Above: French Alps on Lake Annecy in Annecy, France

Annecy: The Venice of the Alps

Every year, millions of tourists descend upon Venice, but roughly 400 miles west of this overtouristed city, a more intimate destination beckons with its own Venetian-style charm.

Annecy, France - SergiyN/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Annecy is located in southeastern France, in the heart of the French Alps. Quaint canals and storybook bridges thread under and over the cobbled streets, calling to mind Italy’s floating city. Indeed, Annecy is nicknamed the “Venice of the Alps” due to this resemblance.


Lake Annecy in the French Alps - philipimage/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Annecy sits on the shores of a glacial lake, considered one of the cleanest in Europe. Rising from Lake Annecy’s crystalline waters are massifs and rocky peaks that are reflected on its glassy surface. The Thiou river, an outflow of the lake, runs through La Vieille Ville (Old Town) in translucent, sea-green canals. Visitors walk along their flowering banks, exploring private passages and secret spaces.

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Above: French Alps on Lake Annecy in Annecy, France