Annecy, in the region of Savoy, is a small town of 50.000 habitants not far from Geneva. At arrival, I immediately noticed its attraction: its natural surroundings. The town is set next to Lac d’Annecy and is surrounded by mountains (Le Mont Veyrier, Le Semnoz, La Tournette and the Parmelan).
I have a weakness for villages with lakes and mountains – and Annecy is certainly no exception.
Its winding cobbled streets are best to be explored with curiosity (not a map). It’s easier to navigate than Venice, where I got lost several times (with a map in my hands) – then again, I’ve already confessed my terrible sense of direction. Annecy has many passages that lead to blooming gardens, city lookouts and quiet alleys away from the more touristic centre. Keep an eye for Chemin des Remparts and L’impasse du Trippoz – two of my personal favourites.
Annecy is big enough to spend an entire day walking, eating artisan ice creams and some of the best crepes I’ve ever had (the Crepe Savoyard). A walk along the Thiou river, although usually crowded, is well worth it. For a view over Annecy, walk up the steep streets towards the Chateau. Close by, you’ll find a small path called Chemin des Remparts. Turn left into to a small lookout for a romantic view over towns’ old rooftops. The same road leads to one of the main streets in the vieux ville, Rue Perrière. Every last saturday of the month, these streets are crowded with people attracted by the vintage flea market and an art market (which mainly takes place on Vicenza Quay) going on from 8am to 5pm.