I spent a very sweet few days in solitude here before spending the next 3-weeks in a giant chateau with 30 people! As Ayurveda teaches us, opposites bring balance, and this is exactly what I was going for in this perfect tiny studio.
This town is stunning, a true French gem. It’s quintessential canals and architecture make you feel like you’re in a film; that teamed with the colourful flowers, chocolatiers on every corner and the glistening water, you may feel as though you’re living in your dreams…
Here’s some practical tips to help you on your visit in Annecy, should that day ever come.
I booked my base via Airbnb. This tiny living space takes up such little space on this planet yet had everything I needed and even in fantastic comfort and quality. It was opposite the train station (although at the back and top floor of the building so very quiet), and a 5-minute walk from the old town. I adore being on my own and with the spacious balcony, I was able to enjoy my asana practice, pilates and meals outside in the open air.
The lake makes for the perfect stroll, run or bike ride. All the way around is 50km so would definitely be a bike ride to do the full circuit. It’s a lovely, easy route since there’s no way you’ll get lost and of course, it’s flat. I enjoyed a morning run here and many walks either side. You can hire a bike, pack a picnic and make a day out of it.
On one very rainy day, I walked along the canal out to Prom du Thiou which made for a nice change of scenery. I loved seeing all of the autumn colours in the trees, hedges and riverside flora.
Due to the rain and me having just the one pair of trainers, I didn’t venture out to any mountains however I have no doubt about their beauty. There are various mountains surrounding this serene lake, two that have come highly recommended to me are: Mount Veyrier and Semnoz Mountain.
Within the lake, there are all sorts of water sports on offer. You can canoe, water ski, scuba dive or and even sky dive up above. I saved my pennies and instead went for a lovely refreshing swim – I think that was enough of an adrenalin rush for me. I love lakes so much! I did my usual trick of looking for a friendly, preferably older looking local and asked them to watch my bags while I go off and enjoy the water for half an hour without a worry.
I arrived on a Thursday afternoon and after meeting my host, was directed to Naturalia, an organic store just around the corner. They had everything: vegetables, fruit, oils, nut butters etc etc. I got just the organic necessities for that night and the next moring: large broccoli, cold-pressed olive oil, sea salt and fresh turmeric root, as I knew it was the farmers market the next day…
My host had actually provided lots of biscuits for my breakfast but after hearing me ask for an organic shop she guessed I wouldn’t eat them and instead swapped out the milk, butter and biscuits for oats, oat milk and fruit that she went and bought for me that evening – très gentille!!
The Farmers Market runs every week on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays in the old town – my dream. There is so much fresh produce and amazing French breads, pastries, olives, tapenades, cheese, meat and whatever else you might fancy. I stocked up with a loaf of organic bread (which is what I got the olive oil for!), colourful vegetables and some dried fruits and nuts for brekky. This lot then lasted me throughout my stay, 3 meals a day, every day and I revelled in every mouthful of the French flavours, enjoyed on my serene balcony with only the sounds of the chirping birds.
Note: there are lots of lovely looking restaurants all over too!