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Hi all,

I'm doing a 3 and a half month trip in summer 2016, I was planning on spending 4 nights in Nice, then catching a flight to Geneva, then train to Murren (or somewhere close) for 4 nights before moving onto Italy (train to Venice). Venice for 2 nights, Lake Como for 3 nights and Cinque Terre for 3 nights and onward from there (actually the reverse to this). I will also be day tripping to Hallstatt (Austria) earlier in my trip, and Plitvice National Park in Croatia.

My question as I'll be visiting the abovementioned places would it be worth taking a night off NIce/Switzerland or Lake Como to add 2 nights in Annecy? Or would I be best to add two nights to Geneva and do a day trip to Annecy? Would that be enough time to take in its beauty and see the sights? I'd originally planned 3 nights in Lake Como as a relaxing break or a 'holiday within a holiday' as some put it, as I'll be traveling for a long time but would it be worth visiting both Lake Como and Annecy?

My interests are outdoors, site seeing, culture, food and wine etc and I'm a late 20's solo backpacker.

Posted by
5678 posts

I thought that Annecy was lovely. I spent two nights, arriving late afternoon, spending the day in exploration and then on to Chamonix the next morning. I thought that the canals and the flowers and the markets were wonderful.


Posted by
7058 posts

I also spent 2 nights in Annecy and I was glad I did because I needed the full day and 1/2 there to appreciate the beauty and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere - touristy but not jammed. It turned out to be my favorite town in France aside from Paris. I took a ride on the boat around the lake enjoying the scenery and seeing the little villages around the lake (from the water). I wished I had had another day to rent a bike and do some more exploring that way. I would definitely like to go back there sometime. The weather was beautiful when I was there in July so that probably helped in my impression of the sheer beauty of the place. Not sure what your plans are for Nice but I was happy with 3 nights there so you might be able to spare one night from there for Annecy but that's just personal opinion.

Posted by
618 posts

My short answer is that I prefer Annecy to Nice, Lake Como, Geneva, and (gulp) Venice. But I'm likely in the minority here. Four nights seem too long for Nice, in my opinion. I would say yes, take from Nice/Geneva to give to Annecy.

My long answer would involve getting a better understanding of how much of France you have in your trip. Do you have a post with your full itinerary?


Posted by
3613 posts

I'm not sure what you mean by sightseeing or culture; but I suspect you shouldn't short-change Nice. It's got Roman ruins, a medieval Old Town, and modern outdoor art. There are the Chagall and Matisse Museums. There's a vibrant art, music, restaurant scene in and around Place Massena. There are also plenty of day trips you can do from there, including into the somewhat off- the- beaten- path area of western Liguria.
Just wondering . . .3 1/2 months? I believe all your destinations are in the Schengen Zone. Have you got a visa? If you don't know what the Schengen Zone is, you had better find out now; and either start the process or revise your plans.

Posted by
8293 posts

As per her previous posts on another thread, ambitiousbrooke is aware of the .Schengen rules.

Posted by
683 posts

I spent 3 nights in both Annecy and Geneva earlier this summer. My impression was that Annecy was a bit touristy, with not a lot to do other than boat rides, shopping and hanging out in the cafes; however, there were some interesting exhibits in the museum in the old Chateau. Glad I saw it, but a day trip from Geneva would have been enough for me. I really liked Geneva BTW.

Posted by
16894 posts

No, I would not change your current trip plan to add Annecy. Nothing looks like wasted time on that plan. You already have many lakes in the mix, small towns in the mix, more quality mountain time around Muerren, and time to see several size of French towns around Nice.

Posted by
4973 posts

If you can arrange your schedule, why not do both Lake Como and Annecy? They both provide a "holiday within a holiday" respite. But if I could only do one, I'd opt for Annecy. Lovely place!! Just enjoy the park, the boat ride around the lake, and sitting and watching the world go by at a slower than usual pace.

Posted by
47 posts

Thanks all. Great advice as always.

My plan is in its final stages, but I've changed it very slightly to the last one I posted up.

Here it is Matt in the condensed form, and the number on the left is the night spent in each place.

I was thinking as I'll be going through Geneva to either spend a night or two there with a day trip to Annecy, or 1 or 2 nights in Annecy. I could possibly take a night from Florence, and a night from Mennagio? I;ve read on quite a few blogs that Annecy is a really underated European gem that is a must see.

Lots of people have given me advice that 4 nights might be too long in Nice, but then I've been given other advice about holidays within a holiday because my schedule is jam packed, and also I've been told to base how many nights I stay somewhere on the things I want to do in that place, and I could spend four days on a beach lol let alone the day trips. Also the number of nights in certain legs of my trip are dependent on getting to Prague and Madrid on the correct dates for the tours I want to do.

4 – Amsterdam
3 - Berlin

1 – CNL sleeper train
3 – Munich
2 - Salzburg (day trip to Salzkammergut?)
3 - Vienna (day trip to Bratislava?)

3 – Prague

8 - Busabout Classic Rhapsody: Prague-Olomoc(1)-Krakow (2)-Zakopane(1)-Budapest (2), Plitvice (1)-Split (1)
7 - Croatian Busabout Sailing tour of Dalmation Islands from Split to Dubronvik
2- Dubrovnik (Adriatic Hotel Splurge: Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik/Excelsior/ Palace) (day trip to Montenegro)
4 - Rome
3 - Italian Adventure Amalfi Coast with Italy on a budget- Rome to Pompeii, Naples, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi
5 - Florence (day trip to Pisa, Siena, Lucca, Grapes Tuscany tour by Italy on a budget) stop in Assisi on the way
3 - Manarola (Cinque Terre)
3 –Mennagio (Lake Como, instead of Milan)
2 - Venice (stop at Verona on the way)
4- Switzerland Somewhere? Lauterbrunnen, Grimmelwald, Murren, Interlaken, Burn or Lucerne? (train to Geneva then fly)
4 - Nice (with an arvo/night trip to Monaco, Eze, Cannes, Saint Tropez cruise
13 – Spain- Spanish Spree by Contiki: Madrid 2, Bilbao 1, Pampelona 1, Barcelona 2, Ibiza 2, Grenada 2, Seville 1, Cordoba 1, Madrid
16 – Greek Islands – Santorini 4, Ios 4, Mykonos 4, Nexos 4
3 – Athens

Thanks again to all

Posted by
618 posts

It is a toss up. I personally like Annecy a lot but I am hesitant to recommend more stops in your trip and am inclined to agree with Laura on most things. You obviously love to travel and since you have very little France in your trip it seems reasonable that at some point in the future you will do a France trip that easily incorporates Annecy at that point in time.