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Rhone-Alpes / Haute-Savoie / Annecy

Whether you are seeking peace and tranquility in stunning surroundings, or lots of opportunities for activity, including sports and traditional festivals, Annecy is the perfect choice.

Annecy, in the north of the French Alps, is the Venice of Savoie. The medieval town centre has been constructed around a 14th Century Chateau and is dissected by small canals and streams running out of Lac Annecy, which is a stunning azure colour.

Considered to be the purest lake in Europe, Lac Annecy is the focal point of the town. Enjoy an idyllic cycle ride along the lake’s shores (the 30 km shoreline is a beautiful route through the Savoyard countryside) or wander through the Gardens of Europe, also beside the lake.

You can also venture across the Pont Des Amours (Lovers’ Bridge) that spans le petit Thiou. One word of warning though………one kiss on this bridge is said to mean that a couple will remain together for life!

Annecy, with its breathtaking backdrop of mountains, is also known as a centre for various festivals.

A number of events take place in the town each year, with the most popular being the International Festival of Animated Films in June. Competing films are shown in theatres within the town, with free giant-screen showings every evening on the Paquier.

The town, a current candidate for the hosting of the Inter Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2018, is a very sporty town with opportunities for water sports on the lake and snow sports on the mountains of the Massif des Bauges and the Massif des Bornes.

The very adventurous can also take to the skies and try paragliding or hang gliding.

Once you have completed your exciting activities of the day, you can spoil yourself with the delicious local cuisine. Taste the fabulous fresh fish, such as whitebait and trout, local cheeses and the traditional Savoy dishes of tartiflette and raclette.

For keen shoppers, Annecy has a number of local artisan shops as well as many European chain boutiques and stores. There is a market every Sunday morning in the pedestrian streets of the medieval city. Le marché is an open air market with fresh fruit and vegetables.

If you want to get away from the crowds, try the far side of the lake. The best way to get around is by bike.

You can also use Annecy as a base to explore other nearby towns in the Alps such as Thones, La Clusaz, Le Grand-Bornand, Menthon St Bernard, Duingt and Faverges.

Annecy is a popular day trip from nearby Geneva, Switzerland. Geneva is the nearest major international airport and is well served from across Europe and beyond. With the new motorway, it is now just over 35 minutes away.

A little further away is Lyon, a full international airport, and Grenoble. The airport at Annecy only has flights to Paris. There are also TGV services from Paris, Geneva, and Lyon.

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