Nestled in the French Alps, Annecy is a picturesque alpine town in southeastern France. The town is best known for its cobblestone streets, pastel-colored houses, and crystal-clear lake that connects to the Thiou River. When I visited, I took a FlixBus from Geneva, Switzerland on Friday and stayed in a hostel until Sunday. Located on Loverchy Avenue, Annecy Hostel is budget-friendly and only a 4-minute walk from the Promenade du Saint-Sépulcre and a 12 minute walk from Cathédrale Saint-Pierre. If you want to read more of my travel articles in France, check out the Top 16 Sites to Visit in Paris, France and Trip to Paris, France: Visiting the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and Arc du Triomphe.
In the photo above, I’m standing on Pont des Amours, a scenic footbridge by the waterfront of Lake Annecy. Pont des Amours connects Le Pâquier and Jardins de l’Europe. While Le Pâquier has an amazing view of the lake, Jardins de l’Europe is a lakeside park with that is popular for picnics.
Located less than a mile from Le Pâquier, Plage de l’Impérial is a lakeside beach with an entrance fee of 2.5€. I highly recommend visiting this beach as it’s close in proximity to Annecy’s town center. Plage Des Marquisats is also a great choice that is also less than a mile from Le Pâquier on the west side of Lake Annecy. While Plage d’Albigny is also a popular swim spot on the lake, it is located over a mile from Vielle Vielle.
By far, the highlight of Annecy, France is Lake Annecy. One of my favorite activities was renting a paddle boat to use out on the lake. The paddle boat trip cost 12€ for half and hour. If you’d rather rent a motor boat, the trip is priced at 30€ for half an hour.
Annecy’s old town, Vieille Ville, is filled with colorful multi-story houses and shops. If you venture up a winding road to the Château d’Annecy, an 12th-century castle that has been transformed into a natural history museum, you can catch a gorgeous panoramic view of the city. A few other notable landmarks in Annecy are Le Palais de I’lle and Mairie d’Annecy.
Vielle Vielle also has a variety of cafés, restaurants, and shops to browse through. A few moderately-priced restaurants to try include Tete de Cochon, Piazza Giovanni, and Les Pas Sage. On the more pricey side, L’Etagere, Cozna, and Le Semper Fi are top-rated in the area.
If you’re craving a sandwich or coffee, stop by Rue du Pâquier for a quick bite to eat. The street is filled with boutique shops, casual street-side restaurants, and simple pastry and coffee shops.
If you ever are visiting Lyon or Geneva, take a drive or bus down to Annecy for a day or two. Annecy is only a one-hour drive from Geneva and a two-hour drive from Lyon. The “Venice of the Alps” has its name for a reason – Annecy is one of the most photogenic towns in France.
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