Annecy is one of France’s most beautiful cities, set on the shores of Lake Annecy. Reported to be the cleanest lake in Europe – it is known as the ‘Venice of the Alps’. Although primarily popular in the summer months, there are some great things to do in winter too.
Read on to check out our top 5 winter activities in Annecy…
1. Stroll through the Old Town
Wander through the old town of Annecy and you’ll be lost in history, with exquisite buildings and charming waterways everywhere you look. From the 12th century, the Palais de l’Isle was the residence of the lords of Annecy. Set on an island in the old town, the Palais became a prison and today it is a museum and houses the Centre for Interpretation of Architecture and Heritage.
The Chateau d’Annecy was constructed over four centuries (from the 12th to 16th centuries) and the counts of Geneva resided there from the 13th century. Also worth a visit is the Visitation Basilica, founded by Francois de Sales and Jeanne de Chantal in 1610, and the Old Town Hall with its 18th-century facade and exquisite wrought-iron work. With much of the old town now pedestrianised, Annecy is a delight to explore.
Though it might not be the first thing you think of on your winter holiday, a cycle around Annecy old town and Lake Annecy on a sunny winters day is stunning. With beautiful white-capped mountains and quiet roads, it is a magical time to explore the surrounding villages. Find out more about cycling around the lake here.
2. Visit the castle
Discover self-catered properties in Annecy
3. Visit the Market
If you like looking around a market, you’ve come to the right place. There are food markets in the cobbled streets of Annecy old town on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday mornings.
There’s also a monthly antique market, which is great for picking up a bargain or just browsing.
The Christmas Market
Festive lights, ice-skating, concerts, cribs and exhibitions await! The Christmas market in Annecy opposite the Mairie is a good place to pick up local produce and handmade goods and sound and light show projected onto the Mairie. There’s a lovely atmosphere, great hot wine, festive snacks and street food.
Find out more about Annecy at Christmas here
4. Try an Escape Room
On a rainy day, head for one of Annecy’s Escape Rooms. Get yourself locked in a themed room with your friends and family, and puzzle your way out in the allotted time. It’s a great way to spend an hour or two. Prices vary according to the room, which can accommodate up to eight players, and if you want to play in English, make sure to mention this when you book.
5. Go skiing
Annecy is only roughly 45 minutes from La Clusaz, Manigod and Le Grand Bornand, but the lesser-known resorts of Le Semnoz and Sambuy are even closer to Annecy itself, and perfect for beginners. I
f you’re a beginner and want to incorporate skiing into your trip without committing to staying in a ski resort, then Annecy is the perfect place to be. Check out more about beginner’s skiing near Annecy here.
Heading to Annecy this winter?
Check out our stunning range of partner properties in and around Annecy for your next winter getaway…