Destination Guide – Lac d’Annecy (Haute-Savoie)

Does the thought of plunging into one of Europe’s freshest water lakes with epic views of snow-capped mountains sound like your idea of bliss? If so, then read on.

Abbaye de Talloires
The private deck at Abbaye de Talloires on Lake Annecy

Overview

With one of the freshest fresh-water lakes in Europe, if you’re in need of a rejuvenating and cleansing break, Lac d’Annecy might be quietly calling your name.

Annecy Lake is the largest of the three lakes that make up the French Lakes District in the south east of France. And it’s not just nature lovers who will fall for this stunning area spanning Savaoie and Haute Savoie; with history fans, food fanatics and fitness freaks all finding something reason to enjoy this beautiful corner of France.

Annecy Town
Annecy Town

Annecy is the biggest town on Annecy Lake, with a population of around 125,000 people, and a buzzing local food and culture scene. The picturesque old town replete with flower-clad canals was built around a chateau from the 14th century and oozes in old world charm.

Surrounding the lake are small towns and dreamy holiday homes, but it’s on the east side of the lake, at Talloires, where we found our version of heaven. This small town of less than 2,000 habitants manages to balance peaceful lake vibes with fantastic food, and the options for Destination Dining are plentiful.

Views from Abbaye de Talloires
The stunning views from the Abbaye

With its long jetty spread with lounge chairs and its glorious garden terrace, it’s hard to look past Abbaye de Talloires for both dining and sleeping. The old abbey (and we mean old, with the first chapel being built on the same site in the 800’s), which over the years has hosted Paul Cezanne and Jean Reno, is steeped in charm and history. Although exploring the surrounding area is recommended, if you’re in the mood for a lazy stay, the fine-dining restaurant Aux Jardins des Délices and the brasserie La Table de Cézanne will keep you well fed. Rooms start from 144 euros a night, with breakfast an additional 25 euros per adult.

Also in town is the infamous Auberge du Père Bise, which was taken over by chef Jean Sulpice and reopened 5 May 2017. With expensive rooms and a pricey dining menu to match, this place isn’t for those on a budget, but is worth checking out if funds permit. If you’re on a slightly tighter budget, there’s a bakery and small supermarket with everything you’ll need to create a damn fine picnic.

Lac d'Annecy
Swimming points on Lac d’Annecy

And when you finally tire of eating or sunbathing by the lake, you can hire pedalos or paddle boards and swan about the lake; or perhaps if you’re feeling brave, get a bike and tackle some of the surrounding hills. You could also take the public bus or drive to other areas of the lake for lunch and a change in vista.

Whatever way you spin your visit to Lake Annecy, as you head home you’ll already be plotting a way to return.


When to go

During the summer months, Annecy is a hugely popular destination for French and international tourists (with July and August being peak months). A variety of festivals occur monthly from April until October; check out the Annecy website for more information on dates and what’s on. Annecy is also a popular hub for winter sports, with the French Alps being a short drive off.

How to get there

Annecy Lake and its surrounding towns can be accessed by hire car from Geneva, Switzerland and from Lyon, France. There are also direct trains from Paris and Lyon into Annecy city centre. If you’re opting to take public transport but don’t want to stay in Annecy city, there are regular busses around the lake. 

Where to eat

In Talloires

Abbaye de Talloires
Address: Chemin des Moines, 74290 Talloires-Montmin
Phone: +33 4 50 60 77 33
Website: www.abbaye-talloires.com/en/history-abbaye_73.aspx

Auberge du Père Bise
Address: 303 route du Port, 74290 Talloires
Phone: +33 4 50 60 72 01
Website: www.perebise.com 

In Annecy and on the lake

Restaurant 1er Mets
Address: ‪2 Place Saint Maurice, 74000, Annecy
Phone: +33 4 57 09 10 54
Website: www.restaurant-1ermets.fr

L’Esquisse
Address: ‪21 rue Royale, 74000, Annecy
Phone: +33 4 50 44 80 59
Website: www.esquisse-annecy.fr

Clos des Sens
Address: 13 Rue Jean Mermoz, 74940 Annecy
Phone: +33 4 50 23 07 90
Website: closdessens.com

Le Belvédère
Address: 7 Chemin du Belvédère, 74000 Annecy
Phone: +33 4 50 45 04 90
Website: www.belvedere-annecy.com

Les Terrasses du Lac
Address: 7 Route du Semnoz, 74000 Annecy
Phone +33 4 50 45 34 86
Website: terrasse-annecy.com
** Head here for the views!

Comptoir du Lac
410 Allée de la Plage, 74410 Duingt
Phone: +33 4 50 68 14 10
http: www.comptoirdulac.com

What to do

The lake is a hive of activity, and a variety of water-sports are available to visitors. Swimming is perhaps the easiest activity and with the cool, fresh water, is a highlight. Rowing and sailing on the lake can also be arranged through various hire companies and if you’re not keen on being on the water, then bike riding and hiking around the mountains are popular options.

Where to stay 

In Annecy city
Accommodation options in Annecy are plentiful, however we feel that many of the more interesting stays exist outside of the old town on the edges of the lake.

Hôtel Le Pré Carré
Address: 27 Rue Sommeiller, 74000 Annecy
Phone: +33 4 50 52 14 14
Website: www.hotel-annecy.net

La Maison / Le Cocon – Lofts & Lakes
Address: 3 Fbg des Annonciades, 74000 Annecy
Phone: +33 6 07 98 83 21
Website: www.loftsandlakes.com

Outside Annecy but on the lake 

For a (somewhat) quieter stay away from the hordes of tourists, try staying at one of the luxury options bordering the lake.

Talloires, on the southeast side of the lake offers a more chilled experience and is also a food-lovers haven that’s worth checking out in its own right.

The views from Abbaye de Talloires
The view from the balcony at Abbaye de Talloires

Abbaye de Talloires
Address: Chemin des Moines, 74290 Talloires-Montmin
Phone: +33 4 50 60 77 33
Website: www.abbaye-talloires.com/en/history-abbaye_73.aspx

Auberge du Père Bise
Address: 303 route du Port, 74290 Talloires
Phone: +33 4 50 60 72 01
Website: www.perebise.com

Clos des Sens
Address: 13 Rue Jean Mermoz, 74940 Annecy-le-Vieux
Phone: +33 4 50 23 07 90
Website: closdessens.com

Comptoir du Lac
410 Allée de la Plage, 74410 Duingt
Phone: +33 4 50 68 14 10
Website: www.comptoirdulac.com

Hôtel BEAU-SITE Talloires
Address: 118 Rue André Theuriet, 74290 Talloires-Montmin
Phone: +33 4 50 27 00 65
Website: www.beausite-talloires.com/en

Hôtel Clos Marcel
Address: 410 Allée de la Plage, 74410 Duingt
Phone: +33 4 50 68 67 47
Website: www.closmarcel.fr

Hotel Les Tresomes, Lake and Spa Resort
Address: 15 Boulevard de la Corniche, 74000 Annecy
Phone: +33 4 50 51 43 84
Website: www.lestresoms.com/en

Impérial Palace
Address: Allée de l’Impérial, 74000 Annecy
Phone: +33 4 50 09 30 00
Website: www.hotel-imperial-palace.com/en

Le Belvédère
Address: 7, chemin du Belvédère 74000 Annecy
Phone: +33 4 50 45 04 90
Website: www.belvedere-annecy.com

Yoann Conte – Bord du Lac
Address: 13 Vieille Route des Pensières, 74290 Veyrier-du-Lac
Phone: +33 4 50 09 97 49
Website: www.yoann-conte.com/en

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