Visiting Annecy The Venice Of The Alps


In this series of my city reviews of the summer, I want to introduce you to a city I know well, Annecy, France.

Annecy is a beautiful city about an hour and half east of Lyon which is surrounded by mountains and bordered by a beautiful and famous lake, called the “lac d’Annecy” Annecy’s lake.

I have been to Annecy many times by road and by air.  My brother has a friend who is a pilot and owns a small 4 passenger plan, and sometimes on Sundays afternoon, we would hop in that small flying object and fly to Annecy.  Sometimes we would land and sometimes we would just fly above the lake and surrounding mountains, and get back home to Lyon.

The one an half road became by car became a 20 minute flight and that was really cool!

Enjoying the Beautiful City

Each time I went to Annecy was either to take a deep in the lake where swimming is allowed or hike in the surrounding mountains. The last time I went to Annecy was to actually revisit the city like a tourist as I was coming back “visiting” while already living in the US.

Back in the days, though, my bother an I would just pick one of those small to medium mountains and plan a day of hiking.  We would go up in the morning and come back down in the afternoon with a short picnic at the top.  It was usually a two and a half to three hours going up and one and half to two hours coming down.  Once we got back at the bottom we would jump in the lake.

My brother and I have always been outdoor people and we just loved those trips to Annecy.

Where is Annecy in France?

Annecy is located in the Rhone Alpes Region in the Haute Savoie department. The city has been nicknamed “the Venice of the Alps” due to the three rivers that runs through it in the older part of the city.  The city was built on and around those rivers.

Annecy is caught between the lake, bearing her name, on one side and the mountains on the other.  As a matter of fact, because of such geographic location the city”s traffic is pretty congestioned especially during summer time.

The Lake

Annecy’s lake (le lac d’Annecy) is very popular and the second largest lake of the country of France after the lake Bourget (lac du Brouget).

Annecy’s lake is 14 kilometers long (8 miles) and 40 kilometers around (24 miles).  Around the lake you will find a lot of people riding bicycles and jogging.  Swimming and boating is allowed on the lake and you can also sun bathe on the sandy beach.

According to geologists the lake was formed some 18,000 years ago from glaciers of the Alps mountains.

There are seven small to medium rivers which finish their course in the lake, and the excess waters of Annecy’s lake end up in the Large Rhône river which runs from Switzerland to the south of France before ending its course into the Mediterranean sea.

The Rhône river runs through the department of the same name which capital is Lyon.

What to do in Annecy

Hangliding above Annecy’s Lake

You can swim, row or sail on the lake.  The lake is clean and safe for water activities.  You can run or bicycle around the lake. You can hike in the mountains around the city which are also safe without the threat of potential dangerous animals.  If you like adventurous sensations you can also hangliding above the lake.

If you are more of an urban person you can shop in the many boutiques in the old part of the city which are lining the narrow stone-paved streets.  If you like malls, there is also one of those in the newer part of Annecy.

Summer and Fall Events in Annecy


International Animation Movie Festival


Les Noctibules – Celebrations by night with outdoor movies in the old part of the city.  On July 14, national holiday in France, fireworks by the lake.


La Fete du Lac – The lake feats with musical shows.  The lake crossing, swimming competition and the city of Annecy festival with music and carnival in the streets of the city.


Festival of the Italian film, festival of the amateur theater, and the cyclist grand prize.


Le Retour des Alpages – Celebrating the lowering of the cattle from the mountains to the plain.

I hope you enjoyed the visit of Annecy.  If you enjoyed those posts let me know in the comment area, and take a look at Cannes, France, my last week’s review if you haven’t yet.

Enjoy 3 Minutes of Beauty!

22 thoughts on “Visiting Annecy The Venice Of The Alps”

  1. Hi Sylviane,

    wonderful post about a city I’ve never been to so far, unfortunately. You truly instilled the desire in me to go there next time we cross the French alps. Friday has become a day I look forward to, for several reasons. One reasons is your Friday post about France, I love them all.

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

    Have a great weekend ahead and take care


    1. Hi Oliver,

      Thanks you so much for the compliment. Makes me feel good. Hope I won’t disappoint you. I suggest that you go to Annecy one of these days, especially in the summer. I am sure you will love it.

      By the way, if you want to write about a city or town of Germany (or a place you know in France), this blog is open for guest posts 😉

      Thank you for coming, Oliver and have a great week end.

    1. Hello Jupiter Jim!

      Nice to see you here. Yes, Annecy is a beautiful place with both tons of things to do, but at the same time a lot of quiet if that’s what you are looking for. I love quiet places as far as I am concerned.

      Thanks for your visit 🙂

  2. What a gorgeous and charming little town in the alps! I have always dreamed of going somewhere like that. Do you have any good recommendations on where to book hotels/B&B’s for that areas? Thanks for the great insight on Annecy!

    1. Hello there,

      Thanks for visiting and glad you liked it.

      To answer your question, I would check the Hotel le Flamboyant, Hotel des Alpes and Alexandra Hotel. With a Google search you may even find more, but those are good hotels at reasonable prices in Annecy.

  3. Beautiful as usual! This sounds like an outdoor-lovers dream. What’s better than a gorgeous summer day of hiking and swimming? it also sounds like fun with a lot of cultural events going on, with movies and music and… cattle??? Never heard of that one but it sounds like something I’d have to see! Thanks for bringing a little bit of travel inspiration into my day!
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    1. Hi Carol,

      Yes, I don’t think there ever were much shepherds in the US, but in Europe of old there were a lot of them in just about any rural regions, so the traditions related to cattle with mostly sheep or goats are sticking in some parts, even though there is not nearly as many shepherds anymore.

      Thank for coming, Carol and glad you enjoyed.

  4. Hi Sylviane,

    Ah, so very beautiful! While I’ve never quite made it to Annecy I’ve been close to there, in Cluses, Megeve and Chamonix. It is truly a breath-taking region of the French Alps and on my bucket list to visit again someday.

    Thanks for giving me a taste of it!

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    1. Hi Ilka,

      It seems that you’ve been to a lot of placed in France. Megeve and Chamonix are very popular regions especially for skiing and beautiful, of course.

      Thank you for visiting, Ilka 🙂

  5. Hi Kyle,

    Thank for coming and welcome here 🙂

    I think that if you ever visit the Rhone Alpes region you should definitely visit Annecy. It’s lovely and lots to do. And of course beautiful views and landscapes.

  6. Dear Sylviane,

    What a stunningly beautiful post about a stunningly beautiful place! You sure have piqued my interest in this lovely French city.

    Les Noctibules and La Fete du Lac sound like such wonderful ways to mix with the locals in a fun setting while enjoying the beauty of the surrounding areas. I will have to add this itinerary to my future travel plans! 🙂

    I’m very much enjoying your posts and am looking forward to learning more about the French culture and points of interest from you!


    1. Hi Cat,

      I’m glad you came here!

      Yes it seems that lots of my readers love this town and want to go there.

      Well, the goal of this blog is to introduce English speaking folks to France and travel and food related items. This blog was dormant for the longest time due to my own lethargy, but now it’s really picking up!

      Thanks or your visit, Cat and I glad you liked it!

  7. Every time I come to your blog I have the deep desire to pack my bag and travel somewhere. I really love the pictures that you have added, can’t wait to be able to go see France in the way you have been able to.

  8. Hi Sylvianne

    Oh how beautiful you have certainly made me what to go there. I have been to Lyon but not here. It is only my second time to this blog and I really do love it.
    Thank you for sharing this beauty with us.


  9. Wow Sylviane, what a stunningly beautiful place! I already knew that France was a place I wanted to visit but you’re introducing me to so many beautiful places. How do you ever chose.

    I actually love the water ways, I think that is just so cool. I’ve never visited anyplace like that before but sure do hope to one day. Seems like there is so much to do there too.

    I appreciate you sharing these great finds with us Sylviane. Sure does help that you’re from France and know of all the cool places to visit too. We have one up on everyone else, you’re our little home girl.

    Thanks Sylviane and have a wonderful week.

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  10. Keep them coming Sylviane.

    It’s like having my own personal tour guide. I love how you talk about places that people don’t normally get a chance to learn about. Everyone knows about paris, Lyon, Nice, Cannes but you share the hiddent parts that outsiders don’t often get a chance to see or know about..

    Thanks Sylviane. We’re trying to stay cool and actually going to Berlin for a month in August before we head back to the south when school starts for the kids. 🙂
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    1. Hi Annie,

      Always a pleasure to see you here thinking that you are actually in France. Good for you guys, going to Berlin. I’ve never been there but I would love to.

      Gosh I’ve been so busy, I’ve meant to go to your blog since Monday and didn’t. I am going now! 🙂

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