Cruise on Lake Annecy


There are several ways to discover Lake Annecy from the Best Western Plus Carlton 4 étoiles,  such as a one-hour mini-cruise, a walk or bike ride, or a jaunt in a classic car.

Nicknamed the "Blue Lake", Lake Annecy is the second-largest glacial lake in France. Its 40-kilometre perimeter can be explored on foot or by bike. The site's fame can be attributed to its wide range of water sports and its wealth of environmental activities aimed at protecting the natural environment.

he lake and its distinctive light have inspired a number of painters. It is also used as a backdrop for certain movies and TV films, with its unique natural setting firing the imagination of many a director.

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Take a taxi across the water withWater Taxi Annecy and head off on a boat excursion with friends or family and embark on the Veyrier - Annecy crossing. Combine fine dining with pleasure for an exceptional moment with an exclusive boat transfer to one of the lakeside restaurants:

Annecy at the foot of the Alps

Culture and history

Annecy's historical centre is steeped in history and teeming with life. Visitors enjoy strolling along the narrow streets that meander through the city and discovering its architectural masterpieces. Take your senses on a journey with the traditional markets, which are held every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday morning from 8 am to 12 pm. A sprawling antiques market is even organised on the last Saturday of every month.

Do not miss out on the opportunity of visiting the Palais de l'Isle, the Musée du Château and the Basilica of the Visitation.  Foodies will find the old section of the city to be a treasure trove of excellent restaurants, and we would be only too happy to advise you accordingly.

Another of the city's headline events is held in August: the Lake Festival. This 90-minute pyrotechnic show is one of the largest fireworks displays in Europe. Accompanied by a soundtrack, the show has been held on the first weekend of every August since 1978. The festival's origins can be traced back to when the Duchy of Savoy was incorporated into France, which gave rise to the Savoie and Haute-Savoie departments.

Another key major event is the "Descente des Alpages" transhumance festival in October. The local farmers and cowherds descend on the city to present their animals, their different occupations and their culinary specialities, complete with folk dancing groups.

Other unmissable events include:

The Annecy International Animated Film Festival: during this week-long festival, various feature films and short films are screened in Annecy. The event allows professionals and budding artists alike to share their work.
Next edition from 15 to 19 June 2020


- Andilly Mediaeval Festival: journey back through the centuries as far as the Middle Ages with this larger-than-life event. Watch over 20 hours of various shows, including jousting, trick riding, birds of prey, combats, storytelling, magic, music, and much more…
With 500 performers and approximately 1,000 extras, visitors are guaranteed a completely immersive experience.
Next edition on 30-31 May and 01st of June and 06-07 June 2020.

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- Father Christmas's Hamlet: meeting Father Christmas is now a reality! His hamlet can be found in the Mont Sion pass in Haute-Savoie. Children and adults alike can enjoy all the enchantment of Christmas with the magnificent illuminations, faithful reindeer, Mother Christmas, Santa's elves, and more besides.
Open all year round.

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- Christmas chalets: every year throughout the month of December, a Christmas market is held in various parts of the city to remind visitors of the magic of Christmas, with a wide range of local produce and craft products.

- Wine fair: to allow visitors to discover the local wines and produce, the "Lions Club Annecy Lac" organises a wine fair every year. Wine-growers from across France come to the fair to present their best selection of regional wines and produce.

- Annecy Venetian Carnival: several hundreds of masked figures stroll through the streets of the old part of the city and the Champs de Mars. The parade is followed by a presentation on an amplified podium in the European Gardens.<br />
From the 06th to 08th of March 2020 from 10 am to 6 pm.

Salomon Foundation
Annecy tourist information centre
Château d'Annecy
Château de Montrottier
Château de Menthon
Château de Thorens

Boats on the lake

Sports activities and discoveries

There is no shortage of outdoor activities in Annecy. On the lake, water sports clubs offer sailing and various other activities, such as water-skiing and wake-boarding. Visitors can also try their hand at rafting, climbing, paragliding, hang-gliding, hiking, tennis, squash, golf and mini-golf, as well as cycling and mountain-biking with the Annecy-Doussard cycling route or the Annecy-Chavanod route on the other shore.

For the biggest enthusiasts, fishing is an art form, since the noble fish species gracing a freshwater lake are extremely crafty. Ready to take them on?

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To discover the unspoilt natural environment, head over to Talloires or Cruseilles for a treetop adventure course. Whether with friends or family, you will not be disappointed!

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Other unmissable activities include:

- The Annecy Marathon: since 1980, the Annecy Marathon has brought together both athletes and amateurs.<br />
Next edition on 14 April 2019.

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- The Annecy Triathlon: this international event offers an exceptional setting for the triathlon's three disciplines. Competitors get to swim in one of Europe's purest waters, cycle through the Bauges Regional Nature Park with magnificent views over the lake, and run through the heart of Annecy between the Imperial Palace and the Bridge of Love.

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Summer activities

In the summertime, countless outdoor activities await you.

On the lake of course: in addition to swimming and lounging on the beaches, have a go at stand up paddle boarding, water-skiing and wakeboarding… just some of the new fun water sports that should entertain children and adults alike. On Lake Annecy, you can also go sailing, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, rowing, scuba diving, and much more.

In the mountains, do not miss out on the opportunity of venturing along one of the many trails snaking through the mountain range. Choose one of the hiking trails to suit your level, or set off along one of the quad-biking, horse-riding or MTB trails. You will also be amazed by the number of white-water sports available, such as canyoning, rafting and hydrospeed, for a guaranteed white-knuckle experience. For an even greater adrenaline rush, try climbing or the via ferrata.

Finally, take to the skies for a unique view over the lake and its surrounding areas with maiden helicopter rides, paragliding, hot-air ballooning, and so on.

Winter activities

In the wintertime, Haute-Savoie is a gold mine of strongski pistesstrong. All disciplines are catered for, whether Alpine skiing, Nordic skiing or snowboarding. Several ski resorts can be found less than an hour from Annecy, including Le Semnoz, La Clusaz, Le Grand Bornand and Les Carroz d'Araches. Feel free to ask us for advice.

Many other activities are also available for enjoying the snow and the eye-catching landscapes, with dog sledding, snowmobile riding and snowshoe trekking. Also check out some of the more unusual leisure activities, like skijoring (horse-drawn skiing) and Bun J Ride (bungee jumping from a ski ramp)…

Year-long activities

Throughout the year, whether in summer or winter, we recommend the following activities and leisure pursuits:

  • Go-karting
  • Golf
  • Archery
  • Adventure courses
  • Walks
  • Cabaret evenings
  • Savoie-themed culinary evenings
  • Cultural rallies
Lake and mountains

Around Annecy

Just a few kilometres from Annecy, be sure to visit:

Mais aussi les stations de sports d’hiver avec :

  • Discovery of typical villages
  • Sledging
  • Snowshoe trekking
  • Downhill skiing
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Walks

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