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Whether you want to visit Annecy in the summer months and enjoy the hillside walks, mountain biking and climbing, combined with the multitude of activities centred on the lake including sailing, wakeboarding, swimming, kayaking etc.  Or visit during the winter months to enjoy skiing, snowboarding and cross country skiing barely 30 minutes away you may just want to visit with car in tow, so that you can bring all your own equipment, especially if you decide to camp. For more information about virtually every activity in Lake Annecy and accommodation options whether a hotel, holiday village or campsite check out the Lake Annecy Tourist Office.

Travelling from the UK by ferry gives you a number of options, depending on where you live. The cheapest option is always from Dover to Calais, as there are now three ferry companies providing services on this route, P&O Ferries, MyFerryLink and DFDS Seaways.  Journey time is just 90 minutes by ferry and then by car another 7 ¼ hours (863km). You could also consider the Eurotunnel taking 30 minutes from Folkestone but generally the prices are a little more expensive.

For those wishing to travel across the Western Channel from Portsmouth the quickest option is Portsmouth to Le Havre. LD Lines provide an all year round service taking from 5 ½ hours and Brittany Ferries offer a seasonal service taking just over 3 ¾ hours on one of their fast craft vessels. Once in Le Havre it is another 752km taking 6 ¾ hours in normal traffic. Services to Cherbourg (912km), St Malo (903km) and Caen (790km) are also available but generally more expensive but often with an option of an overnight crossing.

With so many ferry operators it can be quite time consuming checking each of ferry company’s websites direct. We found that using Ferryonline a comparison website can save you the legwork and it allows you to either compare just the Dover routes or every ferry from the UK to France. It then comes down to how much driving you want to do!

A new name for your stay in the Alps, Lake Annecy Ski Domain knows how to make you forget your daily routines and enjoy your ski holiday in style. The magical French alpine resorts of Le Grand Bornand, La Clusaz, Manigod and Saint Jean de Sixt have joined to become Lake Annecy Ski Resorts a unique ski holiday destination, probably the most beautiful in the Alps.

Individually the towns of La Clusaz, Le Grand Bornand, Manigod and St Jean de Sixt are attractive, traditional ski stations with a relaxed vibe, quiet slopes and a great atmosphere. Combined, they make for a large, diverse ski area with 220km of slopes, conveniently located within 1 hour of Geneva airport, and only 30 mins from Annecy train station itself. Geneva airport is servered by many low cost airlines and Annecy can be reached from Paris via TGV.

Below some details on stats on the four ski resorts which make up Lake Annecy Ski Resorts:

La Clusaz

Ski area 400 hectares from 1100 to 2600 m of altitude, 83 slopes (7 black, 23 red, 28 blue, 25 green) over 132 km, 55 ski-lifts (2 cable-cars, 4 gondolas, 14 chair-lifts, 35 tow-lifts). Snowparkcompsed of slopestyle with rails, modula halfpipe, superpipe, boardercross and big air.

Le Grand Bornand

90 km of slopes and 37 ski-lifts spread around the Mont Lachat, the highest peak at 2100 m. The ski area goes from 1000 to 2100 metres starting from Grand Bornand village or Chinaillon, and allows you to try all forms of winter sports. Snowpark, which has a halfpipe, three lines of jumps, a big air and a boarder cross.


Family Resort with 26 runs (1 black, 8 red, 14 blue, 3 green) and 17 ski-lifts, ski aera linked to La Clusaz,. Boardercross and halfpipe.

St Jean de Sixt

Ideal area for beginners 1 tow-lift and one rope-lift 5 slopes- 2 green – 2 blue – 1 red

Both, La Clusaz and Grand Bornand have both been awarded for their excellent facilities for families. There is a wide range of family friendly events put on throughout the ski season as well as other events for all age groups.

Preserving their charm and architectural authenticity, the four resorts combine tradition and modern facilities you expect from a cutting edge ski domain. There is the most amazing selection of ski and outdoor activities to choose from. Fulfill your dreams of winter sports, no matter how extreme. The Aravis villages give you a magical experiences at all levels.

Fancy a trip to Lake Annecy Ski Resorts? Lake Annecy Accommodation available in chalet overlooking the lake from just £450/week for up to seven people. http://www.maison-shanti.co.uk

Have you ever thought about spend Christmas in Annecy, enjoying spectacular, festive scenery on the lake and in the French Alps? Think again, as Annecy makes for a spectacular Christmas holiday.

Lake Annecy is one of the most beautiful areas of France and in the world for that matter. You can get there easily via Geneva airport or travelling by Eurostar and TGV trains. The easy access to lake Annecy provides the opportunity for a relaxing festive break together will a trip to savour the winter sights at this magical time of year. From Annecy to can easily get to Megeve, Albertville, Chamonix and Mont Blanc, Lake Geneva and the spectacular sights along the Route des Grandes Alps including the spa town of Evian and medieval Yvoire.

For the Christmas period, Annecy and all the towns and village nearby present themselves in all of their festive glory. You can enjoy a fusion of light, pine trees, snow, lake and mountains all certainly getting you into the Christmas mood. The lake and the lovely old town of Annecy offer a range of hotels and self-catering accommodation most close to the railway station and within a short walk of all the main sights.

Enjoy your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners in a warm and cosy Savoiyard local restaurants, sample the local festive fare, as well as may be a Christmas Day lunch in the nearby ski resorts of La Clusaz, Megeve or Grand Bornard, combined with a afternoon on the ski slopes?

We do you want to celebrate your Christmas.

Lake Annecy has always had my vote. After all the setting is stunning and it been on the top of the list for the cleanest lakes in Europe for many years.

maisonmenton 5 300x208 Lake Annecy named amongst 12 most beautiful lakes in the world

In a recent study, 12 lakes have been highlighted because they show nature at its most spectacular. Lake Annecy was on the list together with Crater Lake, United States, Peyto Lake, Canada, Lake Malawi, Malawi, Taal Lake, Philippines, Lake Atitlán, Guatemala, Loch Lomond, Scotland, Lake Garda, Italy, Plitvice Lakes, Croatia, Lake Nakuru, Kenya, Lake Matheson, New Zealand and Lake Bled, Slovenia.

Here some of the write-up on lake Annecy: “The lake in the heart of the French Alps is a looker, but don’t expect to spend your visit gasing over the water in quiet reflection. Lake Annecy is all about activity — particularly in July August, when Paris shuts down and the French take extended holidays. Sailors, kayakers, wakeboarder and water-skiers enjoy the water; bikers and hikers hit surrounding nature trails; and refugees from the city fill the outdoor tables at the lakeside restaurants and bars.” The report goes on about other activities, but our blog got more details on all things you need to know about lake Annecy. One last extract: “Repeat visitors plan their trip for the first Saturday of August, the fete du lac, when a staggering, nearly two-hour-long fireworks display illuminates the water.”

We agree, but you can also enjoy lake Annecy in spring, autumn and winter, where you got the lake to yourself and can experience the charm of a great all year holiday destination. Best of all, with the new motorway, lake Annecy is only 30 min drive from Geneva airport. Ideal for a short activity break or a romantic weekend in the old town.


For affordable lake Annecy accommodation visit our holiday home website

Lake Annecy probably offers the largest choice of activities for any holiday destination. Below our activity A – Z, not including markets, shopping, museums and sights.


There are a number of activity companies on lake Annecy offering abseiling for beginners and more pros.

Adventure Park

A great day out for families and a group of friends. The park has got a range of activities on offer including and adventure course, Forest of Senses, Orienteering Course and Treehouse to rent.

Ballon Flights

Book a hot air balloon mountain flight and discover a breath taking view of Annecy Lake and the Aravis mountains in total tranquillity and security.

Boat Hire

Boats can be hired with and without driving licence, from paddle boats , small sailing boats to motorboats. Enjoy to discovering secret areas of the lake Annecy and the Roc de Chère.


Swimming, slide, jump, descent into basins of water. Good fun and no previous experience required.


The mountains around lake Annecy offer endless climbing possibilities.


There is a scheduled boat service from April 23rd to September 25th connecting the lake-side towns of Talloires, Menthon, Veyrier and Annecy. Charter cruises start from the old town and can include lunch or dinner.


The cycle path is a real link between Annecy, and the other towns along the lake. You can cycle all the way from Annecy to Albertville. It offers beautiful landscapes, with views on the lake and mountains.


Europe’s cleanest lake has plenty of fish stock. All you need is a local licence and fishing gear, off you go catching your own dinner.


There is a golf course in Talloires in a protected nature reserve, with great views over lake and mountains. Nearby in Giez is “Le Belvedere”, a 18 hole golf course offering a magnificent view on the lake of Annecy and the Mont-Blanc, while “Les Castors”, a 9 hole golf course has been designed especially for beginners.


Enjoy easy and pleasant hikes and walks in the heart of the Alps and get rewarded with exceptional scenery of the Lake and the surrounding mountains. Discover wildlife, flora, fauna and the life of pasture.


an unique way to discover Annecy, the lake and the old town.

Mountain Biking

the mountains nearby offer plenty of scope for short or extended mountain bike excursions. Bike rental available.


Discover Lake Annecy in an ecological and original way. Stand-up paddleboards require a little balance but you get rewarded with unique views on Duingt castle and the Roc de Chère. Board hire and organised tours available.


A tandem flight above lake Annecy is one of the most spectacular things you can do. There are many professional operators offering tandem and paragliding courses.

Quad Bikes

Go for a technical and playful Quad Bike excursions guided by experienced instructors.


White water activities include rafting, kayaking, hydrospeed, canorafting and sea kayaking trip. A number of operators offer rafting along the lake.


Sailing courses, Sailing boats, catamaran, windsurfing and boat hire.

Scuba Diving

Discover the clear waters of lake Annecy, and meet perches and pikes. Scuba diving at all levels: initiation dives, exploration dives, certification CMAS/PADI, particular lessons, youth and night dives.

Sight Seeing

See other posts. Plenty of sights along lake Annecy


With water temperatures around 24C in the summer, swimming in lake Annecy is refreshing, healthy and fun.


A number of clubs along the lake with well maintained clay courts.

Via Ferrata

Totally safe rock climbing experience with fixed ropes. Via Ferrata is a good entry to rock climbing.


Wakeboard schools, wakeboard hire, wakeboarding for beginners or experts.


Take a gentle stroll along the footpaths of lake Annecy. Many restaurants and cafes on the way


Water-ski schools, water-ski hire, water-ski for beginners or experts.


Ski resorts are just 30 min drive from lake Annecy offering downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing and all other winter sports available in world class ski resorts.

Maison Shanti still has a few weeks free this summer. The house benefits from a great view over lake Annecy and the nearby mountains, a secure garden for children and a very peaceful location along the slopes of the lake. The house sleeps up to seven people on a self-catering basis. It is a great place to relax and a brilliant base for lake and mountain activities.

Below availability and discounts:

w/c 16 July 2011 – reduced price £950/week (reduced from £1050)

price includes bed linen, set of towel, utilities and tourist tax for up to seven people.

w/c 06/08 August 2011 -reduced price £990/week (reduced from £1100)

price includes bed linen, set of towel, utilities and tourist tax for up to seven people.

For more information email info@maison-shanti.co.uk or visit our website for lake Annecy accommodation.

If you are going to fly into Geneva airport and asking yourself whether to check out and hire a car on the Swiss or French side of the airport, than read this post. The short answer is: If you are new to the area, don’t know Geneva and the region, check out via the Swiss side and hire a car from a Swiss car hire company! Otherwise you take the risk of getting lost and you could potentially add more than an hour to your journey to Annecy. Here is why.

I know my way to lake Annecy but still had problems

I have been driving from Geneva to Annecy at least 100 times in my life. I always hire a car on the Swiss side, which gets me onto the motorway next to the airport and with the new motorway extension into Annecy within 30 – 40min drive.  Yesterday I did not.

I got ‘conned’  by one of the online car hire companies into hiring a car from the French side. The only provider (holidaycars) only gave me the choice of  ‘Geneva airport’ which by default should be the Swiss side of the airport, but when I booked and printed the rental voucher it told me that the car has to be picked up on the French site. I was a little puzzled, but can’t be too difficult.

From the French airport side to lake Annecy is more difficult

Here the difficult bit. I checked out via the Swiss side, than had to go through customs again to get to the French side. The car hire desk on the French side had a massif queue (because car rental tends to be a little cheaper on the French side) so I waited 40 min to get a car. The Swiss operation is much bigger and much slicker. Once I got the car, I had to drive through a ‘French’ corridor road to get me into France, heading away from Annecy into the wrong direction. Once in France nothing is signposted and you need a navigation system to find your way to Annecy.

Knowing the region, I turned around and headed back towards Geneva and aimed for the motorway. Here another annoying thing. In Swiss you pay motorway fees for the year so if you hire a car on the French side this is not included and using Swiss motorways for 7 miles or 5 min cost you 30 Euro. Hire on the Swiss side includes motorway fees!! After 30 min of navigation through the suburbs of Geneva I got back onto the motorway, nowhere to buy the vignette to display so I chanced it and got over the boarder to France without paying. Not a risk you want to take when on holiday.

Go Swiss when travelling from Geneva airport to Annecy

What should have been an hours drive from Geneva to my house in Doussard, became a two hours drive. Including the wait at the car rental desk almost a three hour journey. I have a good sense of direction and know the area well so I did not get lost. Imagine you do this the first time.

My advice for your travel from Geneva airport to lake Annecy. Don’t checkout on the French side, don’t hire a car on the French side. Pay a little extra and get a car on the Swiss side and go straight onto the motorway. Don’t take a change! You will be better of that way. The swiss side is also better for Geneva airport transfers serviced by Alp2Alps.com, which we can highly recommend for friendly drivers

we are pleased to announce that you can now get the latest updates about lake Annecy on Twitter. Join us on http://twitter.com/lakeannecy. We will be tweeting on all things useful and obscure about the lake and the region in addition to our usual posts:

  • lake Annecy travel
  • lake Annecy outdoor and activity tips
  • Outdoor, mountain activities and skiing in the region
  • lake Annecy holidays and accommodation rental deals
  • Property ownership, homes and Annecy real estate
  • Cost of living on lake Annecy
  • Practical advice for your visit to the region
  • weather news
  • fun

So join us on http://twitter.com/lakeannecy

What an amazing January it has been here on lake Annecy. Sun and clear blue skys since the beginning of 2011 and continuing. As we stand this incredible winter sun is set to continue at least until the end of February, probably even longer.

Winter has long been one of my favourite time on lake Annecy. Crisp air, clear views and a deserted lake makes winter a special time of year. Ideal for long walks along the lake. An ideal time of the year to re-charge your batteries away from it all. The water in the lake, although very cold at this time of the year, looks very still and peaceful. Not the time to swim, but a good time to appreciate the lake as it should be seen: wild, beautiful, unspoiled and free of summer tourist crowds.

The downside to winter on the lake is that many lake-side bars and restaurants are closed. So you need to plan your lunch carefully. May be take a pick-nick or head to Annecy old town, which has always places open for a snack, drink, lunch or dinner.

If you ski, lake Annecy offers an stunning choice of ski resorts nearby. There are at least 5 resorts within 40 min drive from the lake. See my other posts on skiing near lake Annecy. Being a skier myself, I love the winters here on lake Annecy. It allows me to get away from it all, enjoy the peace of the lake and the nearby mountains …. and it allows me to dive in and out of ski resorts for a half day skiing here and there….  On that note, I am off to La Clusaz for a half day skiing. 23euro ski pass is a bargain too, compared to the 48euro a day in the bigger more famous ski resorts in the region.

Let me tell you about my drive from London to lake Annecy yesterday. It might help you planning your own journey should you want to drive to lake Annecy from the UK sometimes soon.

The distance from my house in North London to my house in Doussard, the south side of lake Annecy is roughly 620miles (1000km). The total journey time, including ferry crossing and two fuel stops was 11.5 hours. If you are heading to Annecy itself, the journey time will be 30 min less as you save the drive along the lake to Doussard (although very picturesque). You can also reduce the total journey time by one hour if you use the Eurotunnel to cross the channel, more if you break speed limits (not advisable).

I started from my London home at 10.15am. It took me just over 1.30hours to get to Dover. Not bad, considering I have to cross from North to East London, navigate Blackwall tunnel and cross M25. I always plan for a minimum of 3 hours for journey time from London to Dover ferry departure as I have been caught out in traffic before and missed a few ferries before. I also use any spare time I have before ferry departure to refuel the car, check tyre pressures, lights etc. Refuelling in Dover gets me further into France without stopping and currently fuel is cheaper in the UK too.

Ferry left on time (they normally do) and with a crossing time of 1.5 hours I reach Calais at 4pm local time (don’t clocks go one hour forward when travelling to the continent). Also make sure you travel to Calais, not Dunkerque or any other port, otherwise your crossing will be longer and your drive to Lake Annecy will be longer too. The route goes broadly Calais – Reims – Troyes – Dijon – than direction Geneva – Annecy – Doussard. It is all motorway until 40miles from Geneva, where you come off the motorway and drive across the countryside to get to lake Annecy. There is not much you can do wrong to get there.

Calais to Reims is just under 200 miles and you are in the centre of the Champagne region. The Champagne is a fairly flat but obviously many wineries vineyards. If you are driving from the Midlands, this is probably half way point and not a bad stopover. I always do the journey in one day, but I do stop to buy Champagne. My tip here, don’t buy near Reims where all the big Champagne makers are based, drive on another 100miles and stop near Troyes, which is still the Champagnes. For me this makes a perfect first fuel stop (300miles into the journey) and gives me an excuse to pass by my favourite Champagne makers.

After Dijon, you pass the Burgundy region, another possible stopover and opportunity to buy wine, this time Burgundy!!
The total drive time from Calais to Lake Annecy will be 7.5 hours if you keep your stops to a minimum and short (6.5 hours if you are super fast and have a big petrol tank). It took me 7 hours but I had to stop 2 times for petrol. If you drive first time or if you travel with a young family you should plan for 8 – 10 hours from Calais. If you try to avoid motorway charges altogether, drive route national, you save 65Euro (£50) but your journey time will increase to 10 – 12 hours.

Cost to drive to Lake Annecy, ferry £80 return, motorway charges £50 one way, petrol £100 one way, which makes return trip cost by care about £380 – £420 depending on ferry cost and fuel consumption of your car. I always leave London late morning 10am ish to beat the traffic. That normally gets me to Lake Annecy around 11pm. I have lunch on the ferry and only stop for fuel. Alternatively leave your UK home before 6am, which can get you to lake Annecy for 7pm in time for dinner in one of the many restaurants along the lake.

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