The pearl of the region: Annecy.
Do you want to do sports or visit a historical city? The Camping du Lac St.Clair is situated in a beautiful location: in the heart of the Savoie and close to the French Alps. Besides the many sports activities offered in the region such as fishing, swimming, via ferrata, canyoning, paragliding, hiking or cycling, it is also pleasant to visit a city. And by any city.
A brief history.
The Venice of the Alps, the name given to the lake of the same name but also to the many canals that crisscross the city centre, was once inhabited by the Gauls and Romans. Over the centuries, Annecy proved to be an important point in the trade route between France and Italy, and its influences can still be seen today. In the Middle Ages it was the first town in the county of Geneva, but in the 15th century it became one of the capitals of Savoy. Later it was conquered and taken over several times, for example by Napoleon, until it finally passed into French control in 1860. Today it is the prefecture of Haute-Savoie.
Our favourite French town.
You can reach it in a little less than an hour from the campsite, our favourite route is to go through the Bauges to get there. A nice pleasant road with superb views of the massif and the lake. In the city centre, apart from the delicious food and drinks for which the region is famous, there is a lot to see and do. There are regular festivals (especially the world-famous International Animation Festival) here. It is no coincidence that it is our favourite city in the area!
Majestic architecture: the Palais d'Isle and the Château d'Annecy
Of course, you will be able to admire the Palais d'Isle, the emblematic building in the city centre. It is now a museum where you can learn a lot about the city's rich history, but the fortress was once used as a prison. Surrounded by canals, it is a real eye-catcher: many postcards contain the image of this palace. Another building that attracts attention is the Annecy castle which dominates the city centre. Since its construction in the 12th century, many new features have been added: it is interesting to see how the different architectural movements have exerted their influences over the centuries. Today, this building also serves as a museum, with temporary exhibitions.
Relaxing in the parks and near the harbour
The city has beautiful parks and popular places to relax. Especially in summer, it is always nice to see picnickers, tourists and locals taking a break. These parks also serve as berths for boats. In the direction of the Pont des Amours, there is a nice little marina where you can easily swim and dive. There are of course many restaurants here, including a restaurant boat : The Dragonfly.
Nice shops in the old town centre
With its 50,000 inhabitants, shopping is very pleasant, Annecy has managed to keep a very charming and pleasant historic town centre. The colourful and typical buildings offer a picturesque sight. It is pleasant to walk around here, to taste the local wine of course, but there are also nice shops, ice-cream parlours and bars with beautiful sunny terraces.
View of the lake and Mont Blanc
In addition to historical sights, shopping and gastronomy, nature is dominantly present. From various points in the city you have a magnificent view of Mont Blanc and of course Lake Annecy.
Fancy more cities? Also visit Chambery and Albertville
For those who want more, the towns of Chambéry and Albertville are at least as beautiful, also located close to the campsite. In Chambéry there is a beautiful 14th century castle with a Gothic/Baroque style chapel where, between 1453 and 1578, the Shroud of Turin was kept. Another highlight is the city's cathedral: the 6,000 m² of vaulted walls will dazzle you. And then there is the wonderful "Elephant Fountain".
You may have known Albertville since the 1992 Olympic Games; there you will find the House of the 16th Winter Olympics. By the way, the town has also been a stage venue for the Tour de France five times! But this town on the river Arly also offers other entertainments. The city has a rich history and architecture. You will also find beautiful shopping streets and terraces, as well as a beautiful view of Conflans, the fortress whose history dates back to the Middle Ages.