Annecy is known as the French Venice and, therefore, is one of the most charming cities in France. Located in the wonderful Rhône-Alpes, Annecy has the eternal natural beauty of the Swiss mountains and lakes that surrounds it and make it stunning.
In addition, it looks like a medieval French city, which makes it really different. The magnificent canals can’t be missed because they run through the entire city.
There is a carnival that takes place at the end of February and is very similar to the one in Venice. Exuberant masks related to this event, are for sale at souvenir shops. As the border with Italy is just one hour away, there is also a touch of Italian cuisine on Annecy.
1. Lake Annecy
Lac Annecy is the second-largest French lake. It is framed by superb mountains, and since we are in summer, they are already green. The lake is the great attraction of the city, where boat trips and various sports are done around it. To make a complete tour of Lac Annecy, you will need 4 hours to do the route, if you want to enjoy the view and stop occasionally, since we are talking about a route around 40 kilometers.
However, if you prefer to try a more daring sport, know that the most popular is paragliding. You should really do it because Annecy seen from the sky is even more incredible. So, book in advance, because it runs out quickly. In summer, the lawns turn into beaches, and around the lake there are several, I suggest the Marquisats or Albigny beaches because they are free and the last one is the largest on the lake. I also highlight Saint-Jorioz because it has a trampoline, pontoons and showers, and Angon for having shade, and being crossed by a stream.
2. The Ethereal beauty of the alleys and channels
Go to the historic center on foot or by bicycle. The narrow alleys and the houses with medieval architectural inspiration, take you back to other times. We can almost imagine the knights in their armor and the people dressed in those brown covers, with rope belts and hoods, so typical of the Middle Age.
From an architectural point of view, the city is very rich. There are bridges, canals, and arches that lead us to other discoveries. Even the local shops have magic that forces us to enter. Stroll the small streets and follow the channels along the Louis-Lachenal promenade and don’t forget to stop at the “Lécluse Fleurie”, a flower stall on Canal Thiou, where magnificent photographs can be taken.
I remember looking at the streets and feeling like I was inside a movie from the last century. At night, the lights make the city even more magical, giving it a touch of mystery around every corner.
The little mask I bought is still part of the decoration of a wall in my house and I dream about the day when I can attend a carnival with these masks, whether in Venice or Annecy. If you have time, go to Semnoz and you can see nature in all its splendor. For the more adventurous I recommend a walk through the mountains in La Tournette, here the beauty of the landscape is immeasurable.
3. Culture in Annecy
The International Animation Film Festival takes place every year in June and is a delight to the tourists. Film industry professionals from all over the world show their movies, some of which are very original and three-dimensional creations. The Chinese shadow theater is one of the most exhibited.
Know that every night a film is projected in order to be seen on Paquier’s lawn.
Another must-see attraction is the Lake Annecy Festival. An incredible firework display that takes place every year on the first Saturday of August, and is the largest in Europe.
4. Wonderful Specialties that will delight you
Fondue and raclettes are some of the specialties that you should not miss. If you like sweets, be sure to try the bugnes. Although they vary a lot, but essentially, they are wheat flour cookies, fried and covered in sugar. There are several pâtisseries in the city where you can buy them, Le Comptoir du Pain is one of the most famous.
The bugnes are often presented in bags, which are useful when we are traveling. Annecy is one of those destinations blessed by a superb natural charm and the originality of a city so full of history. Go, try the paragliding, and lose yourself in the unique beauty of this place undoubtedly touched by the gods.