Bonneville is a town in Haute-Savoie with an area of 27.15 km² and 12,600 inhabitants called Bonnevillois, Bonnevilloises. The commune is part of the canton of “Bonneville chef-lieu” and the community of communes “Faucigny Glières”. The lowest point is at an altitude of 450 metres and the highest point at 1,877 metres. The town is located between Annemasse and Sallanches.
History and heritage
Bonneville is twinned with Staufen im Breisgau in Germany, Racconigi in Italy and Téra in Niger. The cutting and stamping company EMT 74 is located in Bonneville as well as the distribution warehouses of SOMFY, BOSCH household appliances and the screw-cutting factory SA Perrotton. The Arve Industries national competitiveness cluster is an economic area specialising in complex machining and precision mechanics.
You can discover the following heritage elements during your visit.
The fountain on the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville
Built in 1786, and designed by Vagnat de Samoëns, it is in the baroque style.
The Town Hall
Built in 1853, this neoclassical building has a stone from the Bastille in Paris donated in 1793.
This is one of the oldest streets in the city, it leads to the large arcades of the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville.
Rue des Grandes Chambrettes
You go from the rue Décret to the church. You can see an old well and the entrance to the vaulted cellars which are the remains of the Château de la Rochette.
The Arve bridge
Built in the 19th century, it is now called Pont de l’Europe. Previously, wooden footbridges were used to cross the river.
The house of the heads
Built in 1401, this house allows a double reading of its facade: on the first floor, we see grimacing masks and on the second floor, pleasant smiling angels opening the way to Heaven. It is the only building in the baroque style in the two Savoies. In the 19th century, it was used as a town hall.
The castle of the Sires de Faucigny
It was built in the 13th century by Peter II of Savoy and represents the architecture of the time which was intended to resist sieges. It was then a prison until 1934. It has just been restored and opened to the public.
The Charles-Felix column
This large column, 44 metres high, pays tribute to the King of Sardinia who has a statue at the top.
The Café du Nord
The main curiosity is the presence of a cannonball in the north façade, it was fired by the Austrian army during the defeat of Napoleon 1ᵉʳ. You can also admire a beautiful sundial.
The Royal House
This building was the rest house of the King of Sardinia during his travels in the area. You can appreciate the beautiful quality of the wrought iron balcony.
The Cormand fortified house
It is a beautiful building originally surrounded by ditches, the beautiful square tower and the two wings are its main features.
You can also visit the pretty medieval town of La Roche-sur-Foron nearby.
Guided tours of the Faucigny capital
These tours are led by a Pays de Savoie heritage guide. You must register at the Bonneville tourist office. Five tours are available:
- Bonneville: from the beginning to the present day. The tour allows you to discover the old buildings, the main dates and important events that have marked the history of the town. Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes.
- The church of Sainte-Catherine. This building was built between 1838 and 1845 in a neoclassical style. Why is this church dedicated to this saint? Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- In the footsteps of travellers with a Savoyard snack. Many famous visitors have passed through Bonneville, including Théophile Gautier. What traces did they leave behind? Price: 17 € with the meal excluding drinks.
- Bonneville in the 21 st century: The town underwent major changes during this period: construction of the bridge, the Law Courts and the police station. The visit of Napoleon III is also explained. Duration: 1 hour.
- The Arve and Bonneville: This river has played a very important role in the development of the town, particularly in shaping its architecture.
For children, a treasure hunt with a booklet is available at the tourist office.
The best rated hotels
Depending on your budget, we have selected three hotels near Bonneville which offer excellent value for money and have very good customer reviews:
Mont Blanc Hotel
A few kilometres from Bonneville, this beautiful hotel offers a restaurant with traditional French cuisine, an outdoor swimming pool, well-equipped rooms and a large free car park. You can go hiking in the Aravis mountain range or spend the day in the resort of Grand-Bornand.From €90 per night.
This hotel is located in the nearby town of La Roche-sur-Foron, where you can visit the medieval city. Breakfast is served in the breakfast room in buffet style. The winter sports resorts of La Clusaz and Le Grand Bornand are 30 km away by car.
From € 89 per night.
Hotel Le Foron
This hotel is located in the town of La Roche-sur-Foron, a few kilometres from Bonneville. It features a beautiful outdoor swimming pool and a garden. You can enjoy your meals in the partner restaurant near the hotel. The proximity to Switzerland allows you to discover Geneva.
From 76 € per night.
Cultural and sports facilities
The Bonneville market is held on Tuesday and Friday mornings opposite the town hall. On the 3rd Saturday of March and September, a large flea market and second-hand goods sale are organised. The great fair of Saint-Martin takes place on 11 November each year.
The town has a sports complex named Pierre Faillon and an athletics track. Three gymnasiums and three stadiums are available to sportsmen and women.The natural cliff in Pontchy allows climbers to practice. A shooting range, covered tennis courts, a dojo, a skate park and a water sports centre complete this offer of quality facilities.
The Bonneville Teleski-Watergames
This leisure area allows you to enjoy an aquatic area and to practise water activities such as water skiing, wakeboarding and kneeboarding. You are pulled by a cable so that you can glide across the water on skis or a surfboard. The TNA measures 1,925 m². An inflatable water playground is available for both adults and children. The park is open to children aged 6 and over.Address: 23 rue Pertuiset, 74130 Bonneville.Opening hours: Mondays from 2pm to 6.30pm, Tuesdays to Fridays from 9.30am to 12.30pm and from 2pm to 6.30pm and Saturdays from 10am to 12pm and from 1.30pm to 4.30pm
On the Motte-Longue lake in Bonneville, the departmental sailing school organises sailing courses, equipment hire and lessons. On Monday afternoons, first-time sailing sessions are organised free of charge. Address: Lac de la Motte-Longue, rue des Colverts, 74130 Bonneville.
The Agora is an auditorium opened in 2005. It offers 407 seats to spectators. Its acoustics are particularly appreciated during concerts by artists and the public. Bonneville therefore has a quality cultural programme all year round. This multi-purpose space can also be used for meetings, conferences and trade fairs.
The Sc’Art à B. is a facility dedicated to leisure and well-being. It is home to the municipal band, the Office of Culture and Animation. Its auditorium is used to organise events and meetings for the town’s associations. Musical shows are organised and are very successful.
Pleins Feux Festival
Every year, this festival delights lovers of soul, funk, jazz and blues. It takes place on the third weekend in July in the city centre on a large open-air stage. It’s a guarantee of a good time in a festive atmosphere, especially since the concerts are free.
In 2020, the 23rd edition of the Pleins Feux Festival was cancelled due to the health crisis. Famous artists have already performed at this musical event: Sinclair, Maceo Parker, Michel Jonasz, Didier Lockwood, Earth Wind and Fire and Ben Uncle Soul. During 3 nights, Bonneville welcomes more than 10,000 spectators.
The town of Bonneville has a number of school facilities:
- A crèche: La maison de l’Enfant
- Three nursery schools: Le Bouchet, Le Bois Joliver and Maria Salin.
- Seven primary schools: Dessy Pontchy, Les Champey, Bois Jolivet, Le Bouchet, Centre, Thuet and les Îles.
- One secondary school: Le Collège Samivel
- Two secondary schools: The Guillaume Fichet high school and the François Bise professional hotel school.
The market takes place every Tuesday and Friday in the streets of the town centre from 8.30 am to 1 pm. You will find local producers to favour the short circuit, decoration for the house and a diversified clothing offer. You can park in the town hall car park and benefit from one hour of free parking. Two flea markets are organised each year on the third Saturday of March and September.
The great Saint Martin’s Fair has taken place every year on 11 November for 740 years. Almost 100,000 visitors are welcomed on this occasion.