Annecy Lake with sailboat
ESY-015127978 - © - CSP_fullempty
France, Savoie (73), Aix-les-Bains, Place Carnot
France, Isère (38), la vallée du Grésivaudan, le château du Touvet
Lake Bourget and walk way of Aix-les-bains
Chamb?ry (France). Tourists are strolling in Place Saint L?ger
Discovering Chambéry, Aix-les-Bains and Lake Bourget
A 6 day circuit in the Alps for discovering nature and local heritage is what awaits. You will go from surprise to surprise along the 120km that separate Annecy, your point of departure, to the château du Touvet which marks the end of your journey. Lake Annecy, Lac du Bourget, Chambery and the Monastery of the Grande Chartreuse lie ahead. Be sure to pack your skis to enjoy the slopes of the most beautiful alpine areas.
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Your journey begins in Annecy. It might be The lake that plays the starring role, but the town can’t be overlooked either: each building in Old Annecy tells a unique story, from the Palais de l’Île through to the chateau perched on its rock and the arcades of Rue Ste-Clear.
The Thiou and the Vasse, which feed into the lake, wind through the ancient town, giving it its nickname as the “Venice Savoyard”. With the Palais de l’Île leading the way, this pedestrian area is dressed in vibrant Sardinian colours. Gathered at the foot of the chateau, the St-Maurice and St-François-de-Sales churches are majestic elevations that mark the transition of the city of the 19th century with Sardinian architecture and the trading town of the first half of the 20th century.
Don’t miss an afternoon visit to the Annecy Castle Museum and Saint-Pierre Cathedral before relaxing on the terrace. You will reach Aix-les-Bains by the end of the day.
MyTripTailor Tip: explore the old town in the morning to enjoy the markets; the afternoon and evening can be spent on the lake.
You wake in Aix-les-Bains. Regional events hub, thermal spa and seaside resort, the town is particularly known for its port and beaches on the banks of Lac du Bourget.
Start in the morning with the Roman remains: the Arch de Campanus, the Temple de Diane, the Lapidary Museum and the ancient baths; visit the Faure museum before going for a walk along the Corniche des Palaces.
3kms from the city centre you’ll find the lake where you can spend the afternoon. During summer, the lakeside, with two ports and several beaches, is the town’s other flagship attraction, and received France Station Nautique certification in 2000. Whilst the small port has been entirely restructured as a boating harbour, the big port has become a lively hub and is surrounded by numerous restaurants. This is where the cruises depart.
By late afternoon it’s time to head towards Chambéry.
MyTripTailor Tip: the lac du Bourget aquarium is ideal for the children.
The proud past of Chambéry, longtime capital of the House of Savoy and place of worship for the holy shroud, is embodied in the powerful silhouette of its chateau. Around it, rise numerous buildings of rich architectural interest from various periods. This well maintained heritage can be explored through the partly pedestrianised streets and passages of the old city. Strategically placed at the foot of Mont Granier and the Chartreuse massif, crossed by two rivers, connected by bike paths to the Bourget and Aiguebelette lakes, it makes for a great stay!
Begin your visit to the city at Place Saint-Léger, a lively place embellished with fountains and paved with pink rock. Its spacious dimensions stem from the fact that it was originally two streets, separated by a now covered canal. A number of mansions testify to the affluence of families in the service of the Dukes of Savoy, such as the hotel Chollet du Bourget at no.60 and the hotel Dieulefils de Méllarède at no.130, whose beautiful Renaissance facade in molasse – the local stone – has been altered.
In the afternoon, visit the castle, the Carré Curial or the Museum of Fine Arts.
MyTripTailor Tip: at the end of the day, if you still have time, drive up to Lake Aiguebelette 9km west.
The penultimate stage of your circuit: Saint-Pierre d’Entremont.
After waking, be sure to go and see the Cirque de Saint-Même. From a cave positioned half-way up, the lively Guiers Vif flows into two magnificent waterfalls. For the sporty, the Cirque is the starting point for hikes and the Cascades Trail.
Next, walk to the Château du Gouverneur, from where you can enjoy a very nice view of the basin of St-Pierre-d’Entremont, bounded on the east by the Granier and Alpette escarpments. The landscapes crossed, with majestic grace, are typically pre-Alps. The climb up Col du Cucheron takes place in view of the crest of the Lances de Malissard. Beyond the pass, standing elegantly towards the south, is the mountainous range formed by Chamechaude and the Col de Porte.
MyTripTailor Tip: a must-see: The Pas du Frou. This corbelled passage with a 150m high vertical wall, is the most sensational of the Chartreuse. “Frou” means in patois: frightful, scary.
You wake in Saint-Pierre de Chartreuse. This small resort offers alpine ski slopes of varying difficulty located between 900 and 1800m in the la Scia area. Cross-country skiers have more choice thanks to the 80km of pistes of St-Hugues. And many snowshoe excursions are organised.
In summer, from this mountain resort, you can look across the entire Chartreuse massif, from Grenoble to Chambéry, in a relaxing setting with seamlessly composed and wooded landscapes. With its miles of trails, the scope for excursions by car or on foot are abundant. St-Pierre is a stamping ground for experienced walkers who will take on the ascent of the Dent de Crolles or Granier, from where the superb panoramas provide an opportunity to discover the Vanoise and Belledonne.
Start the day with a visit to the Monastère de la Grande Chartreuse, 4km to the west.
There are two entities on the site: the maison haute, the monastery itself, reserved for the fathers, and the maison basse, the Correrie, where the brothers live. The monastery, living quarters of the Carthusian order, is not open to visitors. However, the Correrie is accessible to the public and houses the Grande Chartreuse museum. The distillery, where the famous liqueur is made, is located in Voiron.
It’s time to reach Touvet, your last stop, where you can visit the chateau.
MyTripTailor Tip: In St-Pierre, a 1h walk through the site leads to the monastery. Very nice in good weather.
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