SARL Peak Transfer
44a Chemin du Lai
Chamonix Mt Blanc
Punctual service – driver was on time, waiting for us with a clear sign. Very friendly, patient and helpful.read more
No matter what the season Annecy is an absolute Must! Whether its a day trip, road trip or long weekend, at less than an hours drive away if you are in the Haut Savoie Region or Geneva it is worth taking the time to visit. Annecy has everything you could ask for in a town: History, Castles, Lakes, Canals, Quirky cobbled streets, Mountains, Good Pubs, Good Food and so much charm and character it would not look out of place in a Disney Fairytale. The jagged snow capped Alps reflecting exquisitely in the crystal clear turquoise waters of the lake its no wonder that no matter what the temperature people are embracing the outdoors drinking coffee in cafe courtyards, strolls along the lakeside promenards and parks or activities in and around the lake itself.
Annecy has more than its fair share of restaurants many of which specialise in Savoyard style food. It’s a picture perfect location to enjoy a romantic sunset over a traditional tartiflette accompanied by splendid section of Savoyard wines. Or to satisfy that lunch time itch Salad & Crepe bars seem to be strangely popular amongst the old town lanes (who’d have thought it… Well the salad part anyway!).
You don’t have to stop there either, come evening you have a number of unique establishments to keep you occupied. For the more relaxed beer lovers amongst you the oddly named yet popular ‘The Place to Beer’ has an unusual pre payed credit system allowing you to sample as much or as little of the 12 different brews available, only paying for what you actually pump. For those that prefer their brewage in the fermented grape variety ‘Les Caves du Château’ could be more your sort of thing, a small wine bar with its stone and wooden decor encompassing an alluring terrace in enchanting surroundings at the foothills of the Annecy Castle. Specialising in wines (obviously) and cheese platters (what else!) there are not many other better ways to spend an evening.
Often described as the ‘Venice of the Alps’ the purest water in Europe (true fact) flows through the Medieval-esque town centre canals like a a labyrinth intertwined with small cobbled lanes brimming with cafes, boutiques, and restaurants. Within the old town aka Vielle Ville maze you will find one of the most iconic structures in Annecy the Palais de L’ile which in its past life has been utilised as a residence, courthouse, mint and prison since the 12th Century, which now exhibits local history and architecture. There is also the turreted Chateau d’Annecy to explore once the home to a number of Counts it is now an art and history museum. The exhibits scope from medieval sculpture, to alpine landscapes and modern contemporary art, as well as a history of Lac d’Annecy itself. If whilst roaming around the cobbled streets of the old you would like to visit more mainstream shops take a stroll towards Rue Royale for the Courier shopping centre.
The treelined lakeside paths and elegant Europe gardens lead to the Champ de Mars , a rather popular spot amongst locals and tourists alike full of pop-up concerts and entertainers. With a rather romantic feel about it (much like the rest of Annecy) its apt that the iconic iron arch of the Pont des Amours i.e. the Lovers’ Bridge can be found here with a padlock or two.
Its pretty much a right of passage to take one of the many boat trips or tours available to explore Lac d’Annecy and its bordering villages. Tours run throughout the year (even in the off season) and can range from a one hour non-stop quick loop round the lake to a rather more leisurely hop-on-off full day trip. You can even have a dinner cruise with a rock and roll disco on the river if the views were not entertaining enough for you. If you would rather see the sights via your own steam then there are a number of walk tours, a free Annecy Walk leaflet can be picked up the Tourist Office.
If sightseeing is just not enough for you or perhaps the thought of being on a boat all day makes you queasy, don’t worry Annecy still has plenty to offer. For the more active among you there is the opportunity to rent a bike and cycle the whole 46km perimeter of the lake, hike to the local mountains, or find one of the many beaches and take a dip in the surprisingly warm waters of the lake. Talking of which you will notice the lake is plenteous of pedalos, paddle boards, and other water-sports at really reasonable prices, there is the opportunity to even hire motorboat (albeit a small one) from just €20/ hour.
Anyone that has been to venice (or seen a masquerade) can appreciate the beauty and detail that goes into the traditional mask and costume. The Venitien Carneval is certainly no exception, where many take to the streets in exquisite disguises of all shapes and colours giving Annecy that added bit of sparkle mid winter.
The most extravagant combination of live music and a fireworks display certainly that I have ever seen. This sensory stimulating 70-minute display where fireworks are cleverly choreographed to a live orchestra from the middle of the lake. Its a popular festival so make sure to buy a ticket.
Annecy has one of the best Christmas market’s around contesting any of its Swiss or German equivalents more known for their festival markets. With the typical traditional wooden stalls, decorative street lights of the old town and lakeside its a wonderful experience even without the delights of a Vin Chaud warming you from the inside and out.
Like many popular french towns parking is expensive and limited so make sure to get there early to grab a spot. If you would prefer to keep things simple and take the hassle out of your Annecy day trip Peak Transfer provide private transfers to and from your accommodation upon request. There is also the occasional direct train from Le Fayet Saint Gervais (~€75 per person return) or bus from Geneva (~€30 per person return).
Arguably the most idealic towns in France, Annecy’s charisma is easy to see and challenging to resist. Cultured, adventurous and unique it has something for everyone and a splendid day out! For more information about Annecy and Lac d’Annecy including other attractions such as Gorges de Fiur and Chateau de Montrottier take a look at the local tourist office website.