EVIAN-LES-BAINS, BETWEEN LAKE AND MOUNTAIN
Evian-les-Bains is the only destination of its kind in France. On the shores of Lake Geneva, in close proximity to the Alps with a harmonious blend of luxury, picturesque scenery and soothing pace of life. Indeed, Evian-les-Bains is the perfect representation of the French Belle Epoque: the promenade along Lake Geneva, the beaches, the pedestrian streets, ther terraces, the golf course, the casino, the marina, the animated summer market, and its remarkable monuments such as the Villa Lumière, the former summer residence of the Lumière family, or the Palais Lumière, a former thermal baths establishment that has become a cultural space.
In Evian-les-Bains, life is elaxed. Spas are elegant and scenic, the lake shines and waves for attention. The Evian mineral waters are quite literally flowing and free for all to take. Grab a bottle and fill it up direct from the tap below the playful neoclassical arches of Source Cachat, Evian’s most famouse of many water springs.
When exploring Evian-les-Bains, treat yourself to moments of true relaxation at the splendid Hotel Royal Evian and its tranquil lake view treatment rooms. If the mood takes, then the lakeside Casino can act as a neon-drenched distraction and a place to escape the cold, but why would you want to? Especially when Evian-les-Bains is at its best when enjoyed peacefully with walks along Quai Paul Leger, exhibitions in the Palais Lumière and boat rides on the elegant Savoie paddle steamer.
AIX-LES BAINS : THE RIVERIA OF THE ALPES & UALTIME FRENCH DESTINATION FOR WELLBEING
Aix-les bains, Bourget du lac, Chatutagne and Pays d’albens together make the Rivieria of the Alps. These unique and diverse areas, linked together by a shared culture and history, make the territory a 4 seasons destination. The exceptional landscape, heritage sites, a wide range of activities, and beautiful waters combined make rather perfect settings for a natural place of well-being.
At the heart of this territory, marked by Roman antiquity, the thermal waters are widely popular. For centuries, the spas have been the bedrock of medical excellence in the field of natural health. The waters from the thermal springs improve your sense of well-being and encourage relaxation. Treat yourself to one of the local wellness experiences such as l’instant wellness, or take a swim at the indoor and outdoor swimming pool of the Thermal Spa at the Thermes Chevalley – Valvital with Sauna, Turkish bath, Solarium complete the treatment and get in shape. If you are looking to take this wellness experience to the next level, you may also make a stop at le petit chemin where you will learn about the plants and their benefits, and how to treat yourself with essential oils.
Other fun interests? Make a stop the Xavier Jacqueline Vineyard, this exceptional vineyard with a view of the lake, produces wines with a specific terroir and vast aromatic complexity.
ANNECY: THE VENICE OF SAVOIE
With its canals winding through the old town, its castle and its famous lake, Annecy is a destination of choice for a charming getaway in the Alps. The purest lake in Europe and the pearl of the French Alps. A destination known to all and equally appreciated in summer and in winter. Every year, Annecy welcomes visitors in all seasons, especially in autumn: Indian summer in September, walks in the forests in autumn colors, gastronomic discoveries until December while waiting for the first snow. The Savoie has only been French since 1860. Hence why Annecy resembles the cities on the other side of the Mont Blanc and that the old Annecy is impregnated with the colors and flavors of the Dolce vita. In short, there is very little about Annecy that isn’t charming, disarming and beautiful.
What’s new this season? This autumn and throughout the winter, some hotel and restaurant owners have decided to extend their offers across the seasons including the two renowned: Abbaye de Talloires and Auberge du Père Bise. Lake Annecy on a boat cruise is possible all year round now, check out Bateaux Annecy for booking. Head for the commune of Duingt on the banks of Lake Annecy to explore a new establishment dedicated to health and well-being, a unique concept in France. Several types of stays are offered at Villa Caroline: ranging from a discovery day to a fasting stay. In mid-September, Yoann Conte re-opened the doorsto his gourmet restaurant, awarded 2 stars in the Michelin Guide.
Paddling on lake annecy in the winter is also possible: morning mist, crystal clear waters, soothing calm… An idyllic setting for a unique experience of stand up paddle session on Lake Annecy. Don’t miss the Glagla race: a Stand Up Paddle race with more than 600 participants, taking placefrom 22 to 24 January 2022.
CHAMONIX, MONT BLANC
At the heel of Mont Blanc, its iconic Vallée Blanche and history as host of the first-ever Winter Olympics in 1924, has made it one of Europe’s premier skiing and climbing destinations. A few hours drive from Switzerland and Italy, it has long been associated with adventurous winter sports including ice climbing, paragliding and freeriding. Which made it known as “the death-sport capital of the world.”. If you are not a skier or a beginner, not to worry, you can find at the bottom of the valley, easy slopes for newbies.
Chamonix is the perfect exploration getaway for mountain life lovers with plenty of climbing and hiking activities offers. Also for après-ski celebration where on every other colourful building there is a restaurant or a café serving up melted cheese in a busy Après-ski vibe.
Among the experiences to try this winter:
1- The famous Montenvers train, for a pretty unique trip taking you between Chamonix-Mont-Blanc and the Montenvers tourist site up the mountainside offering a stunning 1,913 metres high view over Les Drus, Les Grandes Jorasses and Les Grands Charmoz.
2- “Step into the void,” which is a glass cube situated at the top terrace of the Aiguille du Midi at an altitude of 3842 metres offering 360° views of the Alps.
3- The Glacier des Bossons, a glacier cave that takes on various shades of blue and feels like walking through an ice sculpture. 4- Ride up the Aiguille du Midi cable car for direct views of the legendary Mont Blanc from Restaurant Le 3842.
Feature Photo: Lac Blanc, Aiguilles Rouges, @ Happy Tracks