Discover Geneva, Bourget and Annecy! Sizzling scenery, mesmerizing mountains, and luscious lakes! Do you love cycling and exploring new areas by bike, but think the Alps is beyond your reach, because of - you know - climbing all those mountains? Are you more of a leisure cyclist than an avid “col”-climbing animal? Then look no further, this trip is for you! This unique cycle trip through the Alps makes it possible for leisure riders to experience the captivating cycling of the Alps without the hill hassle. Linking the three major lakes of the area (Lake Geneva, Lake Bourget, and Lake Annecy), the cycling routes essentially follow river paths, such as along the Rhone and Isere rivers, taking in historic villages, stunning natural scenery, lush meadows and valleys, and picturesque peaks along the way. Don’t go the way of the poor Bezoule, but do come and cycle the entrancing Alps and capture some alpine magic along the way!
Day 1: Arrival at Geneva (cat. A) or Gaillard (cat. B)
Arrive in Geneva at your leisure and check-in to your 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 Leman) provides a marvelous treat for your eyes and plentiful photo fodder. Meet our local rep in the evening to go over the itinerary and outfitting of bikes. Dinner is at leisure. Due to the fact that Geneva is the culinary capital of Switzerland, there is a variety of restaurants and eateries, sure to please every palette.
Day 2: Geneva or Gaillard - Seyssel, ~62 or 69 km/38 or 42 miles
The highlights of your route include cycling along the infamous Rhone River, admiring the heartwarming views over the charming wine-making villages of Dardagny and Satigny, and frolicking around intimidating forts. Conquer the westernmost point of Switzerland by bike at the village of Chancy and then cross the border into France. Unmissable here is the Fort de l’Ecluse, founded by a Duke of Savoy, which is an elevated fort, built out of a striking rock formation and a natural entrance of the Rhone 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 Haut-Savoie (Upper Savoy) and the Ain departments on the Rhone River located between two dams.
Day 3: Seyssel - Aix-les-Bains, ~46 km/29 miles
The views on today’s ride, including the 14 summits of the Bauges mountain range on one side, as well as Mont de la Charvaz and Col-du-Chat on the other, are some of the major highlights of this tour. Sheer cliffs seem to spring up magically from the water and the mountains surround you in protective peacefulness. Lake Bourget (Lac du Bourget) is the largest natural lake of glacial origin and the deepest entirely within France. It was the only 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, with numerous Roman ruins still remaining.
Day 4: Aix-les-Bains - Ste-Hélène (cat. B) or St-Pierre (cat. A), ~68 or 47 km/42 or 29 miles
Pedaling through Chambery, a town of art and history and the heart of Savoy, is a central feature to the route for today. Located in a wide valley between the Bauges and Chartreuse Mountain ranges and regional park areas 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, overlooking the rich wine-growing region of the Combe de Savoy valley, including the wine-making 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 which has been inhabited by man since the Neolithic age.
Day 5: Ste-Hélène or St-Pierre - Annecy, ~58 or 69 km/36 or 43 miles
On your bikes you wind 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, with buildings dating 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 one of Europe’s cleanest lake, its amazing setting is presided over by the Aravis mountain range in the background, famous for the hairpin turns and steep bends popularized on the Tour de France. The magnificent town of Annecy, nestled on the northern tip of Lake Annecy, is home to the International Animated Film Festival and boasts an alluring Alpine atmosphere, as well as some notable sites, such as the Palais de l’Isle (12th century prison on an island in a canal and the symbol of the town), the Chateau d’Annecy, the 16th century Cathedral of Saint-Pierre, and the 20th century Pont des Amour (Lover’s Bridge) made of iron.
Day 6: Alas! Departure
Individual departure after breakfast. There are many trains from Annecy to Geneva.
5 nights in 3*** and 2** hotels and guesthouses in cat. A
5 nights in 2** hotels and guesthouses in cat. B
5x tourist tax
welcome briefing at the first hotel
detailed roadbook with maps
GPS unit on request
self-guided tour - 6 days / 5 nights
arrival every Friday and Sunday
route (3): ~236 km/145 miles
flat along the rivers but otherwise often hilly
how to get there
by car: motorway to Geneva
by train: to Geneva
by plane: to Geneva
on request in the hotel garage
from Annecy to Geneva individually
transfer of rental bikes is 20 €/bike
transfer of electric bikes is 30 €/bike
are available in Geneva and Annecy in both categories in double and single room, prices on request
some of our bike tour suggestions