Part of the reason for heading home half way through our travels was to celebrate Rach’s Mum’s 60th birthday with a family holiday in France. Lake Annecy is one of her favourite destinations so that’s where the tribe headed.
Its a long drive from the Midlands so we took our time over it, stopping overnight in Dover before the eurotunnel the next morning. Then stopping again in Berny Rivierie just North of Paris.
Our 3rd day of travel took us from Berny Rivierie and the 6 hours down to Annecy. Where we arrived at Doussard (the south part of Lac D’Annecy) and found our eurocamp caravans.
Doussard is a beautiful place to stay surrounded by the hills of the Alps and with the southern tip of lake on it’s doorstop it’s perfect for swimmers and hikers alike.
Things to do in the Lac D’Annecy Area:
Swim in the Lake
There are different options for swimming in the Lake and enjoying watersports. You can either find a dedicated swimming area (and pay to enter) or pull up along the side of the road and just jump on in. We did both of these. There are plenty of places to stop and park for free on the East side of the lake with fantastic clear waters and fewer people.
One warning though: there can be limited space between the road and the lake edge, and take a picnic!
The other option is to visit a place like Bout Du Lac in Doussard which has excellent facilities, lifeguards, a cafe, toilets and grass to picnic on. As well as the copious amounts of watersports to take part in. You have to pay to park here and the watersports are expensive.
Hike up a hill (or drive and get to the top)
Col de Forclaz is one of the most well known mountains in the area overlooking the lake (it’s also where many of the paragliders jump off from). You can drive part the way to the top (where there are pubs, cafes and gift shops) and then walk the last half hour to watch the paragliders.
You can also hike up the mountain from Doussard which took us 4-5 hours including a lunch stop to do the round trip.
There are plenty of other hills and mountains to discover around the area we also visited Semnoz where there is a ski resort in the winter and a fantastic little cheese shop.
The whole area is a hikers and Cyclists dream!
Cycle round the Lake
There are places all around the lake to hire bikes if you can’t bring your own and the cycle path is almost joined up right round the lake.
As the area is so blessed with stunning senery it also creates the perfect environment for some extreme sports. We did Canyoning and Paragliding which were both excellent and well worth it. There are tons of companies in the area which do this kind of stuff. We went with Annecy Adventure for the Canyoning and Flyeo for the paragliding. Both were excellent and are highly recommended.
Annecy is a pretty town – with views of the Lake and a lovely historic area with plenty of parks to play in.
Eat food, drink wine
Everyone knows about French cuisine and how good it is. Particularly things to try in the Annecy area are the local cheeses and wines…yum!
We loved visiting Annecy and would definitely return to the area again!