3 Days on the Route des Grandes Alpes in France
- 26 July 2021
- Routes & Travel
We take you on a road trip on the famous Route des Grandes Alpes (RDGA). This legendary route, nearly 720km long,…Read More
Also known as Venice of the Alps, Annecy is located just 50 to 90 minutes from Geneva (if you want to avoid the motorway).
In a nutshell
If you’re looking for a perfect getaway for a day or two, this is the perfect destination to break your usual routine. Let us show you why.
One of the main attributes of the city are the canals that run through the heart of the old town (around the Palace of the Isle).
You can walk along narrow pedestrian streets, shop window and buy local crafts (note that the famous French knife-the-Opinel-east of the area) or food (there is great wine merchant, butcher, pastry chef, etc.) or stop for lunch/dinner in one of the many local restaurants. On Tuesdays and Fridays/Saturdays, a local market is held around St. Clair Square. Very picturesque indeed!
Visiting on a hot summer day? Why are you jumping into Lake Annecy to cool off? The water is clear and the banks are accessible.
Fancy a more active lifestyle? There are tremors where you can rent paddle boards, pedalo, or even (electric) boats that you can use without a license. For this, go on the Jaquet Promenade. If you want to leave urban areas for a while, there are plenty of options in the surrounding area (paragliding, mountain biking, hiking, etc.). Visit the website of the tourist office to learn more.
Annecy Castle built between the 12th and 16th centuries, overlooking the old town, is also worth a visit, perhaps more for the view than for its museum, but still.
Where to sleep in Annecy?
We stopped at the Hotel des Alpes (website), which is a very nice hotel 2. There is an underground car park where you can park your bike nearby (like 100m). At that time, they didn’t charge anything as long as you parked on the dedicated places. If you don’t want to pay for breakfast, there’s a bakery around the corner. However, a site like Booking.com, Trivago or Airbnb will give you other options.
Where to eat in Annecy?
It would be a shame not to try French cuisine while you are here. Annecy has a multitude of options, from gastronomy (such as the 2 ‘Michelin awarded La Maison des Bois by Marc Veyrat) to more casual places. So we’re sure you’ll find your chance. But keep in mind that many restaurants are closed at least one day a week. Check online if your option is open. In addition, Annecy is a tourist town. Depending on the day/time of year, you may want to book the table in advance.
Check on tripadvisor depending on your taste/budget. Personally, we had an excellent dinner at Une Autre Histoire (website), and we really enjoyed the 3 course-dinner for almost 40 euros (without the drink). But there are tons of other options!
But hey, let’s get back to our main subject, the bike. There are tons of beautiful scenic roads in the area, so we’ll show you a possible route. But don’t hesitate to adapt it according to your preferences/tastes (distance/time are strictly indicative, drive according to the conditions):
|Leg 1||Geneva to Annecy (42km, 57min)||Take the highway if you want to be faster in Annecy to enjoy the city or take the regional road to avoid paying for sections. Spend the day/half-day in Annecy|
|Leg 2||Annecy in La Clusaz
|Now we’re talking. Let’s go uphill. Tip: Use a GPS or smartphone (with the right mount like a quadlock) to predict zigzags.|
|Leg 3||La Clusaz in Chamonix
|Via Col des Aravis, Flumet and Megève. Stop in Chamonix for lunch and enjoy the view of Mont Blanc.|
|Leg 4||Chamonix in Martigny
|Via Argentière, Col de la Forclaz, etc.|
|Leg 5||Martigny in Geneva||· Via Montreux, Lausanne, Nyon (highway): 130 km, 1h40min
· Via Evian- Thonon (lake side): 110km, 2h30min
You don’t have a bike, but you’re dying to go out?
Go to Cruizador.com to find the perfect bike!