So, where will you go when you only half a day to explore one beautiful town?
Last trip to Geneve, Switzerland, this February, I had a half day on weekend as I arrived in Geneve at 10 in the morning.
The first place I had in mind was Annecy, a beautiful town in the border of France and Switzerland dubbed as the Venice of the Alps.
When we were living in Geneva back in 2007 - 2011, Annecy was certainly one of the most visited towns. Driving less than 1 hour from GE, we usually took families and friends coming to Geneve and staying with us to this wonderful town. Spending a day or slightly a half day here is marvelous, especially for those who enjoy traditional French food, beautiful landscape, and other wonderful vista mother nature can offer.
Annecy is also famous for its annual Venetian Carnival.
Le Carnaval Vénetien à Annecy.
|Le Carnaval Vénetien à Annecy in 2009|
Now, you know why this wonderful town is nicknamed likewise.
|Carnevale Venezia 2009|
As we went to Carnevale Venezia in 2009, we were excited to see some similar costumes and grandeur environment during the Carnaval Vénetien at Annecy, held approximately 1 - 2 months after the one in Italy or around March - April.
|My hubby and I at Carnevale Venezia|
|In green...Venezia, 2009|
You can compare these photos, taken in Venezia, and the ones up there and down here taken in Annecy during the Carnaval.
The difference is of course the background.
But the fun remains the same!
|My hubby and friend were happy to pose with these cute ladies and their puppy!|
Now, of course there are so many interesting things to do and places to visit in Annecy.
Including the annual Carnaval I was talking about before.
But since I last visited Annecy in February and only have a half day, merely 5 hours, here are a shot list of places and things you might want to consider for a half-day itinerary.
So, ready to explore Annecy, France in Half a day?
Let's start it with its famous lake, Lac d'Annecy.
Lac d'Annecy is beautiful and huge.
As the third largest lakes in France, the lake cover around 28 km square surface of clean water. Super clean so you can see the bottom of it when you are strolling around its bank.
In fact, this lake is coined as the cleanest lake in Europe, as I read in Wikipedia.
No wonder it becomes everyone's favorite spot.
From the romantic Pont des amours and walking along Quai Napoleon III, you are more than welcomed to enjoy Jardin de l'Europe.
On the other side of Jardin de l'Europe, you will find the Hotel de Ville or Mairie d'Annecy, the city town hall.
This charming city hall is of course a beautiful photo spot.
|Hotel de ville..|
Or you can also walk on Canal du Vassé, slightly off the lake but heading to the same direction, pose a while and immortalize yourself in one lovely picture!
|at Canal du Vassé, back in 2009 :))|
Just simply strolling around, sitting on the grass or in one of the many benches there, or reading your favorite book will bring you peace and joy!
As for me, I keep taking pictures (you bet!)
Next, we have Vieille Ville Annecy, the old town.
As many old town in Europe, Vieille Ville Annecy is indeed charming with its petit restaurants, shops, boutiques, churches and lovely old apartments.
|Saint Franćois de Sales church in Annecy|
All those centuries old shops and petit alleys are cute.
|ready to shop?|
For me, just walking around its cobbled alleys and enjoying every corners of this old city is a pleasure. Whenever I found some lovely corner, I just take a snap or pose :).
|One corner of the old town.|
The old part of Annecy is also famous for its Palais de l'Îles, the old mansion as well as prison now turned into museum, built on top of Le Thiou, the river outflowing from Lake Annecy. The last time I went here it was under maintenance.
|the Palais is the petit one above the water|
And of course, don't forget lunch time!
There are so many restaurants and cafes scattered around Quai de l'Îles or Quai Perrière, near Le Thiou and the old town. My favorite delicacies here are the crepes a la Savoyard, but as we were super hungry after arriving from NYC, we chose full blast menu at Le Sarto (go check lesarto.com for more info), au bord du Thiou
There we ordered the creamy mushroom soup, salad savoyard sans jambon, fondue Savoyarde - the cheese fondue with speciality from this region, 'Cafe des Paris' - the famous steak with special butter sauce, cocotte des mules marinières - the pot of clamps with butter and herbs, and creamy chicken and musroom a la Savoyard.
They tasted marvelous!
Please feel free to enjoy the photos of those lovely food.
And last but not least, Château d'Annecy, the Castle of Annecy.
A little hike up the hill at the back of the Old Town of Annecy, you will find this lovely Château. It's another beautiful castle built around the 12th century, with its famous Queen Tower. Wiki said it used to be the residence of the Counts of Geneve.
Too bad when we arrived there it was 15 minutes before closing time and being Swiss, the lovely guard didn't let us in even when we plead as we came a looong way to this beautiful place. So, if you happen to be here, make sure you check the opening hours and the last entrance. I could only take a few pictures from outside.
From the Château, we just simply walked back to the Old Town and enjoyed the beautiful weather and lovely atmosphere
And last sweet touch, don't forget to get your favorite gelato in one of the ice cream and waffle kiosks at the Old Town!
And finally, as the sun set down, we were heading back to Geneve.
Here's the map to give you clearer direction in this beautiful city of Annecy.
So, that's Annecy, France in half a day.
How do you like this town? Do you like it as much as I do?
Do you also enjoy exploring little town?
What's your favorite?