10 reasons not to miss the Annecy Christmas market

 

There is nothing quite like a traditional Christmas market to get you in the festive spirit and the Annecy Christmas market brings good cheer and shining lights in abundance. Just walk through the old town and take in the smell of toasted almonds, enjoy a glass of vin chaud, shop for handmade gifts and try a spot of ice skating.

 

At OVO Network we love the Annecy Christmas market. Here are a few reason why…

 

The Annecy Christmas Market

 

A tree decoration at the Annecy Christmas Market

 

The main Christmas market consists of 80 quaint chalets where artisans sell their wares. Everything from festive delicacies to handmade clothing and local savoyard dishes can be found here.

 

The Village des Alpes

 

 

The village des Alpes is the place to be in Annecy this festive season. Food and drink chalets fill the village in front of the Courier shopping centre, making it a great place to grab some roasted chestnuts, a hot chocolate or even tartiflette. There are also craft beers and cider bars as well as live music and open fireplaces!

 

At the heart of the festivities you’ll find a fully decorated 12m Christmas tree!

 

See where to find both markets in this handy map:

 

A map of the two markets at the Annecy Christmas Market

 

City hall in lights

 

It’s worth sticking around until dark for a number of reasons, one of which is the mesmerising light show projected on to the city hall. The whole facade of the building is transformed into entertaining 12-minute animations, often depicting fun festive scenes. The show is completely free to watch and is a real highlight of the whole event.

 

This year’s timings are yet to be announced, however last year there were showings every 20 minutes.

 

Lose yourself for a few minutes with the video of the 2015/16 show below.

 

 

Open air ice skating

 

Ic skating Annecy Christmas Market

 

Take a turn on the traditional style open air ice rinks by the Village des Alpes. This year there are two rinks; one small 30m2 rink dedicated to toddlers to make a safe place for them to take their first tentative turns on the ice, and a large 430m2 rink for older kids and adults.

 

There are going to be two well placed chalets near the rink, offering hot and cold non-alcoholic drinks, festive sweets, pancakes, waffles, churros and more …. Nobody said that you had to be cold and hungry while watching your kids on the ice!

 

Vin chaud and hot chocolate…

 

Vin Chaud Annecy Christmas Market

 

It can be chilly out and about at the markets. The perfect way to warm up is to find one of the many stalls offering vin chaud (mulled wine), mulled cider and hot chocolates.

 

Visit Santa

 

Santa at the Annecy Christmas Market

 

A perfect festive memory for kids to take home with them is a picture with Santa Claus himself! Find him in his grotto for an unforgettable Christmas experience for your little ones.

 

Christmas shopping

 

Annecy Christmas Market

 

With over 2,500 gift ideas available for purchase across the 80 chalets you’ll have no problem finding a (maybe last minute) Christmas gift for your loved ones. Scented candles, handcrafted toys and jewellery, luxury knitwear… it’s all there!

 

Live music

 

 

250 hours of music with bands and djs over the course of the festive period. The vast majority of the concerts are found at the Village des Alpes.

 

Street performances

 

Face painting Annecy

 

Throughout the market area you will find many free activities for children and adults alike. Festive story tellings, children’s workshops, face painting, concerts and choirs are just some of the things you can expect to find, and it’s all for free! The program of all of the ‘animations’ will be posted on the market website soon, so watch this space. Please bear in mind that the market website only exists in French.

 

Gastronomy

 

Fondue Annecy Christmas Market

 

One of the joys of Christmas markets the world over is being able to experience the local cuisine. The Annecy Christmas market is peppered with chalets and stalls offering Savoyarde dishes such as tartiflette and diots, making hearty, on-the-go lunches or early dinners. And for those with a sweet tooth, every corner holds a crêpes stand and waffles, churros, toffee apples and more are never far away…

 

The Annecy Christmas Market is in town from 23 November 2018 until the 6 January 2019. If you haven’t already found accommodation visit OVO Network to explore our range of luxury properties in Annecy and the surrounding area.

 

Foire de la Saint André

 

Foire de la Saint André

 

Another event worth visiting during the festive season is the ‘Foire de la Saint André’, an annual market which has taken place in Annecy since the middle ages. The market now takes place on the first Tuesday of December and is one of the biggest events on the Annecy calendar.

 

Giant Tartiflette at the Foire de la Saint André

 

Stall holders from all over France make up nearly 5.5km of stands, which line the streets of Annecy selling everything under the sun. Thousands of visitors descend on Annecy for the day, so if you’re driving plan to park away from the town center and walk in.

 

Beyond Annecy

 

Pestacles - Gilles Piel

Photo credit: Gilles Piel – La Clusaz Tourism Office

 

For a smaller Christmas market experience try Thônes, and the ski resorts of La Clusaz, Le Grand Bornand and Manigod, all of which put on their own festive markets. In Thônes the town centre is transformed with small chalets selling handmade gifts, toys, food and more, creating a wonderful atmosphere. In the ski resorts you’ll find the traditional markets are given a festive twist, with twinkling lights, decorations and gifts, making for a magical experience away from the slopes.

 

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Written by... Andrew

Andrew

Hi, I'm Andrew and I am the Social Media Manager at OVO Network. I live in La Clusaz and love everything about life in the mountains. My favourite things to do are skiing, mountain biking and chilling by Lake Annecy with my little family! - andrew.goodman@ovonetwork.com