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Best things to do in Annecy

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Where in the world: Europe  /  France  /  Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes  /  Haute-Savoie  /  Annecy

Top 15 things to do in Annecy

1. Lake Annecy

Lake Annecy bears the nickname of "Europe's Cleanest Lake,” because of strict environmental regulations that have been in place since the 1960s. Consequently, it is also a hotspot for water sports and swimming. You’ll understand why when you see its delicate blue waters up close, clear to the bottom, and as untouched as the day it was discovered. The effect of the lake's beauty is immortalized in Paul Cezanne's painting "Le Lac Bleu," which took its inspiration from it in 1896.

The lake formed 18,000 years ago, when alpine glaciers melted. Fed by multiple rivers and an underground water source, it is a basin for the cleanest of water. Consider a refreshing dip at one of the beaches and enjoy the day with a picnic, instead of spending bundles at local cafes.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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4. Parasailing & Paragliding

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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5. Musee Chateau

Musee Chateau has watched over the town below since the 12th century. However, the only part of the castle still standing from this time is the Queen’s Tower with its 4 m (13 ft) thick walls; the rest of the castle was completed in the 16th century. The structure suffered from multiple fires, but remained strong enough to serve as a military barracks until 1947. It's now a museum housing Alpine popular art, such as furniture, sculptures, photography, and modeled chalets. Stand on the castle terrace and look out over the narrow streets of the old town, or visit the lookout tower for a wider view of the area.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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6. Palais de l'Ile

Palais de l'Ile is a recognizable feature of the Thiou canal that splits the water with its sharp corner and forces it apart. When you see the stalwart, gray stone it will come as no surprise that this building has been standing since 1132. It began as the residence of the Lord of Annecy, then an administrative headquarters, courthouse, a mint, and a jail until 1865 and again World War II. Nowadays, you don’t need to be arrested to visit the interior of the castle, just buy a ticket to the history museum located inside and wander through the halls and rooms that once housed both nobility and criminals.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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7. Semnoz

Semnoz was the site of a summit climb in the 2013 Tour de France. At 1, 699 m (5,574 ft) above sea level, it was a feat for any professional cyclist. Fortunately, you can master the mountain by car and visit the summit’s highest point for spectacular views of the surrounding peaks on the horizon and the villages dotting the land below your feet.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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8. Room Escape Games

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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9. Water Taxi Annecy

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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10. La Tournette

The Tournette (2,351 m or 7,713 ft) is a mountain in the Bornes Massif in Haute-Savoie, France. It is the highest of the mountains surrounding Lake Annecy and has a prominence of 1,514 (4,967 ft), qualifying it as an Ultra.

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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11. Les Gorges du Fier, Lovagny

Breath in the savage beauty of the Les Gorges du Fier from walkways built 24 m (79 ft) above the burbling waters. Read the signs you see along the path, as the information will reveal a surprise. Also stop in the little room at the end to see film footage that shows the changes in water level. You'll be glad the water is low as you cross the wooden bridge and feel the spray sprinkle on your face.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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12. Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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13. Room Escape Games, Annemasse

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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14. Walibi Rhone-Alpes, Les Avenieres

Walibi Rhône-Alpes is a French theme park located in the commune of Les Avenières, in the Isère department. It is the largest theme park of the Rhône-Alpes region. The park contains more than 33 rides and it covers an area of 35 hectares. Origin of the first Walibi park, the park was created in 1975 by Eddy Meeùs, a Belgian businessman. The name "Walibi" comes from the three municipalities in which the park is located: Wavre, Limal and Bierges.

The park had an income of 8.8 million euros in 2005, and it greets over 400,000 visitors yearly.

Walibi Rhône-Alpes also contains a 13,000 m2 waterpark called L'Île aux Pirates (previously Aqualibi).

As of 2006, the park is owned and operated by Compagnie des Alpes, which also owns many theme parks and ski resorts across Europe.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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