Annecy vacation









winter activities

Annecy is not a resort that closes up for the winter. You will still find plenty going on and a wide choice of restaurants open. In December you can enjoy the magical "Alpes Christmas" with illuminations, Christmas Market, skating rink, tourist train & concerts.

There are a number of excellent ski resorts within half an hour to one hours drive which offer a great variety of skiing, snowboarding, cross country, raquettes and snow fun for all levels. Whilst having to drive anywhere might at first seem less than ideal, it offers you flexibility and ease of access to different resorts according to the conditions. If the weather is bad choose a lower resort with runs mainly below treeline which offer better visibility in poor conditions, or, conversely head to a higher resort for more consistent snow conditions if temperatures are higher or there is less snow around.

You can also combine different activities easily if you have different family members seeking different experiences or simply wish not to ski all day or every day. There are four hour lift passes available at the resorts which activate when you first hit the lifts, so you can enjoy a great time skiing and then return to Annecy for the excellent choice in shops and restaurants later in the day.

skiing,snowboarding, cross-country and snow sports

The nearest resorts to Annecy are Semnoz, La Clusaz, Le Grand Bornand, Manigod, Saint Jean de Sixt, La Sambuy, Les Saisies and Megeve.

Semnoz
The closest ski station to Annecy - just 20 minutes away or 18km up on the west side of the lake and with lovely views of the Chaîne du Mont Blanc and Le massif des Ecrins. This is a small ski area but still has 18 runs for different levels, snow park, cross country and raquette routes. Passes are available from 2 to 8 hours and start from when you arrive, not set times.www.semnoz.fr/
La Clusaz
La ClusazA friendly and traditional village which is hundreds of years old. Slopes are between 1100m to 2600m and offer a great range of slopes and levels of difficulty. Visit their website for details of slopes, piste maps and transport links. The resort is an easy 30 minute drive and there is even a bus which goes from the Bonlieu at the corner of Rue Jean Jaures and Rue Sommeiller and on the way back it drops you off at the "l'arrêt Préfecture Pâquier" which is even closer. www.laclusaz.com/hiver-winter10/
Le Grand Bornand
ChinaillonA particular personal favourite. This is a traditional all year round village with markets and shops and reataurants open all year in a beautiful area. You can either park in Le Grand-Bornand (altitude 1000 m) itself and catch the telecabines up to the extensive ski area or park up at Le Grand-Bornand Chinaillon (altitude 1300 m) where you can park right at the foot of a variety of lifts and draglifts linking onto the same ski area. There is an excellent range of slopes for all levels of ability with snowparks and some extensive beginner areas, as well as some beautiful long scenic runs back down to the village with opportunities to stop off for a meal or hot chocolate at superb restaurants right on the piste! Le Grand-Bornand is also know for it's superb cross-country facilities. The resort is an easy 30 minute drive and can be accessed by the same bus which goes up to la Clusaz, which goes from the Bonlieu at the corner of Rue Jean Jaures and Rue Sommeiller and on the way back it drops you off at the "l'arrêt Préfecture Pâquier" which is even closer. http://www.legrandbornand.com/
Manigod
Linked to slopes at La Clusaz at an altitude of 1500m, this is an excellent base for all winter activities, alpine skiing, cross country skiing and snow shoe walks over the vast Beauregard plateau all with panoramic views of Mont-Blanc. The beautiful village is well worth visiting. Distance 25km from Annecy and about half an hours drive. www.manigod.com/hiver-winter/
Saint Jean de Sixt
3km from La Clusaz or Le Grand Bornand and a good place for families. Its ski slopes for beginners offer a low cost introduction to skiing; Snow shoe walking and cross country skiing enable you to experience the area's natural beauty. Distance 28km from Annecy and about half an hours drive. http://www.saintjeandesixt.com/hiver-winter/
La Sambuy
A small resort about 50 min drive from Annecy. There are only three lifts but a good selection of runs for both beginners and advanced skiers. It is great in poor visibility as all runs are below the tree line and ski passes for adults are only 14 euro per day. www.lasambuy.com
Megève
One of the oldest ski resorts in the French Alps and also one of the poshest. A resort with stunning views across to Mt Blanc. Drivetime is about an hour from Annecy. Megeve is connected to other ski resorts such as St Gervais and boasts a massive ski area with almost 50 ski lifts and a skiable area of 80 km². Also known as a place to be seen!www.megeve.com
Les Saisies - Espace Diamant
A bit further afield but a great ski resort, at 1650 m, in an ideal location between two magnificent areas of Savoie, just 30 km from Albertville. Lying between two valleys, the Beaufortain and the Val d'Arly, it has breathtaking panoramic views of Mont Blanc. This is a friendly and traditional village with wood and stone architecture. In winter, Les Saisies has one of the best snowfall and sunshine records in the Alps. The Espace Diamant ski area covers 185 km of slopes, including 5 resorts: Les Saisies, Crest Volant Cohennoz, Notre Dame de Bellecombe, Flumet and Praz sur Arly. There are extensive high quality downhill and cross-country ski areaswith some great family skiing and a wide range of other activities (snowmobiling, paragliding, snowshoeing, torchlight descents, snowkarting, cinema, etc). Drive time about 1 hour 20 mins 62km. wwww.lessaisies.com/resort-village-snow-ski-france.html

Paragliding/ hang gliding

Paragliding can be combined with skiing and it is possible to still find tandem flights available from places such as La Clusaz and Grand Bornand throughout the winter
http://annecy.takamaka.fr www.aravis-concept.com http://www.lespassagersduvent.com/

Mountain adventure activities

Takamaka organise a wide range of activities such as dog sledding, snow mobiles, waterfall ice and night-time toboggan runs http://annecy.takamaka.fr

Annecy adventure offer summer and winter activities and adventures for families and groups - anything from walking/raquettes to mountaineering and white water rafting. Have a look at their site which highlights the different activities available around Lac d' Annecy at any time.
http://www.annecy-aventure.com

Walking

There are companies offering guided snowshoe walks or you can hire raquettes at most ski-hire shops in the resorts and pick up route maps from the tourist offices, if you prefer finding your own way.
http://www.rando-attitude.com/

Fun things for adults and children

Alps Christmas in Annecy - From 1st December 2010 to 1st January 2011: illuminations, Christmas Market, skating rink, tourist train & concerts.



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