From the grape-heavy vineyards of Burgundy to the caves and castles of the Dordogne Valley, France reveals her beauty with every turn of the compass. Last summer I spent a week in the charming city of Annecy, located in the Haute Savoie region (near the French-Swiss border.) This area is famous for its cheeses, which are slow-melted into fondues and raclettes in many of the local restaurants. Annecy is situated on a large, turquoise lake (the cleanest in France!) which makes it a popular tourist attraction for Frenchies leaving on vacation for the weekend. It’s also latticed with charming canals, hence it’s pseudo-name, “Venice of the Alps.” I wrote about my experience on The Hideaway Report and included some of my favorite restaurants and things to do should you find yourself in this picturesque Alpine hideaway.
Paragliders call this place mecca for the perfect flying conditions and the beautiful aerial views over the lake. Over the course of our stay, I saw kite boarders, sailers, scuba divers, and cyclists, all of whom add to city’s active, outdoor lifestyle. We saw families picnicking on the side of the road, sunbathing on rocks, and simply enjoying the bounty of Mother Nature. Annecy is known for having one of France’s most prolific markets and I can attest it is quite wonderful, indeed. Vendors come in selling their varied goods, from juicy heirloom tomatoes to crusty breads, aged cheeses, and saucissons stuffed with herbs and spices. I bought a big woven basket when we arrived and enjoyed moseying through the twisted streets for fresh daily fare. Back home, when life gets overwhelming, I often remember these bright market mornings or golden afternoons eating crispy fried perch on Lake Annecy. My mind ventures back to the cool mountain air and bike rides in the sun, and I’m reminded anew that life’s simple pleasures are some of the greatest of all.