Annecy France by Dmitry A Mottl WikipediaStrolling through Annecy's pedestrian-only streets and alongside its charming canals, one is transported to a medieval era.

Following these canals leads to a stunning lake, nestled amidst majestic mountains.

Intersting Fact: Annecy is often referred to as the "Venice of the Alps" due to its picturesque canals and romantic ambiance.

The city's origins trace back to Roman times, evolving through the centuries under the rule of the Counts of Geneva in the 10th century, the Counts of Savoy in 1400, and eventually becoming the capital of Haute-Savoie in France in 1860. Read more here.

Annecy's rich history is reflected in its grand castles, cathedrals, quaint medieval buildings, canals, and bridges.

Things to see and do around town

Old Town (La Vieille Ville)

Annecy France old townThe heart of Annecy, the Old Town, is cradled by the Thiou River and is home to many of the city's historic landmarks and attractions.

Tip: Don't miss the chance to explore the Old Town's flea market, held every last Saturday of the month, for unique finds and antiques.

The Thiou River, Europe's shortest river, forms a picturesque link between Lake Annecy and the Fier River, bordered by charming cobblestone walkways and historic stone bridges.

Along the riverbanks and through the winding side streets, myriad restaurants, sidewalk cafes, and vibrantly colored buildings await your discovery.

Should you be in Annecy on a Sunday, the morning market is a must-visit for delightful souvenirs and local gastronomic treats.

Palais de l'Isle (Island Palace)

Annecy France Palais de l'Isle by Yves LC WikipediaThis castle, uniquely positioned in the middle of the river, has a storied past as a prison, asylum, and courthouse. Reconstructed multiple times, it was finally declared a historical monument in 1900, thus preserving its rich heritage.

Today, the castle is transformed into a museum of art and history, offering captivating exhibits narrating the saga of the building and the region.

Château d'Annecy (Castle Annecy)

Anncey France Thiou River to LakeThis 12th-century historic monument, now a museum, offers a journey through time. Explore its exhibits and towers, then visit the courtyard, known as the terrace, for a breathtaking view of the old town and surrounding mountains.

Fact: Château d'Annecy was once the residence of the Counts of Geneva and the Dukes of Genevois-Nemours, making it a significant historical site in the region.

Lake Annecy

Formed 12,000 years ago from melting Alp glaciers, Lake Annecy is the 3rd largest in France, renowned for its pristine and crystal-clear waters.

The lakefront in Annecy is beautifully maintained, featuring Lake Annecy Francepedestrian walkways, lush gardens, and marinas. It's a hub for summer activities like swimming and various water sports.

Tip: Try paragliding over Lake Annecy for an unforgettable aerial view of the lake and its surroundings.

Boat and paddleboat rentals are available year-round, offering a serene way to enjoy the lake's calm waters.

Surrounding the lake, the landscape of green hills and mountains is stunning. A drive around the lake reveals several National Nature Reserves and the mesmerizing Cascade d’Angon waterfall.

Pont des Amours (Lovers Bridge)

Annecy Pont des Amours This iconic bridge, spanning the Thiou Canal as it flows into Lake Annecy, is a favorite spot for couples and friends to capture stunning photos against the backdrop of the lake and mountains. Historically, it had a different romantic significance.

Intersting Fact: The Pont des Amours is said to be a magical spot where if lovers kiss, they will stay together forever.

Gardens of Europe

Adjacent to the Thiou Canal's merge into the lake, this verdant park is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. It's perfect for picnics, hiking, biking, or boat rentals.

Wandering through this tranquil park, you'll encounter various statues of historical figures like Napoleon III and curiosities such as a sundial.

Outside of town

Cascade d’Angon (Hike and Waterfall)

Annecy d'Angon waterfall by Mathias CombelleAbout 30 minutes from Annecy, this scenic hike leads to the d’Angon waterfall. The trail offers stunning views of Lake Annecy and a castle on a small island.

The hike ranges from easy to moderate, featuring wooden bridges crossing several streams. The path behind the waterfall provides a unique perspective.

Roc de Chère National Nature Reserve

Annecy - Roc de Chère - by Semnoz - WikipediaThis nature reserve is an ideal spot for a day of hiking or picnicking. It offers trails of varying difficulties, some steep and slippery, so caution is advised.

The trails are mostly shaded, with numerous viewpoints and a spectacular view of the lake from the summit.