Annecy is located on the Northern edge of Lac d’Annecy and is known as the Venice of France due to the channels running through the middle of the city. It is about 1/2 hour from Geneva and just over an hours drive from Chamonix-Mont Blanc, which made it a great candidate for a day trip.
We spent quite a bit of time walking through the gardens and along the shoreline, soaking in the cool Winter breeze and being the good tourists we are, taking a gazillion ‘selfies’ on Lovers Bridge.
Annecy also offers great architectural monuments, and my favorite was the Palais de l’Isle, also called the “old prison”. It was built in 1132 in the centre of the Thiou canal. It started out as the primary residence of the Lord of Annecy and later became the county seat administrative headquarters, a courthouse, a mint, and finally a jail. It was classified as a historical monument in 1900, and today houses a local history museum.
While interesting to see during the day, the structure really comes to life at night and you can see why it is [one of] the most photographed building in all of France.
We toured the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre d’Annecy, Impérial Palace and the Basilique de la Visitation. Our last stop was the Château d’Annecy, the former home of the Counts of Geneva and the Dukes of Genevois-Nemoursand currently used as the Art and History Conservatory of Annecy and the Regional Office of the Alpine Lakes. It is perched atop a hill and offers lovely views of the lake, the town and surrounding areas.
Annecy offers just enough sight seeing to make for a great day trip from either Geneva or the Chamonix region. You can see more photos from our trip here.