Annecy Flying Information

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FreeFlying in Annecy   

Many pilots have asked me for tips and an introduction to the flying in Annecy.
Below are some basic infos to make your first visit easier.  There are official "Welcome Pilots"
publications for Annecy and Chamonix (see below), and many websites of clubs and pilots,
-> I don't want to replicate all this info here. But I found it difficult to find a site that presents a
concentrated essence / orientation / quick-start guide to the area. I hope that my site helps with that.

Flying Info



Take-Offs and Basic Orientation

Here you find the 4 major Takeoffs around the lake and in the pictures you will see more important names of locations you will hear other pilots speak about.
For the broader scale check my XC-Page.

1. Planfait = lower takeoff GoogleMap   ParaEarth    
2. Montmin = Col de la Forclaz GoogleMap   ParaEarth  
3. Entrevernes = east takeoff GoogleMap   ParaEarth  
4. Semnoz = west takeoff GoogleMap   ParaEarth  
  • Planfait is used earlier in the year (Apr/May) almost exclusively.
    Interestingly it often allows an earlier start than the higher Forclaz.
  • Col der la Forclaz is higher and it is a huge takeoff with a wonderful Panorama  where a lot of commercial tandem flights are offered.
  • The other 2 TOs are rarely used. Entrevernes allows an early takeoff.
  • For more Takeoffs in the area see Craigs Google-Paragliding Map 
1. Planfait-Landing   GoogleMap    
2. Doussard   GoogleMap    

The landing at Planfait is where all the shops and schools are located.
Doussard is better in turbulent conditions: more space & calmer.

Official Welcome Publications

The city of Annecy has made a nice tourism brochure: but they constantly restructure their website, so I link just the google-searches here, and add 1 local copy (might be outdated by the time you read this) in case you don't find anything:
Annecy: Best!   more Annecy   Chamonix

local copy


if link broken


 local copy

the region

Details around Lake

Tourist Office

Google Earth

LakeCrossing 360

Meteo / Weather

The local weather in Annecy is special in 2 aspects:
  • the area is often still protected from a strong northwind that likes to develop in the Rhone-Valley, called "Mistral". In Annecy's Planfait one can often still fly if there is some northwind.
  • The valley wind is quite constant on a thermic day, no matter what the overall wind-direction might be. As you can see in the picture to the right, the wind is channeled in around the city of Annecy to go straight over the lake to the takeoffs. This makes the rate of flyable days so high in Annecy! ->  If the sun is out, you can almost always find pilots in the air from April to September.
My personal rule of thumb (developed over years):
  • If the GFS-model wind-forecast (e.g. on shows more than 25km/h North or 20k South at 2000m Altitude, the conditions will be "uncomfortable". They might still be "flyable" for good pilots, staying in the 'fishbowl' around the lake,but typically it will not be very enjoyable.
Annecy in Winter

To say it short and simple: Annecy in winter sucks when it comes to flying: The lake develops a big inversion of cold air that lays lazily in the bowl and stops all windflow and most of the thermals. There might be a lucky short flight once every 4 weeks but even in the flatland you'll find more opportunities to soar on hills in the wind.
-> Better continue south to the area around Monaco, or switch to Skiing, Snowboarding and Speedriding: In only 30 Minutes you can reach the first decent Ski Area: La Clusaz


Protected Bubble

Valley Winds

current! Meteogram



In the summer there are Shuttle-Services from both Landing fields to the take-off:

  • The Shuttle in Doussard runs quite regulaly in the season.
  • During July and August, Talloires offers free buses to Planfait and Forclaz!
  • At the begin and end of the season, you can carpool with the locals
    around noon at both landing fields, usually planfait is better then.




Althought there are a few campgrounds along the upper half of the lake they are very cramped and rarely used by paragliders. There are 2 that I can recommend

Hotel / Hostel / B&B

I don't have any personal experience with this here in Annecy.From what I heard from pilots, these seems pretty decent:

  •  Close to Landing and Takoff Planfait. With its own Creperie!
                             Antoine, the owner is a very experinced paraglider and can
                             help you if you have questions.
  • Maison-du-Moulin: it is very close to the usual landing spot in Doussard.
                                 Owners specialize in paragliding.
  • Roc de : Close to landing in Planfait
  • Hotel Grillons   : More luxurious in Talloires

If you have other tips, send me a mail!






The motto of the region is:    IN TARTIFLETTE WE TRUST !    (Wiki) and this is not really meant as a joke: The variety of food is a bit limited - not what I expected from the country of the famous "French Cuisine".
My recommendation is not to expect too much and enjoy whatever you get. At least the atmosphere in the summer is truly superb, sitting outside in most restaurants.

Le Pecheur, Veyrier

Annecy, Center


More information can be found at the Annecy Tourism Website and the local Clubs.