Sapenay Tour

Print Friendly and PDFHike “Sapenay Tour” (Tour du Sapenay)

  • Lowest point: 792 meters
  • Highest point: 900 meters
  • Itinerary (loop, round trip, one way): loop
  • Time required: 2:40 hours (1:30 hours for the shorter tour)
  • Elevation gain: 108 meters

The “Sapenay Tour” walk will take you through the forest and on a nice scenic road – great views over the Lac du Bourget guaranteed!

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Description of the “Sapenay Tour / Tour du Sapenay” hike

The trail starts just before the chapel, on the parking lot named “La Carrière”. The loop is marked in red on the map. Yellow signs will indicate either “Tour du Sapenay” or “Col du Sapenay”.

Take the large forest trail that you can see at the end of the parking lot. When you reach the yellow signs “Les Masures”, go straight towards “Col du Sapenay“. From the viewpoint on your way, you will see parts of Cessens and the Bauges mountain range.

You will then come to another yellow sign, named “Le Tuyau”. Here you can chose between the normal hike or the alternate – and shorter – one. If you decide to go for the main one, keep going straight, still towards “Col du Sapenay“. The trails slightly goes up to “Pre Reinet” before going down to a forest road in Le Sapenay. From there, you will walk on a paved and scenic road across the Sapenay site. When you reach a sharp turn, take a left into the stony trail and then a right at the crossraod called “Fornay”. Following this path, you will arrive to a little chapel, right next to the parking lot you departed from.

Comment: there are a few sightseeing areas along the road – paragliding, hang gliding, view points over the Lac du Bourget and the Chautagne area. We strongly recommend that you take the time and check them out.

Alternate “Sapenay Tour”

If you prefer to chose the shorter walk, take the trail on your left at the crossroad called “Le Tuyau”. This is a forest path, going up in the forest and along the Sapenay meadows. You will discover a beautiful view over the Lac du Bourget at the place called “Fornay” (with yet some other yellow signs). Follow the trail straight ahead. It will lead you to a small chapel and back to your car.

How to get there?

Car access and parking: in the center of Cessens, drive towards Col du Sapenay. After passing a few sharp turns, you will see the parking lot on your right (just before reaching the chapel). 

Map: IGN Top 25 – 3331 OT Rumilly/Seyssel

Best hiking periods

Best time: from April to October. Closed during winter time.

Access information  is available at the townhall : +33 4 79 63 10 10.


  • The Sapenay pass is closed during winter.

Description provided by the Cessens townhall and translated by SJ Scribe.

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