Whereas France is filled with charming locations, my favourite needs to be the mountain city of Annecy. From lake cruising to farmer’s markets — listed below are the finest issues to do in Annecy, France!
Annecy is an exquisite lake city within the Haute-Savoie area of France surrounded by mountains on the sting of the Swiss border. The lake, Lac d’Annecy, boasts among the freshest water in Europe, replenished every year from the snow soften.
The city isn’t too massive — or too small both. With a really walk-able and bike pleasant ambiance, you may spend many lazy afternoons exploring native outlets, snacking at contemporary meals markets, or take a picnic in one of many many parks.
We spent 2-months residing in Annecy as digital nomads with our two children and cat, and completely beloved it! So listed below are a few of our greatest ideas for actions and nice issues to do in Annecy, France.
My Annecy itinerary is totally free! I’ve labored exhausting placing it collectively for you. If you happen to discover it helpful, please use my affiliate hyperlinks if you guide accommodations, rental vehicles or actions. I’ll receives a commission a small fee, at no additional value to you! Thanks.
Annecy France Journey Information
1: Discover Annecy’s Outdated City
One of many causes Annecy is so picturesque is the community of canals that make their approach via the previous city. It’s generally referred to as the “Venice of France”. Annecy’s canals are shallow, and probably not used for boating, but it surely nonetheless provides the city an enthralling really feel.
Mixed with the colourful previous buildings, cobblestone streets, and flower containers, a stroll via the Outdated City neighborhood of Annecy is all the time a deal with.
You’ll catch glimpses of the mountains and lake within the distance, whereas having fun with the city’s many street-side eating places, cafes, and ice cream outlets.
2: Boating On Lake Annecy
Arguably Annecy’s prime spotlight is Lac d’Annecy, a surprising giant blue lake positioned proper on the sting of city. Lake Annecy is France’s third largest lake and commonly receives accolades for being the freshest lake in Europe (resulting from snow soften from the Alps).
The lake is surrounded by mountains, and whereas chilly, is an ideal place to chill off in the summertime warmth. There are biking paths round it, loads of seashores, and lots of alternatives to go boating!
- Hire A Pedal Boat – You’ll discover all types of pedal boats obtainable to hire alongside the lake’s edge at Jacquet Promenade. The boats value about €15 EURO for half-hour, relying on dimension. Some even have slides or diving boards connected!
- Hire A Motor Boat – Small 4-5 particular person motor boats could be rented, and also you don’t want a ship license both. Some have sunshades, and leases value about €65 EURO for an hour.
- Be a part of A Lake Tour – There are some giant tour boats that can take you across the lake whereas describing key factors of curiosity. You’ll be able to even guide a desk for dinner on the boat!
- Go Waterskiing – Waterskiing is a well-liked pastime on Lake Annecy, and it’s attainable to guide a visit with one of many native water-skiing corporations.
- Take A Crusing Lesson – You’ll be able to hire a small sail boat to cruise across the lake, or take a newbie crusing lesson too!
3: Stroll Throughout Lover’s Bridge
Pont des Amours is an additional fairly and well-known bridge on the sting of Lac d’Annecy that spans the Vassé canal and connects the Jardins de l’Europe with the Jacquet Promenade.
Native legend says that lovers who kiss on the bridge will keep collectively for all times.
The bridge has two nice views. One wanting on the lake itself with mountains within the background, and for those who flip round, you’ll get pleasure from a tree-lined canal with wood boats moored on all sides.
4: Picnic At Jardins de l’Europe
When the climate is sweet, strolling or biking right down to Jardins de l’Europe is a superb household pleasant exercise. This large park sits on the sting of the lake, with giant inexperienced fields, boardwalks, and playgrounds.
There’s even an previous wood Carousel, initially in-built 1871, for youths to journey.
The park is fashionable for late afternoon picnics — simply convey down some wine, cheese, and bread from the markets and a blanket to benefit from the mountain views. A French expertise you simply can’t miss!
5: Discover Annecy Fortress
Château d’Annecy is a fort within the coronary heart of Annecy, positioned on a hill above the city. Initially constructed as a residence for the Counts of Geneva and the Dukes of Genevois-Nemours from the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries.
Nowadays the Chateau homes a museum (Musée-Château d’Annecy), that includes native sculpture, artwork, and a nature exhibit of animals and fish which might be discovered across the lake. The fort additionally has some good views of the lake and city from the sting of its partitions.
Entry tickets value about €5 EURO for adults, and are free for youths below 12.
6: Stroll The Promenade du Thiou
The Promenade du Thiou is a pleasant straightforward stroll via the previous city of Annecy alongside the crystal blue Thiou River, that progressively will get extra wooded and secluded as you progress out of city. There are paths on each side of the river.
The path is bike and stroller pleasant too. It’s an exquisite solution to spend an hour or two, having fun with nature (and getting away from the busy tourist-filled metropolis heart). There are some playgrounds, sitting areas, and bridges unfold out alongside the tree-shaded path.
Promenade du Thiou begins across the Quai des Cordeliers (simply previous the well-known Le Palais de I’Île), within the heart of Outdated Annecy and also you merely stroll up river from there.
7: Go to Annecy le Vieux
Annecy le Vieux is a unique a part of city, a residential space raised up on a hill overlooking the remainder of the lake. It incorporates a good park, previous buildings and church buildings, some eating places & bars, and is usually a extra relaxed place in comparison with the busy previous metropolis down beneath.
8: Store At The Farmer’s Markets
One in every of my favourite elements of residing in Annecy was the various contemporary meals markets that line the streets of the previous city. You’ll discover quite a lot of produce, cheese, sausage, wine, olives, bread, flowers, crafts, and extra.
The Annecy avenue markets occur each Tuesday, Friday and Sunday from 7am–1pm. Ensure that to attempt among the native reblochon cheese, utilized in many native dishes.
9: Chateau de Menthon-Saint Bernard
Chateau de Menthon is a powerful medieval fort simply outdoors of Annecy. House to the identical household for over 100 years, it’s open to guests from April to October on weekends.
The fort towers over Lake Annecy, the Roc de Chère Nationwide Nature Reserve, and Menthon-Saint-Bernard, with great views of every.
Guided excursions of the fort (in French solely) are within the afternoons, and final about an hour. There’s additionally a small backyard together with sheep, pigs, and peacocks.
10: Bike Round The Lake
Annecy could be very bicycle pleasant, with many devoted bike paths and trails that can take you throughout the city. There’s great bike path that encircles the lake too, and it’s a good way to kill just a few hours whereas having fun with the mountain surroundings.
This 35 km paved greenway follows the previous route of a railroad that related Annecy with Albertville, and stops in smaller villages alongside the way in which like Sévrier, Saint-Jorioz, Duingt, Lathuile and Doussard.
You’ll be able to hire a motorcycle from many outlets in Annecy, and even get a trailer for youths (like we did).
11: Palais de l’Île
Palais de l’Isle might be probably the most postcard-famous spot in Annecy. A novel castle-like constructing that sits in the midst of the Thiou River, surrounded by eating places and outlets in Annecy’s previous city.
Usually described as a “home within the form of a ship” — the constructing has been a jail, a courthouse and an administrative heart. The unique construction was constructed within the twelfth century.
Nowadays it’s a museum (about €4 to enter), that includes an previous courtroom, dungeon, jail cells and chapel you could go to. Essentially the most well-known images are taken from the bridge out in entrance.
12: Go For A Hike
Annecy is positioned on the base of the French Alps, and a fantastic place to base your self for visiting the mountains. There are numerous native hikes close by, in addition to day journeys to wonderful snowboarding and trekking alternatives.
From straightforward walks, to excessive mountaineering, there’s one thing for everybody. Hikes round Annecy can embody waterfalls, mountain lakes, and wildlife sightings of ibex mountain goats.
Listed below are some fashionable climbing trails round Annecy:
- La Tournette – The very best peak close to the lake, La Tournette is a really tough hike. However the views are superb. About 6-hours round-trip. Skilled hikers solely.
- Mont Baron & Veyrier – A reasonable 2-hour loop hike that visits two mountain peaks, with great views.
- Gorges du Fier – A simple stroll for the entire household, this hike takes you throughout suspension bridges in the midst of a gorge.
- Cascade d’Angon – Lovely shaded waterfall hike that’s not too tough, and provides you good views of the lake. About 2-hours spherical journey.
Greatest Time To Go to Annecy
March – Might
We visited Annecy within the Spring, primarily in April and Might. The climate on this a part of France could be unpredictable, and it snowed on us a pair instances. In between sunny days crammed with wildflowers. The mountains will nonetheless have snow on them, however the climate isn’t too sizzling but on the town.
June – August
That is Annecy’s excessive season, and whereas stunning, it may get very crowded. Many vacationers go to Annecy as a day journey whereas touring via Switzerland, as a result of it’s so near the border. It’s tough to seek out lodging in the summertime, except you guide months upfront.
September – November
That is in all probability one of the best time to go to Annecy. A lot of the high-season vacationers are gone, the climate is cool, however the snow hasn’t come but. There’s additionally a fantastic competition in October referred to as the Return Of The Alpine Pastures Competition.
The place Is Annecy (Getting There)
Annecy, France is positioned 44 km West of Geneva (Switzerland) a few 40-minute drive away. Most individuals get to Annecy after flying into Geneva Worldwide Airport, after which driving over the border.
Nevertheless it’s additionally attainable to fly into Paris and take a practice. Seek for the most cost effective flights to Geneva on Skyscanner.com.
The place To Keep In Annecy
Lodging in Annecy can vary from backpacker pleasant to luxurious. As we have been staying there long-term, we rented an exquisite vacation condo from My Candy House Annecy that was near every part.
The very best areas to remain in Annecy are close to the previous city for straightforward entry to the markets and the lake.
BEST ACCOMMODATION IN ANNECY
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