Views from Crêt de Châtillon, the mountain’s highest peak, take in Annecy and Bourget lakes and alpine giants such as Mont Pourri, the Massif des Écrins, and Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps. Strict rules around construction have limited development, protecting untouched wilderness with ski slopes dipping in and out of pine forests. Easily accessible from Annecy, the mountain is popular with locals and tourists.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Semnoz has Nordic and downhill (alpine) ski areas.
- The alpine ski slopes comprise 18 runs; 7 are green, 5 are blue, and 6 are red.
- Summer activities include hiking, mountain biking, and sledding.
- Easy slopes and fun activities make the area a great family destination.
- The mountain has two peaks: Crêt de l’Aigle and Crêt de Châtillon.
- There are restaurants in Semnoz, but hotels are several miles away.
How to Get There
The easiest way to reach Semnoz is with a car or on tours. Taxis take around 25 minutes from Annecy, and regular bus connections take 40 minutes. From the nearest airport, Geneva International Airport, it’s one hour by car—pack your passport, as you'll cross the Swiss-French border.
When to Get There
Prime times to visit are the winter sports season from December to April, or summer from June to September for hiking, biking, and summer sledding. During shoulder season, accommodations are less expensive, and the mountains come alive with color: russet shades in autumn and alpine flowers in spring.
How to Get Around in Semnoz
Don’t let the moniker "middle mountains" fool you: Somnez has 18 ski runs and is very hilly. Electric mountain biking is a fantastic way to get around while avoiding the fear that your legs will seize up on traveling uphill. Some tours make it easy and offer bikes and guides —but you’ll still have to earn the lakeside pint at the end.
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