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Three Lakes Tour: From Geneva to Annecy

  • 4

    (5)

  • Difficulty Level: 3
  • Duration: 5 nights
  • Distance: 36 miles/day
  • Self-guided from: €645
  1. Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  2. Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  3. Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge.
  4. Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year.
  5. Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  6. Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.

Tour description

Stunning scenery, mesmerizing mountains, and luscious lakes!

Do you love cycling and exploring new areas by bike, but think French Alps are beyond your reach, because of climbing all those mountains? Are you more of a leisure cyclist than an avid “col”-climbing animal?

Then look no further, this trip is for you!

This unique bicycle tour in the French Alps makes it possible for leisure riders to experience the captivating cycling of the Alps without the hill hassle. Linking the three major lakes of the area (Lake Geneva, Lake Bourget, and Lake Annecy), this cycling tour essentially follows river paths, such as along the Rhone and Isere rivers, taking in historic villages, stunning natural scenery, lush meadows and valleys, and picturesque peaks along the way.

On this tour you will have route variations based on the hotel category booked. The Option A and A+ variatons are noted in the Daily Program and Hotels details.

Daily program

Day 1: Arrive in Geneva (Option A+) or Gaillard (Option A)
Arrive in Geneva/Gaillard at your leisure and check-in to your hotel. Take time to discover the stylish city of Geneva. 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 and plentiful photo fodder. Dinner is at leisure. Due to the fact that Geneva is the culinary capital of Switzerland, there is a variety of restaurants and eateries, sure to please every palette.
Overnight in Geneva (A+) or Gaillard (A)

Day 2: Option A+: Geneva – Seyssel (38 miles/62 km, 2,545 ft/775 m of climbing)
Option A: Gaillard – Seyssel (43 miles/69 km, 2,725 ft/830 m of climbing)
Meet your tour company contact in the morning to go over the itinerary and outfitting of bikes. The highlights of your route include cycling along the famous Rhone River, admiring the heart-warming views over the charming wine-making villages of Dardagny and Satigny, and exploring impressive forts, cathedrals, and chateaus.

Conquer the westernmost point of Switzerland by bike at the village of Chancy and then cross the border into France. Unmissable here is the Fort de l’Ecluse, founded by a Duke of Savoy, which is an elevated fort, built out of a striking rock formation and a natural entrance of the Rhone Valley into France between the Vuache 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 Rhone River located between two dams.
Overnight in Seyssel

Day 3: Seyssel – Aix-les-Bains (29 miles/46 km, 1,510 ft/460 m of climbing)
The views on today’s ride, including 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 the only 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, with numerous Roman ruins still remaining.
Overnight in Aix-les-Bains

Day 4: Option A+: Aix-les-Bains – Saint-Pierre-d'Albigny (29 miles/47 km, 1,635 ft/500 m of climbing)
Option A: Aix-les-Bains – Sainte-Hélène-sur-Isère (42 miles/68 km, 2,300 ft/700 m climbing)
Pedaling through Chambery, a town of art and history and the heart of Savoy, is a central feature to the route for today. Located in a wide valley between the Bauges and Chartreuse Mountain ranges and regional park areas 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, overlooking the rich wine-growing region of the Combe de Savoy valley, including the wine-making 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 which has been inhabited by man since the Neolithic age.
Overnight in or Saint-Pierre-d-Albigny (A+) or Sainte-Helene-sur-Isere (A)

Day 5: Option A+: Saint-Pierre-d'Albigny – Annecy (43 miles/69 km, 1,720 ft/525 m of climbing) 
Option A: Sainte-Hélène-sur-Isère – Annecy (36 miles/58 km, 1,285 ft/400 m of climbing)
On your bikes you wind 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, with buildings dating 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, its amazing setting is presided over by the Aravis mountain range in the background, famous for the hairpin turns and steep bends popularized on the Tour de France.

The magnificent town of Annecy, nestled on the northern tip of Lake Annecy, is home to the International Animated Film Festival and boasts an alluring alpine atmosphere, as well as some notable sites, such as the Palais de l’Isle (12th century prison on an island in a canal and the symbol of the town), the Chateau d’Annecy, the 16th century Cathedral of Saint-Pierre, and the 20th century Pont des Amour (Lover’s Bridge) made of iron.
Overnight in Annecy

Day 6: Departure
Have a relaxing breakfast, enjoy more of the sights and sounds and ambiance of Annecy, and depart at your leisure. Or, feel free to prolong the vacation and stay longer in Annecy in order to make the most of this extraordinary town and setting.

Dates

Fridays and Sundays: Apr 1-Oct 31, 2018 (additional departures upon request for group of 4 or more)

Prices

Category A+: mostly 3-star hotels

A €20 per bike fee will be applied to your booking after confirmation (to cover return of bikes to Geneva).

Per person, double occupancy
€875
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
€380
Bike Rentals
Hybrid touring bike
€80
Full-carbon road bike
€170
Extra Nights, Annecy, prices starting at:
Per person, double occupancy
€95
Single room (1 person/1 room)
€150
Extra Nights, Geneva (area), prices starting at:
Per person, double occupancy
€115
Single room (1 person/1 room)
€190
Discounts
Per person, triple room (on base package price)
€-20
Category A: mostly 2-star hotels

A €20 per bike fee will be applied to your booking after confirmation (to cover return of bikes to Geneva).

Per person, double occupancy
€645
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
€230
Bike Rentals
Hybrid touring bike
€80
Full-carbon road bike
€170
Extra Nights, Annecy, prices starting at:
Per person, double occupancy
€65
Single room (1 person/1 room)
€105
Extra Nights, Geneva (area), prices starting at:
Per person, double occupancy
€45
Single room (1 person/1 room)
€85
Discounts
Per person, triple room (on base package price)
€-20
Please note: Instead of operating bicycle tours ourselves, BikeTours.com represents local bicycle tour operators around the world. Review the tour operator's information and terms below, then submit your booking request through BikeTours.com. The primary benefits of booking your tour through BikeTours.com include:
  • Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge
  • Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  • Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  • Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year. Or pay in euros!
  • Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  • Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.
Contact us with any questions about booking and paying for your tour through BikeTours.com. We look forward to serving you!

SARL Cyclomundo Terms and Conditions

Cancellation

  • More than 30 days before departure: 25 € / pax for file fees.
  • 30 - 22 days before departure: 35 % of the total stay price and of the bike.
  • 21- 15 days before departure: 50 % of the total stay price and of the bike.
  • 14 - 08 days before departure: 75 % of the total stay price and of the bike.
  • 07 - 02 days before departure: 90 % of the total stay price and of the bike.
  • Less than 2 days before departure, on departure day, in case of late arrival, in case of NO SHOW, in case of stop of the trip: 100% of the total stay price and of the bike.

In the event that we must cancel a tour, full refunds will be provided for the tour package. The tour operator will not be responsible for any additional charges such as non-refundable airline tickets.

Change fees (of date, of stay, after confirmation): €12/per person.

Eligibility
Clients are responsible for selecting a trip that suits their abilities, level of fitness and state of health.

Insurance
We strongly advise our clients to purchase travel insurance.

Responsibility
The tour operator and its agents and associates act only as agents for the traveler and accept no responsibility for the products and services provided by any tour operator, bicycle renter, accommodations, restaurant, transportation used in connection with these tours, nor any liability for claims, damages, expenses or other financial loss to persons or property. In the event that it becomes necessary or advisable to alter the itinerary or arrangements, such alterations will be made without penalty to the operator.

The tour operator reserves the right to decline to accept any person as a member of a tour at any time.

Passports & Visas
All clients are responsible to have all proper visa requirements in order.

Complaints
Any issue should be communicated to the tour operator representative. Every effort will be made to have the issue addressed in a timely manner. Any other complaints should be made in writing and sent to the tour operator by registered mail within 30 days of the end of the trip. No complaints will be entertained after this period.

In the event that an out-of-court settlement cannot be agreed on, all disputes will be settled by the court of Thonon-les-Bains (Tribunal de Grande Instance de Thonon-les-Bains).

All photos used by permission. ©Cyclomundo

Ratings

Ratings Snapshot

  • 5 Star 2
  • 4 Star 2
  • 3 Star 0
  • 2 Star 1
  • 1 Star 0

Average Ratings

  • Overall

    4

  • Difficulty level (Actual vs. expected) 3.6
  • Value 4.8
  • Included meals 4.2
  • Bikes & equipment 4.2
  • Hotels or boat 4.2
  • Scenery 4.8
  • Ease of navigation 3.2
  • Tour documents 3.5
  • Local tour company services 4.2
  • Route selection 4.4

Reviews

SarahG August 17, 2017

Great Trip!

It was everything I thought it would be.. beautiful French countryside, vineyards, fields of sunflowers, quaint villages, beautiful scenery. The weather was hot and that made the 1st day more challenging than I think it would have been otherwise

Becca August 8, 2017

Savoie self-bike

Taste the cuisine and drink the wine of Savoie, swim in pristine lakes, visit medival villages, castles, and vineyards.

shea214 November 14, 2016

too much is too much

This tour is quite lovely, but not at the level we expected. This is our 8th tour so we feel we get them by now. We like the unguided aspect, but they completely outsourced the work of actual directions to a machine. It is not an adequate substitution. The machine added at least 15 miles on the first day and was most frustrating. Please, give us actual directions AND MAPS. A silly little device is certainly helpful but should not be a substitute. And the distance and hills were definitely not Medium. This was proven out the first night by the guy who biked to the hotel (he likes extreme and he thought it was tough).

Responses from Biketours.com

Lindsay Nash January 21, 2018
Hi! Thanks for your review. We're glad to hear that the tour was lovely despite the tour level not meeting your expectations. We're taking your review to our products team and to the local tour operator to re-assess the tour level. Thank you for sharing your experience and helping us to better advise other travelers in the future.
Lindsay Nash January 21, 2018
I wanted to follow up once more on your review after following up with the local tour operator. They've never received complaints about the GPS before, and they did provide maps, a profile, and a large marked map in the roadbook on your tour. Also, to clarify, the client you mentioned who said it was a tough route was doing the more challenging version of the tour, not the version you went on. I'm sorry if that was confusing. Again, we apologize the tour level did not match your expectations, but we do state clearly in the Surface and Terrain details about the daily climbing. Thank you again for sharing your experience.
JJHNL July 1, 2016

Great trip

Best tour ever. Great scenery and great tour company.