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Charming Annecy in 2 days – things to do on lake Annecy

Charming Annecy in 2 days – things to do on lake Annecy

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During our ten days road trip through France, one of the stops we planned for, was a 48 hours stay by the Lake Annecy. After we stopped in Beaune for one night, we left towards Annecy, a popular village by the French Alps. The city of Annecy is the capital of Haute-Savoie district. It lies on the northern tip of the Lake Annecy, only 22 miles from Geneve in Switzerland. I have heard of Annecy and how charming it was, and I wasn’t disappointed. The landscape was so beautiful with the clear waters of the lake in the foreground and French Alps in the background, no wonder the city is nicknamed “Pearl of French Alps” by French geographers.

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View of the Lake Annecy and the Alps

Coming from the heat of Paris to Lake Annecy’s beautiful “cool” weather was a relief. Lake’s water held +25C and was perfect – it was clear and warm.

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The see-through water of Lake Annecy

Lake Annecy and things to do

There are tons of things to do around Lake Annecy, and we planned for at least one hike while staying here. We also found a small plane company which does flights over the lake and the French Alps that we booked for one evening. The first day we drove up to the Le Col de la Forclaz by Talloires just on the other side of the lake, to check out the views. You should check out this viewpoint if you are ever in the area. The view of the lake Annecy from the viewpoint was stunning. Activities in the city of Annecy and around Lac Annecy (French name) are diverse. They are suitable for families with kids, couples, and group of friends.

There are several things to do in Annecy in the summer. You can do physical activities such as cycling, hiking, rafting, climbing or you can visit several chateau and museums. And one of the easiest ways to see a lot in a short time and learn some history is a Segway tour. We tend to do it when we are in a new place for the first time.

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A story about broken dreams, missed hikes, bad weather in a beautiful Annecy France by the French Alps

Or how about Foodie experience with local organic products and wine.

The city of Annecy holds several exhibitions of a different kind during the year. Check out Lac Annecy official tourism site for dates and activities.

But did you know that you can do many winter activities around Lake Annecy? You can go skiing, glacier walking, heliski or ice climbing?

We are very laid back and chill, we love to spend some days by the pool or on the beach, but we also like to explore nature or a city. Since we had the beach at our doorstep at the hotel, we went exploring the landscape.

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View of the Lake Annecy

At the viewpoint, there were two paragliding platforms and many paragliders in the air. Our 12-year-old was bragging about how tough he was who wasn’t afraid to do the paragliding. We are just like the next pair of parents – wanted to teach him a lesson. The next day we drove back, and he had to do it! And I’ll tell you he was tough even thou he was nervous.

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Paragliding over Lake Annecy

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Getting ready for paragliding over the Lake Annecy

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Off over the Lake Annecy

Neither my husband nor I did the paragliding since we were going to fly over the alps later that day. Cause you know – we are ain’t millionaires :)) But, guess what?? As we were waiting for Aleks to land and get back up, we got a phone call from the plane company that canceled our trip due to terrible weather conditions later in the evening 🙁

I have to say that the guys who organized paragliding and instructors were great. They had a GoPro and took a lot of shots and video while flying. The instructor spoke English well, and Aleks could steer the sail. Overall we felt very safe. If you want to try it, look up Airmax Parapente or search them up on tripadvisor.com.

Ok, so back to the planned hikes – I had my tights and my Nikes on and was ready to go, straight after junior came back after his paragliding. We were walking down to meet our son and guess what – my husband’s leg injury kicked in. So here I was in the beautiful French Alps, in lovely weather and was not going to hike, paraglide or on a plane trip over the mountains 🙁

I still had one thing I planned for – explore Annecy, which I heard so many beautiful things. The first evening we had in Annecy it was pouring rain, so I thought “hey, new day tomorrow.” The next evening we went to Annecy it was more than pouring. It was thunder and lighting and traffic jam in and out of the city. So we managed to turn half the way, stop at McDonald’s to get some “food” for Aleks and drove back to the hotel. I don’t do good without food or sleep (that’s the worst case) so luckily for everybody the restaurant at our hotel had an available table for us.

Hotel on Lake Annecy

Our accommodation for the stay was Le Clos Marcel hotel in the village called Duingt, just 10-15 min drive from Annecy. We were very excited about what room and service we would get, as I have heard that I shouldn’t expect too much from hotels when I book through a third-party provider. Well, let me tell you one thing – this was the third time I used Booking.com or Hotels.com, and I couldn’t complain at all. We got a great room and an excellent service – every time!

Le Clos Marcel Hotel

Hotel Le Clos Marcel is located ideally on the banks of Lake Annecy in a little village called Duingt, 15 minutes outside Annecy (by car). It is a 4-star hotel with only 14 rooms. Le Clos Marcel has a private beach on Lake Annecy, a 5-star restaurant, free parking, an outside hot tub, excellent service, and beautiful rooms with gorgeous views! I was so lucky to find and book it – as they had only one room left.

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View of the lake Annecy

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Our room with annex

Our room had a balcony and was located on the second floor. There are seven rooms located on the ground floor with belonging patios and seven rooms on the second floor with belonging balconies. Our room had an annex with a double bed, and another double bed and massive glass doors to the balcony with a beautiful view on the entrance floor. The bathroom was also located on the entrance floor, and it was decorated with dark tiles which gave you a spa feeling. The free amenities in the bathroom were from L’Occitane, which I loved.

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The view

The hotel has a 5-star restaurant with beautiful French cuisine – the prices are accordingly 🙂 At the time of our stay the restaurant had a waiting list on weekends, and I recommend you to book a table even if you are a guest at the hotel.
Hotel Le Clos Marcel is located 10-15 min car drive to Annecy and 20 min to the hiking trails on the other side of the lake.

Hotel’s beachfront, as seen from the lakeside. You can relax on sun beds or have a drink and snack under the trees. The hotel offers complimentary towels for you to use on the beach.

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Hotel’s beachfront as seen from the lakeside

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Lake Annecy by the hotel

The water in Lake Annecy held +25C and was crystal clear.

Nearby the hotel you will find Chateau de Duingt. The Chateau sits beautifully on the edge of the lake and will take you 10-15 min to drive to get there.

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Chateau de Duingt from above – a drone shot

 

FIND YOUR PERFECT ACCOMMODATION HERE

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Hotel Le Clos Marcel

There are many campsites around Lake Annecy. Some have pools, some are right on the beach, and most of them have incredible views of the Lake. If you travel with family or a group of friends you can also rent a mountain hut. But if you want to stay close to the lake, city and the mountains, I suggest you find accommodation either in Annecy or small villages around the Lake.

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A story about broken dreams, missed hikes, bad weather and most beautiful hotel in Annecy France by the French Alps

FIND YOUR PERFECT ACCOMMODATION HERE

Booking.com

Famous French Cuisine – Annecy specialties

French cuisine is known for its elegance, extravagance, quality, and innovation. We have all heard about Bœuf Bourguignon, Coq au vin, Soupe à l’Oignon Gratinée, and Mousse au Chocolat. But every district in France has its specialty. According to Wikipedia, these are the most famous French dishes in this area:

  • Andouillette (a kind of sausage with tripe)
  • Fondue savoyarde (fondue made with cheese and white wine into which cubes of bread are dipped)
  • Gratin dauphinoise (a traditional regional French dish based on potatoes and crème fraîche)
  • Quenelle (flour, butter, eggs, milk, and fish, traditionally pike, mixed and poached)
  • Raclette (the cheese is melted and served with potatoes, ham and often dried beef)
  • Soupe à l’oignon (onion soup based on meat stock, often served gratinéed with cheese on top)
  • Tartiflette (a Savoyard gratin with potatoes, Reblochon cheese, cream, and pork)
  • Gratin de crozets Savoyard (A Savoyard dish with square buckwheat pasta “les crozets de Savoie“, cheese and ham)

There are a few good restaurants in Annecy and villages around the lake, but there are also a few tourist magnets. The restaurant at our hotel – Le Comptoir du Lac – was amazing and although we stayed in the hotel, we had to make reservations for popular evenings since they booked up rather quickly. CHECK THEIR MENU HERE

Annecy has at least one restaurant in Michelin Guide (do not confuse it with a Michelin star) – Restaurant 1er Mets – which gets excellent reviews. CHECK THEIR MENU AND MAKE A RESERVATION HERE

Lake Annecy’s location to the mountains makes it a destination with diverse seasonal activities. The beauty of the Lake is difficult to describe, and you can’t go wrong with French cuisine and wine. This place is the perfect destination for your next long weekend trip. And if you have a drone, this place is ideal for filming and shooting from above.

Now that we were leaving for Lavender Fields on Valensole Plateau I was ready to let go of the missed hikes and a flight over the Alps. But it turned out my hopes were living their own life. You can read the story on our trip to the Lavender Fields here

If you travel with smaller kids check out “Kids love travel,” they have many exciting adventures.

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Hot tub in Hotel Le Clos Marcel in Duingt

 

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French Alps

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The amazing Lake Annecy

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Drone view of Duingt

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The ever beautiful and charming Annecy – I love the guy in the picture 🙂

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We were ready for hiking 🙂

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Travelletters

Hi! We are Lena and Steinar from Norway, a couple with full-time jobs, two teens and a passion for travel. We are not digital nomads obviously!
We love touristy stuff and are not afraid to say it out loud, we mean there is a reason that this stuff is so famous, right? Our getaways consist of long weekends mostly in Europe and include historic sites, food and wine or beer, and of course some off the beaten path corners.
Here you will find resources you need to help you make your planning easier. All recommendation for activities, hotels, and places to eat are based on our own experiences. If we recommend something we didn’t try ourselves it will be clearly marked. Happy travels and enjoy the ride!

32 Comments

  1. March 11, 2018 / 5:03 pm

    These photos are amazing! You were so lucky with the room view – I’d happily sit there all day with a book and a bottle of wine.

    • Travelletters
      Author
      March 22, 2018 / 8:02 am

      I know 🙂 I could do that too in a heart beat – it was absolutely amazing 🙂

  2. March 10, 2018 / 11:33 pm

    There’s still so much of France left to explore for me!! Love your photos!

    • Travelletters
      Author
      March 22, 2018 / 8:21 am

      Absolutely! I will go back for more too 🙂

  3. February 9, 2018 / 1:50 pm

    I honestly never heard of Annecy before reading your post. Your pictures are lovely and the place looks amazing! Always wanted to try paragliding as well. You must have had an amazing view paragliding. I’ve just started to explore the world and I love finding out new places like this so thank you for sharing.

    • Travelletters
      Author
      March 4, 2018 / 12:58 pm

      It is super charming and so diverse when it comes to things to do! I can highly recommend it 🙂

  4. February 9, 2018 / 8:05 am

    You, for sure, had a great time. and WOW, the view from your room definitely looks like a pleasant vacation. I also see how pretty that drone shot is – excellent castle view! Which drone is that?..

    • Travelletters
      Author
      February 9, 2018 / 10:54 am

      I love drone photography – it gives you much more options 🙂 We have a DJI Phantom4 – great camera quality and air stability, but it is a little bit big as you have to bring it in its own bag.

  5. February 9, 2018 / 2:57 am

    Weirdly I’ve never heard about Annecy but this really is a gem of a place! The views from the top are amazing and paragliding will surely be one of those things I’ll probably do!! Sad your plans were spoiled but with a ray if sunshine that you’ll go back for a longer stay now!

    • Travelletters
      Author
      February 9, 2018 / 10:52 am

      Annecy is super beautiful and I would have gone paragliding if it wasn’t for the plane tour we booked that eventually was cancelled 🙂 I would definitely like to go back for some hiking 🙂

  6. February 8, 2018 / 4:08 pm

    Annecy is such a gem! I have been to Mégeve but never Annecy. Would love to go. PS:Your son looks like he had a lovely time!

    • Travelletters
      Author
      February 9, 2018 / 10:47 am

      I haven’t heard of Megeve – is it somewhere in the same area? He was very nervous, but he loved it 🙂

  7. February 8, 2018 / 12:54 pm

    Wow – heartbreakingly beautiful! I am yet to venture into Europe, but with all this reading I am doing I can hardly wait! Great post 🙂

    • Travelletters
      Author
      February 9, 2018 / 10:44 am

      You should definitely come to Europe – it’s so diverse – the landscapes, the historic sites, the architecture, the food and cultures. You will love it 🙂

  8. Rajlakshmi
    February 8, 2018 / 12:37 pm

    I love your positive attitude… Atleat the stunning views made up for the things you missed. The place lookslike a dream. 😀

    • Travelletters
      Author
      February 9, 2018 / 10:43 am

      It was so beautiful there so it’s totally fine. It gives the reason to go back 🙂

  9. February 8, 2018 / 10:26 am

    Annecy was a destination that I was unaware of!
    However, it looks very interesting! I’m so happy I get to read inspiring posts…
    By the way, I’m sorry it didn’t go as planned, but this is what makes adventures different and never boring!
    And it surely is a reason more to go back 😉

    • Travelletters
      Author
      February 9, 2018 / 10:42 am

      Annecy is super beautiful 🙂 I love to plan, but the best experience I have had are those that come unexpected 🙂 I would definitely love to go back and do some hiking 🙂

  10. Anisa
    February 8, 2018 / 10:21 am

    What a beautiful place! Sorry your plane got cancelled. Did your son enjoy the paragliding? I don’t think I have the courage to do that. The plane sounds more my speed.

    • Travelletters
      Author
      February 9, 2018 / 10:38 am

      He was very nervous, but he loved it 🙂 I would love to try it one day too 🙂

  11. mscgerber
    August 27, 2017 / 9:09 am

    I hope you will have the chance to go back there and explore everything. By the way, the Swiss alps are even better than the French Alps 😛

    • Travelletters
      Author
      February 9, 2018 / 10:37 am

      So do I 🙂 If not, I will come to Switzerland and you can be our guide 🙂

  12. mapsandmuses
    August 15, 2017 / 6:13 pm

    I’ve only ever been to Paris! I need to explore France more!

    • August 16, 2017 / 10:07 am

      Paris is gorgeous – I love it! But so i the rest of the France 🙂

  13. August 15, 2017 / 10:14 am

    It looks like such an amazing time! I’m planning a France road trip so I’ll be coming back for more tips 😊

    • August 16, 2017 / 10:06 am

      Oh, can I come with you as your guide? :):) Let me know if I can be of any help!

  14. Tracey Best
    August 15, 2017 / 12:12 am

    What an amazing trip! I want to go there & skydive but I’m nervous. Things don’t always go to plan but it can bring out a better adventure. 🙂

    • August 16, 2017 / 10:05 am

      Overall it was amazing – so screw the plans 🙂

  15. August 14, 2017 / 10:39 pm

    Annecy is gorgeous isn’t it! I used to live in France and loved visiting there

    • August 16, 2017 / 10:05 am

      I loved France 🙂 and will have to go back to Annecy as we haven’t seen it at all due to really poor weather conditions during our evenings there 🙁

    • August 15, 2017 / 4:31 pm

      I have certainly found it out! I love it 🙂

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