The city of Annecy, the "Venice of the Alps", is located between a turquoise blue lake and majestic mountains, in the heart of the Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. With its feet in the water, Annecy borders the lake - one of the purest in Europe - and is criss-crossed by numerous canals. An ideal destination in spring and summer for nature lovers, water and mountain activities, but also for good food and festivities. The team at Camping Europa in Annecy tells you all about it.
1 - Lake Annecy: a heavenly lagoon
With its 35 km perimeter, Lake Annecy is the second largest lake of glacial origin in France after the Bourget lake. Its pure water of an extraordinary colour - it has nothing to be ashamed of as the turquoise lagoons of the West Indies or Thailand - reaches an average of 24 degrees in summer. It is possible to take a one-hour cruise on the lake from the town of Annecy, and we absolutely recommend cycling around the lake via the green route (tip #6).
2 - The mountains: breathtaking scenery
Annecy is also and above all its majestic mountains which surround the lake, the Tournette in the lead as it is the highest peak nearby, but also the Parmelan, the Veyrier or the Dents de Lanfon. A little further on, you have access to the Massif des Bauges and the Aravis mountain range. A must-see is the sunset at the top of the Semnoz, a 30-minute drive from Camping Europa.
3 -The surrounding countryside: nature in its purest form
Between rivers, nature reserves of Bout du Lac or Roc de Cher, Angon waterfall or Gorges du Fier... You just have to drive 15 or 20 minutes around Annecy to find yourself in the middle of nature, in settings worthy of adventure films. A perfect programme to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city for a day.
4 - The old town: the Venice of the Alps
Crossed on all sides by canals, the main one being the Thiou, Annecy's old town is largely pedestrianised and is full of alleys with multicoloured facades, medieval arcades, shops, ice cream parlours and restaurants of all kinds. And for a panoramic view of the lake and the roofs of the old town, visit the Château d'Annecy.
5 - Gastronomy: delicious local products
Did you know that? Today, the Savoie region has the most starred restaurants after Paris! But you don't have to sit down with a top chef to enjoy the region's gastronomic delights. Cheeses, wines, lake fish and charcuterie: the gastronomy of the Alps is authentic and will delight your taste buds.
6 - Cycling around the lake (towel in the backpack)
Don't forget to put on your swimming costume if you are going to cycle around the lake! Its 35 km of greenway can be discovered in 3 hours at a leisurely pace, more if you take advantage of the beaches along the way. From the Camping Europa, you can choose to go in one direction or the other. Either way, you'll be pedalling in a sublime landscape, with La Tournette and its neighbouring mountains in the background.
7 - Mountain sports: on land or in the sky
Hiking, road biking, mountain biking, trail riding, climbing, rollerblading, paragliding... Annecy is THE playground for mountain sports in spring and summer. And it's even more enjoyable when you take a dip in the lake after an active day in the sun!
8 - Water sports: like a fish in water
Annecy is also the destination for sailing, paddle, wakeboarding, windsurfing, diving, kayaking, canoeing, water skiing and even kitesurfing when the wind is right! If you are looking for a thrill, canyoning is an original activity halfway between water sports and classic hiking.
9 - Culture: castles, theatre and history
In Annecy, it is also possible to plunge into the history of the Savoy through the visit of the castle which dominates the city and the lake, the basilica of the Visitation, the Palais de l'Isle or the old prisons. Further on, discover the castle of Menthon Saint-Bernard and its exceptional panorama over the lake.
10 - Festivities: the Lake Festival and the Animation Festival
Among the key events in Annecy, there are two main ones in spring and summer: the town hosts the International Animation Film Festival every year in June, a not-to-be-missed event for amateurs and professionals of cartoons and other disciplines. In July, the Fête du Lac takes place every year on the first Saturday of August, a fireworks show combining fireworks, water jets, light projections and a musical band.
Want to know more about Annecy and its treasures? Contact us directly, the team at Camping Europa Annecy will be happy to answer your questions.