Annecy, France

Includes Annecy, Lac d’Annecy, Saint Jorioz, Semnoz, Reserve Bout Du Lac

Frank van Dongen

Annecy, France is a small city on the northern banks of Lac d’Annecy. It’s the largest city in the Haute-Savoie department of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in southwestern France. Sometimes referred to as the “Pearl of French Alps,” or “Little Venice,” Annecy is known for its stunning scenery and focus on environmental policy, both of which have been a draw for tourism. It is also home to a renowned Animated Film Festival. There is plenty of good running in Annecy, due to its lakefront paths, charming old town promenades, and prolific green spaces. 

The best places to run in Annecy center along the lakefront. The iconic waterfront route begins from the center of the city and traverses the north & east waterfront of Lac d’Annecy. Also popular is the Voie Verte cycle path which runs 35 km to Ugine. The Voie Verte can also be combined with the scenic waterfront of Saint Jorioz. Other good options include the old town promenades along Le Thiou, the rural trails of Semnoz, the boardwalks of Réserve Naturelle Marais du Bout du Lac d’Annecy, and the gravel paths of Vallon du Fier

Annecy is quite compact, so getting around the heart of the city on foot is the easiest option. However, the city does have a good bus network called SIBRA. Many of our routes are south of Annecy bordering the lake, so if you plan to travel outside the heart of downtown, a car (for rent or for hire) is recommended.

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Annecy’s weather is influenced by elevation. Summers are delightful, with warm days in the 26C (80F) range and nights that can cool off. Winters are cool to mild, with daytime temperatures of 4C (low 40s) and nights just below freezing. Fall is gorgeous. The 1200mm of annual precipitation is spread evenly throughout the year, although there’s lots of sunshine as well. Note the weather will be cooler — and snowier — in the mountain areas around Annecy.

Most Annecy hotels are located near the center of town, although there are a few options further south towards Saint Jorioz and Veyrier-du-Lac.

There are a few running stores in Annecy, including 24KM195, Sport Running, Go Sport, and Decathalon. There is also a Trail Running Store just north in Sillingy.

Also be sure to check out Destination Running, not only do they sell gear, but they lead tours around Annecy.

Some other local running groups include We Run Annecy and Annecy Trail Running.


There are a number of races in the area, including the Marathon du Lac d’Annecy and the Semi Marathon du Lac d’Annecy. It’s also a popular spot for trail races.