Any number of local attractions
Out and about around Lac d’Annecy there are any number of pleasures in store. The entire 38-km circuit of the lake can be driven in an hour, but that rather misses the point. In addition to lake cruises which allow you to stop off for a couple of hours, local bus services are regular; bicycles can be hired from the SNCF station; and the Annecy tourist office provides walking suggestions and supplies maps.
The western shore offers beaches at Saint-Jorioz; a story-book private château at Duingt; and winding drives (via the D41) or walks up the wooded slopes of the Montagne de Semnoz to the Crêt de Châtillon (1,699 m).
In the lee of La Tournette (2,351 m) on the eastern shore, there is a smart pay beach by the Hôtel Imperial; medieval Menthon-Saint-Bernard, the birthplace of Saint Bernard, of shaggy dog fame; and the discreetly well-heeled and charming village of Tallories, where you will find the superb but astronomically expensive Auberge du Père Bise. From Tallories, the D42 zigzags up to the Col de la Forclaz (2,041 m), where a café provides a ring-side seat for the aerial antics of daredevil parascenders.
For Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, there is a great back road from Thônes (20 km east via the D909). During summer, you can take the D12/D16 up the Col de la Croix Fry (1,477 m), then rejoin the D909 for the Col des Aravis (1,498 m).