Day Trips and Excursions: Summertime Travel Outside of Annecy

Located in the breathtaking French Alps, Annecy gleams as a gem of unspoiled landscape and old-world charm. It is a well-liked summer vacation destination for tourists from all over the world due to its cobblestone streets, turquoise canals, and stunning lake. Even though Annecy is fascinating, there is a whole area outside of its boundaries that has yet to be discovered. Exploring the world’s captivating landscapes, cultural marvels, and undiscovered gems on day trips and excursions from Annecy guarantees an unforgettable summer adventure.

Top Excursions

  1. The Château de Menthon-Saint-Bernard is among.

Overview of the Menthon-Saint-Bernard Castle

The Château de Menthon-Saint-Bernard, perched majestically on a rocky outcrop overlooking Lake Annecy, is a fascinating reminder of centuries of history. The Menthon family has lived in this medieval castle, which was built in the tenth century, for more than a millennium. The castle’s towers, turrets, and fortified walls offer a fascinating look into the area’s rich history while also reflecting a variety of architectural styles from different eras.

How to get from Annecy to the Château de Menthon-Saint-Bernard

Around 10 kilometers separate the Château de Menthon-Saint-Bernard from Annecy, making it simple to visit for a day trip. The D909 road connects you to the castle in about 20 minutes by car. Alternatively, you can use public transportation by boarding bus route 61 and getting off at the Menthon-Saint-Bernard stop at the train station in Annecy.

Important Sites and Events in the Castle Grounds

Views of Lake Annecy and the surrounding mountains will greet you as soon as you enter the Château de Menthon-Saint-Bernard. The lives of the noble families who resided in the castle are revealed during guided tours that delve into its history. Discover the castle’s grand halls, hidden passages, and exquisitely decorated rooms, each of which bears witness to the various eras it has survived.

Every architectural style you come across as you explore the castle, from the medieval to the Renaissance, offers a different perspective on how the castle has changed over time. Don’t overlook the magnificent Gothic chapel, which features ornate woodwork and intricate stained glass windows.

  1. Visiting the Gorges du Forêt
The Gorges du Fier - Camping Ferme de la Serraz

Overview of the Gorges du Fier

The Gorges du Fier, a breathtaking natural wonder located not far from Annecy, will leave you speechless. This small gorge, which the powerful Fier River has carved out over many years, provides an exhilarating and unforgettable experience. Visitors can experience the unadulterated beauty of nature as they stroll along the suspended footbridge that spans the gorge and watch as the river rushes below, sculpting the rocks into mesmerizing formations.

Gorges du Fier can be reached from Annecy

The journey from Annecy to the Gorges du Fier is simple. The 14 kilometers can be driven in about 20 minutes by car using the D1201 road. Alternatively, if you’d rather use public transportation, you can board bus line 51 and travel to the Gorges du Fier stop from Annecy’s train station. The gorge’s entrance is just a short distance away from there.

traversing the Narrow Gorge on foot

Be ready to be astounded by the breathtaking natural beauty that surrounds you as you enter the Gorges du Fier. You embark on an exciting journey suspended above the raging river on the footbridge, which is firmly attached to the gorge walls. As you walk along the constrained path that snakes through the gorge, take in the impressive rock formations that nature’s forces have sculpted.

The gorge’s distinctive features are highlighted by the way the light plays as it passes through the small cracks in the rocks. It’s an experience that appeals to all of your senses, from the sound of the water rushing to the cool mist on your face.

Safety Recommendations and Precautions

It’s crucial to consider safety when visiting the Gorges du Fier:

  • Put on the right shoes: The pathway may be uneven and slick, so it’s best to wear sturdy shoes or hiking boots to ensure stability and avoid accidents.
  • Obey the regulations: To ensure your safety while visiting the Gorges du Fier, abide by any instructions or limitations given by the staff there. These might include guidelines for using a footbridge or limitations on specific areas.
  • Pay attention to the weather: Severe rain can make the path more slick and possibly hazardous.
  1. Discovering Yvoire’s Secrets
Discover the beautiful medieval village of Yvoire - French Moments

A picturesque medieval village close to Annecy is Yvoire.

The enchanting medieval village of Yvoire, which is located on the shores of Lake Geneva, is full of charm and serenity. Yvoire, one of the “Plus Beaux Villages de France” (Most Beautiful Villages of France), charms tourists with its winding streets, preserved stone homes decorated with vibrant flowers, and a tranquil atmosphere that transports you to another time. Exploring Yvoire is like entering a fairytale, with new beautiful scenes appearing around every corner.

Options for Getting to Yvoire by Car

Yvoire can be reached by car in about an hour from Annecy. The A41 highway heading toward Geneva is the most direct route, followed by the D903 and D25 roads. Another choice is to travel from Annecy to Yvoire by scenic boat, which lets you take in Lake Geneva’s beauty the entire way.

Beautiful Gardens, Streets, and Historical Sites in Yvoire

Get ready to be mesmerized by Yvoire’s charming beauty once you arrive there. Take a stroll through the medieval neighborhoods lined with cobblestone streets and bougainvillea and colorful geraniums. Find quiet nooks and charming squares, like the Place du Thay, where you can unwind and take in the ambiance.

Visit the charming garden known as the Jardin des Cinq Sens (Garden of Five Senses), which is brimming with fragrant trees, blooming flowers, and beautiful sculptures. Take a leisurely stroll while allowing the scents and colors to arouse your senses.

Don’t overlook the Château d’Yvoire, a 14th-century medieval castle with excellent preservation. Discover the castle’s impressive towers, courtyards, and gardens while learning about its lengthy history from educational displays and exhibitions.

  1. Getting Away to La Clusaz’s Mountain Paradise
Resort Guide for a Luxury Ski Holiday in La Clusaz | Ski In Luxury

Popular Alpine Destination Near Annecy: La Clusaz

La Clusaz, a renowned mountain paradise offering a variety of activities and breathtaking scenery all year long, is located in the Aravis Range of the French Alps. This picturesque mountain town, only a short drive from Annecy, draws people who enjoy the outdoors, the natural world, and winter sports.

Options for Transportation to How to reach La Clusaz

Taking the D909 road towards Thônes and then following the signs to La Clusaz will take you about 40 minutes to drive from Annecy to La Clusaz. An alternate option for getting to La Clusaz is by bus, which departs from the train station in Annecy.

La Clusaz Outdoor Activities

A haven for outdoor adventurers, La Clusaz offers a variety of activities based on the season. Discover the pristine hiking trails that meander through meadows, forests, and mountain peaks in the summer. There is a network of trails available for mountain bikers of all skill levels.

La Clusaz transforms into a winter sports haven during the colder months. Try your hand at cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, or hit the slopes and enjoy skiing or snowboarding on the well-kept slopes. From novice to expert skiers, the resort offers services for all skill levels.

Relaxation and Après-Ski Locations

Relax and enjoy the après-ski scene in La Clusaz after a thrilling day on the slopes or mountain exploring. Many bars, cafes, and restaurants provide a cozy setting where you can take pleasure in a hot beverage, a cool beverage, or a delectable meal.

Consider going to one of La Clusaz’s wellness facilities or spas if you want to unwind. Allow your body to relax and recharge by rewarding yourself with a restorative massage or by submerging yourself in a hot tub.

  1. Unwinding by Lake Aiguebelette’s Shores
Campsite Lac d'Aiguebelette in Savoie | Huttopia

A Calm and Less Crowded Alternative to Lake Annecy is Lake Aiguebelette

Lake Aiguebelette offers an idyllic setting away from the busy crowds for those looking for a peaceful escape. This pristine lake offers a tranquil retreat where you can unwind because it is surrounded by lush vegetation and rolling hills.

traveling to Lake Aiguebelette from Annecy

Using the A41 and A43 highways will take you to Lake Aiguebelette in about 40 minutes of driving time from Annecy. Getting to the lake by public transportation involves taking the train from Annecy to Aix-les-Bains and then a brief bus ride. The schedules should be checked in advance though, as they could change.

Aiguebelette Lake activities

Because of its clear, turquoise waters, Lake Aiguebelette is a great place to go swimming. Take a seat along the lake’s edge to enjoy the sunshine or go for a cooling swim. You can explore the lake’s tranquil expanse by boat, paddleboard, kayak, or any of these activities.

Pack a picnic and have a leisurely lunch by the lake if you want to. Enjoy local specialties or homemade treats while taking in the beauty of the surroundings.

Hidden Locations and Nearby Attractions

If you want to do more exploring, think about going to the nearby village of Aiguebelette-le-Lac, which has quaint streets, old buildings, and cafes. In the nearby Parc Naturel Régional de Chartreuse, nature lovers can also explore stunning landscapes, hiking trails, and unusual flora and fauna.

By taking these day trips and excursions, you can explore the wonders and secrets that are located outside of Annecy. Each excursion promises distinctive experiences and a deeper understanding of the wonders of the area, whether you choose to explore the charming medieval village of Yvoire, lose yourself in the mountain paradise of La Clusaz, or take in the tranquil beauty of Lake Aiguebelette.


While Annecy is a lovely place to visit, venturing outside of its boundaries reveals a world of alluring landscapes, cultural marvels, and undiscovered treasures. Each excursion offers distinctive experiences and chances to make priceless memories, from the medieval allure of Yvoire to the breathtaking Gorges du Fier and from the mountain paradise of La Clusaz to the serene shores of Lake Aiguebelette. This summer, venture outside of Annecy and allow the beauty and diversity of the area to seduce you.

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