Annecy: a destination between lake and mountain

Coming to Annecy on holiday means discovering a region rich in natural landscapes and history. For sports enthusiasts, it is a unique playground. Numerous cultural and sporting events take place throughout the year.

The little Venice of the Alps

Le palais de l'Ile à AnnecyThe Old Town of Annecy is made up of numerous narrow streets dating from the Renaissance, surrounded by canals. You can visit the Old Prisons, which date from the Middle Ages, as well as the Castle which dominates the town. Most of the visits are on foot, and it is advisable to park in the car parks at the entrance to the pedestrian zone of the city centre. The Museum of Animated Cinema offers an insight into the history of cartoons. There are many restaurants where you can enjoy the specialities of Haute-Savoie cuisine such as fondue and tartiflette.

Lake Annecy

Le lac d'AnnecySecond largest lake in France after Lake Bourget, Lake Annecy is considered the purest in Europe. Its turquoise waters are ideal for swimming from June to September. Most water sports can be practised: sailing, paddle, water skiing, diving. On the shores of the lake, there are numerous beaches where you can eat or hire a boat or pedalo. For your accommodation during your stay in Annecy, you have the choice between beautiful campsites and hotels with character, depending on your budget. Cycling around the lake is possible on the Voie Verte, which is considered one of the most beautiful cycle paths in France.

Many ski resorts nearby

La Clusaz en Haute-SavoieThe town of Annecy is located in the Northern Alps and offers a range of things to do, see and discover in winter. Winter sports enthusiasts (cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snowshoeing and snowboarding) can reach the winter sports resorts in less than 30 minutes. The Semnoz resort, the favourite of the inhabitants of Annecy, is only 20 minutes from the town. La Clusaz in the Aravis massif is a resort that has retained the charm of a traditional Haute-Savoie village. Les Confins, 5 minutes away, is a ski area reserved for cross-country skiing. For families, Le Grand-Bornand is an ideal resort to enjoy many sports and festive activities in summer and winter.

Annecy’s major events: Fête du Lac and Descente des Alpages

Fête du Lac d'AnnecyThroughout the year, tourists on holiday can take advantage of major festivals that attract a large audience. The best known of these is the Fête du Lac. This large fireworks display is held on the shores of the lake. In October, the herds leave the mountain pastures for the winter and parade through the town for the traditional folk festival of the Descente des Alpages. In June, cartoon enthusiasts can attend the International Animation Film Festival, where many previews are shown free of charge on the large grassy esplanade of the Pâquier facing Lake Annecy. In summer, the Annecy Paysage Festival presents contemporary works of art in the form of botanical creations. Walkers can stroll through the streets and parks of the town to discover them. In December, the town hosts the Alpine Christmas Market. Many chalets allow you to choose original gifts for the holidays.