The Semnoz is one of the most famous mountains of the Bauges range in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in eastern France; it reaches 1,699 meters high. The most popular place on Semnoz is a barren area called Crêt-du- Chatillon –a rarity on what is an otherwise heavily forested summit– which offers sprawling views of not just the permanently snow-capped mountain range but also the picturesque city of Annecy and its eponymous turquoise lake below. Rumor has it that its name comes from the ancient roman word for salmon, due to the peak’s fish-like shape. The summit is open year-round; it’s a very popular hiking destination in the warmer months (summer bobsleigh, via ferrata, mountain biking, and karting are also available); on the other hand, it’s morphs into a full-on Alpine skiing center come wintertime with four different stations catering to a diverse clientele, from thrilling downhill slopes to peaceful cross-country skiing trails – all of this, just 20 minutes from beautiful Annecy.
It is possible to book an exhilarating downhill 4-hour mountain bike tour of Semnoz from Annecy, which is led by a professional and knowledgeable guide who will not hesitate to point out noteworthy landmarks or take visitors to their secret viewpoints.
Insider’s Tip: Did you know that Semnoz was the penultimate stage of Tour de France’s 2013 edition? Stage 20 left Annecy early in the morning and summited at the top of Semnoz after a short but strenuous uphill cycling day.
Semnoz is one of the summits in the Bauges mountain range, which is located in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in eastern France. Semnoz can be accessed by programming « Viuz La Chiesaz » in the car’s GPS. There is a shuttle service available to Semnoz skiing station departing from Annecy’s City Hall (every day between December 19 and January 3 as well as February 13 to March 6, and on Saturday and Sundays between January 4 and February 12) at 8:50am, 11:50am and 1:50pm. Return tickets cost 5,60 € per person.