A few weekends ago, there was a marvelous cool air beckoning me to follow the North Wind to the slopes. From Dijon (about 3 hours), going east toward Geneva and then south (about 35 km south of Geneva) there is a rather enjoyable scenic route toward the French Alps.
First, there is a required stop at Annecy (pronounced Ansi). This lovely town by Lake Annecy is considered to be the “Venice of the Alps” due to its canals and hospitable surroundings. There is much to discover here: great shopping, restaurants and music. I am told that throughout the year there are a series of festivals and special markets to be relished. Last time I visited the area was during autumn. Certainly, this locale was an incredible place to hike while discovering hidden trails into the hills and a chance to row smoothly throughout the placid waters of Lake Annecy. For the more daring athletes, paragliding and competitive rock climbing are also popular sports in the region. Historically, this area used to belong to the Geneva plus a series of other masters until it was sold to France around 1860 and it became part of the Haute-Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region. The regional cuisine is robust, savory and especially appetizing during long winter months. A few restaurants are strategically located at high points around the lake where the full grandeur of this deep turquoise encircled sea is revealed. Typical Savoyarde menus may include tartiflettes: Reblochon cheese the most famous cheese of the region mixed with potatoes, crème fraîche, onions and diced bacon; but also farm-fresh charcuterie and fondues usually accompanied by the flavorful full-bodied Savoyarde wines.
After Lake Annecy, I continued to follow my itinerary towards the Alps for about one hour and 30 minutes finally arriving at Chamonix-Mont Blanc. Last autumn, this place was golden for long hikes, bicycle trails rushing into the sunset as well as rock climbing and paragliding, rafting, canoeing etc. A guide(s) can be easily hired to help you achieve your outdoor activities goals. Still, during winter this area becomes a snow-powder wonderland for skiing and winter sports. They have a marvelous cable car that reaches great heights including its awesome and imposing “Mont Blanc” whose summit is part of the village of Chamonix. The terrain and slopes are well organized to accommodate all levels of skiing proficiency: from young children to daredevils and of course, all of us in between. Vacation homes and condos are available for purchase with attractive proposals to assist real estate investors make the right decision according to their interests.
Lake Annecy and Chamonix – Mont Blanc are first-class winter travel destinations. In this grand environment you can expect first-rate gourmet dining and bespoke leisure undertakings while partaking in a variety of winter sports pursuits for enjoyment and recreation.