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The Venice of the Mountains

The town of Annecy, the capital of the Haute-Savoie department in the French Alps, is sometimes referred to as the Venice of the Mountains, due to its network of canals and romantic air. Whilst this comparison is in many ways justified (with the lovely canals, beautiful Lovers' Bridge and Palais de l'Isle it is easy to spot the similarities with the Italian city), there is one thing which really sets Annecy apart. When you gaze into the waters of the canal you will see the shimmering reflection of the towering Alps, for these dramatic mountains lie immediately behind the town.

Romantic and fashionable

Annecy is both romantic and fashionable, and thus makes a wonderful setting for a second home… or for full-time living if you are seeking a life in a truly spectacular setting! The town is clean and attractive, and offers much in the way of art, culture, history and modern facilities. Just strolling around the town is a pleasure, as there is so much to see and enjoy, always with the spectacular backdrop of the snowy splendour of the mountains. At night too, Annecy is remarkably beautiful, as monuments such as the lovely Palais de l'Isle are superbly lit to show them off to fullest effect.

What to see in Annecy

Annecy is the sort of town that never ceases to spring new and unexpected delights upon you, so this guide will never be exhaustive, nor should it be. You will find your own pleasures in the town as you explore it, but here are a few ideas to start you off.

Guide to Annecy

The town's old prison or the Palais de l'Isle is one of France's most photographed monuments, and is a must see. At night it is particularly lovely, as the lighting reflects on the water and creates a really magical atmosphere. Visit too the Château of Annecy, ancestral home of the Counts of Geneva, now an art and history museum. Walk down the Rue St Claire, with its romantic arches above, or take in the Cathedral Saint Pierre, home to some great works of art.

Snow and skiing….

Being situated in the Alps means that you will have access to some of the best skiing in Europe. All mountain sports are accessible from Annecy, so whether you are a skier, a snowboarder, a mountain biker or simply a walker, you will find yourself able to enjoy these sports and many more in the most glorious of surroundings.

How to get there

Probably the best way to reach the town is to fly into Geneva or Grenoble, then hire a car. Geneva is served by British Airways, easyJet, flybe, Jet2 and Aer Lingus, while Grenoble is served by Ryanair and easyJet. There is a station at Annecy so that train travel is another possibility.

Property prices and availability in and around Annecy

Property in the French Alps is expensive, and Annecy is a desirable place in which to own property, so do not expect to pick up cheap property here. The area is third only to the Côte-d'Azur and Paris as a popular place to buy, with good properties selling quickly. Keep your eye on the ball if you hope to buy in Annecy, and consider properties which are situated just outside the town as here you may get a little more for your money.

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WHERE IS Annecy?

Annecy is located in eastern France, in the south-west of the Haute-Savoie department. It lies in the French Alps, close to both Switzerland and Italy.

Annecy Property Map


Rhône-Alpes Guide

Rhône-Alpes Property Map


Haute-Savoie Guide

  Haute-Savoie Map

Population: 52,100

Access: By air: To travel to Annecy you will need to take a flight to Geneva or Grenoble, which are both easily accessible. They are served by a variety of UK airlines. By rail: There is a rail station Annecy.

Economy: The major economic force in Annecy these days is tourism and related industries.

Interesting fact: The Palais de l'Isle or the "old prison" as it is sometimes known, is one of the most photographed monuments in France.


Sextant France
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