You can’t beat that sitting on the waterfront feeling when the weather is warm and balmy. Accompany that with historic old buildings, a proliferation of restaurants, municipal outdoor swimming pools and boat rides and you have a great day out. So I suppose that is why many of our guests head to Annecy during their stay.
It takes about an hour to drive there from Chamonix, all on major, well sign posted routes.
You can also take the longer route over Megeve, park and cycle into the old town using the fantastic cycle paths that now take you just about from Alberville to Annecy following an old railway, so it’s nice and flat. The path begins at Ugine which is about 20k out of Annecy.
Its been a few years since we visited the old town, but from what I can remember and have read, walking around the town you have a range of cultural buildings you can explore such as the Palaise de l’ile, which looks beautiful sat on the side of the canals within the old town, but not particularly exciting inside.
You also have Château d’Annecy which has spectacular views of the town and lake. It has a small entrance charge and then you are pretty free to wander around the 12th century building and its newer additions viewing the eclectic mix of modern and traditional art, alpine furniture and local artifacts.
Although I can not claim to say we have been I read an interesting post on Trip Advisor regarding Annecy that I thought is worth highlighting given it was written by a family. The Conservatoire de Art et Histoire
(a former seminary building up the hill to the left from the chateau) has an exposition which is a gem for anyone who perhaps has had their fill of castles, traditional tourist stuff and “art”, but is interested in film and animation in particular, and likes interacting with what they are seeing. The writer visited it on a damp day in Annecy with his two young kids (7 and 11), who loved it so much they had to return the next day – which wasn’t a problem as it is free. The exposition is organized a bit haphazardly but takes you through early cinema and animation to modern animation artists and chances to play with old stroboscopes and other moving picture machines, as well as very modern flip books and films. Many of the films and almost all the explanatory notes are in English and French, and there is a distinctly international flavour to the exhibits reflecting the international animation festival held in Annecy each year. We are not talking Disney here, but generally independent animators. There are a wide variety of films included in the exposition and via a computer installed near the entry – graduate films, shorts etc. are shown.
So it was with the desire to muck about with animations our kids decided that they’d like to go to Annecy for the day. Dad of course, had different ideas given the forecast was so nice; “I’m not being cooped up in some old smelly building on a nice day, etc. etc.”. So Mum came to the rescue and suggested we try the latest craze of Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP), given there wasn’t a piece of white water in sight.
Phew, relief, something the whole family wanted to do :-). In fact we enjoyed mucking about on the water so much we actually didn’t get as far as visiting the old town, or any of the museums, so I’m afraid I still don’t have photos of that bit to show you.
But I do have some photos of SUP 🙂
NCP SUP (about 20 min cycle from the old town, almost next door to a public beach)
166 Chemin de Vers Rives
They have a sister company on Lac Leman at Evian too, so we may well be heading there in the near future as well. Incidentally we only had about 5 mins tuition before we set off as it was very straightforward, you just need a good sense of balance and an awareness of how to approach wake waves head on.