Who said summer in the mountains was boring ?
Many of us think that the summer in the mountains is reserved for people only looking for long hikes on steep paths ....
But that was without counting on the Lake Annecy region and its ultra-dynamic resorts surrounding it.
During 4 days, I had the chance to discover this magnificent region and its various activities, all more fun than the others.
But let's start from the beginning, how to get to Annecy ?
Of course, there is the car or the train. But for those who would choose a shorter stay and would not want to waste time in transport, there is also the plane.
Geneva airport is only an hour away from Brussels. Once at the airport, a taxi will take you there in just an hour.
Our first destination, the resort of La Clusaz.
La Clusaz has built a whole range of trails for mountain biking, downhill runs and cross country path. I hear you already tell me, the practice of mountain biking is an activity that requires a very strong physical condition and even more in the mountains ..... But have you ever heard of E Bikes ?
The E Bikes is an electric bicycle. Of course initially this assistance was placed on city bikes, but clever people had the good idea to place on mountain bikes.
And believe me, once so equipped, the E Bike really changes the deal. Thanks to its powerful assistance, you will be able to climb the steepest slopes while pedaling slightly as if you were cruising along the seaside. This new technology opens the possibility of immense bike trek in mountain and La Cluzas understood it well by creating tracks and marked trails to no end ....
Once your day is over, all you have to do is recharge your E Bike and start all over again the next day.
I see some sneer by saying that the E Bike is for older people who can not pedal anymore .... Well they are all wrong ! For athletes, the E Bike opens even more possibilities in mountain. Your range is multiplied and allows you to access freeride descents that you could not have imagined with a normal mountain bike.
In addition, as these E Bikes are high-end mountain bikes equipped with all the current freeride technology, they are no limitation in your jumps and tricks. Just a slight overweight that will be easily compensate by the power of the engine.
The battery is placed at the bottom of the frame which lower the center of gravity of the bike. I can tell you that on a single track, it's damn good, even for the most hard core free riders....
And if you don't own an E Bike, no worries, numerous specialist shops in La Clusaz will also offer you rentals possibilities adapted to your needs.
At night, if you are looking for accommodation atypical, I recommend the Ecotagnes. Hugo will welcome you in his high-end huts, perched at the top of the trees.
The owner of the place knows how to receive his guests with fine and quality food.
But also with small attentions like a 38 degree C° Norwegian bath to relax in the evening watching the sun set on the mountain ..... What more ? A glass of champagne to share this moment with your partner ? No worries, Hugo takes care of it ...... If Paradise on earth exists, it is in La Clusaz.
The Grand Bornand between heaven and earth.
In the morning, we took the road to the resort of Grand Bornand.
This dynamic resort, stage of the Tour de France, has developed a theme related to art and its representations in the streets. Go to the tourist office to get a map of the different art works and let you roam the streets looking for them.
Do not miss either, the magnificent gondola Rosay which has been decorated on the theme of photos of former inhabitants who made the history of the station.
But if you want to discover the station in an aerial way, I particularly recommend you tandem paragliding with Pierre and his school Airlinks.
The place of Grand Bornand is very famous spot for paragliding.
The experience is fabulous and the view is absolutely beautiful, like a bird you navigate between the updrafts. Your instructor will even offer you to take the controls for a few minutes. But do not worry, the instructor is behind you and immediately corrects any manipulation that might seem hazardous.
This flight experience is truly a magical moment, out of time. I can only advise you to do it, you will not regret it.
To recover from our emotions and regain strength, we enjoyed a hearty meal of local specialties based on fried potato donuts and reblochon cheese.
In the early afternoon, we tried a brand new activity called Ruisseling. The Ruisseling is to go up the mountain streams feet in the water.
For equipment, nothing more simple, a pair of sneakers that can be wet, shorts and
a T-shirt. You walk from rock to rock with water not exceeding the level of the knees. The Ruisseling, supervised by a guide from the Guides Company of Aravis, is an activity that can be practiced by the entire family without risk. At the hottest of the summer, you will be delighted to be able to cool off in the small torrents.
It is now time to join our new unusual accommodation for the night, the refuge Là Haut.
This refuge located at the top of the resort of Sambuy at 1.830 m altitude offers all the modern comforts of upscale accommodation and can accommodate up to 20 people.
To access it, two options are available to you, either by the chairlift of Sambuy, or aboard the strange vehicle of the owner, a former 6-wheeled military machine that makes you climb the track without flinching ....
The main chalet with its panoramic terrace offers views over the valley and the Lake of Annecy.
But one of the particularity of the Refuge Là Haut is to propose very atypical bedrooms.
Marc, the owner of the place, has installed former Shelters who had served in polar expeditions, a change of scenery guaranteed !
The Shelters have been positioned to offer you a breathtaking view of the valley, in the early morning you wake up watching the sun rise on the mountain.
On the chalet's terrace, guests can take a warm Norwegian bath while admiring the surrounding mountain, a glass of champagne in hand.
The chalet also has a sauna which has been built in a huge barrel with a panoramic porthole overlooking the Lake of Annecy.
The place is so beautiful and romantic that many couples choose to rent the whole place to celebrate their wedding.
Back to the Lake.
In just 45 minutes drive, we are on the shores of the Lake of Annecy. This is one of the great benefits of this beautiful region, from a mountain landscape to a lake landscape in less than an hour ....
Let's take the direction of Annecy for a canoe trip on the Lake.
Want to embellish your ballad? Feel free to cross the lake to enjoy delicious seafood in one of the restaurants that borders it ....
The afternoon is devoted to an activity quite unique, a yoga session on Stand Up Paddle at NCY SUP. I was quite skeptical, I'm not a big fan of yoga, but in addition to a Stand Up Paddle, I was not at all sure of the result. Past the aprioris, this activity simply amazed me by its relaxing side.
It's really an activity to try especially in the morning when the lake is calm.
It is now time to discover our new evening hotel, the Boutik Hotel.
Each room is decorated on a different theme and if you like some decorative items in your room, it is possible to buy them. The hotel is ideally located facing the lake and just at the entrance of the old town of Annecy.
The Lake of Annecy and its sweetness of life.
The next morning, time to discover a new unknown activity, the all-terrain electric scooter, also called Easytrott. This scooter propels you 40 km / h along the trails. It's really playful and you get caught up very quickly. But this activity requires a adapted schooling to control the machine and circulate safely on the cycle tracks.
By the way, did you know that the Lake of Annecy is lined along a superb bike path over 40 km, well enough to make beautiful bike rides while admiring the lake and its turquoise reflections.
The time to get back to the plane is approaching, but we can not leave without tasting a pastry from Philippe Rigollot, world pastry champion in 2005 and best worker of France in 2007. His pastries combine refinement and design worthy of a modern piece of art .... not to be missed under any circumstances ;)
It is on this sweet note that ends this wonderful stay in the Lake of Annecy Region.