Lake Annecy en route to Val d'Isere

Annecy is a beautiful lakeside town on the road to the Alps between Geneva and Val d'Isere.

The chic Haute-Savoie capital is perfect for holidaying. A favourite summertime destination for the French who often avoid the crowds and tourists of the Cote d'Azur, Annecy offers beaches, restaurants, culture, history and sporting activities on and around its stunning lake. Sitting on the northern tip of Lake Annecy against the backdrop of the French Alps the town blossoms in summer and is riddled with medieval houses, historic buildings in pretty pastel colours, flower adorned bridges over the Thiou canal and endless restaurants, cafes and boutiques on winding cobbled streets. Due to its canal and bridges it is commonly knows as the Venice of Savoie. They say the locals glance at Mont Blanc in the distance to predict the daily weather.

From Savoyard gastronomy to extreme sports it is a superb choice for family and friends. Savoyard specialities are served up in the al fresco restaurants where you can sample tartiflette, galettes, crepes oozing the local reblochon cheese and award winning ice creams. The lake is a hub of activity and this month the town hosts the Paragliding World Cup. It also has some beautiful beaches - Plage d'Annecy-le-Vieux is ideal for some wild summer swimming! It is the cleanest lake in Europe. Popular lake activities include wakeboarding, waterskiing and boat cruises and cycling and roller blading are also very popular along the lakeside paths.

The Palais de l'Isle, an old prison, in the centre of the historic old part of Annecy, hails from the 12th century. It is the symbol of the town located in the middle of the canal and is amongst the most photographed monuments in France. Annecy Castle and the European Gardens are also striking features. The market is a must and frequented by the locals. It is held along the historic streets and has been held every Tuesday since 1170.

Either as a lunch or overnight stop en route to Val d'Isere or as a summer hot spot, beautiful Annecy is worth a visit.