Photo by: Cedric SF
Annecy in the Haute-Savoie region of the French Alps is often called “the Little Venice of France”, and “Venice of the Alps”, because of its canals. You cannot go far in Annecy without being near to water because the Thioux River that flows out of Lake Annecy becomes divided into canals as it runs through the town.
Palais de L’isle
In fact, one of Annecy’s landmarks and attractions is situated right in the middle of the Canal du Thioux in the heart of the town. The turreted and historic building known as the Palais de L’isle stands on a triangular islet in this waterway of the Little Venice of the Alps.
Photo by: Yves Merckx
Dating back to the 12th century, the Palais de l’isle has been a place of residence for local nobility, a courthouse, a prison and a mint. Today it houses a museum displaying exhibits to do with the architecture and history of the area.
Lake Annecy is a major attraction of Annecy because besides the beauty of its clear and turquoise waters, it is where very many water sports can be enjoyed.
Boating, sailing, kayaking, swimming, diving, fishing and waterskiing are some of the activities on offer at Lake Annecy. Divers can enjoy snorkeling or scuba diving and there is even a shipwreck known as “Le France” that it is possible to dive down to. There are also underwater archaeological sites dating back to the Neolithic period.
Photo by: Rubén GoBo
Lake Annecy Beaches
Lake Annecy has beaches too and they provide an easy way for holiday-makers and residents to get access to the waters of the lake, perhaps to go swimming or just for a paddle. The beaches have snack bars and other facilities, as well as lifeguards in attendance. Many people simply enjoy sunbathing and relaxing on the shores of Lake Annecy.
Photo by: Jean Balczesak
Learn French in Annecy
And if you want to learn French where better could there be than in a town in France? Annecy has its own French language school and after studying at classes there you can practice speaking to the locals.
Photo by: Ifalpes.com
Cycling in Annecy
Cycling is a very popular activity in Annecy too and there are cycling routes around the lake and into the surrounding countryside. Annecy has been described as a “Cyclist’s Paradise.” Rollerblading is another sport that can be enjoyed here.
Photo by: will_cyclist
Other attractions of Annecy
Annecy, the Venice of the Alps, has many more attractions that make it such a popular tourist destination, and there is a good selection of hotels in the area when it comes to accommodation to choose from.
The cobble-stoned streets, the canals, bridges, historic buildings, museums, cafes and bars, of this charming town in the picturesque mountains of the Alps, all ensure that Annecy is a hit with its many visitors.