By Seth Fera-Schanes
Spoiled for choice is the best way to describe Annecy in the Savoy region of France. A year-round travel destination with unlimited activities ranging from swimming and hiking to cross country and downhill skiing (and everything in-between.)
I went at the start of summer and spent 5 days taking in as many outdoor activities as possible.
Biking was one of my best investments, so much so I rented a bike twice. At USD $18 for a full day, a gorgeous lake view and paved flat roads, it simply can’t be beat. If you wanted to go all out with some Alpine inclines, this terrain can easily accommodate you as well.
My first ride was a leisurely 30 miles just watching the mountains and paragliders float around.
Hiking is another low cost activity and tied for first place of my top things to do. I found my way over to Talloires on the opposite side of the lake from Annecy. Not fully understanding where the trail head was, I followed 2 people who looked like they knew what they were doing. There are probably better ways to go about starting a hike, but it paid dividends after walking up some large paved roads that led right into a trail.
Swimming/Boating/Lounging – Let’s call it the holy trinity. You can rent a paddleboard, kayak or paddleboat, hop in the lake after to cool off and then lounge on any number of both public and private (with entry fee) beaches that surround the lake.
My friend described it as mountain food and with dishes like raclette, tartiflette and fondue, there is truth in this statement. Note: I am not complaining because all are delicious and after a day of adventuring, it really does hit the spot. Top it off with one (or a few) glasses of red wine and you have the makings of one stellar vacation day.
Picnics on the lake as the sun is setting are also ideal.
Transportation and Accommodations
Annecy is about an hour drive from Geneva so flying into Sweden is a good option. One drawback is the direct flights between NYC and Geneva came in over $1,000. Another route would be to fly into Paris and then take a 4 hour TGV train directly to Annecy. There are many flight deals between New York and Paris. This choice also allows you to spend some time in Paris before you make your way back to home.
There are plenty of hotels and Airbnbs to choose from in the area. The only thing to watch out for is Annecy is a destination for the French as well as international tourists so holiday weekends will fill up fast.
Overall, the French Alps ranks high on my list of places to visit. There were many times that I just stopped to take in the scenery and breath the fresh alpine air. Definitely a high recommend from this Full Access NYCer.
Categories: Escape from New York: Extended Travel