A 3.5 hour train ride from Paris, Annecy is an easy weekend escape from the stresses of Paris. One of the most charming, small towns in France, this ancient town backdrops onto a sparkling lake and surrounding mountains. The old town of Annecy is preserved, you will feel transported back to the 12th century here, as tourism has not spoilt the charms of the town.
It’s worth walking through the old cobbled streets and canals of the old town, where you may stumble up on the old prison and chateau (built in the 12 century) as well as traditional local shops specialising in charcuterie and lace. With colourful flowerbeds spilling over the canals, it’s a nice to have a coffee or drink, enjoy some people watching and great views of the Annecy Lake and the surrounding Alpes. Annecy would make a nice, romantic weekend away, in fact.
Go swimming in the gorgeous, crystal clear lake, where the summer temperatures are warm at 24 degrees. Or take advantage of the water sports on offer such as kakaying, wakeboarding, water skiing or sailing.
There are plenty of walks in the mountains or for the more adventurous, there is a hang gliding where you can enjoy breath taking views over the lake. Or if that is not your cup of tea, walk to the top of the mountains to view the launch pad of the parachuters, like I did. The views over the lake are really worth it, plus you can watch all colourful parachuters run to take off, and then float over the mountain ranges.
Try the Hotel L’Imperial Palace. The service is excellent; try to be seated on the terrasse to enjoy a great view over the lake.