Yvoire, a beautiful medieval village, but its neighbour Nernier is the forgotten pearl

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Having watched families galavanting on our favourite municipal lake in Passey, spurred on by our experience of SUP in Annecy earlier in the week, we promised the kids we’d buy them an inflatable canoe.  With it being a little late in the summer season the Decathlon in Salanches was bereft of them so we needed to head to a place with a larger water mass; Annemasse, on the shores of Lake Geneva.

Located on the south of the lake, within the French part of the shore near Thonon Le Bain , the journey was around an hour from Chamonix following the E25 down the valley through Bonneville. Annemasse itself had little to write home about, but it was close to the lake.  So we headed to a little medieval town I’d read about, 35 minutes away, Yvoire.   It was reported to be one of the most romantic small towns (population ca. 800) in France, 700 years old, packed with flowers and beautiful old buildings, such as the one below.

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Give its description as ‘romantic’ and we had the kids in tow, we didn’t rush straight there.  Instead, we followed signs to a place called Nernier, 2km from Yvoire, the hidden pearl of the lake. Nernier is such the poor relative of Yvoire, other than the restaurant shown below, there is very little you can find about Nerier written in English, which means the place is lovely and peaceful.

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So we were able to park the car for free and walk the 5 minutes to the small harbour and launch our new kayak for it’s maiden voyage. Marvellous.

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The lazy afternoon enabled me to wander around the village practically undisturbed, snapping way to my hearts content.

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Without bumping into hardly anyone, wandering past artists’ residences, with the cobbled streets to myself.

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Boating over, we continued on the last 2km to Yvoire our final destination.  It was also the final destination for many hundreds of other people, as you can see below, we certainly weren’t on our own.

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However, busy places are popular for a reason, as there was no doubt it was a pictersque medieval village with many beautiful views including the famous Yvoire castle. The large number of restaurants, cafés, boutiques, art galleries, studios, and souvenir shops were certainly buzzing and a testament to its appeal.

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We were glad we’d seen the award winning town, but for us, its small, peaceful neighbour, with its empty seats was the real find.

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