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1 Week in the Alps with Kids

Hi - I'm spending a week in july in Annecy with my wife and 5 and 9 year old daughters. Saturday and Saturday are travel days, so that leaves the following, with proposed site seeing (we have a car and dedicated parking at our Annecy gite):

Sunday: Chamonix and area: Mer de Glace, Kids Luge Park
Monday: Lake Annecy activities, Bastille Day Eve events at night
Tuesday: Bastille Day in Annecy
Wednesday: Chamonix, Mt Blanc (we would actually do this on the first clear day)
Thursday: ?
Friday: ?

Any ideas to fill in the blanks? We are staying right in the old time so we will see a lot of Annecy during the time in between sights/downtime. Here's our short list so far:

Chanaz and Lake Bourget
Beuafort with possible cheese making tour (if anyone knows a good one, please suggest)
Day trip to Lyon
More Lake Annecy



Posted by
3336 posts

One more thing in Chamonix that we love is to hike to Lac Blanc. You can take the gondola up from the valley floor and hike to the lake. There is a small mountain hut there that has a restaurant deck with views to the Mer de Glace and Mont Blanc on the other side of the of the BEST views in the alps. Have lunch, let the girls walk around the small lake, and take in the view. If there isn't much snow then you can hike down from the gondola drop-off to the lake. If there is snow then you get off at the gondola drop-off below the lake and hike up. It's a bit of a climb and may be too much for your 5 year-old but I've seen young kids do it with no problem.

Posted by
605 posts

Thank you Anita - I will check it out!


Posted by
1 posts

I live in Annecy, originally from Ohio. I would say that, for SURE, you should visit Gorge du fier, Menthon Saint Bernard (including the castle where St Bernard lived and had his fall from the window), a day trip to Lyon if you have never been there is amazing (you need a good planned route to hit up everything you really want to see there), also Bastille Day will shut down nearly 80% of all business here so be careful with that, there is also the WWII memorial (depends on how history oriented you like things of course). Honestly for the kids I say Gorge du Fier and Montrettier, Montrettier has one of the worlds largest private collection of random stuff from all over the world. - my email is if you have any other questions, just put Annecy in the subject so I see it...darn university emails hit everything as spam for some reason.

Posted by
605 posts

Thank you jag. This is great info. Is Bastille day eve a thing in Annecy?


Posted by
1631 posts

In May, I visited both Annecy and Chamonix. I stayed on the other side of the lake, so I did a day trip to Annecy by boat. While this was a nice change from the car, it was a long boat ride and if you got off, you had to wait an hour for the next boat. There is not much else to do in the area except for hiking, biking around the lake and some beach time on the lake.

After Annecy, we drove to Chamonix and spent a few nights there. The cog wheel train to the glacier was a lot of fun. Your girls will love that. The glacier is 420 steps down and, of course, then up. The stairs are the see thru, metal kind. The glacier was one of the highlights of my trip. Note that I did the aiguille-du-midi lift up to see Mont Blanc and the cog wheel train to the glacier in one day because I bought a combination ticket for both sites. Otherwise, it was quite expensive to do them separately. I did the lift to Mont Blanc first and then the glacier afterwards later in the afternoon when the crowds on the stairs were less. Send me a personal message if you want more details. Have a great trip. I really enjoyed both locations.

Posted by
2916 posts

From one former Somerville resident to a current one: You've got a lot of choices listed there, all of them good. We've made several trips to Annecy, and below I've included a link to my blog with posts that came up when I did a search for "Annecy." I've also included a link to the posts I wrote during our recent trip to the Bugey and Jura, during which we visited Chanaz and some towns near the Lac de Bourget. It looks like you're about to go. Enjoy!

Posted by
21 posts

We absolutely loved this animal park near Chamonix. Also has beautiful alpine views. There is a bit of hiking up from the parking lot so you can decide whether your 5 year old can handle it.