Annecy – Summer Gateway to the French Alps

Have you heard of Annecy before? Ok wait… have you seen those Facebook clips where the melted raclette cheese gets scraped straight from the wheel onto your food? Now we’re talking Annecy.

Annecy is often described as the Venice of the French Alps and it’s not hard to see why. The Old Town is full of restaurants spilling out onto walkways over looking the flower lined canals, water a tranquil blue with elegant swans gliding over the surface. Have I slipped into some Disney fairytale or what?

There’s so much to do and see in Annecy; here’s just the tip of the snow capped mountain;

Spend your day discovering Old Town

Bustling lane ways and cheesey delights, Old Town has a lot going for it. But it’s not all restaurants and souvenir shops (although get your raclette on, for sure). There is the picturesque canals, castle, churches… plenty to see. But if you’re like me, you don’t mind just kicking back and watching the world go by.

Annecy Old Town 1

Annecy Old Town 2

Annecy Old Town 3

Annecy Old Town 4

Annecy Old Town 5

Get in that Lake!

Lake Annecy is perfect for watersports! The water is fresh, clean and flat as a tack. Try out skiing, stand up paddle boarding, or hire a boat and do a lap of the lake. It’s about 18km long. Otherwise, get on your cossie and go for a dip; but you might have to go for a bit of a walk to find a free spot to swim – both in the sense of space and cost. While you’re walking, check out all the gardens surrounding the lake.

Lake Annecy 1

Lake Annecy 2

Annecy Gardens

Cruise around the Lake

Not in a boat… on a bike! Hear me out; the area is pretty flat, most bikes have gears to make it easy and the best swimming spots and views are just outside the main area! Cheap to rent and it’s simple to navigate, so why not give it a go? Plus think of all that cheese and pastry you’re burning off. Oh ok, fine… you can also rent e-bikes too. I’m sure they cost a bit extra though. We used Pedal Douce (which always looks like douche to me).

Riding Lake Annecy 1

Riding Lake Annecy 2

Riding Lake Annecy 3

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Riding Lake Annecy 5

Riding Lake Annecy 6

Experience French hiking and views like never before

Hire a car or scooter (just remember that scooters can’t go on toll roads) and get up a mountain. Matt and I were following le Tour de France, but we tacked on some extra time to see what the Alps had to offer, and let me tell you; no complaints. Super green and views for days. We went to Plateau des Glières for hiking and Les Saisies for views. We used Dream Scoot. I would NOT recommend them. Our bike overheated on the second day, and the guy kept insisting that we were riding with the oil light on. As if Matt (who has been a mechanic for 13 years) would do that. Idiot.

French Alps 1

French Alps 5

French Alps 6

French Alps 4

French Alps 2

French Alps 8

French Alps 7

French Alps 9

French Alps 3

Bonus Round: Be there for Bastille Day!

The French sure do know how to celebrate. Not only were we lucky enough to be in town for the Tour de France AND the French FIFA World Cup win, but we also got to experience Bastille Day! Their national day is full of music and celebration, closed off with fireworks on the lake. I’m not really a fireworks gal – once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all – but this was really special! And the sound; the fireworks bang echoing off the mountains really was something else.

Bastille Day Annecy

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