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Table of Contents
- Lac d’Annecy
- Vieille Ville
- Jardins de l’Europe
- Pont Des Amours
- Palais de l’Île
- Saint-Pierre Cathedral
- Château d’Annecy
- Gorges du Fier
- Château de Montrottier
- Eglise Saint-Maurice
- Champs de Mars
- Basilique de la Visitation
- Musée du Film d’Animation
- Château de Menthon Saint-Bernard
- Col Des Aravis
- Veyrier du Lac
The “Cleanest Lake in Europe” is a must-see attraction in Annecy, whatever brings you here!
No matter how busy the shoreline of Lake Annecy is, it always maintains a serene atmosphere.
If you visit in the summer, you won’t be able to resist spending hours relaxing on one of the many beaches along the shore, admiring the breathtaking views of the Alps.
There is little doubt that the water quality and amenities like restaurants, playgrounds, and lifeguards at Veyrier-du-Plage Lac’s la Brune and Saint-Plage Jorioz’s Municipal have won both beaches the Blue Flag.
Back behind the château, the hills are made up of blocks of color.
Areas of red and ochre break up the primary blue tones. It takes a lot of different shades of blue and green to make these blocks and strokes.
People say the effect is kaleidoscopic, but at the same time, it’s calming and peaceful and still.
For its charming waterways and pedestrian-only walkways, Annecy itself was called “Venice of the Alps.”
The ancient Old Town of Annecy, with its emerald-green waterways, stone bridges, and pastel-painted houses from the 16th and 17th centuries, is a joy to wander through aimlessly.
Annecy has been designated a “Ville d’Art” by the French government and is home to 21 historical monuments simply inside the city’s historic core.
In the historic center of the Thiou River, canals, arcaded pedestrian walkways, and intriguing small tunnels have you fumbling for your camera.
You may hire a knowledgeable guide to give you the inside scoop on the city’s history and the fascinating relics that pop up.
The ancient streets come alive with color and excitement during the old town’s food market on Tuesdays.
Almost every part of this ancient and charming Old Town is simply outstanding!
Besides being typically French, it also has distinctive and eccentric traits, like those seen in the Place Garibaldi.
Jardins de l’Europe
If you’re looking for the best views, look no further. It’s impossible to visit Europe’s largest and most beautiful park without stopping by this place.
The Jardin de l’Europe is a nice place suitable for families, a picnic by the lake, or a walk in the woods.
Alternatively, you may participate in city-sponsored events like contemporary art production or the Annecy Carnaval Vénitien, which takes place in March each year near the end of the month.
It’s a fun spot with much to do, and it draws many visitors.
Before the dam and Vassé canal were completed, the Gardens del’Europe were a swampy island outside of the city of Annecy.
More than 600 deciduous trees were planted around the monument of Claude-Louis Berthollet in the city’s English garden in the late 19th century.
In any weather, you must stroll down to the lake, sit back on a seat, and take in the peaks around the lake, including La Tournette on the southeast bank.
Pont Des Amours
There are several beautiful bridges in Annecy, but this one on the lakefront has the city’s best view.
There are stunning views of the lake and mountains from the Jacquet Promenade and the Jardins de l’Europe from the Pont des Amours, which spans the Vassé canal.
Romantic scenery is enhanced by the presence of floating boats and arching trees along the banks. The bridge joins the European Gardens with the Paquier Esplanade.
Supposedly, those who share a passionate kiss on the bridge will be inseparable for their entire lives.
To get the most out of this lovely place, take a glance back at your surroundings and stroll along the canal, which is lined with trees and has little piers where small boats can be seen docked.
A tale says that they will be forever together if two lovers kiss on this bridge. There’s a good possibility you’ll meet someone special on this bridge, as it’s frequently used!
Palais de l’Île
To get a good picture of this fortified palace situated in the middle of the Thiou, you must stand on Pont Perrière.
Even though it has been renovated multiple times throughout its long history, the complex goes back to the 1100s, and for centuries it was the home of the great families of Geneva.
After the Revolution, the palace served as a jail, a veterans’ residence, a storehouse, and a barracks, among other things.
The castle on the island became an administrative center when the counts of Geneva moved to Annecy in the 12th century when this was the home of the lords of Annecy.
After serving as a jail since the Middle Ages, the Palace was finally turned into a royal residence in 1865.
Also, it was listed as a Historical Monument around 1990.
As a museum since 1952, the “Centre for Interpretation of Architecture and Heritage” now occupies the building.
Currently, it houses exhibits about the city’s history and architecture. Visitors are welcome to wander around the dungeon, cells, and chapel that formerly served as its courts.
Saint-Pierre Cathedral is especially well-known for its unique relationship with the water. It is partially built over canals and surrounded by waterways.
In the 1500s, the renaissance structure known as Saint-Pierre was created. Its subtlety as a cathedral is because it was only designated as such in 1825.
The Basilique de la Visitation, located high in the hills to the south of Annecy, is well worth the effort.
There is a great view from the top of this 19th-century church’s tower, which can be seen for kilometers around.
The Cathedral is a stunning example of Gothic architecture as a work of art.
When you enter the structure for the first time, you’ll be taken aback by its creators’ dizzying heights, an incredible feat of engineering.
Awe-inspiring vocals from the Gothic choir of the 13th century can also be heard!
In the middle of the choir, take a moment to appreciate how the light from the stained-glass panes of glass reflects off the white stone arches and into the glass cage.
To glimpse Savoyard royalty’s way of life, go through the castle’s towers and halls or visit the castle museum.
While strolling around Annecy’s Vieille Ville (old town), you’ll notice signs leading to the Château d’Annecy. An uphill stroll is all it takes.
The community now owns the Château, which serves as a museum displaying various artwork, including finely carved furniture and religious paintings.
Aside from that, it frequently holds one-time shows of both classic and cutting-edge modern art.
It’s a thrill just to take a stroll around the complex.
You’ll pass past big reception halls with massive fireplaces and antique spiral staircases.
Old glass windows provide a nice vantage point for taking in the scenery.
Receptions and other social gatherings can be held at the Château.
Take a look at the many exhibitions of medieval furniture and illuminated manuscripts.
Many people choose not to enter the château but rather experience one of the most iconic sights of Annecy from the balcony.
Gorges du Fier
A journey to remember with your family or a group of friends? This breathtaking canyon features a 25-meter-high footbridge embedded in the rock.
Plunge into the massive gorge fed by the River Fier and marvel at the towering stones in all shapes and sizes.
Beautiful faces emerge from the granite face’s effects of light and shadow.
The river has carved out a plethora of Giants’ Kettles over a long period.
Because of how accessible it is, walkways hang 25 meters above the river, allowing you to gaze at the strange formations created by erosion over many years.
If you’re lucky, you might be able to reach across the chasm to the opposite side and touch its granite face.
Explore the fascinating “Sea of Rocks,” a clearing filled with bizarre and fantastic stories.
A natural wonder of Haute-Savoie, this is a must-see. The tour lasts for roughly an hour.
The gorge is a must-see in the French Alps, known for its natural beauty!
Château de Montrottier
Travel across time, styles, and civilizations at the fairytale Montrottier château. Take a look at the fascinating collections of oddities, including artifacts from worldwide.
The historical occupants of the gardens, including the watchman, ambassador, and noble lady, are brought to life in a humorous and participatory scenographic journey.
The 13th-century Château de Montrottier is a popular tourist destination in the year’s warmer months.
The tower, which rises majestically above the surrounding terrain, is a work of art in and of itself.
Léon Mares, a 19th-century explorer and prolific collector, is the big story here.
Mares collected precious artifacts from throughout the world throughout his life and left instructions for his collection to be displayed precisely as he left it when he died.
There are a lot of ancient tapestries, antique weaponry, armor, period furniture, and pottery and glassware on display in the 90-minute tour of the museum.
The Montrottier château, just 15 minutes from Annecy, is a fantasy come true.
Its rooms are filled with fascinating artifacts that offer a glimpse into various historical periods and passions.
Even if you don’t plan on spending much time inside the museum, it’s still an impressive sight from the outside.
Address: 60 All. du Château, 74330 Lovagny, France
Despite its reputation as a conservative and uninspiring metropolis, there are many exciting things to do if you’re ready to wander outside the city limits.
You’ll need to keep going a little further to get to this beautiful Alpine village.
Because they are part of a real town rather than an artifact in an isolated museum, medieval structures, narrow alleys, and renaissance arcades have been able to exist for so long.
Most notable is the Fontaine des Éléphants, a monument honoring Napoleonic soldier Benoît de Boigne, who assisted the Maratha Empire in their fight against the British Empire in India.
Although it is currently used as a regional government office, the Château de Chambéry is available to the public for excursions.
There’s no better time to visit this city than winter for one simple reason: skiing! Chambéry is best enjoyed in the fresh air; therefore, spring and summer are ideal times to visit.
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The Aix-les-Bains Riviera of the Alps is a treasure trove.
Its greatest advantage is the natural beauty that surrounds it, which includes a wide range of recreational activities, from strenuous to relaxing.
The city of water, Aix-les-Bains, conducts several activities that draw visitors of all ages.
Aix-Les-Bans, an elegant Savoy resort on the eastern bank of France’s largest freshwater lake, exudes old-world splendor.
As a result of the lake, mountains, and therapeutic waters, the area became one of Europe’s hottest tourist attractions in the nineteenth century.
Magnificent scenery, a naturally protected ecosystem of exceptional quality, and its uniqueness make it one of the best places to visit.
These factors are just as important as the water, the purity, the rejuvenation, and the dreaminess that make this location a place of quiet and joy.
Visitors can participate in a wide range of activities about health and well-being, sport, and vitality in this huge outdoor playground.
Slowing down, playing “soft” sports, eating local food, and having fun with entertainment, tradition, and culture are ways that people in the region feel good about their minds and body.
This is Annecy’s oldest church and has been listed as a historic site by the government.
The Dominican order used this church in the 15th century as a chapel.
The church was built in the late 19th century and became the parish church of the town.
Saint-Maurice Church in Annecy, France, is a Roman Catholic church.
Because of its age, it is the oldest church in the city of Annecy. In 1422, Cardinal Jean-Allarmet de Brogny funded the construction of a chapel for the Dominican monastery. The church was built in the Gothic style.
As seen from the outside, the church has a characteristic Flamboyant Savoyard architectural style, contrasting with its more solemn interior.
Designed in the classic Dominican church architecture to accommodate a large crowd, the astonishingly spacious nave is remarkable!
Noteworthy artwork includes an 18th-century pulpit and a portrait of the Virgin Mary in Glory.
The church is always available for free tours and regular religious services when you choose to visit.
Address: Rue Saint-Maurice, 74000 Annecy, France
Champs de Mars
The vistas from this seven-hectare Champs de Mar are so breathtaking that there are no words that can describe them.
It borders both the Lac d’Annecy as well as the Jardins de l’Europe.
Commercial animals used to graze on the Champs de Mars, which is called locally “le Pâquier” or pasturage.
Today, folks come to this enormous green space for picnics and other summertime activities. Many cycling trails are available on the Champs de Mars.
Visiting here with young children is a wonderful way for families to spend quality time together.
Moreover, the park has tiny horses and trains, which will entertain kids!
Lake Annecy’s blue waters will enthrall both youngsters and adults.
Rowboat and pedal boats are for hire for an hourly rate, it is found on the lakefront.
Annually June and August, the Champs de Mars organizes the Festival du Lac (Festival of the Lake) and the Festival de la Musique (Festival of Music).
It is the most magnificent fireworks show in Europe, with the Fête du Lac taking the crown.
Basilique de la Visitation
The view from the Neo-Romanesque church atop a hill overlooking the town is worth the trip alone.
The only way to enjoy these stunning vistas of the surrounding landscape is to climb all the way up from the Old Town of Annecy.
This contrast between the simple exterior and colorful stained-glass windows of Saint François de Sales Basilica is particularly striking.
Also, the columns of the nave are made of blue Savoy marble.
Meanwhile, the contrast between the simple exterior and the opulent interior is intriguing.
Moreover, there is a marble-clad nave column and a mosaic of Venice and Briare enamel in the apse of this church.
In fact, the founders of the Visitation Order are depicted in the church’s stained-glass windows.
The Basilica de la Visitation is accessible 365 days a year and offers free admission.
In addition, there are self-guided tours.
If you want to witness grand architecture, you have to check out this church!
Address: 20 Avenue de la Visitation, Annecy
Musée du Film d’Animation
The Annecy Museum-Castle is about a two-minute walk away.
Citia Exposition is an introduction to animation film that uses the Annecy Museum-animation Castle’s film collection to show how this art form has evolved over the decades.
Featuring worldwide loans, the show reveals the animators’ tools, unique works, and universes through a thematic circuit that focuses on the production process.
Thematic areas like lighting and the illusion of movement help viewers better comprehend the animation development process.
Exhibitions also feature visuals of animated films from the last century, allowing visitors to see how the art form has evolved.
Museum of Animation in Annecy has been dedicated for more than 20 years to showing the general public representative elements of the industry of moving images, ranging from countries, studios, and filmmakers.
With this, it provides an in-depth look at the history of the world of animation and its various aesthetics.
Overall, admission to the event is completely free.
Tours can be arranged with a guide.
Address: 18 Avenue de Trésum, Annecy
Château de Menthon Saint-Bernard
An architectural gem in the heart of the Savoy countryside is the Menthon Castle.
There is a lot of activity in this house because it has been inhabited by the same family for over a thousand years.
About just a few minutes drive from Annecy, the castle is perched high above the Lac d’Annecy.
This ancient 12th-century castle has been inhabited by a family for more than two centuries, and many more generations are yet to come.
Because of its remote position and tranquil surroundings, the Palace Menthon Saint-Bernard is a popular site for parties, weddings, and other special events.
Moreover, the charming gardens and château’s lovely terraces cost a little fee to enter.
Awe-inspiring views greet visitors as soon as they enter the gates.
Lake Annecy may be seen in the distance as though frozen in time and space.
Large walls, soaring towers, and characteristic Savoyard roofs surround us, catching our attention.
In the middle of a lake and the mountains, Menthon-Saint-Bernard Castle seems like something from a fairy tale.
Address: Allée du Château, 74290 Menthon-Saint-Bernard
Col Des Aravis
It would be a pity to miss out on the Alps when visiting Annecy, which is surrounded by mountains. The Col des Aravis, a high mountain pass that’s about an hour away by vehicle, is one of the most stunning spots to explore.
Journey through narrow mountain roads beneath snow-capped peaks for what may be a stunning drive, but this is not a road trip for the faint of heart.
You may also attempt bicycling from Annecy to the Col des Aravis, well-known among bikers for its challenging terrain and steep rise.
The hill, which reaches a height of 1487 meters, is hard for the faint of heart, and it usually appears in the Tour de France when the event passes through the area.
Hiking this trail in the fall is ideal since fewer people are around, the sun isn’t as intense, and the valley’s foliage is changing colors.
In addition, keep in mind that the restaurant often shuts down in mid-September.
This is a family-friendly trek if you take the gravel trail both ways. Otherwise, it isn’t the ideal option for families.
There are various mountains visible from Annecy, such as Semnoz.
Winding roads through the city’s southern suburbs lead to the summit pass, where you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.
Like many others in the vicinity, this mountain is a favorite with hardcore bikers who like the challenge of climbing to the summit.
Le Semnoz is both a ski resort in the winter and a resort town in the summer is a distinct advantage.
Consider renting a mobile home at an Annecy campsite for a family vacation in the French Alps, where your kids may enjoy an electric mini-kart or a sled.
There are various picnic spots on the property and a few eateries at the base of the slopes and up the summit.
Are you planning a camping trip in the French Alps?
Why not bring a keepsake from your trip back home? Fly over Lake Annecy on your first paragliding flight!
Veyrier du Lac
Located on the shore of Lake Annecy, Veyrier-du-Lac is a beautiful town.
Lake Annecy and the surrounding mountains may be seen from its vantage point on one side of town, while mountains can be seen from the other.
On the lake’s sunny side, the Rive Plein Soleil is only five kilometers from Annecy’s city center.
There is only one main street in the village. Still, the buildings are characteristic of the area, with steep roofs, wooden balconies, and shutters. For the most part, they’ve used delicate pastel colors.
One can see the entire lake from the vantage point of the village’s mairie.
The church of Veyrier can be seen from the mairie and the surrounding hills and Mount Veyrier, which towers over the settlement.
Most visitors come to Veyrier-du-Lac to enjoy the Plage de la Brune, a little lakeshore beach.
While parking at the beach is fee-based, there is a grassy area perfect for a picnic, and the beach itself is free to use.
Talloires is a little fishing town on the shores of Lake Annecy. Talloires, with its tranquil bay nestled at the foot of the Dents de Lanfon and the Tournette mountains, will enchant you no matter what time of year it is!
Its main street is lined with classic Savoy architecture in the town center.
Moreover, the Talloires tourist office can provide you with a map of the town’s key attractions, which you may use to plan your own stroll.
Also, it is a famous lakeside resort town. It is only a 30-minute drive or a few hours of lakeside trekking from Annecy.
Iconic cafés, restaurants, and bars abound in the gorgeous town of Annecy on Lake Annecy, where you can also enjoy a wide variety of water sports.
While Talloires is the ideal location for a relaxed and/or gourmet vacation, there are plenty of surrounding activities for those who want a more active vacation!
Is there anything else holding you back from making Annecy France your next vacation destination? Visit why visit Annecy, France, at least once in your lifetime here.