I love small towns in Europe that make you feel like you’ve stepped out of everyday life and into a Pinterest pin. Annecy, France is one of the most picturesque, charming small towns I’ve ever been to. Technically an Alpine town, Annecy has the good fortune of being flanked by the mountains on one side, with beautiful looming views of Alps, and a pristine, aqua blue colored lake stretching near the town, and running in Venice like canals through it. The whole place is other worldly, like you’ve been given the privilege of stepping back in time for a few moments. Today, we’re putting together a guide to the town we’ve come to love, so that hopefully, you can come to love it as well.
You can chose to stay in Annecy if you want to, and devote several days of your trip to this small village, but we’re going to encourage you to make Annecy just a day-trip from a larger destination. We think that you can easily see and do everything this charming (but small) town has to offer in a day, and it’s within easy driving, or train destination from other big cities, with make it a very reasonable day trip.
Head down to Lake Annecy and rent a paddle boat for an unforgettable and relatively inexpensive experience. This is one of our favorite things we did on our trip to Europe, and Lake Annecy is hands down the prettiest lake we’ve ever seen, and boating around it on a sunny afternoon, while seeing the Alps and mansions on the banks, is something I’ll never forget.
I’m going to shoot straight with you (because I always do). It was not good for the food situation in Annecy. This was the only city in Europe where we were not wowed with the cuisine. To be completely honest with you, after several substandard meals, I ended up eating a large bag of American Salt and Vinegar Chips from a gas station in the car to tide me over until I could get a real dinner in Paris that night. The best food we found was at La Bastille, and it was only good, not great, but we are going to recommend it for the superb view from the patio and the ambiance. Also, they serve Moet by the glass, which makes me feel inclined to be extra generous in my review of them.
The best thing about being in Annecy is just BEING there. Walk the cobbled streets, go down every canal can find. The charm is in the views, the beauty, and the nostalgic feeling that you’ve managed to find yourself in a pristine hamlet that shouldn’t exist – but does.
We love Annecy – and think you will too! It’s the perfect day trip to add on to your European vacation, if you’re looking to add some small town charm to your trip. as