Annecy is a town in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region of the department of Haute-Savoie in the southeastern of France. Annecy is a hidden gem in the French Alps close to the Swiss border, Chamonix, and Mont Blanc is not far. Nicknamed the “Pearl of French Alps” describing its location between lake and mountains. Sometimes called “Venice of the Alps”, representation comes from its two canals and the Thiou river lying through the old city. Annecy is a small city of about 220,000 inhabitants, the lake, and the castle are the main attractions, there are also ski resorts which make great for hikes and climbing, paragliding is a great activity that Annecy is famous.
Here are the 10 things to do in Annecy France
- LA VIEILLE VILLE Strolling around the area to its architecture, charming and impressive village, discovering its tiny streets is a worthy experienced. Beautiful canals colorful houses, amazing flowers along the streets. When you walk at night perfect to take photos and is full of restaurants to dine in near the river.
- THE PALAIS DE L’IsLES A triangular islet surrounded by the canal du Thiou, the 12th-century Palais de l’Isle has been a lordly residence, a mint and a prison over the centuries. The story was this old building in the middle of the lake are highlighted the downtown area, looks perfect for postcards.
- THE FOODS For the dining experience surrounded by natural beauty, the popular dishes of this local Haute-Savoie cuisine of Tartiflette a large dish of potatoes, onions, and bacon melted into heavy cream and reblochon cheese, Raclette cheese hangs from an electrical contraption which melts the cheese into strings pour the cheese over the boiled potatoes and some meats or “charcuterie”(meat products such as bacon,ham,galantines,sausages) and enjoy the meal.Fondue Savoyarde in a big pot of melted cheese with white wine on the table and plenty of bread cubes for dipping. Le Chalet restaurant is my first choice, so cozy and romantic next to the canal area and it was a perfect setting for hot cheese warmed by the fire.
- MUSEE CHATEAU D’ANNECY Classified as a Historical Monument in 1902, Annecy Castle was the residence of the Counts of Geneva in the 13th and 14th centuries. Over the next two centuries, new building work gave the castle this singular look, synthesizing defensive medieval architecture with the elegance inspired by the style of castles seen in the lle de France.Abandoned as a residence in the 17th century, it was used as military barracks until 1947. It became a museum in the 1950s. The castle sits on the top of a hill overlooking the old town, great to look around and provides stunning views over the town below.
- LAC D’ANNECY It is the cleanest lake in Europe, and water is blue and sparkling. The lake is excellent to walk around the area.
- PARAGLIDING Nothing can substitute experience the paragliding flight with an amazing view of Lake Annecy for a magical moment. The Annecy region is a paradise for flying sports and the most popular flying destination in the Alps, for excellent reasons. The main take-off area is on the East Bank of Lake Annecy. Planfait(950m altitude) in the town of Talloires and the Col de la Forclaz(1250m altitude) in the town of Montmin, with panoramic views to take your breath away. On the Western bank of the lake, a small site in the town of Entrevernes is suitable for morning flights. It is a more technical site, due to the limited size of its takeoff area, cleared among the trees. To the South of the lake, you will find the Bauges Regional Natural Park which provides a real “stadium for flying sports”. The many peaks in the massif are easily accessible, and takeoff and landing sites abound in the mountain pastures. Before flying, it is advised to research the areas where flying is prohibited. To the North-East, in the Aravis massif, Le Grand-Bornand, and La Clusaz mountain lifts make taking off at high altitudes easy. These sites are much more appreciated during summer, to fly above the inversion layer and when the air mass in lower layers is stable. A large part of the year, with the best conditions between the end of March and the beginning of October. In the event of a major problem, 112 is the unique phone number which forwards emergency calls towards the emergency services and mountain police services.
- BOAT TOURS AND WATER SPORTS A great idea to do the boat tour if it is your first visit in Annecy and if your trip is in limited time for that you can be familiarized the locality and the villages. It is a lovely way to spend an hour that the scenery is spectacular, no stopping just enjoy the environment and ambiance especially in good weather day. During the cruise, you will have the captain’s comment only in French and some explanations on English better to take the brochure in your language as soon as you enter on the boat. Lake is beautiful as they said Annecy is a” romance lifeblood ” surrounding coasts are breathtaking. You’ll have an idea of what the village would like to see in detailed try a boat tour.
- CYCLING Are you interested in cycling some mountain climbs? If you are a bike lover you can experience cycling climbs from Lake Annecy, a “Venice of the Alps” that surrounded mountain from the west side of the lake is the Le Semnoz it is the highest cycling climb near Annecy, it has become an appearing Tour de France in 2013, take your bike in Col de la Forclaz de Montmin on the east side and enjoy some fantastic lake views, heading to the south to visit Col du Tamie and Col de l’Epine to the top you really need a hybrid mountain bike as the route becomes a gravel road in Col de Chérel/Col du Plan Joux Loop really fun loop for bike riders, head down the bike path to Albertville with a slight detour over Col du Voerger a long and lovely ride. There is also an incredible traverse between Col des Aravis and Col de l’Arpettaz that are some serious hairpins on this challenging climb that starts well down the Annecy bike. For the winter the Alps climbs on the east side of the lake, Col de la Croix Fry, for more adventurous there are lots of other famous cycling climbs up in the mountain within striking distance of Annecy.
- PONT DES AMOURS/LOVERS BRIDGE You can find it easily this bridge as you go directly to Jardin de l’Europe, you can’t miss it anyway. It is one of the best parts of the large parkland a romantic spot, it is a love vantage point of the lake and mountains. The bridge spans the canal and overlooks the Lake with the mountains in the background. But the bridge by itself is iconic for people who love or seeking for love when you are on the bridge to kiss with the one you love, but if you are still single like me, make a wish to find your love, you can also toss a coin in the water and make a wish to give you a sign. It is a very romantic place with an offering exceptionally beautiful lake views.Circle white swans swim in pairs, sailboats, and boats passing by, a magical and simply picturesque.
- CHURCHES IN ANNECY Everytime I visited a new place always and all the time I pass by to the churches, I can’t explain why but perhaps I’m praying for my safety and guidance for all what I’ve done in my life as a solo traveler. This is my belief being a catholic but we will not talk about the religion here we will discover the historical of Annecy and one that we will observe are the churches built in this beautiful village one is the Basilique de la Visitation a lovely church glass windows built-in 1903-1930 the architect plans by Alfred-Henri Recoura with the style of Néo-Roman.It located up on the hill and gives a panoramic view over the town of Annecy, it takes 5 minutes walk from Chateau. An amazing structure that was bright from the reflection of the sun, the patron of this church are St. Francis de la Sales and St. Jeanne Chantal are both buried in this church that the depicted in the stained glass along both sides of the church. It is a peaceful location and very cool to relax your mind away from the sounds of the city.
Do you know that my very first dream place to visit when I was young is Venice Italy before Milan? that until now I never yet visited due to time and chances to go. When was the time I started dreaming the place? When I was watching a cinema that the beautiful woman was riding in the boat surrounded by colorful and architectural houses with the man who paddling the boat canal it was very romantic and on that time at the very young age I never known that was Venice Italy until such time when I grew up and begun to recognize in my mind the place, with Annecy France I can feel I visited my dream country that considered as a “Little Venice”. Hopefully one day I can see and visit the real Venice Italy. If you have the chances try to visit Annecy France for the romantic, adventurous and lovely experience here.