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August is where lake Annecy is at its warmest and general air temperatures at its hottest. Average temperatures are normally well above 30C and you need to find a shady place to avoid the hot afternoon sun.  A dip in the lake will offer welcome relieve any time during the day.  A vacancy in August offers everything you would expect from a true hot summer holiday.

Enjoy one of the many beaches and a cold drink in one of the many lakeside restaurants and bars. Get yourself a nice villa lakeside or up the hills with either lake or mountain views. You can enjoy outdoor dining well into the night.

The lake is open for business

During August, lake Annecy is truly open for business.  From early morning swimming, afternoon dip or late evening water skiing, the lake got it all. All water sport shops are open for business all day. You can hire all kind of boats (including speedboats if you got a license), water skis and any other water sport equipment you can imagine. Swimming, waterskiing, wake boarding, sailing, kayaking and diving are amongst the most popular water sports.

Even if water sport is not your thing you can enjoy one of the many trail around and nearby the lake, perfect for cycling, hiking or even just a gentle walk. Remember it can get very hot during the day. Keep your activities for the morning or late afternoon. If you cycle or hike during the day, make sure you pick a shady spot and take plenty of water.

Fête du Lac and other small fêtes

The many villages along the lake come to live with fetes, festivals and weekly farmers markets. For one day in August the sheer splendour of Annecy’s lake and its backdrop are celebrated at the Fête du Lac. On the first Saturday of August , the bay of Albigny welcomes the biggest pyrotechnic show of Europe, with 80 minutes of fireworks in rhythm with music, lights, special effects. It is the kind of show that you have to see at least once in your life! There will be many smaller fetes around the lake and you will find something in the calendar on most days. If you are willing to make the effort you will be able to experience the traditional nature of this unique French region.

Talloires lake front 2 Reasons to visit Lake Annecy in August

Lac d'Annecy fete

View lake Annecy through the air

Lake Annecy also boasts on of the world’s most famous hang- and paragliding sites. Both Talloires and Doussard are used as a base for many paragliding schools and tandem flight operators. Just pass the landing site in Doussard, have a drink, watch the spectacle unfold and make some enquiries. Your family and in particular your kids will love it.  It is a truly spectacular sight, watching all the colourful gliders in the sky. If you dare you can even enjoy a tandem flight for as little as 80 Euros.

My recommendations

Here my suggestions for lake Annecy activities during August:

  • Relax lakeside in one of the many bars / restaurants – my favourites Chez Ma Cousin for evening dring or Chez Gerald (Bout du lake) for fish dinner.
  • Visit the legendary Fête du Lac in Talloires
  • Book an even cruse with one of the operators in Annecy (based next to the main canal just in front of the Old Town) and enjoy lake and mountains whilst having a meal on board.
  • Visit the castle in Menthon St. Bernard and enjoy the stunning views over the lake
  • Sunbath on one of the many beaches around the lake.
  • Shop the many boutiques lining the narrow stone-paved streets alongside the canals in Annecy’s Old Town
  • Visit one of the many weekly local farmers markets.
  • Book a tandem paragliding flight from the top of Col De la Forclaz down to the landing site in Doussard.
  • Book a late afternoon wakeboard  session with on of the local operators.
  • Enjoy an early morning swim in one of the cleanest lakes in Europe.
images of lac annecy 21 300x225 Reasons to visit Lake Annecy in August

hiking around lake Annecy

August is the time to sunbath, relax and enjoy all what the lake has to offer.  August is all the time for fetes around the lake. Enjoy the local hospitality. However all the activities on offer, combined with school holiday period makes lake Annecy rather busy during August.

It might sound a sound a strange conclusion to draw. But when you consider the  thousands of people stranded abroad due to international flight cancellations, it makes sense to holiday on the shores of lake Annecy. Here is why I prefer to be stranded in Annecy.

For once you can easily drive to lake Annecy.  Journey times from the French ports are less than 10 hours and if you keep the stops to a minimum you can do it in less than eight hours. There are also many great stop-overs on the way such as the Champagne (I always stop to stock up on Champagne), Dijon and Lyon. You can even drive via Paris and take in the French capital on the way.

Annecy is also connected to the TGV rail network. The journey time is less than four hours to Paris. Including a change of train you could be in Annecy from London Kings Cross in less than seven hours.

Driving is probably the most productive and most cost effective option as you will need a car to enjoy the sights around lake Annecy. There is so much to do and see that even if you travel by air or rail you need to hire a car to get to see the region.

When I bought my house here, I bought because lake Annecy is one of the most stunning regions in the world. I also bought here because I can get here by car or by train not only by air. It seemed to me less of a risk that way. I guess many British  holidaymakers will make similar considerations, next time they plan their holiday getaways … may be drawing the same conclusion and making this another reason to visit lake Annecy.

As I am writing  this blog post (sitting in my garden overlooking lake Annecy and the nearby mountains) the first British Airways flight landed in Heathrow airport. It looks like the air traffic ban has been lifted  in London after a 5 days shutdown and it seems a large part of the British air traffic is expected to resume its works.

I for once had made my contingency plans and checked out train time-tables and got permission to drive my hired car back to Calais if needed. Having said so I  don’t have to go back to the UK before the end of the week and I could think of worse places to be stranded than lake Annecy.

Views from the Train , from Lyon to Annecy ( The Venice of Savoy ) ……. Views of Annecy … The Thiou Canal Riverside and Street Scenes in the Old Town , Lake Side and Park Views , Pleasure Boats and the Old Prison at Pont Perriere Bridge

An amazing two weeks of wakeboarding, waterskiing and chilling out at our lakeside villa – rock on!

Annecy 2006

Photos of my summer in Lake Annecy, France

What is so nice about visiting Annecy in winter is that although I don’t ski, there seems to be an abundance of things to do as well as my favourite pastime of reading!  Nothing to re-energise yourself like sitting on a mountain in the sun with a hot chocolate and cosying up in a blanket with a good book!

My husband is a keen skier and for him the choice of where to go is vast, as there are ski resorts all around Annecy itself.  These are a little smaller than your average Val d’Isere hotspots (although we have been known to travel to Tignes and Val a few times!), but still well equipped and offering good restaurants and facilities, ideal for both our palates! My husband’s favourites are La Clusaz and Megeve, but there are many other ski resorts nearby. If you browse this blog you will find all the nearby ski resorts. I am sure my husband has been going on about them in his own blog posts.

Of course, after sunning yourself for a while watching all the snow sports around you, it’s time to do some exercise of your own!  There are some lovely walks around the Lake itself with plenty of stops along the way to have a coffee.  For those who enjoy cycling, there are cycle paths to make the whole experience not only safer but much more enjoyable.  Simply cycle around and feel the fresh air and take in the breathtaking landscape, mountains all around, and of course the lake itself standing still and majestic at this time of year.

One of my favourite spots that I particularly like to go to each time I am in Annecy, is Col de la Forclaz or , a sight high up with 2 restaurants.  In the summer, it’s a great place to see the paragliders taking off while sampling some local aperitifs, but in the winter, the surroundings take on an enchanting presence.  The road to Col de Forcaz is a winding one to say the least, but it is well worth it, especially when you see the lake in its full glory.

So, after all the shopping, (Annecy Old Town is only a stone’s throw away wherever you stay in Annecy), walking, cycling or simply sightseeing is done- it’s back to the relaxation with that book, under the blanket with that sun on your face, BLISS!

Oh what fun it is being a vegetarian in France! Well, my first trip to Annecy was great, all but the dining experience! I had dreamt that all I had read on great French cuisine would await me, I was very wrong! There isn’t much variety in anything without meat and it’s niggly way of getting into things that you would never have imagined… lardons! In vegetables, potatoes, anything goes really. The most frightening word in my vocabulary when it comes to my frequent trips to lake Annecy.

Well, as I said, that was my first trip, now I am more confident with my choices as it’s just a matter of learning. Sans lardons, sans poisson and sans carne, things without meat etc work very well as the chefs really don’t like to alter their menu!!

My favourites are tartiflette, which is a creamy potato baked dish, scrummy, but again beware as it is mostly with lardons and pre-made, so best ask the waiter/ess. The only thing is you can’t get away from cheese in most meals when dining out, even pizzerias obviously, so one thing I try to do before my stay in Annecy,  keep off the stuff! Even vegetables rarely make an appearance on the menu, because they live on green salad – strange because at all the supermarches, the shoppers have leeks in their baskets, yet to appear on any menu? They have lentils and green beans occasionally, but sadly the lentils contain ham and the beans are cooked in goose fat. So annoying!

The best thing that has happened is that we now own a house, where I can delight in France’s amazing vegetables of all shapes and colours from the bustling markets or the supermarches. It’s hard to decide when my favourite season would be as in Spring the vegetables are all earthy and vibrant but in the Summer you have fruits that taste so different to those in England, it’s hard to imagine being the same fruit!

Well, lastly I would hope that I have not put you off visiting lake Annecy or France because it truly is worthwhile, even being a vegetarian! Just be well equipped with the knowledge that it may be difficult, but sticking to what they do have on the menu and adapting it would be the best advice. There will be an abundance of fresh salads that you can have, goats cheese being one that they often serve, in any season. If all else fails and you crave some variety as you may be staying like me, for 3 weeks or longer, you may want to rent somewhere, and you can be your own chef and shopper, great fun.

July is the start of the peak holiday season on lake Annecy. With average temperatures normally well above 30C it offers everything you would expect from a true summer holiday. A clear, blue alpine sky, warm temperatures well into the night, outdoor dining and all the water based activities you can imagine. Enjoy one of the many beaches and a cold drink in one of the many lakeside restaurants and bars.

If fresh water sports are your passion, you will be in for a real treat. From early morning swimming, afternoon sailing or late evening water skiing, the lake got it all. The entire region comes to live and there is an abundance of outlets providing you with whatever water sport equipment your might require. Waterskiing, wake boarding, sailing, kayaking and diving are amongst the most popular water sports. You can also hire all kind of boats including speedboats.

Even if water sport is not your thing you can enjoy one of the many trail around and nearby the lake, perfect for cycling, hiking or even just a gentle walk.

The many villages along the lake come to live with fetes, festivals and weekly farmers markets. You will find something in the calendar on most days and if you are willing to make the effort you will be able to experience the traditional nature of this unique French region.

Talloires lake front 2 Reasons to visit lake Annecy in July

Talloires lake front lake Annecy

Lake Annecy also boasts on of the world’s most famous hang- and paragliding sites. It is a truly spectacular sight, watching all the colourful gliders in the sky. If you dare you can even enjoy a tandem flight for as little as 80 Euros. Both Talloires and Doussard are used as a base for many paragliding schools and tandem flight operators. Just pass the landing site in Doussard, have a drink, watch the spectacle unfold and make some enquiries. Your family and in particular your kids will love it.

Here my suggestions for lake Annecy activities during July:

  • Book an even cruse with one of the operators in Annecy (based next to the main canal just in front of the Old Town) and enjoy lake and mountains whilst having a meal on board.
  • Shop the many boutiques lining the narrow stone-paved streets alongside the canals in Annecy’s Old Town
  • Relax lakeside in one of the many bars / restaurants – my favourites Chez Ma Cousin for evening dring or Chez Gerald (Bout du lake) for fish dinner.
  • Visit the four day long Noctibules festival in Annecy
  • Visit one of the many weekly local farmers markets.
  • Visit the castle in Menthon St. Bernard and enjoy the stunning views over the lake
  • Book a tandem paragliding flight from the top of Col De la Forclaz down to the landing site in Doussard.
  • Sunbath on one of the many beaches around the lake.
  • Enjoy an early morning swim in one of the cleanest lakes in Europe.
  • Book a late afternoon waterski session with on of the local operators.
images of lac annecy 21 300x225 Reasons to visit lake Annecy in July

walking near lake Annecy

July is the time to sunbath, relax and enjoy all what the lake has to offer. Use the first day of your holiday to drive around the lake and find out just how much there is to be done. July is all about enjoying summer lake activities without limits.

Most of you will have never heart of the ski resort of La Sambuy. I can’t blame you, given the ski resort boasts a grand total of one chair lift and three drags. Don’t be fooled however. On it’s day the skiing here is great and if you ever visit lake Annecy in winter, you should check it out.

I skied La Sambuy twice this week, the first time purely due to bad visibility elsewhere.  I opted for half day in Sambuy, rather than wasting money on an expensive ski pass in one of the more famous neighbour ski resorts. The adult day skipasses in La Sambuy are just 14 euro, a real bargain given what you get for your money. I got certainly more powder than I paid for this week, skiing Sambuy.

You might not know, but using lake Annecy as a base you can reach up to seven top ski domains in less than an hour. This includes Megeve, Val D’Arly, Espace Diamant, La Cluzas, Grand Bornand, Valmorel and Meribel. La Sambuy would not be your natural choice for a week’s skiing, but for a quick, half-day ski fix it delivers in full.

On arrival I counted a total of two cars in the car park. Yes it was snowing and yes visibility was not great but I would have expected more locals. I ended up sharing some exceptional powder snow with just seven other skiers all morning. When is the last time you skied untracked powder all day without any competing skiers or boraders? I never do, unless of course I opt to mount my skies and dare some more dangerous off-piste an hours walk from the official slopes.

Needless to say that I had a great morning skiing and given the entire ski resort of La Sambuy is below the tree line (up to 1850m altitude) visibility was actually very good. I got probably as much skiing done as I would have done elsewhere in a full day. The lack of ski lifts was just not a factor at all and piste and off-piste was plentiful.

It has to be said, La Sambuy is great on a sunny day too. Going up by chair, you can see the impressive setting of lake Annecy and the surrounding mountains. On the summit you can even see the Mont Blanc in the distance. In my books La Sambuy is a great place to ski on good or bad weather days. Beware, don’t expect to ski with only seven people on the slopes if the sun is out.

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