Holidays in Lake Annecy

Beautiful Lake Annecy: surrounded by high mountains, charming villages and the historic city of Annecy

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.

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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.

Added value

24/7 support & tailored advice from our local resort team

All holidays include flights (or train) from the UK and transfers

Walking in and around Lake Annecy

On an Inghams walking holiday, you have the freedom to explore Lake Annecy at your own pace. Make each day a new adventure, with as much or as little walking as you like.

Why we love walking in Lake Annecy

It doesn't get better than the sound of water gently lapping against the shores, sweeping vistas and charming villages, Lake Annecy offers all the tranquility of lakeside living but is also home to the vibrant and historic city of Annecy. You can really enjoy the best of both worlds here and it's the same when it comes to walking. For those that prefer to stroll, take a wander along the lakes edge and stop at cafés and swimming spots along the way or, for those up to the challenge, head for the mountains behind the lake where you'll get beautiful birds-eye views.

Getting around Lake Annecy

Getting around the lake in the summer

In July and August you can make use of the free shuttle bus "Mobil'ete' that departs from Annecy City and can take you East or West of Annecy (this is a locally run service that is subject to change).

Our Favourite Walks

From easy strolls along the lake to more challenging rambles in the surrounding hills, Lake Annecy offers a range of walking opportunities for all levels. 

Le Semnoz

  • Moderate walk
  • Around 3 hours of walking

Take a walk up to 1,699 metres, along the Bauges Mountain Range, catch a glimpse of the famous chamois (similar to a mountain goat) or admire the local flora and fauna, or just admire the view. You'll be able to see Mont Blanc towering over the mountains and even as far as the Chartreuse Mountains. Stop at a Reblochon cheese farm along the way.

Historical walk

  • Easy walk
  • Around 45 minutes of walking

Discover Talloire’s fascinating history dating back to the 9th century with this fascinating tour of the village.

Cascade d’Angon

  • Moderate walk
  • Multiple routes available

Cascade is French for Waterfall, and the Cascade d’Angon is a much-loved element of the local landscape. There are three ways up (or down) from Talloires and Angon and you can vary your walk by taking a different route to the waterfall, including some of the flat paths along the lake, to create a circular walk.

Bout de Lac Reserve Naturelle

  • Easy walk

This walk is a firm favourite, not only as it offers tranquility, rivers which source the lake, flora and fauna but also because it's flat. A circular walk through the Bout du Lac nature reserve can be combined with a visit to the beach where you can observe the landing of many of Lake Annecy’s paragliders. From the port just adjacent to the beach, pedalos, boats, and paddleboards are also available for hire.

Useful & General Information

Recommended equipment

Comfy walking boots, waterproofs, rucksacks, walking poles and a re-usable water bottle are useful for hiking around Lake Annecy. Equipment is not available to hire in resort.

Hiking guidelines

The lake and mountains surrounding Lake Annecy are a natural paradise, with lots to explore and discover. To help it stay that way, and remain an enjoyable and safe place for everyone, we recommend following our little list of do's and don'ts:

  • Plan your route well and don't overestimate yourself
  • Check the weather forecast
  • Tell someone where you're planning to walk and what time you're expecting to be back
  • Take all the recommended equipment
  • Make a note of emergency numbers
  • Don't leave the marked trails without a guide
  • Let nature stay wild by not picking alpine flowers (it's illegal in some places) or getting close to/making contact with wild animals
  • Always leave gates as you found them and don't climb over fences
  • Leave no trace

Check out our Responsible Walking insider guide if you want more tips for your summer walking holiday.

Hotels in Lake Annecy

  • from£1459pp
  • @accommodation.PropertyRating

    4 Rating

    We rate all of our accommodation based on their facilities, service level, character and customer feedback. Our ratings may vary from the official star rating.

  • 35 rooms
CandeCottage1186-Modifier.jpg

Hotel Le Cottage is in the centre of Talloires Bay and has great access to the lake and the surrounding areas. It has beautifully decorated rooms and stunning views; you'll want to come back time and time again.

  • from£1049pp
  • @accommodation.PropertyRating

    2 Rating

    We rate all of our accommodation based on their facilities, service level, character and customer feedback. Our ratings may vary from the official star rating.

Hotel Pavillon des Fleurs, Talloires, Lake Annecy, France - exterior.jpg

The Hotel Pavillon des Fleurs is great value for money on full board and is perfect for families and those looking for plenty of activities in a beautiful location. Perched on the side of the lake in pretty village of Menthon, a quiet area around the bay from Talloires (and a pedestrian zone during the summer), the property sells itself on its location.

  • from£1206pp
  • @accommodation.PropertyRating

    4.5 Rating

    We rate all of our accommodation based on their facilities, service level, character and customer feedback. Our ratings may vary from the official star rating.

  • 104 rooms
IP_VUE AERIENNE_DgC_V3 DSC00493-2_10x15_RVB.jpg

Beautiful property with a wealth of history located on the north of Lake Annecy. The elegant traditional hotel has a fabulous location, situated right on the lake, only a short walking distance away from the town and boats.

  • from£739pp
  • @accommodation.PropertyRating

    4 Rating

    We rate all of our accommodation based on their facilities, service level, character and customer feedback. Our ratings may vary from the official star rating.

Exterieur Vue Lac 2 Matthieu Cellard

Hotel Le Pelican offers modern design near the shores of Lake Annecy, enjoy the outdoor swimming pool, bar terrace or stroll into Annecy centre which is just five minutes walk away.

Travel and Transportation

All our holidays include return travel to resort either by flight or train and then the transfer between the airport or railway station and Lake Annecy. 

We offer departures on a Wednesday or Saturday with stays for 3, 4, 7, 10, 11 and 14 nights. 

Travel By Air

Flights to Geneva are available from London Gatwick, Heathrow, Manchester, Edinburgh, Bristol and Luton. 

Transfer times: 

  • Geneva airport: approx. 1 hour by coach

Private transfers and self drive options are available.

Travel By Train

We offer holidays by train to Lake Annecy, which depart on a Wednesday and Saturday. The journey takes around 9 hours and 30 minutes. 

The provisional outbound timings are: 

Wednesdays & Saturdays

Arrive

Depart

London St Pancras

-

 07:01

Paris Nord

10.20

-

Change at Paris Lyon 

12.46

Annecy 

16.32

-

On arrival, you will transfer to Lake Annecy by taxi/coach, which will take around 10 to 30 minutes depending on which hotel you are staying at. 

The provisional inbound timings are:

Wednesdays & Saturdays

Arrive

Depart

Annecy 

-

09.29

Paris Lyon

13.14

Change at Paris Nord

15.12

London St Parcras

16.30

-
Things To Do

Walking through history: discover Lake Annecy's historic past

Visit the town of Annecy, known as the 'Venice of the Alps', its canals, the old town and historical churches. The most famous buildings are the Palais de l’Isle and the Basilique de la Visitation above Old Annecy with a free exhibition of bells (usually from mid-May onwards).

The area was also associated with the French Resistance, the British agent Odette operated locally and the story of the Plateau de Glières, where resistance fighters were based and there was a big battle is told in the Resistance Museum.

The village of Talloires on the Eastern side of the lake was built around an 11th century abbey. The most well known castles in the area were built by the Dukes of Savoy including Annecy, Menthon-Saint-Bernard and Montrottier.

Great for cycling

There's a flat cycle path around Lake Annecy and this scenic ride follows the outline of the lake with fantastic views across glistening water and towards pretty villages, castles and mountain peaks. The path also goes along to Albertville on an old rail track.

For nature lovers

Visit the Bout de lac Nature reserve and follow the trail through the woodland, meadows and marshes, and there's even an old tower giving an elevated view. The paths in the hills around Talloires offer great intermediate hiking and a chance to discover summer-time Alpine nature at it's best. Visit the Cascade d’Angon waterfall (30mins walk above Talloires Village) and the Roc de Chère Nature Reserve

Roc de Chere Nature Reserve and Menthon Saint Bernard

This impressive promontory above Talloires bay does not immediately look accessible for walkers, but it has trails throughout, a golf course, and a restaurant! A day out exploring the Roc de Chere and Menthon Saint Bernard is a great way to spend a day of your holiday. Menthon Saint Bernard is also home to the Chateau de Menthon, an 11th century gorgeous castle.

Food & drink

There are many friendly and local cafés to choose from, all offering good coffee with croissants, as well as beer and cold drinks. For bigger appetites, there are the La Savoyarde or Le Comptoir de Sébastien restaurants, located next to the local beach, and Le Club situated at the end of the village by the lake on the path to Angon.
There are a huge number of eating options, from humble to two Michelin stars, in and around the Lake and the city itself. It's also worth going to Annecy and catching the market on Fridays. Talloires also has a local market on Thursdays (usually held 19 June to 26 Sept).

Summer festivals

Lake Annecy has some great festivals throughout the summer season and we've listed a few of our favourites below. Please be aware that some events are ticketed and may need to be booked and paid for in advance, event dates are approximate and should be checked before booking.

  • Annecy Fête du Lac firework festival (usually held around the 1st of August)
  • Annecy International Animated Film Festival (usually held early to mid June)
  • Talloires Music Festival with fireworks (usually held around late Aug)

Good to know

Walking trails: 362 kilometres

Terrain: Varies from lakeside promenades to mountain climbs

Best time to go: Walking is best suited to the cooler months of May, June and October, whilst the warmer months of July, August and September are perfect for enjoying activities on and around the lake

Best for: All walking abilities, couples, families with kids, families with teens, nature, activities, sightseeing, food & drink

Arrive into: Geneva airport or Annecy train station

Travel from: Gatwick, Heathrow, Manchester, Edinburgh, Bristol, Luton and London St Pancras

Transfer time: Approx. 1 hour from Geneva airport and 10 to 30 minutes from Annecy train station 

24/7 Support and advice: Over the phone from our local resort team

What We Say
  • Annecy city is great for those wanting to sight see, with its beautiful historic centre, shops, cafes and restaurants to browse. Then you have the peaceful village of Talloires, its setting is so beautiful it's said artists and poets would travel here centuries ago for inspiration.

    Robyn, Product Manager
What You say
  • We have travelled with Inghams several times and always found that we got an excellent service.

    Brown, Inghams Customer, July 2023
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