Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Annecy, France

Nov 09 2012, 17:38 IST
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SummarySurrounded by mountains and healthy-looking people, Lake Annecy is a smaller French version of Switzerland's vast Lake Geneva.

jail from the middle ages until well into the 19th-century and again during World War II. It now houses a display of the city's and region's history.

11 a.m. - The quaint surrounding streets, with their open air markets selling local produce, deserve an hour of wandering.

Midday

Au Fidele Berger at 2, rue Royale, between the old town and the station, was established in 1917 to serve up exquisite patisserie and hot chocolate. Lunch options include quiche and salad.

2 p.m. - Time to hire a bike. Roul' ma Poule offers comfort models or more expensive racing bikes from a shop on the edge of the lake at 47, avenue du Petit Port.

Depending on how fit you are and the weather, tackle the piste cyclable at your own pace. It makes use of the old railway route and tunnel, links up to gentle villages and is frequented by cyclists of all ages as well as effortlessly cool rollerbladers.

A fine evening destination would be Talloires, Annecy's most exclusive spot on the lake shore.

If you're feeling energetic, you can approach it via a tour all around the lake. Alternatively, you can head straight there and take in the scenery at a leisurely pace.

And if you're feeling flush, you can dine in Les Terrasses du Cottage and look out on to the turquoise lake. The adjoining hotel Le Cottage Bise has four-star accommodation and an air of old money.

Day two

8 a.m. - Time to follow the Annecy folk up one of their favourite climbs -- La Tournette, at some 2,350 metres, the highest peak of the region.

It's achievable for the moderately fit and there are chains to help with the last few metres of scrambling over rocks, snow-clad for most of the year.

From Talloires, you can also cycle a few, steep km to the hamlet of Montmin, or you could order a taxi, but remember to make arrangements to be collected later. The walk takes roughly 6 hours 30 minutes. You'll also need a picnic and a map would be wise.

9 a.m. - Near the church of Montmin there is a sign on a lavoir (washing trough) pointing you to La Tournette. Follow it through the village and up a tarmac road, which becomes a rough track.

The route is marked with green splashes all the way and takes you through woodland, past a dry river bed, through a wide rocky gulley and along a col with

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