The final stop on my family’s trip through France before returning to Paris was Annecy, a beautiful little city in the southeastern French Alps. This is an adorable city featuring pastel buildings, canals, and stunning views of the nearby lake and snow capped mountains. This town is situated just an hour away from Chamonix, a stunning mountain town with all sorts of exciting attractions and sites, like the Mer de Glace glacier and Mont Blanc. For more about this perfect day trip destination, check out this blog post. Geneva, Switzerland is another great option if you want to take a day trip from Annecy, as it is only about 45 minutes away by car. While staying in Annecy, we spent an afternoon walking around Geneva, window shopping and hanging out by Lake Geneva.
When we weren’t day-tripping around the French and Swiss Alps, my family and I spent time enjoying Annecy’s food, shopping, and activities. Our hotel was located in the old part of town right across from the lake, so we loved walking along the marina and enjoying the beautiful views of pristine water and alpine mountains. There are so many boat rental options for a variety of price points, so we decided to spend one sunny afternoon riding around the lake. I recommend doing the same if you’re visiting Annecy when its warm because this is a great way to see the city from another perspective and relax. After riding around for a while, we returned to the dock and went to grab a drink at one of the nearby cafes with outdoor seating before dinner. One night we decided to go classically Swiss and had raclette for dinner- melty cheese wheel and all! If you’ve never heard of this cheese, you’re in for a fun (and smelly) surprise! You’re given a choice of different meat or veggie bases, and the waiter brings part of a wheel of cheese and a heater that makes the surface of the cheese super warm and melty so you can scoop it right off onto your plate! This was really neat and very tasty if you’re a hardcore cheese lover, but beware: you will walk out of the restaurant smelling like very stinky cheese.
Annecy is a really great city to explore by foot. My family and I spent most of our time here wandering through the Vielle Ville (old city), stopping into cafes and shopping at the local stores. I really loved the canals that cross through the city and the quaint old buildings. Whether you’re nearby and looking for a day trip or want to spend a weekend in the French Alps, I highly recommend visiting Annecy.