LAKE ANNECY CONQUER & EXPLORE
Relay places from £675pp (3 nights) | Soloists from £975pp (4 nights)
2017 dates: 2-5 June (6 relay only places left, soloists please enquire) | 29 Sept – 2 Oct (2 soloist places left, 6 relay places left) | 2018 dates: 1-4 June (4 soloist places left, 6 relay places left)
OVERVIEWAnnecy is a truly iconic swim and a great long distance challenge to add to any open water swimmer’s repertoire. If you think 14.6km is a little too far, but are still keen to swim in the beautiful turquoise waters of Annecy – we don’t blame you! Because of this, we have engineered this tour carefully so that it is possible to swim it in sections, or even with friends in a relay. Whether you are a soloist or a relay swimmer, our Annecy weekend also factors in time to explore and relax too. The day after your big swim, there will be an opportunity to join a fun exploratory swim along the cliffs and caves by Talloires. Our solo swimmers join the tour on the Thursday, with the aim of completing their big swim on the Friday. Relay swimmers join the tour Friday evening, with the aim of completing their swim Saturday morning. See the ‘Itinerary’ tab for further details.
ABOUT LAKE ANNECYImmortalised by the impressionist painter Paul Cézanne in 1896 with his work Le Lac Bleu (the Blue Lake) and set against a backdrop of spectacular Alpine peaks, Lake Annecy promises to be a magical swim. The turquoise lake is enclosed in the Haute-Savoie, one of France’s most beautiful regions. At 14.6km, it is one of the largest lakes in France and often hailed as “Europe’s cleanest lake”. Formed about 18,000 years ago at the time when large alpine glaciers melted, it is fed by many small rivers from the surrounding mountains; the Ire, Laudon, Bornette and Biolon and, together with the underwater source at Boubioz, it has a depth of 82m. If you would like to chat to a member of SwimQuest staff about this tour, please contact the office.
- Duration: Soloists: Thursday to Monday, relay swimmers: Friday to Monday
- Water temperature: 15 - 20˚C (wetsuits advised, please advise the SwimQuest office should you wish to swim non-wetsuit)
- Swimming distances: Solo option: One long swim at 14.6km All swimmers will start early morning between 6-7am in Annecy on the Friday, and swim to the end passing Bout du Lac keeping on the west shoreline. The early start ensures that a majority of the swim is completed before the lake becomes busy. Relay option: Swim 14.6km in a team Swim the length of the lake in a team - we advise swimming in 45 minute rotations. You can either swim with friends or we can put you in a group. Relay swimmers will arrive Friday evening and swim their relay Saturday morning.
- Swimming ability: You should think carefully about which option you would like to undertake - and, if swimming the full length in one go, you should have trained accordingly. We are more than happy to talk to you beforehand and advise on training and preparation if you are unsure.
- Are non-swimmers welcome? Due to the nature of the swim, we cannot guarantee space on the escort boat for non-swimmers, however they are welcome to join us and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
- Accommodation in the four-star, eco-friendly Cote Ouest apartments
- Swim itinerary (tailored to your solo / relay needs)
- Swim Guides
- Boat safety cover
- Transport during the day (for the swims)
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED?
- Travel to and from Cote Ouest
- Any alcohol purchases
- Wetsuit hire and fins (if required)
ACCOMMODATIONPart of the charm of this trip is staying in the modern, stylish Cote Ouest apartments. All meals are provided on this trip, home-cooked and served in Le Loft, with a spectacular view of the lake. Due to the various apartment sizes within Cote Ouest, please choose your required apartment from the below and indicate which apartment you would like on your booking form.
- £675pp sharing place (double share only)
- £810 single occupancy
- £700 sharing place (double share only)
- £840 single occupancy
- Sharing place - main room £755, sofa bed - £675
- £860 single occupancy
- Sharing place - main room £775, sofa bed £705
- £930 single occupancy
- £955 sharing place (private room, shared bathroom)
- £1145 single occupancy for whole apartment
LE GRAND BLEU
- Sharing place sofa bed - £1215 / main room double bed - £1315
- £1590 single occupancy
cote ouest address
Cote Ouest 765 Route d'Albertville 74320 Sévrier
ITINERARYN.B. This trip is tailored towards you completing your solo / relay swim of Lake Annecy. As such, the itinerary will be carefully structured and based upon the needs of each individual, to ensure you have the best possible chance of completing your swim and enjoying your short break. The below is a rough guide, but may be adapted depending on individuals’ needs and the prevailing weather. Swim guides will advise you each day on what is best for you, but in all cases guides will encourage you to achieve your personal goals in safe conditions.
THE GROUPThis tour caters for a maximum of 4 soloists and 8 relay swimmers. You will be looked after by three experienced SwimQuest guides. Lake temperatures vary from 15-20 degrees Celsius and wetsuits are advised for the swim unless pre-arranged with SwimQuest Head Office.
THURSDAY (soloists only)Soloists for this weekend break are required to arrive one day earlier than relay swimmers. Soloists should arrive Thursday night, in time for a safety briefing, and their preparation dinner at 7pm.
FRIDAY AM (soloists only)The soloists will be woken up early, ready to start their swim at daybreak. Each soloist will have been given full instructions by their swim guide, and will be escorted down the lake by their guide, with regular feeds (your swim guides will use maxim unless otherwise advised). Feel free to speak to the SwimQuest office beforehand to discuss your feed plan.
FRIDAY PM (RELAY SWIMMERS ARRIVE)
SATURDAY AMWhilst soloists take a well deserved rest, the really team/s will start their relay at daybreak. Each relay team will have their own dedicated swim guide and boat. At lunchtime, soloists will be picked up and taken to meet the victorious relay teams, in time for a picnic lunch.
SATURDAY PMOn Saturday afternoon we will offer an additional swim along the east side of the lake for anyone who would like one. After the swim, we will return to Cote Ouest for afternoon snacks on the terrace, before eating together in the evening as a group, watching darkness set over the lake.
SUNDAYSunday gives us time to take a day trip to Talloires. After breakfast, we will take a picnic and explore the stunning cliffs and caves by Talloires village. Swim along the shoreline, experiencing the part of the lake you missed in your length swim of the lake. In the evening, the guides will prepare a delicious meal which we will serve on the terrace, overlooking the lake.
MONDAYCheck out is at 10am on Monday. Guides will prepare an early breakfast and will put on a local sunrise swim for anyone interested.
TRAVEL TO LAKE ANNECY
AirThe nearest airport is Geneva Airport French Side and is serviced by many airlines – Easyjet, KLM, Swiss and Air France. We would recommend using a flight search engine such as www.skyscanner.net or www.kayak.co.uk to find the cheapest available flights from your location.
BUSThis is an easy and cost effective way to get to Lake Annecy from Geneva airport. We would recommend taking the Transalis Geneva - Annecy shuttle bus. Tickets can be booked in advance here. The trip will be about 1 hour and 40 minutes. Prices start at about CHF 15-20 one way.
TRAINThe French trains SNCF have a train service to Lake Annecy. Tickets can be booked here. The trip by train is about 2 hours and the price of a one-way ticket starts at CHF 22.
TaxiA private taxi from Geneva Swiss side to Annecy will cost about CHF 150-175 one way. If you would like to book this method of transport, please email Karine at email@example.com, give your times and mention you are on the SwimQuest trip. Sometimes this is a good option if you are arriving in a group at the same time.
Car HireCar hire costs can be defrayed if shared amongst the group and gives greater independence during the weekend. If hiring a car, do so from the French side of the airport. The French side of Geneva airport actually called Geneva Ferney-Voltaire Airport. Once you have picked up your luggage go through to airport arrivals, turn left and follow French flag signs to enter the French Sector. There are many car hire companies to choose from (e.g. Europcar, Avis etc).
N.B. - Returning to Geneva Airport (French Side):If you have hired a car from the French side of the airport you will have to return the car to the same side. If you accidently return it to the Swiss side, you will have to pay a big fine. This seems straight forward enough but if you just follow signs to Geneva airport it will only take you to the Swiss side. In addition, if you want to avoid the 40 euro Swiss road tax you will have to take the longer “scenic” route back to the airport, avoiding entering Switzerland!
Directions to Lake Annecy From The AirportOnce you have picked up your rental car there are two routes to get to Annecy. The most direct route crosses into Switzerland and you will have to drive along the Swiss Autoroute. For this you will need to purchase a vignette (toll sticker) which costs around 40 euros. The alternative route does not cross into Switzerland, is slightly longer but more scenic. This is the route that we would suggest taking and details can be downloaded from the internet. Most hire cars offer satellite navigation for additional help if required.
WHAT DO I PACK?
- At least 2 swimming costumes
- Wetsuit (please advise SwimQuest office if you intend to swim wetsuit free)
- 2 pairs of swim goggles – one clear and one tinted
- Small daypack/rucksack to use for your personal equipment/clothing during the day (note you will receive a SwimQuest dry bag)
- Sandals/aqua shoes / flip flops – for getting wet
- Insect repellent
- Fleece or warm jumper
- Wooly hat, warm clothes for post-swim
- Sun hat, sun cream and sunglasses
- A waterproof watch (optional)
- A memory stick should you wish to take your photos and videos home with you immediately
- Travel insurance details
- Trainers / sports gear (optional - if you like to run, there is a lovely running track around the lake – non guided, at your own risk)
- Any additional food you may require for your swim feeds (SwimQuest provide standard Maxim feeds, bananas, jelly babies however if you use specific feeds then please do bring them).