There are 20 summer mountain refuges in Annecy Mountains! So many opportunities for a getaway far from civilisation or for a hiking expedition over several days.
Le Parmelan and La Tournette are two of the iconic peaks overlooking Lake Annecy.
There are several possible routes to reach the Parmelan refuge which stands at the peak and offers a 360° view. Hikers can choose to stay there overnight and enjoy a meal. If you are an avid stargazer, you can get a good night’s sleep here after an astronomy evening.
The Pré Vérel refuge can be found at the foot of La Tournette and is the perfect base camp for exploring these mountains. This refuge is on the GR96 and GRP Tour of Lake Annecy long-distance hiking routes and is an unmissable stopover to recharge your batteries in the midst of the Alpine pastures after a day of hiking. There are camping pitches so you can also choose to pitch your tent near the refuge.
La Servaz mountain refuge, known as ‘La Sarve’ is a good target to set yourself for a family-friendly hike in the Bauges mountains. You’ll have a magnificent view of Lake Annecy and the surrounding peaks, including the highest point of these mountains, the well-known Arcalod. Spend the night there and see what it’s like to be an Alpine farmer surrounded by cows and goats. This refuge is also a great stopover if you’re trekking for several days through the Bauges Regional Nature Park, certified as a Global Geopark by UNESCO.
There are no less than seven refuges dotted along the hiking trails through this destination: Aulp de Marlens, Les Fontanettes, Alpage du Freu, Lindion, Larrieux, Praz d’Zeures and Parmelan. There’s a vast range of hikes to do over one or several days for beginner or more experienced walkers. You’ll be delighted to arrive at the chalet after a great day walking. The wardens at the mountain refuges will be there to welcome you to their humble chalet, will provide you with a good meal and share some stories of the mountains with you before you go to sleep. A timeless experience in the midst of an unspoilt natural environment!
Depending on your level of ability and your needs, there are several hiking routes over 2, 3 or 4 days, either loop trails or trekking from place to place. The GR96 long-distance trail from Épernay to Samoëns will lead you to the foot of the Pointe Percée, the highest peak of the Aravis mountains. You could stop over at the recently renovated Gramusset refuge. If you’re looking for longer treks, you could try the Tour of Val Sulens or the GR de Pays Tournette-Aravis. You’ll be exploring the valleys of the Aravis mountains and the authentic Bombardellaz refuge. So many possible routes and beautiful sights to see!
Please note: make sure you book your overnight stays in the refuges before leaving because they have limited capacity!
Glières Plateau is well-known for the resistance that was organised here during the Second World War. It is also a spectacular natural environment that is ideal for hiking. On the GR96 long-distance hiking route, the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges refuge is a great stopover in the Alpine pastures. It could also be the perfect place to stay if you’re exploring Glières Plateau, a Sensitive Natural Area, and a superb place to discover local wildlife. While you’re here, take the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the former Maquis and see what life was like for them by following the historic trail.