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Trying to work in a day trip to Annecy

Our trip to France in June is beginning to take shape except for some late thoughts about trying to squeeze in a trip to Annecy. Our itinerary thus far consists of:
- Fly into Geneva (land about 8 AM); train to Lyon
- 3 nights in Lyon; pick up rental car last morning in Lyon
- 4 nights in Dordogne
- 3 nights in Amboise; turn in rental car last morning in Amboise
- 4 nights in Paris
Originally we were going to just take the train from Geneva to Lyon before Annecy came into the equation. So I now see three options:
- Pick up rental car at Geneva Airport, drive to Annecy, then on to Lyon
- Take train to Lyon as first planned, then take the train to Annecy for a day trip while staying in Lyon
- Save Annecy for another trip and just enjoy Lyon
Would like to gather the thoughts of other travelers who have perhaps faced the same dilemma. Thank you!

Posted by
4132 posts


This is an awfully tight itinerary with a lot of travel. I wouldn't add a day for Annecy unless you took it from someplace else, and the only place I'd be comfortable shortening would be Amboise (or maybe Paris).

Unrelated question: Why fly into Geneva to get to Lyon? The train from Paris is only 2 hours and there are direct trains from deGaulle. Lyon has an airport too, of course.

Posted by
409 posts

Thanks, Adam. The reason for Geneva: Able to get direct flight using United miles. Plus at our age, we don't like connections as would be required to fly into Lyon. Did this three years ago enroute Beaune and it worked well for us - Geneva Airport is a lot more manageable than CDG.

Posted by
296 posts

You can easily do a day trip to Annecy from Lyon. It's an OK town. I used to live in Lyon and took a few guests to Annecy who wanted to see it. I never quite understood what it was that made people so eager to visit it, though. Its allure escapes me, I guess. Perhaps I'm too inoculated to France after having lived here for awhile, but there are plenty of places I'd go before I'd go out of my way to return to Annecy.

Posted by
621 posts

I would do your first option. It is an easy drive from Geneva airport to Annecy. Also, Annecy is a lovely place to walk off jet lag.

Posted by
16894 posts

I wouldn't reduce time in Lyon, which seems likely to happen if you stop at Annecy. Driving right after you get of a trans-Atlantic flight can be difficult, unless you slept well on the plane. I'd much rather just sit on a train. You'll have quality small-town experiences around the Dordogne. And if the weather is good, your best view of the mountains will be on your flight arrival to Geneva, and probably some from the train, as well.

Posted by
9870 posts

I agree with Matt. Annecy is so close to Geneva, and if the sun is shining, I can't think of many places more agreeable to stroll. Then head to Lyon the next morning.

Posted by
16894 posts

If you do take this day for a scenic drive and stop in Annecy, then you're probably paying for 3 extra car rental days and paying to park somewhere in Lyon. Be sure to request car pick up on the French side of Geneva airport, since you'll return it in France. That might not be obvious online but car rental phone agents will know what you mean.