Lake Annecy is an amazing place to spend the summer holidays with young children. Not too hot and away from the big crowds of the seaside, the area offers a fabulous choice of activities sporty or not for all the family!
1- Enjoy the beach!
Yes Lake Annecy offers proper, clean sandy beaches just like in the South! The waters of the lake are the cleanest in Europe and although they are fresh, the children will not mind! Whilst floating platforms will provide a great jumping spot for the more advanced swimmers, Annecy and Veyrier's shallow beaches will be the delight of the little ones. In Menthon, Talloires and Veyrier there is a range of pools available to all, with paddling pools on one side and lake swimming on the other. A cafe, restaurant provide traditional french snacks and the volley ball pitch and table tennis are a nice top up to entertain the eldest.
2. Go Cycling around the lake
Thanks to the efforts of the local tourist board, Lake annecy is now surrounded by an amazing cycle lane or "voie verte". Throughout the year, cyclists of all levels combine fun and exercise whilst enjoying the amazing views of the lake and surrounding mountains. You can bring your own bike or rent one at the local shop, whether it is a racer, a tandem or one equipped with a trailer for your little ones. For the strong little legs, you can plan to cycle from Menthon to Annecy Old Town -mostly down hill- and if the way back is just not an option, you can always hop on the local shuttle ferry boat!
3. Mini hikes to discover Nature
No need to be an expert hiker to take the little ones for a nice walk on either side of the lake. Within minutes you will find yourself following foot paths in the heart of nature. You can join an organised walk with the help of the Tourist Board, visit la "La foret des Sens" at Base Nature Talloires or make your own with a great little app called Mhikes !
4. Make a cheese - well nearly!
Beside enjoying all the french breads, saucissons and cheeses that Haute Savoie has to offer, how about seeing how rreblochon is actually made, from cow to cheese! Visit a working farm in Grand Bornand. Children will enjoy the very "real" experience", the cows, the smells, textures and big machinery and will get to see that cheeses do not naturally come in plastic sleeves!
5. Sleep in a gite, an introduction to hiking
The idea of kids stalling and throwing tantrums during a hike can be daunting but it can easily be overcome with an exciting goal: sleeping in a gite is one of them! Hats on, mini rucksack filled with a bottle of water, suncream and their favourite snacks, your little troopers will be delighted to go on an adventure of this scale, especially if there is a chance to spot a marmot ! Tips to Find a gite.
6. Go "Pedalo" on the lake
Whether they can already swim or not, Lake Annecy offers an amazing selection of watersports for everyone: from wakeboarding to pedalos, you can just wrap your little ones in the biggest mini lifejackets available and take them on the pedalo ride on the smooth waters of the lake. Cries of joy guaranteed! Check all watersports
7. Visit the beautiful Castle of Menthon
Dressed up actors will take you around this stunning castle and its amazing setting, just above the lake. Take your picnic and enjoy a half day combining culture and fun. Not to be missed! Find out more
8. Treasure hunt in the forest
A mini treasure hunt is easy to organise and can be a lot of fun, for everyone. Here are some tips. However, if this is not quite your idea of a holiday, Base Nature Talloires has got it all sorted -and for all the family-, you just need to turn up!
9. Go "accro-branching"!
Fun and excitement for all ages, "accrobranche" is the french for tree top climbing. Available for little ones as high as 1m, Base Nature offers a selection of routes through the forest, for every body's enjoyment. Ideal on a hot day to stay away from the heat...
10. Take your little ones on a Pony ride
And for something a little different and definitely a winner for your little one, Le Domaine des Petites Ecuries de Talloires offers "ballades en poney" for (under 6).