What to see and do in Annecy with children? Annecy is this pretty town of more than 125,000 inhabitants, located in Haute-Savoie, on the edge of the lake that bears his name. It’s a city where you can live like at home, the sea in the mountains.
As part of our #EteEnFranceVoyagesetChildren, Marine shows us 15 reasons to go for a walk there, for a weekend or family vacation …
Can you introduce, give us the age of your children?
I am Marine, from Annecy, lover of outdoor sports, mother of 2 dears of 1 and 4 years old, and founder of the collaborative platform www.randos-en-famille.com, platform to find and share easy hikes with the family around your home or at your vacation spot.
What are the 5 reasons to discover Annecy with your family?
- Annecy is THE city par excellence to enjoy outdoor sports between lake and mountains. In any season, you will find natural activities to do with your children. From hiking / walking, skiing, going through a water ski tour or a tandem paragliding flight; a simple pedal boat ride, or the tour of the lake by electric bike, it is a dream place for all nature lovers. So many activities are possible!
- It’s also a very nice old town to visit, and with its canals, it’s called the little Venice of the Alps! Strolling through the center is very pleasant.
- Annecy is at the edge of its lake of the same name, the color of the water changes colors over time and seasons, the landscapes are magnificent! Whether downtown or a surrounding mountain. Many viewpoints are accessible by car, such as at the top of the Semnoz or the Col de la Forclaz.
- We taste there the best tartiflettes, fondues, raclettes and croziflettes, as well as the best farmer reblochons! And yes all these dishes and cheese come from Haute-Savoie ?
- The atmosphere is relaxed, here we are cool!
What are the 5 must-see visits in Annecy?
The old town of Annecy
It is the historic center ofAnnecy, with its castle, its old prisons and its canals. It’s our little Venice of the Alps!
Travel and Children’s Info: For lovers of history, this city already existed in Roman times … The remains to be found during your walks date rather from the Middle Ages. The emblematic monument of this period is undoubtedly the Isle Palace, built in the 12th century (front photo!)
Enjoy Lake Annecy
A walk along the lake, from the old town to Pâquier or further towards the Imperial for the most motivated to admire the landscape of the lake and the mountains, can be a pedalo ride, swim and admire the turquoise water in good weather.
Admire the view from the Col de la Forclaz
Lunch or admire the sunset at the Col de la Forclaz. This is THE view of the lake accessible by car and just sublime. If you are tempted, take a tandem paragliding flight! It is the best known and most beautiful site in the world for paragliding. You will understand why there!
Sunbathing on Talloires Beach
In summer, spend time on one of the lake beaches to enjoy swimming. Talloires beach is for me one of the most beautiful…
Hike around Annecy
Take a hike on one of the mountains around the lake. Many trails are accessible to all. Get inspired on Family Hikes!
Can you share with us 3 things that locals love to do on weekends?
The people are pretty athletic in Annecy so they take advantage of the weekend to practice their activities (biking, mountain biking, hiking, paragliding, ski touring, trail running, running…). They also take advantage of the opportunity to meet in town and have a good restaurant, drink a good beer or a good wine with friends.
What to do around Annecy?
Sandrine’s travel and children’s advice:
This summer, we will surely make a stopover in Annecy. This is what I spotted around
- The Massif des Beauges: we will surely have slept there one night and taken a short walk before arriving in Annecy. It is a regional natural park, which will undoubtedly be very different from our Hautes-Alpes
- Gorges du Fier in Lovagny Haute-Savoie: I spotted these gorges which must have beautiful sensations when we walk on the bridge suspended from the cliff. but it’s not really on our journey
- Visit castles: the region is full of these vestiges of the Middle Ages like that of Castle of Menthon-Saint-Bernard , the Chateau de Montrottier where the Castle of Thorens.
- Discover the summer resorts of Grand Bornand (in August there is a children’s festival like our friends of marmot festival or Cluzas
Do you have good addresses to share (accommodation or restaurant).
TheBel Abri hotel is super well placed by the lake and completely renovated last year. Their restaurant is also to do. The terrace is perfect under the plane trees! It is located in Annecy-le-Vieux
- Restaurant Le Petit Paradis in Angon. Feet in the water, view of Duingt Castle …
- Restaurant Les Grillons in Angon. Very good, kind of gastro but with reasonable prices
- Brunch at the Beau Site hotel in Talloires then swim on their private beach (reserve trasant)
- Brunch at the Duingt lake counter and swim on their private beach (to be booked in advance)
- Pink Byciclette or Bar Roux d´Heure brunch in Annecy city center
- Binôme restaurant, 4 gourmets, Brunet café in Annecy-le-Vieux
- Pricaz Chalet restaurant at the Col de la Forclaz
- Apero and dinner at Armony Saveurs in Haras d’Annecy, perfect with children
How to go to Annecy with your family?
- By car: From Paris around 5:30 a.m. on the A6, from Lyon, 2:40 and 3:50 from Marseille
- By train: Many trains arrive as far as Annecy; from Marseille, around 4 hours with 2 connections, from Lyon: around 2 hours for € 28, from Paris: 4:20. Find your cheap ticket here
- By plane : If you really live on the other side of France, you can take a flight to Geneva, Lyon
- More info on the Northern Alps
- Other family mountain vacation ideas
- All our family hiking ideas
- Family vacations and adventures in France
- All our tested accommodations