will find their people at Le Semnoz bike park, with everything from fun trails to the long 1,300 metre downhill ride into Annecy.
Waterfalls, gorges and rivers - perfect for excursions
Beyond the lake are rivers and nature reserves to explore. The Angon waterfall gives beautiful views over Lake Annecy and can be accessed by a trail from Talloires on the eastern shores. West of Annecy, and just under the medieval castle of Montrottier, is the Fier Gorge - a narrow and deep canyon that you can access on foot thanks to a sturdy footbridge through the deep-cut rocks.
Earn your lunch by walking to a mountain hut above Lake Annecy
Head up into the mountains and make tracks for a mountain hut, for cooler weather, big views and an Alpine treat once you arrive. The Aulp de Marlens hut is at the end of a meandering trail through forest and alpine pastures, with homemade cheese waiting for you. The hike from Aviernoz to cliff-top Parmelan Hut might be a hard slog up (around two hours) but is well worth the effort for the views. And setting out from the shores of Lake Annecy towards Praz d’Zeures, you’ll have views of Mont Blanc.
Why book a summer holiday in Lake Annecy with Inghams?
At Inghams, we do walking holidays differently. With no fixed itinerary, you have more time in your destination and the freedom to walk as much or as little as you like, discovering some of France's best walking routes and activities at your own pace.
With over 85 years of outdoor travel experience, our holiday packages to Lake Annecy include flights, transfers, and accommodation, so you can relax and leave the small details to us. Our experts can help you choose the best holiday for you, and our team in resort can give you the inside scoop on how to spend your time away with us.