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Lake Annecy is like something out of a fairy tale, framed by soaring mountains and a Medieval town built on a series of canals. The waters of Lake Annecy are perfect if you want a spot for swimming, boating or just lazing by the lake. Head to the nearby Aravis mountains for plenty of activities ranging from skiing and snowboarding to paragliding and mountain biking.
Choose a historic hotel in Annecy’s old town, where you can take in canal views from your window. Or stay in a hotel near the shores of Lake Annecy and enjoy the mountain views from the outdoor pool.
You could consider booking a sophisticated apartment and doing some self-catering, or you can choose a sleek contemporary Lake Annecy hotel within easy reach of all of the main sights of the old town.
Explore Annecy’s picturesque Medieval arcaded streets and stone bridges. The old town’s most striking sight is the Palais de l’Ile, a 12th-century fort on a little island in the Canal du Thiou.
Dominating the old town is the imposing chateau, which dates back to the 12th to the 16th centuries. Stroll along the quayside and through the tree-shaded Jardins de l’Europe to reach Lake Annecy and its impressive views.
Take in Lake Annecy’s breathtaking beauty by hopping on a boat cruise before enjoying a relaxing swim on one of the lake’s beaches. If you fancy some exercise, hire a bike and head off along the 30-mile bike path along the western shore of the lake. For hiking, make your way to the eastern shore for the relatively easy climb to the La Tournette peak. Travel west of Lake Annecy and you reach the Gorges du Fier, which you can explore along a high-level walkway.
Just a short distance from Lake Annecy is the Lake Annecy Ski Resorts ski area in the heart of the Aravis mountains. Check out the huge range of pistes in the family-friendly resorts of Le Grand Bornand, La Clusaz, Manigod and St-Jean-de-Sixt. South of Annecy is the massive Massif des Bauges Natural Regional Park, a popular area for hikers, birdwatchers and fans of outdoor sports.
Enjoy top-class cooking in Michelin-starred restaurants, some with captivating views of Lake Annecy. The lake is the source of delicious fish, and there’s also the classic Alpine cuisine that can’t be missed. Snuggle in cosy restaurants over a pot of cheese fondue, or try some of the other regional cheese dishes such as tartiflette and raclette.
The closest airports to Lake Annecy are in the south, in nearby Chambéry, as well as just over the Swiss border in Geneva. Lyon airport is a bit further, but it does have a good range of flight available all year round. There’s a good motorway network throughout Lake Annecy, and France’s SNCF trains also run to Annecy via Paris.