Lake Annecy, France. Photo via Flickr:Guilhem Vellut
Geneva, Switzerland. Photo via Flickr:www.davidbaxendale.com

Nighttime in Annecy, France. Photo via Flickr:Kosala Bandara

French Alps Lake Tour

Switzerland, France Bike Tours

Cycle Switzerland and France near sparkling lakes!

Have you always wanted to cycle in the Alps but thought is was beyond your ability?
​Not anymore! This unique cycle tour in France makes it possible for leisure riders to experience the captivating cycling routes 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 follow river paths along the Rhône and Isère rivers, passing historic villages, stunning natural scenery, lush meadows and valleys, and picturesque peaks along the way. Pack your swimsuit in case you can’t resist the call of the lake (or all three lakes) and the thermal baths of Aix-les-Bains!

Don't forget to check out our other bike tours in France!

Where You’ll Stay

OPTION A
2 hotels only, excluding the first night (3 hotel near Geneva)

OPTION A PLUS
6 days/5 nights: 3 nights in 3-star hotels, 1 night in a 2-star hotel & 1 night in a charming guesthouse

What’s Included

  • Accommodations as described
  • Hybrid bike rental with helmet, lock, pump, water bottle, tool kit, spare tube, and Co2 cartridge
  • Daily breakfast
  • Meeting with local representative on the morning of Day 2
  • 2 dinners (Seyssel and Sainte-Hélène-sur-Isère or Saint Pierre d’Albigny)
  • Marked maps and/or cue sheets and route notes
  • Pre-loaded GPS unit (subject to availability)
  • Luggage transfers
  • Emergency number
  • All tax and service charges

What’s Not Included

TourBike
TypeSelf Guided
SkillModerate
Length6 days
From725 Rates
Client Reviews

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Tour Dates

Arrivals every Friday or Sunday from April through October, 2016

Skill Level

Average daily distance is 35 miles with some moderate ascents. Elevation graphs can be provided upon request!

Day-To-Day Itinerary

French Alps Lake Tour Map

Day 1: Arrival in Geneva
Day 2: Geneva - Seyssel, 37 miles (60 km)
Day 3: Seyssel - Aix-les-Bains, 28 miles (44 km)
Day 4: Aix-les-Bains - Sainte-Hélène-sur-Isère/Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny, 42 miles/29 miles (68 km/47 km)
Day 5: Sainte-Hélène-sur-Isère/Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny - Annecy, 36 miles/43 miles (58km/69km)
Day 6: Departure from Annecy

*All distances are approximate.

Day 1: Arrival in Geneva
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 Léman) provides a marvelous treat for your eyes. 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, 37 miles (60 km)
Today you will meet the local representative for a bike fitting and itinerary briefing. The highlights of your route include cycling along the infamous Rhône River and admiring the views over the charming wine-making villages of Dardagny and Satigny. 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.
Total climb: 2,195 ft (669 m) Total descent: 2,605 ft (794 m)

Day 3: Seyssel - Aix-les-Bains, 28 miles (44 km)
The views on today’s ride — 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 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. 
Total climb: 1,207 ft (368 m) Total descent: 1,161 ft (354 m)

Day 4: Aix-les-Bains - Sainte-Hélène-sur-Isère/Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny, 42 miles/29 miles (68 km/47 km)
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.
Total climb: 2,303 ft (702 m) Total descent: 2,178 ft (664 m)

Day 5: Sainte-Hélène-sur-Isère/Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny - Annecy, 36 miles/43 miles (58km/69km)
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.
Total climb: 1,286 ft (392 m) Total descent: 837 ft (255 m)

Day 6: Departure from Annecy
Departure after breakfast or extend your stay in Annecy!

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