You need to spend 24 Hours in Annecy, France.
With the crystal clear waters of Lake Annecy, the chilled vibe of the lake shore and the charm of the old town, it really is a spot to add to your bucket list, even if just one a day.
After 10 days in the mountains, we made our way down for a change of scenery and a spot of relaxation but it would also make the most amazing base for a longer break, exploring the local hills, hiring bikes to circumnavigate the lake and relaxing on the beach. Here’s what we got up to in 24hrs, with some further recommendations at the bottom should you wish to stay a little longer.
I’m afraid we cannot recommend anywhere to stay as we van camped but there we various campsites and guesthouses next to the lake should you wish to base yourself somewhere scenic yet semi-permanent for the evening.
Arrive late afternoon, pick up a bottle of wine and a picnic from the local carrefour and head down to the waterfront. Watch the sun go down over the lake and surrounding mountains on a blanket and enjoy each others company; it’s what the locals do! Pack up and take a detour through old town to see the charming streets and buildings lit up and full of life. Be sure to grab one of the many artisan ice-creams for dessert, they’re rather yummy!
Wander around the lake and pick your afternoon activity before visiting the Jardins de L’Europe on the way to old town. spend the morning perusing shops, people watching and getting lost in the beautiful back streets before a long leisurely lunch. We recommend restaurant L’Alpin; the food was stunning, the staff were friendly and the wine went down like squash! The menu offers something for everyone, including alternatives to the usual french cuisine.
Head to the beach and head out on your activity of choice; there are so many different rental companies hiring out kayaks, SUPs, bikes, scooters, pedalos and power boats! We hired SUPs for an hour and headed out onto the lake. The water was so clear and warm that we didn’t mind falling in and spent a while attempting various yoga positions before making any kind of distance.
Dry off on the beach and grab an ice-cream before heading off.
Stay a few days
- Hire a bike from one of the many rental companies and cycle around the lake; 47km of scenic bike paths and winding country lanes.
- Check out some of the cultural sites; the Palais de L’isle, a local history museum or the local cathedrals with their stained glass windows and decorative organs.
- Rent a boat and head out onto the lake for the day, take a picnic and explore the shores at your leisure.
- Visit one of the many markets hosted throughout the week.
- Head into the surrounding woodland and hills for a quiet hike through some beautiful scenery.