Circular Hike along La Crête de Taillefer

Circular Hike along La Crête de Taillefer

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20km
Medium

Take a Look
Looking down on Lake Annecy
Admiring the view
Another view of Lake Annecy
Cross the waterfall
Admiring the View
Looking back to Doussard
Rocky Outcrops
Railings
Trees Clear
View of the mountains
Description

This is a circular hike along the ridgeline (la crête) of the Taillefer, which overlooks Lake Annecy in France.

This hike would be very tough with small children, due to the distance and the rocks you have to climb down at the end.

Route Map
Our Review

We did this hike while staying at Camping La Ravoire, during a very warm day in the May half-term break.

La Crête de Taillefer looks down on the campsite. While sitting on the deck of our cabin, looking up at the Taillefer’s towering cliffs and jagged edges, it doesn’t look that walkable. However, the campsite owners showed us the route up, and so off we trekked to bag this hill.

Lookup up at the ridge

Looking up at the Taillefer ridge from our cabin at Camping La Ravoire.

We start the walk along some quiet country lanes past picturesque Alpine houses. These houses, with their sloping roofs, balconies, and flowers, look beautiful in the sunshine. We can only imagine their winter beauty with thick snow covering their roofs.

Walking up country lanes

The first part of the walk takes you through some small villages and past other campsites.

We walk past the sister campsite, Camping Les Fontaines, and then soon take a small track up past an Alpine meadow. The air is filled with the sounds of crickets (a sure sign you are somewhere hotter than home!) and also the distant chiming of Alpine cattle bells.

Alpine Meadow

You soon walk past an alpine meadow, full with the sound of crickets.

Once you enter the woods, the ascent begins, but gentle at first.

One of the first navigation features you come to is a bridge; after this bridge, you start climbing higher. Expecting just a simple bridge across a stream, we were surprised when we encountered a stunning waterfall.

Waterfall

Water cascaded down over rocks both above and below the bridge.

After the bridge, you take the path to the right and start climbing higher. This part of the hike gets very steep! Expect to spend about 40 minutes walking.

Steep Ascent

The ascent is quite steep and takes about 40 minutes to complete.

The days before our hike it had been raining, and so this part of the trail was very muddy.

As we got to the top of the climb, the view opened up to reveal the valley below. It was stunning!

View towards Doussard

First view from the summit looking in the other direction, towards Doussard

There’s a bench that looks out onto the view. An ideal spot for a picnic and to recharge after the climb.

First View from the top

The view from the first summit of Lake Annecy

The footpath along the top is quite well marked in places. However, recent storms had brought a few trees down, blocking the main route.

Tree blocking path

In a few places, we found the path blocked with recent tree fall. There are lots of little trails, so it’s easy to take an unplanned detour!

The path along the ridge doesn’t follow the cliff edge. Instead, behind the ridge, is a forested area. The trail occasionally gets closer to the edge, where the trees part to reveal the view of Lake Annecy below.

There are many offshoots from the main path. We took one towards the edge to look down on the campsite we were staying at. Though, be careful following offshoots, as there are many of them and it might be hard to retrace your footsteps back to the main path.

Looking Down

It’s a long way down to the valley below.

Looking down on the campsite

Looking down on the campsite, Camping La Ravoire, that we were staying at.

After the initial climb, you gradually start descending, with a few undulations as you walk along the trail.

Towards the end of the ridge route though, there’s a climb up to a big lump of rock known as Mont de Gilbet (or Gilbey – we saw it spelled both ways!).

This mini ‘mountain’ overlooks the town of Duignt, which has a chateau that sticks out into the lake, and is where Lake Annecy curves into two halves. From the top of Mont de Gilbet you can see both sides of the lake.

Mont Gilbet or Gilbey

After walking along the ridge, gradually descending, you approach the big lump of rock on the left of the photo. The path climbs up to the summit of this rock. It gets quite steep in places, and you’ll need to scramble up and down rocks.

Although this part of the climb is not as steep or long as the previous climb, you instead climb up rocks. It’s not too difficult, but expect to climb some big steps. Also, be mindful of the edge in places!

Careful at the edge

Be careful at the edge. It’s a long way down if you stand on a loose rock.

After the summit, it is a similar story with the descent, with lots of rocks to climb down before the path becomes easier underfoot, with a series of switchbacks until you reach the bottom.

Rocky Path down

Be prepared for a rocky path at the end of the ridge walk.

You come out of the climb at a small farm next to another chateau-looking building. This is the top end of Duignt, and you can follow the path down to the lake shore.

Duignt is another picturesque Alpine town, with its square, cafes, church, and of course, the chateau in the lake. It’s a perfect place to stop and eat an ice-cream while watching the lake.

Rocky Path

At the lakeshore at Duignt. Here you can get some refreshments before walking back.

Sitting on the bench in front of the blue waters of Lake Annecy, a local from Duignt tried to have a chat. Unfortunately, my French is a little rusty from school days, and his first topic of conversation was politics and Brexit! But we managed to have a chat (of sorts), much to the surprise to the rest of my family.

Waters Edge at Duignt

At the water’s edge of Lake Annecy

The route back from Duignt follows the cycle lane. This is a traffic-free trail that runs along a former railway line. As you walk down from the hike to the lake shore, you cross the cycle route as it enters a tunnel. You can either walk back through this or walk around Duignt and pick up the path after the tunnel, which is what we did.

Walking back to the campsite

This last part of the walk may be on lower ground, but you are still surrounded by impressive scenery.

We didn’t rush the hike, and so it took us over 5 hours. You could do it quicker, but then you’d miss out on the sights.

We got back to the campsite with enough time to relax at the pool 😉

If you are staying near this route, it’s well worth doing, and conquer your own little bit of the Alps.

Planning your visit
Facilities
Parking
Toilets
Dogs Welcome
Cafe
Picnic Area

There are plenty of places to stop for a picnic along the route.
Toilets and places to eat are in the town on Duignt, on the shore of Lake Annecy.

How to get here

Here’s where you can find Circular Hike along La Crête de Taillefer.

Directions

We’ve marked on the map the place where we left the roads and started the climb.
You can do this walk from any the campsites in the area or by parking in Duignt.


Nearby Places

Browse the map below to find places near to Circular Hike along La Crête de Taillefer. Remember, you can save any place to your Adventure Planner, helping you plan your trip.

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Camping Les Fontaines, Annecy, Lake Annecy Region 0.31 mi
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Col de la Forclaz, Lake Annecy Region 2.24 mi
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36km
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270 Impasse des Avollions, Lake Annecy Region 5.49 mi
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Annecy, Lake Annecy Region 7.91 mi

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Contributor

Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

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