Annecy, the Venice of the Alps

They say it is the Venice of the Alps’

Welcome to the land of cheese… We drove up from Provence to Annecy that lays in the southern eastern French Alps for a few nights. It was change of scenery from pale Rosé, foie gras and escargot to mountain tips covered with snow, glistering lake views and comté cheese, the French version of Gruyére. Your eyes could see as far as Mont Blanc & I could see myself coming here during the cozy winter season.

The alpine medieval old town is surrounded with a picturesque lake complete with postcard houses and castles all tangled in between the canals. The canals give a slight Venice vibe, hence Annecy is often referred to as the Venice of the Alps. Our boutique hotel (Le Boutik Hotel) was right in the Vieille Ville, the old part of town. The thiou river spills out of the glacial lake into the canals of old town that are all lined with flowers along the bridges.

Driving from the vineyards of countryside Provence, this little chalet-style town seems almost like a piece of Switzerland. The gingerbread style houses, cobbled roads all lead up to little fondue and raclette restaurants, while the little turquoise canal runs through the centre of town. However, coming in from peaceful Provence, sadly, but understandably the old town was filled with tourists, that was a slight letdown. Nevertheless, you can avoid the crowds by frolicking bright and early in the morning and once you step away from the main streets, there is more calmness. Market day along the canals exists on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, which draws in the crowds from neighbouring towns. Evidently locals loved to stroll along the lake or visit it via boat and spend time close to the water.

Naturally, the weather is unsure when surrounded with mountains, as they tend to collect all the clouds, so keep that in mind when visiting the Alps. We beat to the rainstorms by filling our bellies with amazing cheese infused treats. Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me over dinner (as it was dark already) but we ate the most glorious ½ kg of raclette that warmed on a cast iron oozing all over potatoes, pickles and cured meats. Restaurant Le Freti was absolute heaven I must say. I love how Annecy was filled with little cheese shops, elegant boutiques, hat and basket stores and countless patisseries. Enjoy tea at Philippe Rigollot Patisserie, an ice cream at glacier des alps (notice the long queue) and enjoy raclette at restaurant chez Mamie Lise or Le Freti. Buy freshly ground coffee beans from a family owned roaster of three generations since 1959, called Brand cafés & Thés.

I would love this as a house, look at the darling old windows!

Legend says that if you kiss by this river, you will stay together forever

Steak with bearnaise sauce and an assortment of cheese

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