Annecy and its lake are the sort of places it is difficult to tear yourself away from....nor should you try!
Here there is a remarkable union between Nature and Man, something that
has attracted visitors since the 19th century, brought here by the unique beauty
of the setting, the keen, dazzling light and the refreshing air carried from
the not-so-distant Alps.
© ATOUT FRANCE/Fabrice Milochau
The town has a delightful old centre, flanking the River Thiou, a picturesque place, partially pedestrianised, with arcaded houses and Italianate wells. Bright, colourful and vibrant markets (Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday mornings) exude charm and local pride...and do a roaring trade in local produce.
There is a wide choice of both summer and winter sporting and cultural activities in in this splendid setting, from water activities and cycling (thanks to a safe cycle route running alongside the lake for over 40km) to mountain activities (walking, mountain biking, via-ferrata, canyoning or paragliding) – everything is possible!
Culture vultures will find pleasure in the many museum tours, castles, guided tours and exhibitions. In fact, Annecy and its suburbs have received the much-coveted "Art and History" label.
The pure, clear water flows from the lake into the canals running through the "old town" (Annecy's historic centre), giving it its picturesque appearance of the "Venice of the Alps".
The local gastronomy takes advantage of both the mountain traditions and the developments of tourism over the last 150 years: here the traditional mountain dishes sits alongside great gastronomic cuisine, demonstrated by the fact that no fewer than three chefs having received Michelin stars, along with a fourth at nearby Veyrier-du-Lac.
The most famous local products are cheeses, in particular Reblochon and Tome des Bauges. The lake itself offers fine fishes such as Féra or Omble Chevalier.
There is another important speciality: the chocolate factories are famous, in particular with the "Roseau" filled with mountain liqueur! And just like almost everywhere in France, there is an old wine making tradition, in particular renowned white wines like Apremont and Roussette.
© ATOUT FRANCE/R.Cast
Lake Annecy is famous for its cleanliness, one of the cleanest in the world. It is the second biggest lake in France, after Le Bourget lake, except for the French part of Lake Geneva. Covering an area of 27.59 km2 (2,759 hectares), the lake is 14.6kms long, and was formed about 18,000 years ago when the great Alpine glaciers melted.
© ATOUT FRANCE/Jean-François Tripelon-Jarry