At the foot of the Alps, there’s a precious gem flickering in the sun. It’s a lake famous for the purity of water, located near the town taken straight from the postcards. Stone pots ale filled with flowering sage, while black balustrades are relished with pink geranium. Annecy is colorful and full of joy and in the summer resounds with music and bustle.
Some lakes are known for their impressive size, other - for depth or a large population of rare species living there. French Lake Annecy owes its fame to something else - to the incredible purity of water. It’s considered to be one of the cleanest water reservoirs in Europe.
Pearl of the Alps
Lake Annecy is surrounded on three sides by mountains, thanks to which many people define it as "the pearl of the Alps". Since years, this place has been attracting lovers of water sports. The region is popular among mountain climbers, hikers and in recent years also paragliding enthusiasts. You can soar above the lake along with the instructor, while those, who prefer a direct contact with nature, can take a walk around the reservoir or cycle it by bike.
The lake is breathtakingly beautiful, but it’s not the only thing that attracts the attention of tourists. When coming here on vacation, it’s worth spending at least a few hours to explore the nice town of the same name. It’s particularly tempting in the summer, because of the numerous outdoor events. Soon, because on the first Saturday of August, is held Fête du Lac, the famous festival, during which people can admire Europe's largest pyrotechnic show. The main attraction is 70-minute fireworks, lights and special effects display, and all of this in the rhythm of music. The festival attracts hordes of tourists - this year the organizers expect 200 000 guests.
Annecy - a treasure of Savoy
Annecy is a historic town with a picturesque old part, a maze of canals and narrow streets. Despite its small size, it’s totally self-sufficient – here we’ll find, among others, a restaurant, shop, bakery, bank, pharmacy and pizzeria. Tourists wander between the Renaissance houses eagerly, admiring slender gothic towers.
The oldest monument in the city is the castle located on the hill, which now houses three museums. It’s worth noting that besides those in the castle we can find seven other museums, including Children's Museum of Art and Toys, a nice attraction not only for kids. Equally interesting is also Museum of Bells, situated in a former foundry. There was created, among others, the bell "Savoyard" with a weight of 19 tons. Nowadays it can be admired in the Basilica of Sacre Coeur in Paris, on the hill of Mont-Martre.
The historic district extends over the channels of the river Thiou, which later falls into Lake Annecy. Narrow streets of the old part of the city lead to a picturesque harbor. Along the shores of the lake stretches a large public park, also known as the Garden of Europe. Savoy authorities had set up an extensive arboretum, where were planted East Asian specimens of Ginkgo biloba and American giant redwoods. It's a beautiful place simply made for relaxation.
In turn, the old part of Annecy can barely be called quiet, especially during market days, which fall on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Then the streets and squares fill up with customers, while farmers flock from all over the region. Among the goods sold on the market, you can find original Savoyard cheeses.
Overnight at Lake Annecy
People interested in finding a campsite as close to Annecy as possible, can stay at Camping International du Lac Bleu. It’s open from 5th April to 21st September 2014. It’s located about 2 km from the city, right on the lake. The place for motorhome and accommodation for two people costs 18,5-43 euros, depending on the season. The campsite has a swimming pool, but guests can also enjoy a sandy beach.
If you choose the lake for your holiday destination, you can be sure you won’t get bored even for a minute. Already in the nineteenth century Annecy received the award from the Minister of Commerce, Arts and Tourism in the field of organization of free time. Just come here in the summer, to see that it gained the title deservedly.