Annecy vacation

getting to Annecy

Location map for Annecy

Annecy is only half an hour from Geneva on the new motorway or one hour from Lyon. There are major international airports in both cities with flights from BA and EasyJet; you can also get flights to Chambery from the UK.

By car

Drive time from the Channel ports is about 8-9 hours. You can travel by motorway for most of the way and French motorways are delightfully free of the levels of traffic experienced in the UK. Closer to Annecy use the A40 and then the A41. Avoid going through Switzerland on motorways unless you want to pay for the Swiss motorway vignette.

Cars can be hired from the airports from the usual hire firms. If you are coming into Geneva you can hire from both the French or Swiss sides of the airport. If you hire on the French side the car will probably not have the Swiss motorway vignette and will have to be returned to the French sector of the airport. ( follow signs for FERNEY VOLTAIRE )

You can drive out from the airport through Geneva without needing the Swiss motorway vignette so long as you avoid driving on the motorway (A1). The airport website has a route map you can download which is extremely helpful.

I have also prepared a couple of documents which show the route to follow with no vignette. There is a map on Google map at this link which will also highlight directions and even gives street views of intersections which can be helpful. Google map for route from French secteur to Annecy avoiding vignette

PDF version of Google Map

However, I find that Google maps expect you to be able to see road names, which are not always that visible. Thus I have also put together a word doc which follows the same route, but just tells you to look out for which signs in which colours, which I find easier on busy roads! Basically to get safely out of Geneva exit the road from the French sector rentals, turn right through the customs and then carry on straight through the tunnel, straight up the hill and over the motorway. You are looking for blue signs for Lancy (first one goes off to right) and Pont Butin, then Plan-les-Ouates, St Julien-en-Genevois, douane at Perly and the D201 to Annecy. Once through customs at Perly you can decide to join A40 and then A41 for the peage down to Annecy (2012 this costs just over 6 euros) or continue down the D201.

Word doc for route Geneva to Annecy without vignette

To use signs for the reverse journey exit A40 at blue signs for St Julien en Genevois, look out for green signs for Geneve and then blue signs to Plan-les-Ouates, Lancy, Airport Palexpo and Ferney Voltaire. Just before the airport and before you go over the motorway there is a BP garage to the right if you need to fill up. However, we prefer to continue through the tunnel and through the French customs and a couple of hundred yards further on there is a TOTAL garage on the right before the roundabout, which has usually been a bit more helpful. The entrance to the rental dropoffs and French secteur is immediately after the customs, so if you do want to use this garage you will have to pass this turning into the airport for a few hundred yards, use the garage and then carry on to the roundabout to do a U turn and return to the entrance into the airport and rental dropoffs. As another note: when you enter the airport via this turning you return down a long windy road. At the end you appear to come to a dead end open car park for rental returns. The entrance for rentals isn't actually in this carpark - you need to do an extremely tight U turn and then turn immediately right into the rental dropoff underground carpark. It's fine if you know what to look out for - it isn't very obvious otherwise!

By bus

Dont believe any forums or sites that tell you it is difficult to get from Geneva airport to Annecy by bus! We have done it and it is both easy and quite cheap (currently 10.50 euros one way). You come out of arrivals into the terminal concourse - in front of you is an information desk - you can buy tickets here or you can buy them online prior to travel - a few steps to the left is the door to the terminal and right in front of that are two roadways separated by about 20m. If you walk to the second thats where the buses arrive, so all you need to do is look out for the correct number on the front - when it arrives you put your luggage in the hold underneath and get on! The journey takes about 45 minutes and takes you directly to the Annecy train and bus station - the Gare Routiere. For more information, timetables and online reservations visit

The bus timetable for the Annecy/Geneva run shows only three buses each way a day. In between are more buses shown as starting or dropping at the city centre train station (Geneva-Cornavin station). It is only a 6 minute train journey from the airport station (CCF) to the Geneva-Cornavin station so it is very easy to pick up buses here if you dont want to wait for the next bus from the airport itself. You can even pick up free tickets from the airport to Cornavin if you look out for the machines in the baggage hall, just before you exit though the nothing to declare green lane. Follow signs to the trains in the airport - once there all trains stop at Geneva-Cornavin station (city centre): 5 trains per hour, route 6 minutes. Bus stops are immediately outside the entrance of Geneva-Cornavin station. The Geneva Gare Routiere itself is a five minute walk from Geneva-Cornavin station so its a bit of an unnecessary walk. The buses coming from Annecy usually call at the Geneva-Cornavin station first before going on to the Gare Routiere, so on the way back it's best to alight directly at the train station and catch the train link up to the airport, if you are not on a bus that goes to the airport itself.

There are a few direct buses per day from Lyon airport to Annecy. The Satobus network connects Lyon-St Exupéry Airport with Annecy and buses run about every 2 hours between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Return journeys from Annecy run between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. A Satobus counter is open from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and is located in the airport central hall at level 1. For Annecy, reservations are a must and can be made through Voyages Crolard T+33 (0)4 50 51 08 51 or or on the website : The cost for a one way ticket is approximately 32 €.


The TGV from Paris stops at Annecy. If you are coming from Geneva airport you will need to change at Aix-le-Bains. There is a direct TGV train about twice a day from Lyon airport (Saint-Exupery station) to Annecy (reservation necessary) or you can get the shuttle bus into Lyon centre and get the local train from Lyon downtown (Part-Dieu station) to Annecy. More details and reservations are at

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