Rising from the shores of the largest natural glacial lake, the Lac du Bourget, Aix-les-Bains is one of the important French spa towns, and has the largest fresh water marina in France. It is the second largest Savoy town in terms of population.
Of international renown, Aix-les-Bains was for many years a place of vacation for princely families and wealthy people; today it draws in tourists for its setting between lake and mountain, its thermal baths and its Rock Musilac festival. Essentially a spa town until the mid-20th century, Aix-les-Bains has gradually transformed its local economy and is no longer dependant on the thermal baths which are less frequently used than before.
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The cuisine of Aix-les-Bains is typically that of Savoy, based on products of the mountain meadows, essentially the Bauges. In addition to its famous fondue, there is the pleasing main course of potato doughnuts, and also crozets, péla, tartiflette, diots, polenta and rioutes. For dessert, there are bugnes, confiture de lait and blueberry pie (tartes aux myrtilles) Aix features Savoy cheeses such as Abondance, Beaufort, the Bleu du Mont-Cenis, Savoy Emmental, Savoy Gruyère, Persillé des Aravis, Reblochon, Abbaye de Tamié, Tomme de Savoie and many others.
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