Best towns in the Alps:

Some of the “gateway” towns in the Alps have become rather spoiled due to over development, but higher up the remote villages have a character all of their own. And there are still one or two larger towns/cities that boast majestic splendour from a bygone era. We list our favourites here…


Description: This is a lovely medieval town in a great location with the Alps as a backdrop. In the summer months the whole town is a riot of colour with geraniums in window boxes everywhere. The town is also known as the ‘French Venice’ and is a wonderful place for exploring on foot, but BEWARE that during the height of the summer the town can become very touristy.

Location: Situated on the northern tip of Lake Annecy.

Recommendations: The area nearest to the chateau is the prettiest with many narrow streets and alleyways. Although the chateau can be visited the exhibitions are a bit dry.

For children: There are many lake ‘beaches’ for the family to enjoy, but bear in mind that the water may be cold for swimming! Some of these beaches have free admission (Annecy Marquisats, Annecy-le-Vieux, Albigny, Veyrier, Doussars and Duingt) whilst others don’t.

If cold water is a deterrent for the children there are also many places where you can hire sailing, rowing boats, canoes or even speed boats. For something a bit more leisurely then opt for a lake excursion on one of the cruise boats.


Here’s more information to make the most of your visit to the Alps: