Visit Lake Annecy
Annecy is one of the most attractive towns in the Alps, set at the northern tip of Lac d’Annecy and completely surrounded by stunning snow-capped mountains. The lake is located at a height of 447 metres above sea level, and it is overlooked at its highest point by the Tournette Mountain, a stunning summit shaped like an armchair standing 2351 metres high. The town’s small medieval quarter is laced with canals, flower-covered bridges and arcaded streets. The canals are lined with gaily decorated shops, restaurants and bars. Two sights are worth an in-depth look – the Palais de l’Isle, a 12th century prison in the middle of the Thiou canal and the turreted Chateau d’Annecy, set high up on the hills with magnificent views of the old town and the crystal clear lake beyond. The Chateau is now a museum with religious sculptures, Savoyan furniture, alpine anthropology, fine arts and contemporary art and temporary exhibitions.
Annecy has a market on virtually every day of the week (except Sunday and Mondays) where you can buy food, textiles and produce direct from local farmers. If you like swimming the lake offers many beaches and during the summer the waters of the lake are typically around 24C. The old railway line that ran alongside the lake has now been turned into a 30km long cycle track, so that you can easily access the beaches and the restaurants and picnic areas that abound.
Eating out in Annecy is an experience; there are no fewer than three 1 and 2* restaurants in the town and the other 13 restaurants featured in the Michelin guide for Annecy range from an authentic and convivial bistro to contemporary cuisine featuring the fish from the lake.
One of the best ways to enjoy the area’s spectacular scenery is to take a boat from Annecy to Talloires, a tiny lakeside village celebrated for its hotels and restaurants. There are several boat companies on the Lake offering anything from 1 hour to full day excursions or even a sunset cruise. If you fancy something a little bit different, how about hiring the services of one of the two companies who offer trips in a vintage Beetle cabriolet or a 2CV – complete with English speaking chauffeur.
Facing Talloires across the lake is the 15th century Chateau de Duingt (a private residence). On the west bank of the lake, the Semnoz Mountain and its summit, the Cret de Chatillon, provide superb views of Mont Blanc and the Alps.
See also : City Break to Annecy