Gaillard is a small commune in the Haute-Savoie region of France. It is located on the south-western edge of the town of Annemasse and is part of the arrondissement of Saint-Julien-en-Genevois.
The town covers more than 400 hectares at an altitude of 400 metres and is located on the border between France and Switzerland. Its inhabitants, currently more than 11,500, are called Gaillardins and Gaillardines. Many of the inhabitants of the municipality are cross-border commuters and work in Switzerland.
Gaillard is crossed by two rivers, the Arve and the Foron, and is 45 km from Annecy, 34 km from Thonon-les-Bains and 3 km from Geneva.
History and heritage
The town of Gaillard was created by the Counts of Geneva in the 13th century with the construction of the famous Château-Gaillard. The building, with its fortified town, was well protected during the Middle Ages with a garrison of 3,000 soldiers. But the numerous wars of religion took their toll on the stronghold.
Before the French Revolution, Gaillard was part of the commune of Chêne-Thônex in Switzerland. In 1815, it remained the property of the King of Sardinia and took the name of the commune ofAmbilly-Gaillard. In 1843, by royal decision, it became Gaillard again. In 1860, following the plebiscite, Savoy became French and so did the Gaillards.
In 1896, the town had 1,239 inhabitants, and its population has continued to grow to 10,000 today. The town still has a market gardening activity which was predominant in the past. Its location on the border with Switzerland makes it even more attractive.
The best rated hotels
Depending on your budget, we have selected five hotels in Gaillard that offer excellent value for money and have very good customer reviews:
Mercure Annemasse Porte de Genève
Located only 15 minutes from Geneva, it allows you to visit the city or to reach a business meeting easily. You can enjoy its outdoor swimming pool and free parking. The Palexpo exhibition centre and Geneva-Cointrin airport are only 14 km from the hotel.
From € 90 per night.
The Originals Annemasse Sud – Porte de Genève
Situated 1.5 km from the Swiss border, this Savoyard-style hotel offers beautiful air-conditioned rooms surrounded by an 11-hectare park. The restaurant “Le Bistrot des Alpes” offers local specialities such as tartiflette and fondue.From € 54 per night.
The Geneva Residence is located on the Swiss border, 50 metres from the Geneva tramway. It offers studios and flats with a fully equipped kitchen. Private underground parking is available at an additional cost.
Prices start at € 63 per night.
Kyriad Direct Annemasse – Geneva
A very clean hotel for a limited budget. It is located at the crossroads of the A 40 and the A 411, ideal for a break on the road or for a day trip to Geneva. The breakfast is copious and the staff is always available and friendly. A good address for a small price.
From 40 € per night.
Appart’City Genève – Gaillard
Ideally located on the border with Switzerland, the studios and flats have a fully equipped kitchen. Continental breakfast is served in a common room. The restaurant is spacious and bright.From € 70 per night.
Cultural and sports facilities
Several cultural spaces and halls are available to residents.
The Genevois School of Fine Arts
This is a facility in theAnnemasse agglomeration that offers quality artistic education to awaken the creative spirit, but also to prepare for the entrance examinations to higher art schools. Educational and extracurricular training courses are also part of the school’s programme.
Le P’tit théâtre de Gaillard
This is a friendly place that offers a comedy show, a one-man show or a comedy every week. There are two performances, one at 6.30 pm and one at 8 pm. The intimate aspect of the 50-seat venue brings complicity with the artists. Catering is available before the show and children can take part in workshops.
This is an associative space for the creation and distribution of contemporary art. Exhibitions and educational tours are offered throughout the year.
The Gaillard music school
This is an association that welcomes more than 200 students. Musical discovery workshops are offered to young children during extracurricular time.
The library of Gaillard
The library is located in the neighbouring commune of Ambilly, which has agreed to open its doors to the inhabitants of Gaillard.
The Louis Simon Sports Centre
This multi-purpose space is named after a former mayor of Gaillard who, in 1966, set aside large plots of land for the future development of the commune. A large hall of 1,100 m² can accommodate 500 spectators during international boxing or judo competitions. You can practice basketball, handball, volleyball and gymnastics. Smaller adjacent halls allow for boxing, karate and table tennis. Football can be played on the two adjacent pitches. An enclosed annex is dedicated to the bowling green.
Many other sports can be played at the sports school on Wednesdays. The town of Gaillard has set up a sport and culture voucher for children and teenagers to give them access to these activities.
The Green Way of Greater Geneva
For lovers of beautiful family walks, the 12 kilometres of the Greenway of Greater Geneva is a must in the region. The track is safe from the Swiss border to Bonne. The route can be done by bike, on foot, inline skates and scooters. Along the way, you will find picnic areas, panoramic observation points and electric bike rental sites.
At the end of the tour, you can take the opportunity to visit Geneva.
The Invierno Tango Festival
Every year at the beginning of February, the town of Gaillard organises a renowned tango festival. It takes place in the Espace Louis Simon over three days. Prestigious international guests and talented artists attract an audience of tango enthusiasts. Classes and shows complement the magnificent milongas. During this weekend, Gaillard becomes a great European tango dance floor where DJs and bands make the public dance.
- 40 hours of classes are given
- 1 after party and 3 milongas
- 1 complete show with eight famous couples
Practical info: Espace Louis Simon, 10 rue du Châtelet, 74 240 Gaillard
The Salève cable car
In 5 minutes, thanks to the Salève cable car, you can reach the top of the mountain. This equipment dating from the 1930s is a real curiosity in terms of its architecture. You can take advantage of the many paths to discover the Salève. A high-altitude restaurant allows you to admire the beautiful panorama of the Geneva basin and Lake Geneva.
Price: 8 € one way and 12 € return, reduced rates for children and groups.Address: Route du téléphérique, 74100 Etrembières.
For the youngest, there is an early childhood centre, a nursery assistant relay and a parent-child reception centre.
Children have a nursery school and three elementary schools at their disposal. They can continue their education in the Jacques Prévert school in Gaillard.
Finally, there are three high schools depending on where they live.
Market in Gaillard
The Gaillard market takes place every Saturday morning at Moëllesulaz, place du Marché from 7.30 am to 1 pm. Food and manufacturing products are offered, including local quality products from short circuits according to the season.
The Annemasse agglomeration, which includes the commune of Gaillard, offers an urban bus network, called“TAC“, which serves numerous stops with lines 3 to 8 during the week and two lines on Sundays in the communes of Ambilly, Annemasse, Bonne, Cranves-Sales, Étrembières, Gaillard, Juvigny, Lucinges, Machilly, Saint-Cergues, Vétraz-Monthoux and Ville-la-Grand
This bus network provides connections with the Léman Express rail network, which links the border towns between France and Switzerland, and with the tramway lines.
The official TAC website allows you to define a route in real time.
The Gaillard Town Hall is located Cours de la République. It is open from Monday to Friday from 8am to 12pm and from 1.30pm to 5pm and closed on Thursday mornings. Official website of the Gaillard Town Hall.The Gaillard market is held every Saturday morning on the Place du Marché from 7.30am to 1pm.