About a week ago we went to Annecy (France). The closest Airport was in Geneva, so that’s where we flew to. After arriving in Geneva, we rented a car and drove to Annecy. The drive was about 30 minutes long and the scenery was beautiful. Renting a car was the right decision for us, as it kept us flexible and it allowed us to explore more of the surrounding areas. We were very lucky with the weather; the whole weekend was sunny.
Annecy is called the Venice of the Alps for a reason. The canals running through the city have crystal clear water. And with swans floating around, it looked like a fairy tale town. We arrived Friday morning at our hotel. We stayed at the Atipik Hotel Alexandra. It has a great location, right next to the old town. The staff was very friendly, the rooms were clean and the breakfast was good.
We walked a bit through the old part of the city, grabbed a sandwich with raclette and went to explore the lake. You can rent a bike (either normal or electric) and bike along the lake which takes about 2 hours. We were so tired because we got up at 3:30am to catch our flight that we decided to do it by car. Our first stop was the Chateau de Duingt. The castle is privately owned so you can’t go inside but we took out the drone and got an aerial view of it.
Then we drove to Chateau de Menthon – Saint Bernard. They say that Disney was inspired by this castle. Unfortunately for us, it was closed when we arrived.
We really enjoyed driving around the lake and getting lost in the roads around it. We ended up in Col de la Forclaz. On one side you could view the lake and on the other the mountains. It was so beautiful, especially this time of the year because of all the fall colors.
For dinner we went to L’Etage. Pieter ordered a raclette. I had some escargot and seared tuna. We didn’t do any fancy dining this time. But if you are looking for a more upscale dining experience, I would recommend Clos des Sens. I lived in Lyon for a few months while I was taking a cooking course at the Paul Bocuse Institute. During my time there, I went to Annecy with some friends to have lunch there and I loved it. This restaurant has 2 Michelin stars.
The next day there was a festival in town called Le Retour des Alpages. A tradition where they celebrate bringing the cattle back to the farms after grazing in the mountains during the summer months. They were stands everywhere with food and local products.
We got some pastries at Philippe Rigollot. The pastry chef is a MOF (best craftsman of France in English). If you are not familiar with it, it is a very prestigious award in France. It was hard to choose as they all looked so delicious.
We had some ice cream at Glacier des Alpes. We had to wait in line for it but it was worth it. And the lady working there was so nice, she gave me an extra scoop for free.
We snacked so much throughout the day that we were not hungry for dinner. At one of the festival stands, we had tartiflette for the first time. It is a local dish made with potatoes, reblochon cheese, bacon and onions. Needless to say we devoured the whole thing. We also bought a few baguettes at one of the stands and even though they were good. The best ones we had were from a bakery called Boulangerie Artisanale Marmillon, located in the old center.
On our last day, we gathered some food at the farmer’s market and drove to the lake to have a picnic for lunch. A great way to say goodbye to this wonderful region.
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