This weekend, MBFF finally headed to Saint-Jorioz (Lac d’Annecy), to enjoy the gentle spring-like weather, and to walk part of the 🌱 « Sentier des Roselières », which leaves from its Port d’Embarcadère.
I originally heard about this family stroll from Marine from the excellent website Randos en Famille (see below for more information) and I’m adding to this article some of our own photos and astuces learned from our promenade.
This really is the perfect family stroll if you’re looking for something flat and not challenging! The path is ideal for buggies and push bikes, and bikes are tolerated (meaning that bikers must go slowly and show utmost respect for walkers!). On our stroll, we passed many families with buggies.
Details of walk
- 🗺 distance: aller-retour of 4,5km (you can shorten the walk by turning back earlier);
- ⏰ duration of walk: 1h30;
- 🚣♀️ departure / arrival: from the Embarcadère de Saint-Jorioz to lieu-dit Le Beau (just before Duingt) and back (address: Embarcadère de Saint-Jorioz, Esplanade de l’Espérance, 74410, Saint-Jorioz);
- GPS coordinates: latitude 45.843467 and longitude 6.174962;
- accessibility: all year-round;
Overview of the walk
This is a family walk par excellence, along one of the longest 🌱 reed beds of Lac d’Annecy. This protected nature zone is dotted with information panels, and is home to numerous 🦆 aquatic bird species (ducks, swans, coots, warblers), 🐟 fish and beavers.
This is the a perfect walk for families, small children, buggies, 🚲 draisiennes, ♿️ wheelchair users, and your 🐶 four-legged furry friends are permitted on a leash!
🍏 picnics: picnic supplies can be picked up at Super U in Saint-Jorioz (or one of the many supermarkets and boulangeries along the main road). There are plentiful picnic spots lakeside, either by the port, on a bench, picnic table, or on the grass (think to take a picnic blanket);
🥗 restaurants: there are several restaurants in Saint-Jorioz town centre, and on the beach during the seasonal months (Le Resto de la Plage) and Le Moulin de Pépé at Camping Europa (note: currently, restaurants are only able to serve takeaway);
A view of 🏰 Château de Duingt from the other side of the lake, as immortalised by Paul Cézanne:
📷 MBFF photos (late winter / early springtime):
The stroll is easy to follow along the lake, with 🗺 plenty of explanatory pannels to read!
You’ll get to see the 🦆 aquatic bird species . . .
Importance of the reed beds (les roselières)
I hadn’t realised the ecological importance of maintaining 🌱 aquatic reed beds, until I chanced upon an article in Lac Annecy Magazine (édition 2018, no2 / cover photo Luc Nisset): reed beds are essential to purify 💦 the lake’s water, to prevent the erosion of the lake’s banks, and to provide a home to aquatic flora and 🦆 fauna. Over the years, the 🌱 aquatic reed beds of 💦 Lac Annecy had reduced from 250 acres to a mere 30 acres! Thankfully, the focused work of agencies like SILA (Syndicat Intercommunal du Lac Annecy) and Asters (Conservatoire d’Espaces Naturels Haute-Savoie) have worked hard to successfully protect the reed beds.
Other points of interest for families in the area
🏖 Saint-Jorioz white sand beach and playgrounds – this is the only natural sandy beach of 💦 Lac d’Annecy! Over the summer months, entrance is paying, and there is a plongeoir (diving board in lake), plenty of green grass, snack bar, restaurant and playgrounds . . . Out of season, you can access the area free of charge;
🚤 Le Ponton de l’Embarcadère – you can rent out pedalos, kayaks, canoes, stand up paddle boards, wakeboards, water-skis and boats (with or without permit options);
🚲 piste cyclable – the old railway line connecting Annecy and Albertville no longer exists – it was made into what is now the wonderful piste cyclable, which runs along the western edge of Lac d’Annecy (and soon to be complete on the eastern shores too!). Though classified as a green route, I would highly advise parents with small children to be very vigilant (my son, who aged 4 was just discovering a love for pedal biking, was shouted at for getting in the way of a very serious road biker!);
🏚 Maison de Pays du Laudon – during the summer months, explore a 19th century house and get to grips with village life from d’anton / open from early May until late September, 9h to 19h / see website for more details;
⛰ Massif des Bauges – located just above / behind Saint-Jorioz, this is a beautiful area to explore en famille / see here for more details;
About Randos en Famille
As stated above, I originally learned of this lakeside family stroll from Marine, of Randos en Famille. Her website will give you plenty of ideas for family hikes and it is interactive.
Born and bred in Annecy, Marine is a sport and nature lover, and she wanted to pass on her love of hiking and the great outdoors to her babies (now young children). With her little ones in a baby-carrier and then back-pack, she has explored (and re-explored) walks from a different viewpoint, through the eyes of her children: around 💦 Lac d’Annecy, 🏔 the Pays du Mont-Blanc, 🇨🇭 Switzerland, and further afield in northern France and even Guadéloupe. Marine didn’t find it easy to find well-documented walks for parents with babies, so she launched Randos en Famille in 2017, in order to share her discoveries with like-minded folk.
Campsites in Saint-Jorioz
Here 🗻 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, many folk like to escape to 💦 Lac d’Annecy for a summer weekend. There are lots of campsites with fabulous pools, and some are lakeside too. Here are a selection of those located in Saint-Jorioz (and you’ll find more in nearby Doussard):
- ⛺️ Camping Europa – fabulous swimming pool, bouncy castle, located with access to piste cyclable, friendly restaurant Le Moulin de Pépé / see website for more details;
- 🏕 Camping International du Lac d’Annecy – also set back from lake, next to the piste cyclable / pool / see website for more information;
- 🏕 Camping Le Solitaire du Lac – direct access to lake / see website for more details;
[ ⇒ for a list of campsites located in Saint-Jorioz (and nearby) see Google Maps here ]