Lake Annecy is the third largest lake in France and regarded as the cleanest lake in all of Europe. Situated in the Haute-Savoie region of the French Alps, right next to the town it is named after, this lake offers very many attractions to tourists visiting the area.
Annecy has a range of hotels that provide holiday accommodation in the town, and it is a marvellous place to learn and practise French. Where better could you study this language than in France?
With its very clean and sparkling waters, Lake Annecy is an ideal location for many types of water sport. Swimming, fishing, sailing, kayaking, wind-surfing, water-skiing, and diving are among the sporting activities carried out here.
Bathing and beaches
Lake Annecy has 11 beaches that provide easy access to its waters and somewhere to relax and sunbathe whilst enjoying the visual delight of an expanse of turquoise-blue framed by a backdrop of mountains and forests. In summer the average temperature of the water can be as high as 22-24°C, making it suitable for swimming.
The beaches do charge an admission fee but this is fair because, in addition to facilities provided, including showers, toilets, car-parks and snack bars, through the months of July and August, there are lifeguards standing by just in case anyone gets into difficulty.
The largest beach is known as the Plage d’Albigny, and it is home to a rowing club.
Lake Annecy even has its own shipwreck, which is known as “Le France.” It is what is left of a paddle-boat that used to be able to hold 700 passengers. The boat mysteriously sank one night in 1971. Divers with an advanced level of diving skill are able to go down under the water to investigate this wreck.
Underwater cities from the Neolithic era
Lake Annecy is also of great interest to archaeologists because it boasts “underwater cities” that are the remains of prehistoric villages that date back to the Neolithic era and late Bronze Age. These “cities” are below the waters of the lake today because the lake used to be much shallower and villages were built around the shores.
Cycling around Lake Annecy
Cycling is another very popular sporting activity enjoyed at Lake Annecy. There are routes around the lake and experienced cyclists have a choice of cycling trails that climb up into the surrounding mountains.
“Venice of the Alps”
Besides the water sports that can be enjoyed at Lake Annecy, there are many attractions in the town of Annecy itself, which is often referred to as the “Venice of the Alps.” This is because the River Thiou that flows out of the lake, divides into canals as it crosses the town.
One of the main landmarks of Annecy is the Palais de l’Isle, which stands on an islet in the middle of the canals.