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Alternative section Le Grand-Bornand / Lescheraines Route des Grandes Alpes by bike

56,58 Km
3 h 46 min
Difficult
Alternative section Le Grand-Bornand / Lescheraines
Le Grand-Bornand
Lescheraines
The ‘‘Annecy’’ alternative section of the Route des Grandes Alpes®! Saint-Jean-de-Sixt, a village equidistant from Le Grand-Bornand and La Clusaz (each 3km away), is the starting point for this two-stage cycling trip via Annecy. Stop to visit Annecy’s historic centre and dive into its beautiful lake, the purest in Europe, or then ride all around the whole lake on the dedicated cycle path. Also on this section taking you between the counties of Haute-Savoie and Savoie are two small passes, Bluffy and Leschaux, nothing more challenging than that… unless you wish to add the ascent of Semnoz Mountain (1670m) to your list of triumphs!
1162 m 817 m

From Le Grand-Bornand to Lescheraines via Annecy Lake

Route North / South

↗ 613m ↘ 952m

From Le Grand-Bornand, it’s just a gentle 3km climb to reach Saint-Jean-de-Sixt. From here, descend towards Thônes and follow the valley in the direction of Menthon-Saint-Bernard. The magnificent château that dominates Menthon acts as a guide for you. At the summit of the Col de Bluffy (630m), enjoy breathtaking views over Lac d’Annecy. Race down to the lakeside, then follow the waterside cycle track towards Annecy town. Leave its wider urban area at Sevrier to begin the climb to the Col de Leschaux (897m), an easy, shaded ascent. Then take your time to reach Lescheraines.
 

Route South / North

↗ 952m ↘ 613m

From Lescheraines, take on the climb to the Col de Leschaux (897m). If this relatively easy ascent makes you feel invincible, then, once at the pass, turn left to ride up to the summit of Semnoz Mountain (1699m); from here, descend directly to the entrance to the town of Annecy, on an unbroken 17km stint along which you really appreciate the 1200m negative shift in altitude. It’s a fabulous feeling! The more usual route from the Col de Leschaux involves a more gentle descent to Sevrier, from where you follow the cycle track to Annecy, then on to Veyrier and Menthon-Saint-Bernard. Next, tackle the climb to the Col de Bluffy (630 m). From here, the route is quite flat as far as Thônes. Climb to Saint-Jean-de-Sixt via a small pass with an almost 300m shift in altitude. From Saint-Jean-de-Sixt, head on via a gentle 3km descent to Le Grand-Bornand.

Don’t miss

 

  • Annecy: wander around this splendid town, nicknamed France’s Venice of the Alps, exploring the historic centre, the shops and museums, plus the lakeside...
  • Lac d’Annecy: the lake boasts the purest waters in Europe, ideal for swimming; or then do the complete tour of the lake via the waterside cycle path (36km in length).
  • Les Bauges Global Geopark: the second Global Geopark in Haute-Savoie, along with that of the Chablais. UNESCO awards Global Geopark status to areas that prove their exceptional geological interest and how they’re preserving their heritage. 

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