Annecy Mini Guide
Tell me a Little About Annecy?
Annecy is very close to the border of Geneva
and its history has been linked to that of the Swiss city over the centuries. Originally part of the Kingdom of Savoy, the city has been a Swiss and Italian possession over the centuries, once being part of the Kingdom of Sardinia
. Today it is known as the Venice of Savoie as the city has dozens of canals and streams running through the old town which are linked to Lake Annecy. The old town was built around the chateau, constructed in the 14th century and with its tightly packed medieval buildings and narrow streets, it’s great for exploring.
How do I get to Annecy?
The nearest airport is Geneva International Airport
across the border in Switzerland. The airport is less than thirty minutes away from Annecy and is connected by train, bus or taxi with the city. The airport receives dozens of flights per day from all across Europe and many from UK
airports including all of the London
ones. Low cost flights are available with easyJet who have Geneva as one of their hub airports
What is There to see and do in Annecy?
Annecy is a beautiful city, especially in its old part. There you can spend hours wandering through the narrow cobbled streets, crossing the many canals and enjoying Italian gelato from the stalls that line the old streets. In the middle of the river you’ll find one of the most photographed sights in France, the Palais de L’Isle which was once a palace but then became a prison because of the secure nature of its position. Outside of the city there are great walks in the Alps and in winter, Annecy turns into a top winter sports destination and was a candidate to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. If you're in the town in October, the local farmers bring their cattle down from the high alpine pastures ready for the winter and their safe return is marked with a procession through the street and a big feast for all.
What Should I eat When in Annecy?
Being close to the Italian border, Italian ice cream is a great favourite in the city and there are many gelaterias around the city. The French tradition here is evident in the bakeries with delicious pastries and the local speciality, brioche.
What can I buy as Souvenirs of my Visit?
Annecy’s old town is home to many artisans and the little shops sell all manner of items that make great reminders of your visit. Carved wood, especially of the local fauna is popular as are wall plaques carved in wood of traditional alpine scenes. You are close enough to Switzerland to find a smattering of cuckoo clocks too!
Are There any Local Festivals or Celebrations?
Annecy has many festivals and celebrations throughout the year and all of them are of interest to tourists. In April there’s a spring festival when stalls line the lake and competitions and displays of local culture, singing, theatre and music take place. In July there’s a night time festival, celebrated over four days, that makes good use of the wonderful summer weather and in August, the Lake Festival takes place attended by thousands and included a great fireworks display over the lake.