A mornings stroll in the French Alps
We were looking for a break from Chateaux and museums during our week in Annecy. Seeking some physical activity for my teenage nephews, my sister suggested a hike in along the Mount Semnoz walking trails.
The suggestion of a morning hiking in the French Alps conjured up images of lumberjacks with belay ropes and steep rocky climbs.
However, nothing could have been farther from the truth. During our morning exploring the Mount Semnoz walking trails we found well formed pathways, suitable for all fitness levels. From experienced hikers, to those like ourselves with the odd arthritic twinge, our day hiking was more like a pleasant stroll among the wildflowers.
Panoramic views from Mt Semnoz
Hiking along Mount Semnoz walking trails
From Annecy we drove 30 minutes up a long winding mountain road for a morning’s hiking on Mount Semnoz It was amazing to think that this steep roadway is a popular cycling route.
In winter, Mount Semnoz is a popular ski resort. In summer, the fields carpeted in wildflowers transform into a myriad of alpine walking trails.
Views over Annecy from Mt Semnoz
Our 8 kilometre trek took us through goat farms and alpine cheese producers. The melody of cow and goat bells echoed through the valley we enjoyed exhilirating mountain air, a new panoramic alpine view emerging around every turn in the pathway.
You are literally hiking through dairy farms, with cows and goats roaming the paddocks. As the cow bells clang through the crisp air, you are almost waiting for a goatherd to start yodelling.
Ian took the opportunity to befriend a couple of little goats as we strolled through their field.
Hiking through dairy farms on Mt Semnoz
We were rewarded with spectacular views over Lake Annecy and surrounding mountain ranges during our hike, until clouds rolled in blanketing the mountain in mist.
A reminder that the weather in the alps is changeable at any time of year. Earlier in the morning I had stripped down to my T-shirt. Once the clouds rolled in and the temperature dropped, we were certainly piling the layers back on for the trek back to the carpark.
Not only was this our first experience of alpine hiking, but also of the restaurants which spring up from nowhere. It was truly astounding to find a restaurant in the middle of the alps, ready to provide a delicious schnitzel and apfelstrusel to sustain us on our journeys.
Here we enjoyed a hearty meal and a few refreshing ales at the end of our hike.
Our day among the wildflowers and goats on Mount Semnoz was one of the most memorable experiences of our road trip. Best of all, like most of the best things in life, it was free.
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