In Annecy, reflecting off the smooth, blue water, cliff peaks surround a pretty collection of villages in the summer heat. At this time of year the best things to do at Lake Annecy are to relax, spend family time and picnic on breads, hams, cheeses and fresh produce.
You’ll need to work your way around the lake to avoid the throngs, but there’s enough water for everyone. We highly recommend driving about 15-20 minutes to Talloires. Once there, don’t let the paid swimming area put you off (although not so bad if you want to use the diving board) – find a park and look for sitting/swimming spots clockwise around from there. If you’re confident make use of the grassy area in front of the hotel immediately next door, otherwise there’s a small road leading to a seldom crowded area with shade, benches and a lovely spot for a plunge.
Here’s a Google Map marking my perfect Lake Annecy swimming spot.
After a few days of bronzed families there for their yearly sojourn of lazy days at the market, long swims at the lakeside resorts, and warm evenings with local wine and fish, escape up to the mountains for some beautiful scenic walks and views of Mont Blanc.
Our favourite things to do at Lake Annecy
Swimming – our favourite place on the lake
We toured the lake several times during the 10 days we spent around Lake Annecy, and we fell in love with Talloires. It’s all pretty good anywhere around the lake, but we found Talloires great for the relaxed atmosphere, comfortable grass to lie on, beautiful views of the castle on the opposite side of the lake as well as the skyscraping cliffs behind us, and of course the clear water to jump into.
Of course, there is swimming moments walk from the centre of Annecy village, which is still worth it and we dipped here at least once a day too.
Here’s a map for you – it’s less than a 20 minute drive from the town of Annecy.
Taste the local cuisine
We highly recommend sampling the local freshwater lake fish. A great place that we found was Chez Pierre, in the hamlet of Doussard just another 15 minutes from Talloires (if you’ve just had a swim) or a 20 minute drive from Annecy village if you go anticlockwise around the lake.
See the alps at La Clusaz
Drive up to La Clusaz ski resort, enjoy the relaxed vibe of summer time in the village and take the cable car for stunning views of the alps and beautiful walking.
Explore the Gorges du Fier
Explore the gushing river and maze of cliffs of the Gorges du Fier. A 20 minute drive from Annecy, the Gorges are a fascinating natural area where the river has carved stunning paths through the rock.
Go to the Annecy markets
As far as local European food markets go, the Annecy farmers markets are one of the best, with an exceptional range of fresh produce, local cured meats, fruits and crafts, and a fantastic energy from locals and tourists alike. The market is on twice a week – check the exact days with the locals.
Here’s a graphic we made, feel free to download or share.
Some of our other snaps: