Annecy vacation

Aravis area

Col de la ForclazThe Aravis is a gorgeous Alpine area at virtually any time of year. See our seasonal activities pages for specific details on ski possibilities easily accessible from the apartment, but don't forget summer walking and just enjoying the scenery. The autumn colours will rival any in New England, and against the backdrop of mountains and blue skies, the views are just stunning. In late spring and throughout summer the fields are covered in alpine flowers - complete the view with the cows and the lazy ringing of the cow bells and it's a little piece of heaven on earth.

The main resorts are highlighted below, but just pick up a map from the tourist information office which is only a few minutes away and explore for yourselves. Whether you drive and just stop off at different villages and traditional restaurants or whether you want to be more adventurous, the Aravis has plenty to offer and is less crowded and touristy than some of the more well known resorts like Chamonix. It's an area known to the French, but less well known to British tourists. We have always found everyone to be really friendly and happy to work with our limited French!

La Clusaz
La ClusazA village with plenty of activites and great for families just 30 minutes drive from the apartment. In winter the slopes offer a full range of levels of difficulty, whilst in summer the walking or mountain biking around here is superb. There is a bus available 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.
Le Grand Bornand
Le Grand-Bornand ChinaillonThis is a traditional all year round village with markets, shops and restaurants open all year in a beautiful area, with Le Chinaillon (altitude 1300 m) a little further up the valley. You can park at Le Grand Bornand, close to the telecabines, or at Le Chinaillon with direct access to several lifts to the same ski and mountain area. In winter there is an excellent selection of slopes for all levels of ability with a snowpark and some extensive beginner areas, as well as some beautiful scenic runs back down to the village, with opportunities to stop off for a meal or hot chocolate at restaurants on the piste. Le Grand-Bornand is also know for it's superb cross-country skiing facilities. In summer there are lovely walks, mountain biking, a via ferrata, a golf course and large open-air swimming pool with mountain backdrop. The resort is an easy 30 minute drive and can be accessed by the same bus which goes up to la Clusaz.
This claims to be situated in one of the most beautiful valleys in the Alps - visit it and decide for yourself! Linked to the slopes at La Clusaz at an altitude of 1500m, this is an excellent resort for all winter activities. Walks are possible all year (in winter with snowshoes) over the vast Beauregard plateau with panoramic views of Mont-Blanc. The beautiful village is well worth visiting. The resort is about half an hour's drive away.
Saint Jean de Sixt
This village has lovely surroundings for walking and just enjoying the views. It is 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 and you can also enjoy snow shoe walking and cross country skiing. The resort is about half an hours drive away.

walking/biking and other activities

There are many great walks in the mountains and valleys, at any time of year. Raquettes or snow shoes can be hired at any of the resorts for winter walks in the snow. Routes for walking are available from the Tourist Office.

If you are looking for a different activities within the Aravis alpine area then it is best to see our seasonal activities pages which give more details and links for different pastimes at different times of year.

mountain adventure activities

There are too many companies offering individual and group mountain experiences to list them all here but for a flavour of what is on offer we have included a couple of the most local. For other ideas there is more information on our seasonal activities pages.

Takamaka organise a wide range of year round representative activities such as paragliding, canyoning, rafting, mountain biking, via ferrata, water skiing, wake boarding, hydrospeeding, hiking, sky diving, with dog sledding, snow mobiles, waterfall ice and night-time toboggan runs for the winter.

Annecy Adventure offer summer and winter activities 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 different times of year.

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