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Annecy France Annecy

Annecy France French Holidays hotels

Annecy is the Haute Savoie regional capital and is a beautiful, if overly touristy, town on the edge of the Lac d'Annecy in the Alps. Beware that in July and August the town is packed with tourist traffic, so it is better to visit Annecy either earlier in the summer or in the autumn, when it is calmer and equally as pretty.

Situated as it is on the northern tip of the turquoise Lac d'Annecy, the town makes a good base for anyone up for watersports, or activities such as hiking, cycling, and gliding. During the 16th century nearby Geneva succumbed to the Restoration and the Catholic bishop fled to Annecy with his intellectual, ecclesiastical, and rich followers. Hence Annecy has a legacy of architecture dating from this period.



The area of town below the castle is the most picturesque, with narrow alleyways, passages and pretty houses decked out with geraniums and petunias, the main road being the rue Ste Claire. Every other shop sells souvenirs, however, and there are lots of tourist trap cafés and restaurants about the place, revealing the town's tourist underbelly. The chateau itself was home to the Comtes de Genevois and the Ducs de Nemours and was built on the site of an 11th century fort, although the Nemours built a more comfortable residence in the 16th century. The Musée du Chateau costs €4.60 to get in and has a collection of artefacts from the Bronze Age and some local art and an aquarium. The Palais de L'île (€3.10) on an island in the Canal du Thiou is a 12th century fort, which has tried its hand at being a prison, a palace and a court in its time, and is now the Musée de l'Histoire d'Annecy. Better to look at it than go into it though, as the collection is rather dry.

Annecy airport information nightlife the rue Ste Claire has everything from bars to quieter coffee shops.