With its cobbled streets, whimsical canals and pastel-coloured houses, what a gem of a place Annecy is! Dubbed the Venice of the Alps, this quaint medieval town in south-eastern France is bursting with character.
Visit the old part of Annecy and you’ll be compelled to linger; some things shouldn’t be hurried and dawdling appears to be the norm here. So take your time strolling alongside the winding waterways and pause awhile to enjoy the splendid views from the many bridges on the canal. Soak up the romantic atmosphere, delight in the harmonious hues of the pastel-coloured buildings and enjoy the quirkiness of the medieval architecture.
The rugged, snow-capped peaks of the Alps looming in the background add to the majestic beauty of the area and, if you visit in the winter as I did, you’ll enjoy it minus the summer crowds. Got to be a bonus!
Wander through the quaintly-paved streets and explore the old-fashioned shops and stalls. Local crafts, delicacies and souvenirs are plentiful, but for me, it was the buildings themselves I was most in awe of.
Lose yourself amongst the cobbled walkways and immerse yourself in the beauty of the place. There’s so many ancient archways and little back streets just waiting to be explored.
As it was just after Christmas when I visited Annecy, Christmas lights and baubles were still to be seen in the town. Thankfully not in excess but enough to emit a little Christmas colour and cheer.
When you’re weary of wandering settle yourself down in one of the numerous cozy bars or cafes and enjoy a glass of french wine – alfresco if the weather permits – and watch the world go by. Unfortunately time didn’t allow me to linger too long in any one place, but I did stop and enjoy the hospitality of this little cafe for a short while!
Perhaps the most famous building in Annecy is the old prison. Situated in the Thiou canal itself, the Palais de I’lsle (also called the Island Palace) dates back to the 12th century and is affectionately known as the Hexagon. No prizes for guessing why!
This enchanting alpine town is situated on the tip of Lake Annecy. Follow the canal till the waterway widens, and you’ll suddenly find yourself enveloped in the sheer presence of the mountains.
Walk on a little further and you will come to the picturesque Lake Annecy. With its crystal clear water in different shades of emerald green and turquoise blue, and the snow-capped mountains behind, the lake is absolutely stunning – surreal almost. It completely took my breath away.
I just wished I could have stayed a little longer…
Here’s a few more photos of Annecy;