The final stop in the French ski resorts itinerary.
Take a few days rest from skiing by spending time in the largest city of the Haute-Savoie region, Annecy. Highlights include the mountain spring feed Lake Annecy and the old town, with its cobbled streets and canals.
Stay in Hôtel les Terrasses as there is free parking and spacious rooms, plus a family dog that occasionally sleeps in reception.
Where to eat and drink
Get a baguette sandwich and pastry from the multiple boulangeries dotted around the town, like Marmillion or Le Boulanger Du Faubourg.
Also, wander around the fresh produce markets open every Tuesdays, Fridays and Sunday 7am to 1pm around Rue Sainte Claire.
Things to do
If you only have one day: Start the day walking or cycling around the lake with its view of the shimmering lake and the mountain backdrop. Stroll along Ponts des Amours, a romantic footbridge, through the park, Jardin de l’Europe. Next, explore the Vieille Ville (the old town), zig zagging across the bridges to take in more views of the mountains and canals – and wander in and around the churches and antique market stalls.
After lunch visit Palais de l’Ile, which is described as a “house in the shape of a ship” – this 12th century monument contains local history and art exhibits. You can get a combined ticket to visit Chateaux d’Annecy and save a few euros. this castle contains temporary art exhibitions and regional heritage museum and rooftop views over the town. If you have time take a look at the Musée du film d’animation (closed in January) which is a two-minute walk from Chateaux d’Annecy. Entry to this animated film museum is free of charge. It takes you through the animation process and contains international loans.
Two or three more days: If you’re getting sightseeing fatigue then visit Vitam, a leisure centre in Migro situated between Annecy and Geneva. It’s equipped with a small indoor water park, pool, spa and climbing centre. Consider going in the evening or all day Tuesdays for cheaper admission rates and to avoid the crowds.
Squeeze in another day of skiing or snow boarding or perhaps try nordic skiing for a day trip to Le Semnoz, a small resort with 18km of slopes, parking and ski hire. You’ll drive through twisty roads to reach the car park, The mountain is well-known for its cross-country skiing trails and on a clear day you can see Mont Blanc. Stop off at Les Rochers Blancs just off a blue run, for lunch.
Tailoring this trip: With more than two weeks and a bigger budget, you could spend at least one week in Avoriaz and Tignes and two or three days in Combloux. You could also include days in Chamonix and Albertville on your trip.