Holidays to Lake Annecy all about activities in the great outdoors, with a generous side helping of proper French culture.

Water, water everywhere

You’re never far from water in Annecy. Nicked-named ‘Venice of the Alps’, Canals criss-cross the Medieval streets in the centre of town. And if you follow the flow, you’ll get to shoreside parks with front-row views of the lake. Coffee stops and ice-cream shops are ten-a-penny, so you can take it all in while you munch a flaky pastry or a couple scoops of creamy glace.

Days by the lake

The lake’s front and centre in Annecy, serving up a week’s worth of watersports to try. Test you balance on a paddleboard, bob about it in a pedalo or strap on some flippers for a scuba diving session. Back on dry land, you can wheel down the shoreside cycle trail to a neighbouring village. And of course, there’s a line-up of lake beaches where you can just kick back and relax.

Hello history

From turrets to church towers, there’s heaps of history on show in Annecy. The pint-sized Palais de l’Île castle has pride of place in the centre. Cross the bridge opposite to get the best shot of it standing guard in the middle of the canal. And you can’t miss the Annecy Castle's 35-metre high battlements, which boast some of the best lake lookouts around. And then there are the many churches with their stained glass windows and super-sized interiors that’ll have you ogling all day long.

More to explore

Whether it’s by bus or boat, it’s easy to explore the other spots on the lake. First up is Duingt, a little place midway down the western shore. With its traditional stone buildings and turreted waterside chateau, it’s a picture-perfect village with a peaceful vibe. Directly opposite is the hamlet of Talloires – another sleepy spot that’s bound to get your camera finger clicking. And just next door is chic Menthon-Saint-Bernard, with its stylish hotels and impressive lakefront villa.

Out and about

  • Lakeside promenade
  • Lake bathing
  • Boat trips
  • Rowing boat
  • Local ferries
  • Bike hire
  • Lakeside cycle path
  • Sailing
  • Guided mountain walks
  • Wildlife park
  • Waterfalls
  • UNESCO site
  • Guided walking tours
  • Outdoor pool
  • Tennis courts
  • Castle
  • Museum
  • Art gallery
  • Mini golf
  • Segway tours
  • Electric bikes
  • Cycle routes

At a Glance

  • Get snap happy in the medieval centre
  • Nibble your way around the farmers' market
  • Lay back on a lake beach and have a go a watersports