Les Trois Lacs à Vélo: Lac Léman, Lac du Bourget & Lac d’Annecy
Linking the three major lakes of the area (Lake Geneva, Lake Bourget, and Lake Annecy), the cycling routes essentially follow river paths along the Rhône and Isère rivers. On your way, you’ll encounter a variety of photo-worthy scenery, villages that seem stuck in time, and of course, mountains upon mountains.
Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit in case you can’t resist the call of the lake (or all four lakes… there are so many on this extended itinerary) or the thermal baths of Aix-les-Bains!
Day 1: Arrive in Geneva
Arrive in Geneva at your leisure and check-in to your 3-star hotel by the lake. Take time to discover this stylish city on your own. It’s a gem of international organizations, finance, and culture, meshing Old World with New, and is a delight to explore. The crescent-shaped Lake Geneva (Lac Léman) provides a marvelous treat for your eyes and plentiful photo fodder. Dinner is at leisure. Since Geneva is the culinary capital of Switzerland, you’ll find a variety of restaurants and eateries sure to please every palate.
Day 2: Geneva – Seyssel
Meet our local rep in the morning for the bike outfitting and itinerary briefing. The highlights of your route include cycling along the infamous Rhône River, admiring the views over the charming wine-making villages of Dardagny and Satigny, and frolicking around forts. Conquer the westernmost point of Switzerland by bike at the village of Chancy and then cross the border into France. Do not miss the Fort de l’Ecluse, an elevated fort founded by a Duke of Savoy. He built it out of a striking rock formation, one which forms a natural entrance of the Rhône Valley into France between the Vauche hills and the Jura. Your home for the night is in Seyssel, a small “double-town” in both the Haute-Savoie (Upper Savoy) and the Ain departments on the Rhône River located between two dams.
Day 3: Seyssel – Belley
On your second day of riding you will follow the Rhône River, pedaling though fruitful vineyards, a beautiful natural reserve, and quaint villages. Heading south from Seyssel, you will reach the small town of Culoz. Take time to check out the impressive 14th century Château de Montvéran before you head into the Reserve Naturelle du Marais du Lavour. This unique wetland and marsh area has taken thousands of years to form from the receding glaciers, and it is now a preserve for an abundance of different flora and fauna. Then you’ll ride by part of the Bugey vineyard, whose wines achieved AOC status in 2009. Their cellar at Cave Bugiste is open for tastings of delicious Chardonnay, Roussette, Pinot, Mondeuse, and Blancs de Blancs wines. Lac de Barterand, at the edge of the natural park, is a great place to stop to enjoy the beauty of environment and perhaps take a swim before you get back on your bike. From the lake, you will connect back with the Rhône River and follow it into historic Belley.
Day 4: Belley – Aix-les-Bains
In the morning you will head southeast out of Belley into the heart of the Bugey area. After crossing the Rhône River, make your way through the Gorge de la Balme. With the Rhône on your left and beautiful mountains on your right, follow the valley north to the town of Chanaz. With its picturesque perch at the edge of the Rhône River, it’s no wonder Chanaz drew artists and craftsmen to settle there. You will cycle through this town near the artificial Saviere canal that connects the Rhône in the department of Ain with Lake Bourget in Savoy. Lake Bourget (Lac du Bourget) is the largest natural lake of glacial origin and the deepest entirely within France. It was home to the now extinct Bezoule, a freshwater whitefish that fed at muddy depths of 70 to 80 meters (230 - 260 ft) and reportedly disappeared in the 1960s. Cycle past the impressive site of the medieval Château de Montverran in Culoz, which was built on a rock in 1316 and, in more recent times, inspired the likes of the Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev. Pedal on to the spa town of Aix-les-Bains, which was known for its baths as far back as the Roman Empire. You can discover the numerous Roman ruins that remain.
Day 5: Aix-les-Bains – Sainte-Hélène-sur-Isère or Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny
Today you’ll pedal through the heart of Savoy to Chambery, a town of art and history. Located in a wide valley between the Bauges and Chartreuse Mountain ranges, at the crossroads of ancient trade routes, the old-town section of Chambery is one of the most remarkable in France. Along the way, take in the ruins of the 10th century fortress, Chateau de Miolans, which overlook the rich wine-growing region of the Combe de Savoie valley (including the village of Chignin, with remains of the 8th century Sarasin stronghold and its 6 towers). The Isère River guides the route to Grésy-sur-Isère, a largely agricultural community that has been inhabited by man since the Neolithic Age.
Note: To St-Pierre-d’Albigny, the ride is shorter (47 km / 29 miles)
Day 6: Sainte-Hélène-sur-Isère or Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny – Annecy
Roll your way to Grésy-sur-Isère by way of Albertville, situated on the Arly River close to the confluence with the Isere River. Albertville hosted the 1992 Winter Olympics and has become quite an industrial center, but it also encompasses the medieval town of Conflans, whose buildings date back to the 14th century. The Beaufortain and Bauges Mountain ranges will dazzle you as you cycle to the stunning Lake Annecy (Lac d’Annecy). Known as Europe’s cleanest lake, the Aravis mountain range reigns over the lake edge; its heights are famous for the hairpin turns and steep bends in the Tour de France. The magnificent town of Annecy, nestled on the northern tip of Lake Annecy, might remind you of Venice — canals cut through sections of the historic Alpine-style village. Strolling around, you’ll encounter the Palais de l’Isle (12th Century prison on an island, the town’s symbol), the Chateau d’Annecy, the 16th century Cathedral of Saint-Pierre, and the 20th century Pont des Amour (Lover’s Bridge) made of iron.
Note: From St-Pierre-d’Albigny, the ride is longer (69 km / 43 miles)
Day 7: Departure
Have a relaxing breakfast, enjoy more of the sights and sounds and ambience of Annecy, and depart at your leisure. Or, feel free to prolong the pleasure and choose to stay longer in Annecy in order to make the most of this extraordinary town and setting.
Humans have been drawn to mountains since pre-historic times, and the French Alps certainly are an impressive bunch! Climbing them (by bike or otherwise) is a different story. You’ll be happy to learn that on this leisurely itinerary, you’ll find yourself surrounded by glorious peaks (and other incredible scenery) without having to work as hard as a Tour de France athlete.
This self-guided tour starts any Friday or Sunday from April through October.
La Chatelaine 74240 Gaillard
Fax : 01 53 01 66 66
Tel : 04 50 87 21 09
e-m : firstname.lastname@example.org
Aéroport de Genève
From 01/04 to 31/10/2018.
In the country - Mountain location - Town location - Waterside -
From 01/04 to 30/04/2018 (Low season)
Adult: 625 to 860 €.
From 01/05 to 30/06/2018 (Medium season)
Adult: 645 to 875 €.
From 01/07 to 31/08/2018 (High season)
Adult: 660 to 895 €.
From 01/09 to 30/09/2018 (Medium season)
Adult: 645 to 875 €.
From 01/10 to 31/10/2018 (Low season)
Adult: 625 to 860 €.
Group rate available for > 2 people.
Pricing: From 625 euros per person sharing a double room
Two options are offered for this trip:
Option A: 4 nights in 2-star hotels and 1 night in a 3-star hotel (in Gaillard, just 7 kilometers/4 miles from the center of Geneva)
• 625 euros per person sharing a double room. Single supplement is 220 euros
Option A+: 3 nights in 3-star hotels, 1 night in a guesthouse of charm, and 1 night in a 2-star hotel (in Seyssel)
• 860 euros per person sharing a double room. Single supplement is 370 euros
These prices include:
- 5 nights’ accommodation as described above
- Daily breakfast
- Meeting with our local representative on the morning of Day 2
- 2 dinners (drinks are not included)
- Marked maps and/or cue sheets and route notes
- Pre-loaded GPS unit (subject to availability)
- Luggage transfers
- Assistance if necessary (you will be provided with our local rep’s cell/mobile number)
- All tax and service charges
These prices do not include:
- Expenses of personal nature
- Travel insurance
- Bicycle rentals (see bike specs below). Hybrids are available at the rate of 100 euros per bike. This price includes the 20-euro drop-off fee for the bike’s return to Geneva. Electric and racing bikes are available on request.
Bank/credit card, Credit transfer,
Cycle touring, Cycling,
Free use, Equipment hire, Weekdays, Weekend, Touring, With porterage,
From Geneva to Annecy through the Vuache area, Seyssel, the Chautagne area, Chanaz, Aix-les-Bains, Chambery, Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny, Gresy-sur-Isere, Albertville
Chambre d'hôtes (bed and breakfast), Hotel, 2-star hotel, 3-star hotel,
3 night in B&B and 2 nights in half-board
Minimum age : 8 year(s)
Minimum number of persons : 2
Accommodation, Breakfast, Booking obligatory, Half-board, Equipment hire,
Couples, Cyclists, Single people, Groups, Gay friendly,
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Office de Tourisme Monts de Genève
57 avenue de la Gare
Tel. : 04 50 95 07 10
From Tuesday to Friday between 9:30 am and 12:30 pm and between 1:30 pm and 5:30 pm.
From 01/02 to 31/12 :
From Tuesday to Friday between 9:30 am and 12:30 pm and between 1:30 pm and 6 pm
On Saturday between 9:30 am and 12:30 pm and between 1:30 pm and 4 pm
On Sunday (15/07 to 19/08) between 9:30 am and 1:30 pm.
Closed exceptionally on January 1st, May 1st, November 1st, November 11th and December 25th.