Annecy is perhaps the most popular day trip from beautiful Lyon. Vacationers do well not to miss out on this town's river views, Alpine backdrop, and gingerbread-like houses.
Because the route is quite frequented, it is easy to find private transfer companies that will take you to Annecy in a breeze. The journey is a two-hour scenic ride filled with the gorgeous views of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.
Those who want full control of their trip can also simply rent a car and have an adventure. You can make a stop at different small towns like Aix-les-Bains, known for its large lake, thermal waters, and Roman ruins. Time spent driving will largely depend on detours (if you decide to make them).
Train travel is the most romantic and most common way for travelers to make this trip. It usually takes no more than two-and-a-half hours.
Another popular option is going by bus, which only takes around 2 hours and 15 minutes. The route leaves several times a day, and the buses are fairly comfortable.
Join a 10-day tour through this charming region, visiting Lyon, Annecy, and Chamoix.
By Private Transfer
Duration: 2 hours
Private transfer is all about ease and comfort. You'll be taken door to door, which means that you won't have to worry about getting to the right station in Lyon or carrying your bags around Annecy while finding your accommodation.
You can also talk to the company before hand to see if they offer the possibility of detours. Stopping by another small town on the route can add a lot of fun to the experience. What's best, drivers are usually from the region, so they'll be able to point out the towns that are still local secrets.
Duration: 2 hours
Roads in France and well maintained and usually have clear signals. This makes them perfect for a road trip adventure. The trip is short enough that you won't get tired, but long enough that you'll be able to enjoy the ride.
If you don't speak French, it is wise to familiarize yourself with transit words in order to make the trip as safe as possible. This is specially recommended if you are visiting during winter, as the mountains are often covered in snow.
Duration: 2:30 hours
Ah, the romance of traveling Europe by train! When you book your tickets, make sure you get a window; you are going to want to spend the entire trip glued to it. You'll pass through the Alps and by Lac du Bourget—landscapes that will leave you in absolute awe.
You can conveniently take the train from Saint-Exupery Station at the Lyon airport, or from Part-Dieu station in the city center. Both have direct trains to Annecy.
Word to the wise: make sure you validate your ticket! It is very common for officers to check and fines are guaranteed.
Duration: 2:15 hours
If for some reason you are unable to buy a train ticket, buses leave from Lyon to Annecy fairly frequently throughout the day. Most buses take you from the center of Lyon to the Annecy train station, so there is not much inconvenience added.
The trip itself is short, and buses in France tend to be fairly comfortable. As with trains, you will have to either walk or take a taxi to your accommodation.