Annecy and French Alps Motorhome Holiday
Stunning Lake Annecy is like something from a dream. You may have to pinch yourself to believe that this stunningly beautiful lake is real. A perfect way to enjoy it is to cycle around the perimeter. When you get tired take a rest in the daisy-spotted grass and if you need to cool off take a dip in the lake.
If you prefer something more relaxing than cycling around the lake, hire a paddle boat instead. Leisurely make your way around the lake and enjoy the wonderful view of the mountains.
Spend a day or two, or three, getting lost among the whimsical canals of Annecy. Dubbed the Venice of the Alps, the winding cobblestone streets lined by pastel houses and bright flower boxes will make you fall in love with this small French town.
There are various markets on throughout the week. They sell an array of fresh foods and market wares. The Sunday Annecy market is the best market in France, with its colourful stalls lining the old town streets and canals.
Annecy’s Love Bridge, Pont des Amours, is another beautiful sight to witness in Annecy. Legend has it that if two lovers kiss on the bridge, they will stay together forever. Even if you have no one to kiss that you want to make that kind of commitment to, this famous site, overlooking the lake and the mountains is worth visiting.
The Alps boast some of the highest peaks in Europe, with striking differences between the Northern Alps and Southern Alps.
In the north, the most symbolic peak of the mountain range is Mont Blanc.
The northern mountains are home to beautiful forests of spruce and fir, while the vegetation further south is more arid and composed of larch, thyme and lavender.
This region is home to France’s famous historic ski resorts such as Chamonix and Megève, as well as its major skiing areas such as the Trois Vallées (Courchevel, Méribel, Les Ménuires) and Paradiski (Les Arcs, La Plagne, Peisey-Vallandry).
The French Alps offer numerous opportunities for hiking through its natural parks. In addition to acting as habitat for many protected species, the parks also boast beautiful lakes such as Lake Annecy, Lake Le Bourget and Lake Geneva, with the town of Evian, famous for its waters, overlooking the latter. The Alps are the ideal destination for a whole host of leisure and outdoor activities – skiing, hiking, mountaineering, white water rafting, pot-holing, mountain biking, visiting thermal baths and much more besides.
Savoyarde cuisine is a highlight of being in the Alps, and is particularly appreciated on a skiing holiday or when it is cold outside as it is largely comfort food, alpine cuisine is known to be quite rich and calorific as it originates form when mountain villages were isolated from the roads and other regions for months at a time during long, snowy winters. They survived on what they could produce themselves and what would preserve well throughout the season.Through the generations, the French Alps have kept all the local recipes and love sharing it with their visitors. Cheese is the main ingredient in most of their recipes, often made locally, but there are also a large selection of meat dishes and pastries that are not to be missed. For example:
Raclette-Perfect to share with your family and friends on a cold evening, raclette is the kind of winter meal you can start but never stop! Raclette cheese is a semi-firm, salted cheese made with cow’s milk. It has a very distinctive pleasant, aromatic smell with a creamy texture, similar to Gruyere cheeses.The particularity of this meal is the way you serve it, which depends on if you are in France or in Switzerland. The French version is usually with a warm grill you put on the table, each person has their own little grill plate where you place the cheese and warm it up. Once it’s brown on the top, you can take it off and serve! It is usually accompanied with small potatoes, gherkins, pickled onions, dried meats, and some Italian hams.
Tartiflette is one of the well-known Savoyard dishes. This amazing not-to-be-missed speciality is perfect to warm you up after a long day skiing on a cold snowy day.The recipe is quite simple, it’s a gratin served in a big plate with the following ingredients: potatoes, reblochon (typical Savoyard cheese), lardons and onions. Quite basic but…amazing!
Fondue Savoyarde- Good cheese, French bread with friends and family, the Fondue Savoyard is the classic après ski dish on menus in the French Alps that creates a warming atmosphere after a cold day on the mountains. Similar to the raclette, the fondue savoyarde is a meal to be shared!The concept is simple: a sturdy pot full of melted cheese into which you dip chunks, crusty bread or a French stick. The cheese is a concoction of local cheeses (depending on everyone’s taste), flour to thicken, garlic and a glug of alcohol (white wine generally).
The Genepi is a common mountain plant found in the Alps, but you may know it as the traditional herbal liqueur drank in many of the French ski resorts. Typically Savoyard, this kind of alcohol is generally served at the end of the meal, as a “digestif”, but it can also be enjoyed as an “aperitif”. Not as sweet as other digestif’s, it has a strong herbal taste that resembles chamomile or feverfew.
We would definitely recommend that you visit Annecy combined with destinations within the french Alps to suit your particular interests.
What’s included in your motorhome holiday around the French Alps?
- Mont Blanc Glacier via cable car
- Geneva sight seeing
- Cycling and walking round Lake Geneva in Switzerland and France
- Walking the shore of Lake Geneva
- Lake Annecy
- Aix les Bains
- Haute Savoie villages
- Savoyarde cuisine
- Mountain Bike Resort Les Gets
- Alpine walking
- Winter Skiing
- Tintern and Cardiff
- St Davids
- Tenby and Saundersfoot