Mount SemnozSo many winter sports to choose from
Contrary to most winter sports resorts, the Semnoz offers Annecy locals the chance to enjoy a spectacular mountain for an all-day or half-day excursion. Just twenty minutes from Annecy by car or bus means easy access to a wide variety of winter sports at an affordable price. Facing the Bauges Mountains and Lake Annecy, the area is divided into two summit plateaus, one for cross-country skiing and the other for alpine skiing.
Panoramic views of the Alps
Located within the Bauges Mountains Natural Regional Park, Mount Semnoz lies within a protected area. From Crêt de Chatillon, the peak’s 1700 meter high point, enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views of the Aravis Mountains, the Jura Mountains, the Bauges Mountains, Mt. Blanc, as well as Lake Annecy and Lake Bourget. The road virtually crosses the summit, which allows everyone to set foot on the peak, if they wish.
Offering alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, a terrain park, the Semnoz has it all for anyone who wants to play in the snow: 18 downhill ski runs, 10 cross-country ski runs (40 km total), pedestrian trails, and a sledding area. The lift ticket system operates on an hourly rate (2 to 10 hours) allowing you to ski for however long you prefer.
© Monica Dalmasso
A unique experience, sleep in an igloo
Near the top of Mount Semnoz, just below the tree line, lies a small eco-friendly base camp that hosts overnight guests in alti-dome tents with panoramic roofs and wood stoves, as well as a dozen igloos (2 to 4 people), once the snow arrives. The evening begins with a 45-minute stroll on snowshoes through the forest using the moonlight to guide you. Nightfall in camp is a magical experience, with the low glow of the torches creating a warm and cozy atmosphere. Choose from one of several options: head back down the hill just after cocktails, stay for dinner (a traditional Savoyard meal), or enjoy the experience to its fullest, spending the evening by the campfire and staying the night.
© Alpes-Bivouac.com – Lionel Monticot / Unusual evening
Lavy des cimes, Saturday, December 4, 2021
Annecy’s ONLY Vertical Kilometer race. This unique event leads runners to the top of Mount Semnoz (1699 m, 4.6km in distance, 1030 m vertical gain).
Nordic Happy Hour, Friday, January 21, 2022
Free beginner cross-country ski and biathlon lessons at night beneath the stars. For the occasion, local instructors offer first-time lessons that include one hour of cross-country skiing followed by one hour of biathlon. Enjoy the warm and friendly family atmosphere. The event is open to everyone (adults and kids approximately 4 years old and up). Lessons, equipment rentals, and instruction are free. All participants must make a reservation ahead of time… to make sure they have an instructor. Registration opens on January 14, 2022.
Trail Blanc, Saturday, January 29, 2022
A nighttime trail running race on snow by headlamp.
On Saturday, January 22, at 17:30, the Semnoz ski area transforms into a winter wonderland for trail runners. Marvel at the spectacular sunset as you run across the summit plateau of Mt. Semnoz, as well as the breathtaking views of Mt. Blanc and the rest of the French Alps in every direction.
Welcome reception during the February school-holiday period
Free and for everyone, enjoy tasting local specialties and trying a variety of fun activities on snow (snow sports, intro to biathlon…) at the ski area base on February 7, 14, 21, and 28, in the late afternoon after skiing.
A seasonal bus between Annecy and Le Semnoz operates from mid-December to the end of March.
With the CARTE COOL card, no more waiting in line at the lift pass office and pay only for the actual time you spend skiing. Every time you come to the Le Semnoz ski area, the Carte Cool card automatically calculates the corresponding lift pass. The amount is automatically charged to your credit/debit card.
Free first-time snowboard lessons for kids in partnership with the brand Ride. All equipment provided except for a helmet.
- © Gilles Piel / Nordic skiing
Journalist: Aude Pollet-Thiollier
Translation: Darin Reisman